Marquee match of the Serie A this weekend is without a doubt the clash between Juventus and Napoli, who are locking horns in a proper title-decider on Saturday night at Juventus Arena.
Champions are back
Following their poor start to the season, which saw coach Max Allegri receive a fair share of criticism, the reigning Italian champions Juventus have effectively got back in the title race. Juventus struggled in the opening stages of the campaign as the team were forced to deal with departures of last season’s key players such as Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal, but all it took was some time for Allegri to complete his puzzle and find the winning formula. The Old Lady went on to win 14 successive league matches and hit the very top of the Serie A standings. Sitting two points adrift of the leader Napoli, Juventus are faced with a chance to leapfrog the Partenopei and take the leading position. Juventus are preparing to take on Napoli amid speculations that Max Allegri could leave Turin at the end of the season to take reigns at Chelsea, but the Italian tactician has dismissed all the talks about a move to Premier League and is concentrated on winning, what could potentially be, the most important three points thus far in the season.
Sami Khedira’s fitness is a doubt and German midfielder could be rested for the highly anticipated duel. On the other hand, Mario Mandzukic, Giorgio Chiellini, Kwadwo Asamoah and Martin Caceres are the confirmed absentees.
Napoli refuse to go down
Partenopei are convinced this is their year. Following a couple of seasons that have seen Napoli make steady progress in the Serie A, the team has finally grown mature to challenge for the title. Maurizio Sarri has made all the good work and Napoli team looks a tightly organized unit, dangerous in all positions. Partenopei have perhaps been the most surprising side so far, but there is no denying their current leading position has been thoroughly deserved. The fans are eager to find out the league’s development as they have waited 26 years since the last Serie A title. Only two lost games give them optimism that the current crop of Napoli’s players is capable of making them proud and much will depend on the Saturday’s match. Napoli will go five clear if they record a win at Juventus and the forthcoming fixture can indeed be considered a title decider. Visitors have won their last eight Serie A matches and extending their run will very much depend on Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine striker has been in sublime form this season, having scored as many as 24 goals in as many Serie A games and former Real Madrid has been in form of his life.
Maurizio Sarri will have no major selection worries ahead of his team’s trip to Turin. Alberto Grassy in the only unavailable player due to his injury.
A lot is at stake and there is no doubt that both teams will be careful heading into the game. Juventus and Napoli will be concentrated on winning the match, but their main preoccupation for the night will surely be not to lose.
Top pick: Draw 2.15 (23/20) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score – Yes 2.00 (1/1) @Coral
Alternative pick 2: Under 2.5 goals 1.76 (13/17) @888sport