Italian Football Tips: Honours even in battle of top two

inter milan

WE’VE sealed another stellar signing for the new campaign with Serie A don Paolo Bandini bringing his expertise to the site thanks to our partner Unibet.

Paolo is an Anglo-Italian sportswriter who pens a superb weekly Serie A column for the Guardian and his other credits include ESPN, the BBC and TalkSport as well as making regular appearances on the Football Weekly podcast.

He’s a Trevi Fountain of knowledge and we’re delighted to have him on board. After correctly calling both games last Sunday he’s back to run the rule over Saturday night’s meeting of the top two.

Napoli v Inter (Saturday 7.45pm)

Napoli did not exactly field a second-string side against Manchester City, but the decision to leave Allan and Jorginho out of the starting XI was made with this game in mind.

The club’s owner, Aurelio De Laurentiis had stated up front that this was the more important fixture – since the objective in Europe was simply to get through the group: not necessarily to win it.

His superstitious nature prevented him from saying the word ‘Scudetto’, but the prospect of a third-ever Serie A title looms large down in Naples. Victory away to Roma last weekend extended their season-opening winning streak in Serie A to eight games. It was enough to move them five points clear of reigning champs Juventus.

Inter, though, are still only two points behind. They have not looked anywhere near as scintillating as Napoli, yet they have suffered only a single draw, and their newfound ability to grind out results under Luciano Spalletti has been noted. With no European football to worry about, they have also had a full week to prepare.

That could make all the difference: especially with Napoli sweating on the availability of Lorenzo Insigne: who limped out of the City game with a thigh injury. He may yet feature on Saturday, but if not he would be missed. Insigne has three goals and four assists already this season, and his likely replacement, Piotr Zielinski, is a midfielder with limited experience playing in the forward line.

Such uncertainty becomes even more significant when you consider that Inter’s greatest weakness lies at full-back. Napoli will look to José Callejón to exploit Yuto Nagatomo’s lapses, but will that be enough without a similar push from the opposite flank?

Paolo’s Tips

  • Correct Score: Napoli 1, Inter 1 (15-2, Unibet)
  • First scorer: Jose Callejon (21-4, Unibet)
  • Both teams to score (1-2, Unibet)

 

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Anglo-Italian Paolo Bandini writes about Italian football for the Guardian and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They’re making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.

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