Thursday, June 22, 2017

Prediction: Napoli vs Juventus

Nemanja Lazarevic in Free Soccer Predictions, Serie A 31 Mar 2017

1,191 Views

Verdict: Home win

Best Odds: 3/2

Bookmaker: William Hill

Serie A trophy is a ship that has sailed for Napoli, but that does not mean the Azzurri will be pumped to try and get one over their bitter rivals. Juventus, on the other hand, are cruising towards yet another league trophy, but failure to win at Stadio San Paolo could complicate their title bid.

Napoli

Another Champions League qualification appears on the cards for Napoli, but the general impression is that the team have missed yet another opportunity to mount a serious title challenge. Vying for the Serie A trophy is by no means an easy task when Juventus win 24 of 29 league games, but the Azzurri could have done better to stay close to the Bianconeri. Maurizio Sarri’s masterstroke with Dries Mertens as a centre forward seems to have saved the season for the Stadio San Paolo outfit, and the Belgian has done so well that both Arkadiusz Milik and Leonardo Pavoletti are now struggling for game time. With just nine games to go, Napoli hold a six-point advantage over fourth-placed Lazio, while they trail AS Roma two points, and the main objective is to try and finish above the Giallorossi and secure automatic Champions League berth. But, after defeating AS Roma, Crotone and Empoli in their last three league fixtures, the Azzurri will want to see off Juventus as well and secure a major lift ahead of the season finale.

Team News

Pepe Reina and Kalidou Koulibaly should return to the side, while Elseid Hysaj might have to play through the pain due to a foot injury.

Juventus

With five successive Serie A titles to their name and sixth one on the horizon, Juventus clearly remain the team to beat in Italy. Many believe that the Bianconeri often get important help from the match officials in high-profile games, and that may very well be true, but Max Allegri’s side continue to perform at a very high level. Once again, rock-solid defence has proved to be their biggest advantage, with just 19 goals conceded in 29 games a thoroughly impressive record. Juventus cannot afford to relax just yet, especially with the clash against Napoli next, but an eight-point cushion at the Serie A summit means they are very close to make it six league trophies in a row. The Bianconeri are also hoping for European success, but they now have an excellent opportunity to make a giant step towards the league title, although defeating hungry Napoli at Stadio San Paolo will not be an easy task. Head coach Max Allegri has several serious injury doubts and with Juventus losing two of last three matches at Stadio San Paolo, we are not prepared to back the Old Lady to claim maximum points.

Team News

Paulo Dybala and Sami Khedira should return from injury, but Mario Mandzukic is rated doubtful and Marko Pjaca has been ruled out for the season.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Napoli won two of last three home games vs Juventus
  • Both teams scored in five of their last six meetings
  • Juventus conceded once in last six away games
  • The Bianconeri have a number of injury doubts
  • Dries Mertens scored four goals in last three league games

Conclusion

Napoli have had their ups and downs this season, but they are at full strength now and incredibly motivated to defeat Juventus and prove their worth. The Bianconeri, on the other hand, have got quite a few players who are not at 100% and we believe they will struggle to cope with the intensity of the home side.

Verdict: Home win

Best Odds: 3/2

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nemanja Lazarevic


Working as editor-in-chief at Soccernews.com, Nemanja Lazarevic is responsible for organising and managing the team of writers to ensure the content produced on the site meets high industry standards and remains interesting to our readers. As our go-to guy for the football transfer news, he uses an extensive experience in the industry to dig up latest transfer stories from local sources.

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