After being postponed twice, the clash of giant teams on both ends of the nation, Juventus and Napoli is finally on schedule this midweek. La Vecchia Signora is in a critical position. They are on the verge of losing the fourth place if they fail to win again. Both teams even have collected the same points here. The winner will take it all. That is something which would not have happened if this encounter had not been delayed. Now, it is a decisive game in the UCL race.
Both teams’ previous matches:
Juventus was struggling again while facing off their local contender, Torino, last weekend. Il Torro managed to hold them in a 2-2 draw. Federico Chiesa did give them the lead but Antonio Sanabria’s brace turned things around. Luckily, Cristiano Ronaldo came to be their saviour through his equalising header. Yet, a draw was not enough to put them back on the third position.
Napoli had to strive for a win at their home turf. They defeated Crotone in a seven goal thriller, 4-3. Lorenzo Insigne opened the scoring and provided an assist for Victor Osimhen’s goal. Crotone suddenly responded by Nwankwo Simy who bagged a brace here. Dries Mertens’s free kick doubled their advantage but Junior Messias found the equaliser. Their victory was finally sealed by a dramatic goal of Giovanni de Lorenzo.
Andrea Pirlo tends to employ 4-4-2 this season with CR7 and Alvaro Morata featuring upfront. Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevski are playing wide to support the duo frontman. Unfortunately, some key figures are still ruled out due to covid-19 contraction or injuries such as Merih Demiral, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala.
Meanwhile, Gennaro Gatusso is more confident with his 4-3-3 with the transition to 4-2-3-1. His side also has a bunch of high-profile forwards such as Dries Mertens, Victor Osimhen, Hirving Lozano, Matteo Politano and Andrea Petagna. The only Gatusso’s concern is the absence of their number one goalie, David Ospina, who is injured. The Colombian international is on the sideline along with Diego Demme and Faiz Ghoulam.
Players to watch
Cristiano Ronaldo might still be a top scorer but his tendency to waste the golden chances lately might push him to improve his clinical finish. Some other noteworthy names to watch are actually Federico Chiesa who has scored eleven goals and provided seven assists, Juan Cuadrado and Alvaro Morata.
In Napoli, the Belgium international Dries Mertens seems to be able to keep his physical fitness despite his age. The Belgian international has netted 8 goals and six assists in Serie A only. Another key man to watch is the wing back Giovanni de Lorenzo.
Juventus vs Napoli Prediction
Napoli’s unbeaten run in the last seven games should worry Andrea Pirlo’s men who have been winless in the last two games against the less expected teams. Lorenzo Insigne and Co will be the one who could snatch their advantage into a victory if their backline can be more solid. Both sides will probably share the spoils here.
It is a fixture with high possibility of a thriller. The home side is projected to win at 42/41. The draw result is at 11/4 whereas Il Partenopei is backed to win slightly higher at 31/10.