Holders Napoli can continue great run against Inter in Coppa Italia
Inter Milan have recorded just one win in their last 10 meetings with Coppa Italia holders Napoli across all competitions. That worrying statistic is music to Rafa Benitez’s ears and ominous for Roberto Mancini. Coral side with this history, and make the Neapolitan team odds-on at 4/5 to beat the Nerazzurri.
A draw in this cup quarter-final is a 12/5 chance, while Inter are 10/3 outsiders to knock out the side coached by one of their former bosses. Mancini’s second spell with the Blue half of the San Siro has been a little underwhelming, as evidenced by recent league losses to Torino and Sassuolo.
To address slipping into mid-table mediocrity, the Nerazzurri recruited heavily in the winter window. World Cup winning forward Lukas Podolski (an 11/4 anytime score chance here) was loaned in from Arsenal, and deals for Switzerland star Xherdan Shaqiri (7/2) and Croatia midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (4/1) followed.
It may be in defence where Mancini’s problems lie, however, with Inter conceding almost as many Serie A goals (29) as they have scored (30). And that latter burden has fallen firmly on the shoulder of young Argentine striker Mauro Icardi. He has 16 for the season in all competitions, and is 5/2 in the anytime market to add to that tally.
Colombia midfielder Fredy Guarin, meanwhile, has goals against Napoli on his CV before, and is a 7/2 scoring chance here.
Benitez, meanwhile, may be out of contract in Naples come the end of the season, but has made clever additions to his own squad. Croatia full back Ivan Strinic provides cover and competition for long-serving Christian Maggio, Algeria international Faouzi Ghoulam and Colombia’s Juan Camilo Zuniga.
It’s the capture of former Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini, which is most eye-catching, though. Players cannot be cup-tied in the Coppa Italia, and he has already played for Napoli in the last round.
Gabbiadini (2/1 to score here) will supplement leading marksman Gonzalo Higuain’s goals nicely, and odds of 7/2 say the latter will grab the opener. Spain winger Jose Callejon, meanwhile, has flourished under Benitez with three in as many matches against Inter. He is a tasty 17/10 to be on target again anytime.
Only Italian champions Juventus have won in Naples since September, so that strong home record, coupled with the Nerazzurri’s relative struggles, make the hosts great value at 27/10 to win and both teams score. A 2-1 Napoli win, meanwhile, is an alluring 15/2 chance.