Juventus VS Napoli Prediction
One of the most anticipated games in Italian football schedule will take place on Saturday night, 29.10.2016, when Juventus and Napoli are ready for their direct scuffle part of the Serie A’s 11th round. “Juventus Stadium” in Turin is set to host the clash which may be a season changer for any further hopes of both sides as “The Old Lady” will certainly boost its champion confidence if she manage to win, while eventual success for Napoli may tie up situation in Serie A even more. In case “The Little Donkeys” find a way to win their match against reigning champions, then distance between both sides will be shortened to only a point, while AS Roma can benefit from these circumstances and they can replace “Bianconeri’ from the Serie A peak, if they win in Empoli on Sunday afternoon. Many ifs here which shows we have various scenarios and so far competition in Italian Calcio remains on good level.
Juventus vs Napoli – Team News and Match Preview
Juventus remains on top but “Bianconeri” were seriously slapped last Saturday when Massimiliano Allegri lost against its former club for the first time after moving in Turin – 0:1 by AC Milan at the mythical “San Siro”. However, Juventus rebounded its confidence during midweek Serie A round when Max Allegri gave a rest to some first-team players and he also switched to a different formation. That happened on Wednesday night when Juventus made its general warm up for match vs Napoli – winning 4-1 against Sampdoria at the “Juventus Stadium”, where Giorgio Chiellini returned to action in a stunning fashion. Key defender and also vice-captain (he actually wore the captain armband in that game, since Buffon was out of the group) has recovered from the injury which ruled him out from last few rounds and Chiellini even scored a brace in Sampdoria’s net. Miralem Pjanic, Juan Cuadrado (two assists) and Mario Mandzukic are the other players who had their own impact over that final score and we believe “The Old Lady” will be eager to show more from the same here.
Napoli will have to stop Gonzalo Higuain for the first time after his summer move to Juventus and we’re pretty sure his old teammates will do their best to give him a good lesson. Higuain couldn’t score in last four games and everyone in Turin said he is keeping his goals for match against Napoli, which will cause even bigger rage over the Argentine when he returns at the “Stadio San Paolo” someday. Biggest concerns in Napoli are related with team’s attack since we already wrote several times that Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik will be ruled out for a long time, which virtually leaves club from Naples without typical striker. The 22-year-old forward has been transferred from Dutch Ajax exactly as a replacement of Gonzalo Higuain but he sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury earlier this month, when he was on international duty with Poland, so that’s a certain blow over Maurizio Sarri’s plans.
Good lift in Napoli’s recent performances is that southern club found a way out from the crisis they’ve found themselves, when “Partenopei” lost three games in a row. Except the two Serie A defeats by Atalanta (1-0 in Bergamo) and AS Roma (1-3 at home), Napoli experienced another disappointment in their UEFA Champions League campaign when Maurizio Sarri’s men were beaten by Turkish Besiktas at home turf. They’ll have to defend their top position in the second leg when next week Napoli will travel for Istanbul, but we’re quite sure everyone in Naples looks to this weekend’s Serie A round and the upcoming derby between those typical representatives of the Italian North and South.
Juventus vs Napoli – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Napoli head for Turin after two consecutive wins but we simply can’t compare matches against Crotone and Empoli with an upcoming challenge in Juve’s face. That’s the reason why Napoli’s boss decided to rest some players in the midweek home win against his former club Empoli, when contrary to all expectations for an easy win, Napoli had to earn all the points with two second half goals.
Absence of injured Arkadiusz Milik and suspended striker Manolo Gabbiadini means Maurizio Sarri will stick to the same formation featuring Belgian winger Dries Mertens as a false nine. This will definitely provide more pace in Napoli’s attack and that should be their main ace here. Presence of Milik (for example) would been an easy catch for defensive beasts like Juve’s trio Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini, so Sarri will try to take some benefits from eventual usage of his attacking trio Insigne/Callejon/Mertens.
Besides both missing attackers, Napoli will have to stop Juventus’ attacking duo including former favourite of their crowd Gonzalo Higuain. Bad news regarding Napoli’s defensive approach are coming from moment condition of Spanish defender Raul Albiol, who still has not recovered from a muscular problem. Moreover, according to the latest rumours he won’t be fit enough to start from the bench. This leaves Kalidou Koulibaly as a sure starter here, while his partner should be chosen between Nikola Maksimovic, who was rested in the midweek, or Romanian Vlad Chiriches. Interesting is that they both left good impressions in last two rounds and they were among Napoli’s goalscorers – Maksimovic scored second goal against Crotone, while Chiriches netted second goal in Empoli’s net.
These defensive issues are giving a green light that Maurizio Sarri will stick to the same midfield formation with Jorginho and Allan, who’ll have to provide assistance to the defense, while captain Marek Hamsik will be under the spotlights, since the Slovak attacking midfielder has a vital role. He was rested in bigger part of game against Empoli, but he had its own influence there since he delivered the ball to Vlad Chiriches.
Expectations on Juventus are for completely different production from what wе saw at “San Siro” last weekend. It was far from what we are used to watch when “The Old Lady” plays, especially when we review domestic game. Nevertheless, Juventus were far from creative and it seems Paulo Dybala’s injury played its role. Dybala remains sidelined for the upcoming derby against Napoli and this means Massimiliano Allegri will most likely start with duo Higuain-Mandzukic. Unless he doesn’t plan some extraordinary tactical surprise, but however, expectations are Juventus won’t gamble and they’ll stick to the 3-5-2 formation.
Except Paulo Dybala’s injury, Max Allegri is also without youth talent Marko Pjaca and experienced left-back Patrice Evra, who remains a doubt anyway. There are good news and they’re related not only with Chiellini’s return, but from midweek involvement of Claudio Marchisio, which was first match for the midfielder who just got back from a long-term injury, which even cost him a hundred percent sure UEFA Euro 2016 call up by former Juve’s boss Antonio Conte.
Final conclusion and Betting Tip
Juventus have won 34 of their last 38 Serie A games which is extremely impressive achievement and they’re aiming to sixth consecutive Scudetto. However, Napoli is one of the traditional strong opponents, although they remain without victory in Turin since almost 7 years – from the 2-3 on 31 October 2009. We all remember that massive victory for guests from Naples who were losing 0-2, but after a brace by Marek Hamsik and one more from Jesus Dátolo, Walter Mazzarri’s Napoli marked a remarkable comeback to 3-2 over Ciro Ferrara’s Juventus.
Seven years after that game Napoli is yet to win at the newly built “Juventus Stadium” and lot of people doubt they can do it right now, not when they don’t have player of Higuain’s quality in the squad, not even a typical central forward in their group.
In our opinion this can be the main advantage of Napoli and we find good odds for “Both teams to score” here. That’s our final betting recommendation about upcoming Serie A derby between Juventus and Napoli on Saturday evening, 29 October 2016 – “Both teams to score – Yes“.
Venue: “Juventus Stadium”, Torino.
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi.
Possible starting lineups of Juventus and Napoli
Juventus FC: Gianluigi Buffon – Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli – Alex Sandro, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Miralem Pjanic, Dani Alves – Gonzalo Higuain, Mario Mandzukic. (3-5-2)
SSC Napoli: Pepe Reina – Faouzi Ghoulam, Kalidou Koulibaly, Nikola Maksimovic, Elseid Hysaj – Jorginho, Allan, Marek Hamsik – Lorenzo Insigne, José Callejon, Dries Mertens. (4-3-3)