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Serie A Preview: Napoli v Inter
May 04, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
Inter must turn their form around against second-placed Napoli if they are to stay in the hunt for a UEFA Europa League berth in Serie A.
Napoli will host Inter on Sunday knowing victory could secure a spot in next season's UEFA Champions League if AC Milan fail to win against Torino.
But Inter will arguably be more desperate for the points, having lost four of their past five matches to fall from fifth to seventh and two points adrift of Roma, who hold Italy's second UEFA Europa League spot for next season.
While a two-point gap is far from insurmountable, Inter need to stage a revival if they are to break into the top five in Serie A in the remaining four rounds.
Inter have a tough run home with three matches against opposition teams in the top eight - Napoli, Lazio and Udinese.
Roma's final four games are probably harder still, as they are set to take on fourth-placed Fiorentina, third-placed Milan and Napoli.
Having conceded 10 goals in their past five games, Inter must tighten their defence and head coach Andrea Stramaccioni will have to find the solution without veteran captain Javier Zanetti, who had surgery on his Achilles tendon this week after tearing it in the 1-0 loss to Palermo last Saturday.
Stramaccioni will also have to warn his side about Napoli's Swiss midfielder Blerim Dzemaili, who has hit a sweet run of goal-scoring form.
Dzemaili scored the third goal in Napoli's 3-0 win away to Pescara last week, the 27-year-old's fifth strike in as many matches in Serie A.
The Macedonian-born midfielder started his rich vein of form with a hat-trick in the 5-3 victory over Torino on March 30 and also netted in the 2-0 triumph against Genoa a week later.