Two of this season’s high-flyers in Serie A face off this weekend as Internazionale welcomes Napoli to San Siro on Saturday. Napoli, who sit in second, six points behind Juventus, is desperate to keep pressure on the leaders. One slip from Juve, and suddenly the title race could be back on, provided Napoli keep winning.
Roberto Mancini’s Inter, meanwhile, sit just outside the Champions League places in fourth. Inter may fancy their chances with Napoli’s leading scorer, Gonzalo Higuain currently serving a three-match ban (reduced from four) for his reaction to being sent off against Udinese two weeks ago. While Higuain’s absence will be a relief to the Inter defense, going forward the Nerazzurri will look to striker Mauro Icardi to add to his already impressive tally of 50 goals in 100 starts for the club. Mancini’s team has won three out of their last five matches, while Napoli has won four out of their last five league outings.
With no injuries to speak of on either side, both teams are close to full strength in terms of the players available for selection. Napoli will have to make due without Higuain and coach Maurizio Sarri is likely to start Manolo Gabbiadini in his absence, as he did in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Hellas Verona.
Adding extra spice to the encounter is the bad blood that exists between Sarri and Mancini following a touchline clash between the two coaches at a Copppa Italia semifinal back in January. That incident saw Sarri hurling a homophobic slut at Mancini, who later told Rai Sport that Sarri, should be “drummed out of football.” While both men have since apologized, it’s easy to get the feeling that there’s no love lost between the two managers.
With just six matches remaining in the season and both teams sitting six points off their respective targets – the Scudetto for Napoli and the Champions League for Inter – neither can afford to give an inch in what is undoubtedly the marquee match in Serie A this weekend.
[Watch Internazionale Milano vs. SSC Napoli Saturday, April 16 at 2:40pm ET on BeINSports.](https://www.sling.com/international-sports