Thursday, January 20, 2022

Prediction: Juventus vs Napoli

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, Serie A 5 Jan 2022

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Verdict: Juventus win & over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Unibet

In what is a real showdown between two Italian heavyweights on Thursday night, Juventus will welcome Napoli to Turin for their first contest of 2022.

Juventus

Starting with the hosts, while Juventus might have endured what was a hugely worrying start to the 2021/22 campaign, the Old Lady do appear to have found a boost. Last seen heading into Italy’s festive break with back-to-back 2-0 victories against Cagliari and Bologna, Massimiliano Allegri’s men are also enjoying an extended six-match unbeaten run across all formats. Winning five of those outings and also booking their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, their return boss will be calling on his side to keep up that momentum here. While Juve might know that any chance of making a charge for this year’s Serie A crown might be long gone, Thursday’s hosts still have another top-four finish at the top of their agenda. Knowing that they could lay down a real marker when they return to action in midweek, fans around Turin have also seen their side impress at the back. It should be noted, Allegri’s men have conceded just a single strike on their six-match unbeaten run.

Team News

Neither Giorgio Chiellini nor midfielder Arthur are expected to feature in midweek with both players still isolating after returning positive COVID-19 tests.

Suffering with a thigh injury, veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci also remains a doubt on Thursday.

Napoli

As for the visitors, while Juventus might have opened the New Year enjoying their own purple patch, the same cannot be said for Napoli. Failing to build off of their eye-catching 1-0 victory away at AC Milan on December 19th, the Blues were last seen heading into the break with a shock 1-0 loss against Spezia on home soil. Although Luciano Spalletti’s side might have enjoyed a stunning start to the 2021/22 campaign, the former Inter Milan boss has seen his side struggle with their consistency. In fact, Thursday’s guests have managed to win just a trio of their last 10 matchups from across all formats, a run that stems back to the start of November. Making the trip to Turin now sat seven points adrift in the title chase, Napoli should also be worried by their record away at the former Italian champions. It should be noted, Spalletti’s men have lost eight of their previous nine matchups away at the Allianz.

Team News

Returning a positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday, Head Coach Spalletti will be self-isolating and not make the trip to Turin.

Andre-Frank Anguissa, Kalidou Koulibaly and Adam Ounas will all be missing for at least the next fortnight as they are set to feature in the AFCON.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Juventus mark their return to action enjoying a six-match unbeaten run across all formats, recording five wins.
    • Napoli ended 2021 by winning just one of their final five Serie A matchups.
    • The Only Lady have won each of their last four straight meetings against the Blues on home soil.
    • Likewise, Juve have also won eight of their last nine home fixtures against Thursday’s guests.
    • Napoli have recorded just a pair of clean sheets from any of their last 11 contests across all formats.

    Conclusion

    Heading into the festive break riding a real wave, there is no doubt that Juventus will be eager to keep up that momentum here. Collecting 13 points from their last five Serie A matchups, the Old Lady should be smelling the chance to lay down a marker on Thursday night. On the flip side, signing off 2021 with a shock 1-0 loss at home against Spezia, Napoli have really failed to build off of a hugely impressive start to the season. Knowing that they should face a stern test in Turin, the midweek guests also hold a worrying record away at the former champions. Losing eight of their last nine trips to Juve, including four straight defeats, we’re backing a similar home win here.

    Verdict: Juventus win & over 1.5 goals

    Best Odds: 6/4

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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