Napoli vs Juventus: Match Preview
The most mouth-watering fixture of this weekend’s SERIE A will take place at Stadio San Paolo where the host & 3rd placed Napoli will take on league leader Juventus.
The Bianconeri has a decent 10 points lead over Napoli. Whereas, the home side are behind AS Roma by 2 points. Therefore, the outcome of the match will put a crucial impact on the title race.
Napoli are on a vibrant run after securing 6 wins from the last 7 matches played. The only defeat came quite surprisingly when Atlanta visited San Paolo.
At home , Napoli faced defeat twice during the 15 matches this season. The other team who came back with all 3 points from San Paolo was AS Roma. Juventus are unbeaten in their last 10 matches in SERIE A. They registered a massive 9 match winning feat. The Old Lady’s last league defeat came in January in an away game against Fiorentina. Since then, they succeeded in picking 4 wins & a draw from 5 away matches.
Date : Sunday, April 2
Kick Off : 19:45 UK , 20:45 CET, 00:15 IST(3rd April)
Venue : Stadio San Paolo , Naples, Italy
TV Channels : fuboTV, beIN SPORTS, Sony ESPN
Just as it looked like that the international break was going swimmingly with early returns for Gonzalo Higuain, Dani Alves, Miralem Pjanic, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Andrea Barzagli thanks to either suspensions or coaches’ decisions, the Marko Pjaca news was a gut punch.
It is excruciating that the youngster got severely hurt twice with Croatia and will now miss the rest of season and basically the whole summer because he blew out his knee.
Furthermore, Mario Mandzukic has a sore knee and there is pessimism on this front, and the condition of Paulo Dybala is murky because he took tests with his national team after exiting the Sampdoria game: he did not play with Argentina and his availability will be in question till the last minute.
After the break, they are dealing with some problems themselves, but they should all be resolved in time. The most serious one regards Pepe Reina, who left the Spanish camp because of a hamstring ailment and has trained on his own for two weeks: the replacement would be Rafael and not Luigi Sepe. Anyway, the Spaniard is a charismatic figure, but he is pretty average at this point as a goalkeeper.
Elseid Hysaj has a mild ankle sprain and Marek Hamsik is nursing some muscle fatigue: Christian Maggio and Piotr Zielinski would enter the XI, but the two regular starters are slated to feature from the get-go.
There is always some chatter in Napoli about when Arkadiusz Milik is going to play a full game after an excellent start of the season ruined by a devastating knee injury. However, Dries Mertens as false-nine is working wonders and there is no need to disrupt anything for a player who is not up to speed yet.
Especially at home, they are ball dominant and play in the opponent’s half, creating a wealth of opportunities. Mertens, Insigne, Callejon, Hamsik, Zielinski and Rog are all quick twitch players that can leave the defender in the dust with a sudden move. They have also many great shooters and sweet finishers and assist-men.
Juventus:4-2-3-1: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira, Marchisio; Cuadrado, Pjanic, Sandro; Higuain.
Injuries: Pjaca (knee).
4-3-3: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne.
Injuries: Giaccherini (hamstring), Tonelli (knee).
- Napoli have won only one of their last six Serie A games played in the second half of the season against Juventus: two draws and two wins for the Bianconeri.
- Napoli have lost only one of their last nine home league games against Juventus (W6 D2), scoring an average of 2.2 goals per game.
- Prior to this season, Napoli had never scored 68 goals after 29 Serie A games.
Only Bayern (13) have conceded fewer goals than Juventus (19) in the top-5 European Leagues this season.
- The last time Napoli won two home league games in a row was in the first two fixtures of 2017.
- Juventus are unbeaten in five away games in a row (W4 D1) for the first time in Serie A this season.
- Napoli are the only side in the top-5 European leagues with three players to have scored 10+ goals this season (Mertens, Insigne, Hamsik).
- Juventus have scored with the most different players in Serie A this season (15).
HEAD TO HEAD:
- 2/28/17 Juventus 3 – 1 Napoli
- 10/29/16 Juventus 2 – 1 Napoli
- 2/13/16 Juventus 1 – 0 Napoli
- 9/26/15 Napoli 2 – 1 Juventus
- 5/23/15 Juventus 3 – 1 Napoli