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Napoli vs Juventus

by Jacek Staszak on Serie A

After being thrown out of the Champions League and then Copa Italia, Juventus now competes only in Europa League and Serie A, though the last one is not really a competition if they sit first 14 points clear of Roma with eight games remaining. 

napoli v juve

They do have a history to make – they are on course to break the 100 points mark this season. The record is now 97 points gathered by Inter in 2006-07 season.

Second for Napoli?

Juventus are the favourites to do it, but in football nothing is given and nobody will give it to them for free. Especially Napoli, who fight to be the second-placed team in Serie A and avoid having to play in Champions League qualifying phase. That’s the objective this season. “We believe in second and we will do all we can to get it,” Jose Callejon, Napoli’s midfielder has said. “Now I only care about catching Roma,” added his coach Rafael Benitez.

Marcello Lippi, Juve’s former coach said that odds are against Napoli for second place. He also gave his opinion regarding the match itself. “In terms of how I think Napoli-Juventus will go, I think it will be an open game with any result possible,” he said.

Juve’s strength and Napoli’s weakness

Both Juve and Napoli has something to fight for and although it probably won’t be a goal glut, it will be a fascinating tactical battle. Antonio Conte likes to change his approach according to opponent and his players always give hundred percent in every game. They can drop deep whilst playing Roma and hit the opponent on the counter attack but also they can be very progressive and attacking in other games.

Napoli’s weakness lies in their shaky defence. Benitez changed the famous three-man defence for a bank of four and although it has given them more balance in attack it looks very fragile when the opponent passes the ball behind defence. Napoli’s wing-backs had to change their mentality to fit the profile of a full back and it too is a problem. Benitez’s side still is a work in progress and although they mostly prevail in games, they have some issues to iron out in order to be a title challenger and a solid team in terms of Champions League football.

If they do win against Juventus it will show them that they do really have something to fight for next season in Serie A and in Champions League. Juve’s the favourite though and in every formation they have better players as well they’re better organised as a team. Historically, it’s Napoli that appears to be on top – they have won 21 games to Juventus’ 20. The last two games at San Paolo have ended in draws.

Recent stats

Napoli have won 9, drawn 4 and lost 2 of their last 15 home games, scoring an average of 1.83 goals and conceding 1.03 in their last 15 games.

Napoli have won 1 and drawn 2 in their last 3 home meetings with Juventus.

Juventus have won 11, drawn 3 and lost 1 of their last 15 away games, scoring an average of 2.24 goals and conceding 0.66 in their last 15 games.

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Napoli v Juventus


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