Verdict: Napoli win
Best Odds: 6/4
In what is a real Italian heavyweight showdown this weekend, Napoli will welcome Juventus to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Saturday evening.
Starting with the hosts, while Napoli’s depleted squad might have been hit with a 5-1 defeat against Benevento in a friendly contest over the international break, it should not have dampened the mood in their camp. Making the call to appoint new boss Luciano Spalletti over the summer, the Blues do appear to have found an immediate boost under the former Inter Milan manager. Opening up the 2021/22 campaign with a deserved 2-0 win against Venezia at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Gli Azzurri have landed themselves back-to-back Serie A wins. One of five sides who can boast a 100% start to the new season, Napoli have continued to build off of their impressive pre-campaign preparations. Managing to secure themselves another European finish earlier in the year, Spalletti’s new squad are unbeaten in each of their last 11 straight Serie A matchups continuing on from last season. Smelling a golden chance to lay down what would be another real marker on home soil when they return to action this weekend, it’s also worth highlighting that hosts have not lost a top-flight home fixture since the start of January.
Given the green light to feature on Saturday, former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina looks set to start between the sticks.
With both Stanislav Lobotka and Piotr Zielinski set to once again miss out this weekend, summer arrival Andre-Frank Anguissa should start in midfield.
As for the visitors, while Napoli might be enjoying what has been an early-season bounce, the same cannot be said for what will be a downbeat Juventus side. Only just about managing to scrape a Champions League spot on the final weekend earlier in the year, the Old Lady have the feel of a squad in transition. Along with watching Andrea Pirlo be given his marching orders over the summer, the former Italian champions also witnessed Cristiano Ronaldo make a stunning return to Old Trafford. Turning to former boss Massimiliano Allegri in an attempt to steady the ship, Juve were last seen heading into the international break with a hugely worrying display on home soil. Coming under real scrutiny, Saturday’s guests were hit with a remarkable 1-0 defeat against Empoli in Turin, a result that means they’re still searching for their first Serie A win. Only managing to snatch a 2-2 draw away at Udinese on the opening weekend, the struggling Italian giants could face another stern test in Naples.
Along with announcing that Rodrigo Bentancur will once again miss out this weekend, summer arrival Federico Chiesa also looks set for a stint on the sidelines with a hamstring issue.
However, returning from South America, attacking talisman Paulo Dybala could play some part on Saturday.
Key Factors to Consider
- Napoli have collected back-to-back Serie A wins against Juventus at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
- Saturday’s hosts are one of just five Italian sides who have claimed back-to-back top-flight wins since opening the 2021/22 campaign.
- Likewise, Juventus have managed to land just a single point, a run that also saw them a 1-0 loss at home against Empoli last time out.
- Continuing on from last season, Napoli have not lost a home fixture since the start of January.
- All of Juventus’ last five Serie A contests on the road have finished with both teams finding the net.
While Napoli might have been hit with a friendly loss against Benevento last week, Saturday’s hosts should be smelling a golden chance to lay down another Serie A marker here. Finding an immediate boost since bringing in new boss Luciano Spalletti over the summer, the Blues are one of just five sides who can boast a 100% start to the new season. Given the fact they have won their last two Serie A meetings against Juventus at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Gli Azzurri should be looking to pile more pressure onto a downbeat Old Lady squad. Last seen heading into the international break with a stunning 1-0 defeat at home against Empoli, the former champions are in the midst of a real struggle.
Verdict: Napoli win
Best Odds: 6/4
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