Supercoppa Italiana final – Inter fight for confirmation, Napoli fight for redemption

Inter and Napoli are less than 48 hours away from battling it out for the...

Supercoppa Italiana final – Inter fight for confirmation, Napoli fight for redemption

Inter and Napoli are less than 48 hours away from battling it out for the Supercoppa Italiana, a trophy that means two entirely different things to the two clubs.

The Partenopei were the first of the two to book their spot in Monday evening’s final in Riyadh, securing a 3-0 victory over a lacklustre Fiorentina. The Nerazzurri followed them up a day later after dismantling an unfocused Lazio in their own 3-0 win, setting up the coming final.

This new four-team edition of the Supercoppa Italiana may not be the most respected trophy amongst supporters but it does represent an important financial boost for the two clubs, with the winner receiving €8m and the runners-up taking home €5m.

Heading into the final on Monday, the two participants are in two entirely different states, with one on the path to glory and the other recovering after the hangover from last year’s historic success.

Apart from their usual craziness, Inter have been near flawless this season, flying to the top of the league table. They’ve picked up 51 points from 16 wins and three draws, suffering defeat just once over the last five months of league play.

Whilst the Nerazzurri quickly crashed out of the Coppa Italia, they’ve done well enough in the Champions League to progress to the Round of 16, where they’ll face Atletico Madrid, giving them a chance to win a major honour on multiple fronts.

For Inter, the Supercoppa Italiana comes as an early test of their winning mentality, a reminder that all their hard work is focused on lifting trophies. Whilst the distraction of the tournament has upset the flow of their league campaign, it also gives them an early boost of motivation.

It’s fair to say that things have been completely different for defending champions Napoli over the last five months. A mistake from president Aurelio De Laurentiis – appointing Rudi Garcia – started the team’s post-Scudetto season in the worst possible way and the team are still picking up the pieces.

The appointment of Walter Mazzarri was surprising and early signs haven’t looked too positive, but a chance in tactics saw the Partenopei perform well in their 3-0 win over Fiorentina this week, giving them a good foundation to start building from.

De Laurentiis has promised to fix his mistakes and bring in new players in the transfer market, something he’s already started to do with Hamed Junior Traore, Pasquale Mazzocchi, and Hamed Junior Traore.

Now Napoli really have the chance to find some redemption after a half-season of misery. Winning the Supercoppa Italiana not only brings an important source of funds, it also allows the team to remember the joy of holding silverware after months of poor results and fan tension.

Whilst the Supercoppa Italiana isn’t the most respected trophy for Serie A teams, it represents something important to both Inter and Napoli in the early stages of the second half of this season, adding some weight to the clash in Riyadh.