Napoli favorite over Milan. Inter surpasses Benfica –

Napoli favorite over Milan.  Inter surpasses Benfica -


Of Daniel Dallera

Spalletti hides and says that the Rossoneri are favourites, but the course of the season indicates otherwise. Punters also agree: after Manchester City, Napoli and Bayern are among the favorites on equal merit

Who dares Stefano PioliNot Luciano Spalletti, never seen so cautious. The Napoli coach fleeing towards the Scudetto but also from reality as soon as he discovers that the Champions League draw puts his Napoli against Milan: the favorites for qualification are the Rossoneri.

But how, his Napoli have a 20-point lead in the league, they won 2-1 in the first leg, yet the Tuscan coach, making a personal projection, his exit poll on the quarter-final against Milan, maintains: Milan have a great international experience, it must mean something, whoever says that we are the favorites is incompetent: just think that Paolo Maldini won the Champions League 5 times. Too bad Maldini doesn’t play anymore… Stefano Pioli is less imaginative, more adherent to the facts, to the reality of the moment: In the quarterfinals, all the teams are difficult to face. Napoli are strong and are dominating the championship. But the Champions are the Champions and Milan are Milan.

Reasoning that doesn’t make sense, but he himself knows that Napoli is Napoli. Even the bookmakers know it, to the point that the very Italian Snai, after careful studies and surveys, sentences with its odds: Manchester City offered at 3.50, Napoli and Bayern Munich at 4.75, so they are second in terms of odds and predictions. Do you know where Milan is? Last at 20. Superstition, tactics, strange psychologies, allow everything in the field of predictions.

But if you evaluate the European path of our three teams involved in the quarter-finals, there are few stories (more than justified if created by Spalletti) that Napoli are the over-favorite in the double confrontation with Milan. And certainly not because bookmakers from all over Europe claim it. Napoli won 7 out of 8 matches in the Champions League, dominating them, playing spectacular play, just like in the league, they convinced everyone, surprised and punished those teams and those coaches who underestimated the talent of Osimhen & Kvaratskhelia. Milan and Pioli will certainly not make such a mistake, far from it, but the advantage of the future Italian champions is evident.

Even Inter knows it, who defeated Napoli in the championship. Now he better focus on Benfica. an adversary within his reach, Simone Inzaghi he knows the Portuguese game perfectly, he has already tamed Porto with merit, effort and, it must be admitted, luck (especially in the final minutes of the second leg): why not insist? Inter have the ideal technical dimension to prevail over Benfica who, never forget, eliminated Juve from the Champions League. Coached by the German Schmidt, the Portuguese team plays modern football, few passes and on goal, knows how to protect themselves intelligently, is judged the revelation of the season (the surprise effect of Napoli is even more overbearing at European level).

But if Inter abandons laziness, jealousies that sometimes emerge, plays as a team, they can easily make it and find themselves in the semifinals, where no one thought they could get. We must be honest and recognize Simone Inzaghi, still shaky on that bench, the authority of his European journey. Who can go on: Snai quotes Inter at 12, Benfica at 15. It would like to say something.

Let’s hazard a predictionbut a game: Benfica-Inter (Inter pass), Napoli-Milan (Naples pass), Manchester City-Bayern Munich (Bayern pass), Real Madrid-Chelsea (Real pass).

March 18, 2023 (change March 18, 2023 | 07:30)


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