Benitez and Mazzarri battle former sides in Serie A showdown
Italian giants Inter Milan and Napoli go into this Serie A fixture after a slow start to the season, after finding themselves 10 and eight points respectively behind table-toppers Juventus after just six games.
Inter especially are on a bad run, having lost their last two in the league before the international break, and are only slight favourites for victory at the San Siro at 6/4 with Coral.
Rafa Benitez’s boys, on the other hand, began the campaign with just four points from as many games, but have now won their last three in all competitions, so look good value at 9/5 to beat Inter.
A draw, surprisingly, is the least likely outcome according to Coral, with a price of 9/4 being given, despite the spoils been shared in this same fixture last term. On three occasions in the last five seasons, it has finished 0-0 between these two sides, and you can take enticing odds of 9/1 for that scoreline again.
Inter manager Walter Mazzarri, who enjoyed a successful spell as Napoli boss prior to this job, is under pressure after some disappointing results, and was jeered by his own fans after the 3-0 loss to Fiorentina.
“The break for international duty went very well,” Mazzarri said. “We discussed and worked on the mistakes made. I saw the lads eager to get back on track from tomorrow.
“We are preparing the game in every detail and I hope everyone can put into practice what we tried in training. We hope to guarantee intensity and preferably get the incidents going our way.
“I am curious to see what happens against Napoli. They are a strong side and it will certainly be a fascinating game. They are strong, organised with a great coach, but I don’t like talking about our opponents too much.”
It has been reported that Mazzarri could be tempted to change his formation, with the likes of Rodrigo Palacio (7/4 to score anytime) and Hernanes (5/2) in line to start.
Ex-Cardiff City player Gary Medel, Mateo Kovacic, Jonathan, Yuto Nagatomo and Fredy Guarin are all doubts for the game, though, while Daniel Osvaldo and Danilo D’Ambrosio are out injured.
Italy international Osvaldo’s fellow Argentine-born striker Mauro will be the one to watch in front of net. The former Barcelona academy player has three goals this term so far, and is priced at 2/1 to score anytime. Ex-Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic, meanwhile, is 6/1 to be on target.
For Benitez, who was briefly in charge of Inter in 2010, he can count on in-demand attack Jose Callejon, who has been targeted by a number of Premier League sides. The Spaniard has netted four times this season, and was on target against Inter in 2013/14, so can be backed at 5/2 in the anytime market.
Two former Swansea players Michu and Jonathan de Guzman, meanwhile, are tempting 5/2 and 10/3 to score at any point.