Preview and Prediction
Il Partenopei is about to face Juventus in a bad time. They have been inconsistent lately while La Vecchia Signora is in progress of their positive trend. Napoli is stranded on the sixth with only 37 points while Juventus are already climbing to third of the table with 42 points. This is certainly one of the mouth watering clashes and could be decisive for both sides.
The teams’ previous matches
Lorenzo Insigne and Co were surprisingly beaten 1-2 while travelling to Luigi Ferraris, Genoa last weekend. The former Napoli man, Goran Pandev, bagged a brace after taking advantage of Napoli’s defence blunder. They could only score a consolation goal by Matteo Politano
Juventus, on the other hand, secured a 2-0 win over AS Roma last weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his sixteenth goal before Ibanez’s own goal sealed their victory at their home turf.
Gennaro Gattusso has been deploying more offensive formation, 4-3-3. Unfortunately, he will not be able to play his two centre backs, Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly due to their injury. Some other names who are also on the sideline are Dries Mertens and Faiz Ghoulam. Thus, the former AC Milan boss will have to rely on Nikola Maksimovic and A Rrhamani at the heart of their defence.
His former teammate, Andrea Pirlo is settled with opting for 4-4-2 formation with Cristiano Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski are occupying the duo frontmen role. They will be supported by Federico Chiesa and Juan Cuadrado from both flanks while Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot are operating in the middle. Several names who miss out the game are Aaron Ramsey, Paulo Dybala and the former Barcelona man, Arthur Melo.
Players to watch
The skipper Lorenzo Insigne and the Mexican winger Hirving Lozano are the current top scorer in Napoli. They have registered nine goals each. Some other notable names to focus on are the targetman, Andrea Petagna and the Polish international Pietr Zielinski.
Apart from their mega star, Cristiano Ronaldo, surprisingly Alvaro Morata is one of the top assists provider in Serie A plus Champions League. He has netted only four goals in Serie A but provided seven assist already. Some other key names to watch are Federico Chiesa and the Colombian versatile wing back, Juan Cuadrado with ten assists in all competitions.
Napoli vs Juventus Prediction
Another meeting of two former teammates after Coppa Italia this season will be more crucial here than before. Juventus needs points for giving pressure to duo Milan above them while Gatusso’s men are looking for three points to put them back in a race for the Champions League spot next season. It will be a tight affair for sure and they are more likely to share spoils in Estadio Diego Maradona.