Napoli and Juventus braced for top-two showdown in Serie A
It’s first against second in Serie A on Friday night, as high-flying Napoli welcome a resurgent Juventus outfit to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Napoli find themselves seven points clear of Juventus, having lost just one of their 17 league matches this season. That said, Juventus have only suffered two defeats.
Napoli is yet to lose a single match at the home ground across all competitions. After a defeat against Inter they have returned to the winning ways by beating Sampdoria. They play fast free flowing football and it is a joy to watch them this season.
Juventus is in great form also. This team has won eight matches in a row in Serie A. What is more interesting is that they did not concede a single goals in those wins and have scored fourteen. This style of play reminds of old Juve which did not play good but won and their strongest part of the team was defense. With a win in this match we will have interesting title race.
Both teams will not rush things in the match as the match importance is pretty big. I expect Juve to play once again with six midfielders and play defensively for the most of the match, waiting for the counter attacks. I do not expect much goals especially in the first half.
Can Luciano Spalletti’s side strengthen their grip on the title race? Or will the Old Lady upset the apple cart in Naples? It’s time to take a closer look at the teams.
Let’s start with the hosts, Napoli, who head into Friday’s clash on a run of 12 wins in 13 Serie A encounters.
Spalletti’s men remained unbeaten before the World Cup, claiming 13 wins and two draws in their opening 15 matches. However, Inter ended their unbeaten streak earlier this month.
But it didn’t take long for Napoli to bounce back. Indeed, the Neapolitans secured a 2-0 victory at Sampdoria last weekend – racking up 67% possession and 24 shots in the process.
Not only do Napoli have the best offensive record in the division, but they also have the second-best defensive record.
Funnily enough, Juventus boast the best defensive record in the Serie A – having conceded a measly seven goals in 17 outings this season.
The Turin outfit have kept 12 clean sheets this term, with shutouts coming in each of their previous eight league games.
Juventus kicked off their campaign with a six-game unbeaten streak before notching an eight-game winning streak between mid-October and today.
When you look at the bigger picture, Juve have lost just five of their past 41 Serie A games. That means they will be confident of frustrating Napoli.
Head-to-head: Juventus have only managed to win one of their last five Serie A meetings with Napoli, suffering three defeats in the process.
Given that seven of the last eight league meetings between Napoli and Juve have produced over 1.5 goals, a high-scoring clash is on the cards this time around.
Team news: Napoli are injury-free at the moment, meaning Spalletti has a full-strength squad at his disposal.
As for Juventus, they will be without the injured quintet of Dusan Vlahovic, Juan Cuadrado, Paul Pogba, Leonardo Bonucci and Kaio Jorge on Friday.
Although Napoli are flying high at the Serie A summit, Juventus are expected to flex their muscles and extend their eight-game winning streak on Friday.
With that in mind, Betgaranteed predicts that the game will ed in under 3 Goals