Inter Milan travels to Stadio Paolo in Napoli for this Coppa Italia Quarterfinal match which seems closer than the oddsmakers lofty numbers reflect. With new acquirees Shaqiri and Podolski, the Nerazzurri have a chance.
Napoli vs. Inter Milan, Wednesday 19:45 (beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA), Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky Sports Extra, Sky Go, NOW TV (UK), 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT): Stadio San Paolo in Napoli is the site of the Coppa Italia quarterfinal between host and defending champions Napoli (10-6-4 Serie A, 36 GF-25 GA) and visiting Inter Milan (6-8-6, 29 GF-26 GA) with the winner meeting Lazio (which defeated AC Milan) in the tournament’s semifinal.
Oddsmakers have made Napoli -125 favorites with Inter Milan big +375 underdogs and the draw priced at +240 in the Three-Way (Winner) odds marketplace (bet365). The Total Goals odds for the match is 2½ Over -125 (Under Even, bet365) while the Both Teams To Score prop bet is priced at Yes -133 (No +100, Ladbrokes). And the Winning Margin odds are Napoli by 1 +275 (Sky Bet) with Inter by 1 at +550 for this Wednesday game in a this renowned tournament which started in 1922.
Inter Milan and goalkeeper Samir Handanovic shut out Sampdoria 2-0 in the Round of 16 of the Coppa Italia to get here and the Nerazzurri and manager Roberto Mancini could very well make a run at this silverware and could win here and actually seem value-laden with current odds as high as +375 (bet365) showing on the Oddschecker screen. Inter has a number of nice threats on the attack, including new signees, talented midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich; Anytime Goalscorer, +400; bet365) and Arsenal-loanee Lukas Podolski (+300), as well as striker Rodrigo Palacio (+275), striker Mauro Icardi (+210) 20-year-old sensation Mateo Kovacic (+550), Fredy Guarin (+700) and Zdravko Kuzmanovic (+900).
And because Inter are the visitors and have a plethora of goalscorers who will likely get the start in Mancini’s starting XI, backing the Both Teams To Score prop (Yes -133, Ladbrokes) seems prudent as the hosts Napoli also have a loaded roster and, as a heavy favorite in this situation here at home at Stadio San Paolo, will expect to score and advance with a win. But not so fast. Every once in awhile a price almost overwhelms the spectrum of everything else in a game or match and this seems to be a perfect example with feisty and legendary Inter almost 4/1 (+375, bet365) underdogs in a game that should be fairly close. All of this seemingly creates some decent betting opportunities for this match. Of note: Left Back Nagatomo suffered a hamstring tear Inter participating in the Asian Cup for his native Japan while Right Back Jonathan (left leg) is gone with an injury as is Juan Jesus and FB Danilo D'Ambrosio and Marco Andreolli both also recently suffered hamstring tears so this team’s defense is absolutely in tatters—a good thing to work with here, especially in that aforementioned Both Teams To Score marketplace.
Napoli eked into this quarterfinal, edging Udinese 5-4 in a Penalty Kick shootout after the two teams battled to a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes plus. La Beneamata and manager Rafael Benítez won this tournament last year and will have that confidence going for them, as well as the home soil advantage in this one. Napoli is also still alive in the UEFA Europa League tournament, where it is now in the Knockout Stage. But so is Inter Milan. But one thing La Beneamata have going for them, it’s that they seem to score goals a little bit easier than does Inter, which can often go on dry spells. But that was before inking Shaqiri and getting Podolski on loan from the English Premier League’s Gunners.
Some of the talent on the attack for Napoli—which usually lines up in a 4-2-3-1 tactical formation—are striker Gonzalo Higuaín (+105 Anytime Goalscorer, bet365), José Callejón (+175), Dries Mertens (+210), striker Duran Zapata (+150), Manolo Gabbiadini (+150), Marek Hamšík (+210), Jonathan de Guzmán (+333) and Jorginho (+450). La Beneamata has its share of injuries also with striker Lorenzo Insigne, midfielder Michu and defender Zuniga all being out, but nothing compared to the loss of depth for Inter defensively. Thirty-one year-old Argentinian Mariano Andújar is Napoli’s goalkeeper.
Best Betting Approaches
The nature of a game like this, with the loser being eliminated from the competition, dictates that whichever team gets behind almost immediately has to go into attack mode, good for both the Both Teams To Score (4-1 L5 series) and possibly the Over. These two teams have only played twice before in the Coppa Italia, with Napoli 1-1-0 (2 GF-0 GA) having not lost yet, but Inter Milan is 63-35-43 lifetime (202 GF-154 GA) in all competitions against Napoli. The last time these two played was in Week 2 of Serie A this season at Milan where the game ended in a 2-2 deadlock. And that could very well again happen here, forcing Extra Time and maybe more.
With the big underdog price on Inter—which has won this competition 7 times to Napoli’s 5—so out of whack (+375), likely because of the site, scoring problems and massive injuries to its defense, the thought is that the desperate visitors (Inter) will get a goal from newbie Shaqiri—aka The Human Calf—and this one may end up in a 1-1 or 2-2 draw after 90 minutes much like Napoli’s last outing in this Coppa Italia against Udinese.
Prediction: Napoli 1 Inter Milan 1
Coppa Italia Picks: Both Teams To Score (Yes) -133 (Ladbrokes), Inter Milan +375, Inter Milan Draw No Bet +240, Xherdan Shaqiri Anytime Goalscorer +400 (bet365)