the weekend Inter striker Romelu Lukaku hailed Napoli forward Victor Osimhen as the best striker in the league, ahead of their potentially explosive clash in the Serie A on Wednesday.
“He (Osimhen) is really strong, he is the best now. We have to be honest, he’s doing really well and Napoli are first in the table. We have respect but not fear,” Lukaku said.
The Nerazzurri take on Luciano Spalletti’s unbeaten side at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as they attempt to cut the deficit to eight points, with Lukaku, who will be making his injury return, set to face off against Nigerian striker Osimhen.
The 23-year-old has become an important player in Spalletti’s side and his fine form has attracted interests from several top clubs in the Premier League with Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle linked with the front man.
With 10 goals and two assists in 14 appearances in all competitions, Osimhen has been central to the Italian side’s fantastic performance both in Italy and in the Champions League and pivotal in their quest for the Scudetto.
During a long mid-winter break, the Neapolitans were in friendly action on several occasions – following wins over Antalyaspor and Crystal Palace with defeats to Villarreal and Lille – and the goals continued to flow for a prolific front line in which Georgian dynamo Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen have shone brightly.
If it comes down to a battle for goals, Napoli look to have the upper hand as Victor Osimhen’s 11 goal contributions in 11 appearances in the Serie A, consisting of nine goals and two assists, outweigh Lukaku’s two in four games with only one goal and one assist in an injury riddled start to the 2022/23 season.
Historically though, Napoli have a lot to worry about as they are currently suffering from a losing streak against Inter at the San Siro. They have been beaten on each of their last four visits to Milan’s football cathedral, after limiting their losses to two in the previous seven.
Inter tuned up for their return to competitive action with a training camp in Malta, followed by four friendly wins from five and a 1-1 draw against Real Betis during the World Cup break, but they now start part two of their Serie A campaign with one of their toughest tests yet.
With the defensive worries plaguing the Nerazzurri though, Osimhen and Napoli’s rampant attack will be keen to add to Inter’s five losses and 22 goals conceded on Wednesday and maintain their hold at the top of the table. The Partenopei are still unbeaten in the Serie A and have conceded 10 goals less than Inter, which will give them a boost ahead of the tricky tie in Milan.
Osimhen will be eyeing a 10th Serie A goal, which will match his tally in his debut season in Naples two seasons ago, and have him at four shy off his highest tally, which was 14 last season.