Napoli will be travelling to the Allianz Stadium to take on Juventus in the Serie A on Friday night.
Having won the Scudetto last season, the Azzurri have endured a disappointing start this term, sitting fifth in the league with 24 points from 14 games. They are currently 11 points behind the table topper Inter Milan and are seemingly already out of the title race.
Napoli had an opportunity to close the gap with the Nerazzurri last weekend, but they ended up losing the game 3-0. Walter Mazzarri’s side have lost back-to-back games against Inter and Real Madrid. So, they are currently lacking confidence ahead of this fixture.
On the other hand, Juventus started the campaign with the expectation of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League. However, they have enjoyed a stellar campaign so far, sitting second in the league with 33 points from 14 games.
So, Massimiliano Allegri’s side have been showing signs that they could mount a title charge this season. The Bianconeri’s impressive start has built upon their excellent defence as they have only conceded nine goals in the league. Therefore, it will be a real challenge for Napoli to break down Juventus’ defence.
This is one of the best fixtures in the Italian top flight so the game will be a mouth-watering event for the football fans.
Napoli have enjoyed a good record against Juventus in recent times as the Bianconeri have won only one of the last seven league encounters, losing five of those occasions.
The most significant result in recent times was when Napoli defeated Juventus 5-1 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona last season. Napoli managed to do the double over Juventus last term. So, Allegri’s side will be desperate to win the game on Friday against a struggling Napoli side.
How to watch
The match will kick off at 7:45 pm UK time and the game will be televised live on TNT Sports 3 in the UK. Match going supporters can purchase Juventus tickets from official club channels and via trusted reseller sites.
Juventus don’t have many injury problems ahead of this fixture but Mattia De Sciglio and Timothy Weah may remain sidelined due to their respective injuries.
Danilo was unavailable for selection over the last few weeks owing to an injury, but he returned to action in the last game against Monza. However, the Brazilian might not be ready enough to start yet.
For Napoli, they have had a few injury problems at the moment and most of their casualties are at the back. Mario Rui and Mathias Olivera have been sidelined due to their injury problems, while Alessandro Zanilo is in doubt ahead of this encounter owing to a back issue.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo has sustained an injury in training so he is in major doubt before tomorrow’s game. He hasn’t missed a game for the Azzurri over the last 18 months but that could now change on Friday.
Allegri has been using the 3-5-2 formation this season and it’s going to be the same in this encounter. Wojciech Szczesny should continue in goal for Juventus, while Bremer, Federico Gatti and Alex Sandro should start in the backline.
Weston McKennie and Filip Kostic could be the wing-backs for the Bianconeri in this game. Adrien Rabiot, Hans Nicolussi Caviglia and Andrea Cambiaso could be the midfield trio for Allegri’s side. So, Manuel Locatelli might have to settle for a place on the beach once again. Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa should lead the line for Juventus tomorrow.
Expected Juventus line-up vs Napoli
Szczęsny; Gatti, Bremer, Sandro; McKennie, Nicolussi Caviglia, Rabiot, Cambiaso; Vlahovic, Chiesa
As for Napoli, Mazzarri is expected to go with the 4-3-3 system with Alex Meret likely to start in goal for the defending champion. Leo Ostigard could be deployed in the right-back position to fill the void of Di Lorenzo. In that case, Amir Rrahmani could commence alongside Natan in the centre-back role, while Juan Jesus might be the left-back.
Stanislav Lobotka might be the holding midfielder for Napoli with Elif Elmas and Frank Anguissa in the box-to-box role. Matteo Politano and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia could be on the flanks, while Victor Osimhen should keep hold of his place in the centre-forward role.
Expected Napoli line-up vs Juventus
Meret; Ostigard, Rrahmani, Natan, Jesus; Lobotka, Elmas, Anguissa; Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen, Politano
Juventus likes to play a pragmatic brand of football and they rely heavily on counter-attacks and the set-piece situations to score goals. So, the Bianconeri defenders have scored many goals for the Old Lady of Turin this season. Therefore, the responsibility will be on Gatti and Bremer to defend well and also score goals.
Vlahovic has had a promising start this season but he missed a penalty last time out. So, he will be desperate to score goals in this fixture and help his side win the game.
Chiesa’s pace is a weapon for Allegri’s side in counter-attacking situations so the Juventus fans will be hoping that he will be able to hurt Napoli’s defence tomorrow and create chances for Vlahovic.
As for Napoli, Osimhen is the talismanic figure for the Azzurri and he has the quality to help his side win the game single-handedly. However, he hasn’t been at his best this term but, the striker will be hoping to showcase his best in this encounter.
After moving to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium last year, Kvaratskhelia displayed a brilliant performance for Napoli last term and helped his side win the Serie A. However, he hasn’t been able to replicate the same performance this season yet. So, he will be keen on performing at his best in this fixture and helping his side win the game.
Napoli have injury problems at their back and a new look back four is expected to be on the field tomorrow. So, they will have to stay focused and keep the opposition attack out of their goal.
Juventus have become the masters of winning games by a 1-0 margin under Allegri’s guidance. So, it’s unlikely to be a high-scoring affair. The Bianconeri are expected to sit deep and soak up pressure and then hit Napoli in counter-attacking situations.
On the other hand, Napoli would look to keep the ball and play positional football. They were excellent in this regard last term but haven’t been at their best this season.
So, it is going to be interesting to see how Napoli manage to perform in this encounter; they have lost three of their last four games. Therefore, they will be desperate to win this one, however, they might find it difficult to do that and could eventually lose the game. Juventus 1-0 Napoli
- 777 Partners ‘frustrated’ over Everton proposed takeover
- Flynn Downes faces uncertain West Ham future
- Valencia vs Real Madrid: preview, team news, how to watch and prediction
- Paul Merson predicts who will secure Champions League football – Tottenham or Aston Villa
- Chris Sutton predicts score of Everton clash v West Ham