Napoli vs. InterBy: Neil | May 5th, 2013
Roma’s win over Fiorentina gave Napoli’s Champions League hopes a big boost: the Viola can get a maximum of 9 points the rest of the way, which would give them 70 for the season. Napoli currently have 69 and a win over Inter would guarantee a top 3 finish. But there is still a big difference between 2nd and 3rd: the 3rd place team will have a qualifying round before they can enter the group stages of the Champions League. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but Napoli’s record in two game aggregate contests in Europe the last three years has been 0-3 with losses to Villarreal, Chelsea, and Viktoria Plzen. Napoli does well in the group stages of each competition, but can’t get past the first hurdle after that.
Inter have about 13 players injured, which could be 14 if you already consider Campagnaro an Inter player. The Argentine is Napoli’s only absentee and will likely be replaced by Gamberini for a 2nd straight week.
De Sanctis – Gamberini, Canna, Britos – Maggio, Behrami, Dzemaili, Zuniga – Hamsik – Pandev, Cavani
It’s staggering how physically healthy Napoli has been the last two seasons compared with other Serie A teams. Somehow Napoli are able to compete on the physical front without getting their players injured. I don’t know how Mazzarri manages this but it goes a long way to making Napoli consistently strong from week to week.
In my dream Friday night Napoli beat Inter and suddenly a 2nd place finish was very much a reality..