Napoli vs Juventus

It’s a day of reckoning in Serie A as defending champions Napoli and record-time winners Juventus lock horns at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Napoli found their first win under new manager Francesco Calzona in midweek Serie A action, overhauling an early deficit in a 6-1 demolition of Sassuolo to set themselves up nicely for this mouth-watering contest. However, it’s up to ‘I Partenopei’ to show it wasn’t just a one-off as they bid to win back-to-back league games for the first time since September. Stuck in ninth, eight points below fourth-placed Bologna, the reigning champions can’t settle for anything less. However, their recent home form doesn’t inspire much confidence (W1, D1, L2), although they can draw inspiration from their joint-biggest 5-1 H2H victory against Juventus in this corresponding fixture last term. And since they’re also unbeaten in their last five home league games (W3, D2), there’s plenty of reason for optimism.

Meanwhile, Juventus snatched away a last-gasp 3-2 home win against Frosinone last weekend to halt a four-game winless streak in Serie A (D2, L2) and consolidate their pursuit of a second-place finish. Daniele Rugani’s stoppage-time winner saw Massimiliano Allegri become the first manager in Serie A history to hit a 1,000-point landmark, reinforcing the Italian’s bid to settle the score with Napoli after last season’s fiasco. As the division’s second-best traveling side, Juventus (W8, D3, L2) should travel in a buoyant mood despite going winless on their last two league trips (D1, L1). But four consecutive league defeats in Naples paint a bleak picture for ‘I Bianconeri,’ especially considering they averaged 0.75 goals per game during that sequence.

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