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Serie A Preview: Juventus v Napoli

Defending Serie A champions Juventus will be out to move above Napoli into second place when the two sides meet in Turin on Sunday.

Antonio Conte’s men are seeking their third consecutive Serie A title but, despite a superb start to the campaign, they sit just third in the table after the first 11 games.

Napoli and Juventus are both three points adrift of unbeaten league leaders Roma, who welcome struggling Sassuolo earlier on Sunday.

Juve have not lost a home league match against Napoli since 2009 and the hosts will likely look to top scorer Carlos Tevez to add to his tally of six league goals as they aim to extend that streak.

Central midfielder Arturo Vidal has also been in fine form, scoring five times in Serie A, while the recent performances of striker Fernando Llorente – a scorer in the 2-2 UEFA Champions League draw with Real Madrid in midweek – should also come as a boost to Conte.

The Juve boss may be able to recall Montenegro international Mirko Vucinic to the squad for the first time since October 2 after a thigh injury, but Simone Pepe, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabio Quagliarella are unavailable with the same complaint.

Napoli are set to welcome back defender Christian Maggio following suspension, but Miguel Britos (collarbone), Camilo Zuniga and Giandomenico Mesto (both knee) miss out.

Gonzalo Higuain will look to continue his fine start to life at Napoli after scoring five league goals since his July move from Real Madrid, while attacking midfielders Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik – who have each scored six times in Serie A this season – should be heavily involved.

Juventus and Napoli have combined for 47 league goals so far this season, and visiting coach Rafael Benitez is anticipating an exciting game.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic game between two teams that are doing very well,” Benitez said.

“Juventus are the defending champions and I believe they will have a slight advantage as they have one more day to prepare for the game than we do.”

The hosts secured the free signing of Anthony Reveillere on Friday but the veteran defender is unlikely to feature.

Fri 8 Nov, 2013
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