Foot Predictions shows the Serie A clash on Saturday between Napoli and Juventus, including predictions, preview and possible lineups.
Amid a period of form failure, Napoli finally meet champions Juventus this Saturday’s Serie A, at the Stadio Diego Maradona.
After their first game of the season was postponed in controversial circumstances, the former rivals now face each other for the second time in a matter of weeks, after Juve’s triumph at the Italian Supercoppa last month.
Mirroring the ascending shape of the talisman gunner Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus certainly reached a peak in 2021, in the search for the Scudetto defense and for the tenth consecutive title.
The defeat to Inter last month proved to be the only defeat they suffered since the turn of the year, during a streak full of games with victories in the league, cup and Supercoppa – a streak that elevated them to third place in the Serie A standings, just five points behind second-placed Inter, with a game still played.
In January, Juventus managed to topple Milan, Napoli and Inter – among many others – also without conceding goals in the five league games since the defeat at San Siro. The last victims in the first division were rival Roma, who overtook the leaderboard last weekend as a result of a comfortable 2-0 victory in Turin – the highlight was Ronaldo’s opening shot from the left foot .
Quickly followed by a successful midweek conclusion to the Derby d’Italia semifinals at Coppa Italy – where a goalless draw made them progress to face Atalanta in the end of May – the immediate future of Pirlo’s team it looks brilliant.
While Ronaldo remains at the top of the ranking for top scorers and others as Federico Chiesa, Alvaro Morata and Weston McKennie chip in support of contributions, the Bianconeri rarely worried about the origin of their next goal. However, they have also significantly narrowed their defense, with a series of six closings in their most recent seven games, testifying to this improvement.
Not in top form, but still a strong threat to any line of defense, Napoli’s attack will be the latest to face the challenge of breaking an increasingly tough rear.
Pressure continues to build on the coach Gennaro Gattuso before the arrival of the Old Lady in Campania, with Napoli struggling badly in the first half of the defeat in the semifinal to Atalanta, on Wednesday. Despite a return to the early XI for big summer hires Victor Osimhen – whose misfortunes and misfortunes affected his debut campaign at Calcio – Partenopei failed to recover from a loss of two goals in 16 minutes.
The anticlimax end of Coppa Italia’s defense came just days after a disappointing defeat in Genoa in the league, a result that leaves Gattuso’s team adrift of the top four and totally out of the Scudetto race.
The ongoing battle between manager Gattuso and the club president Aurelio De Laurentiis there is certainly only one ‘winner’ now, after Napoli’s temperamental goalkeeper was furious after his last pair of defeats.
The next games against Atalanta and then Granada in the Europa League – after this decisive confrontation with Juventus – seem to be decisive for the stormy coach’s future, as candidates like Rafa benitez and Max Allegri wait on the wings.
With defensive options limited by injuries to major players this week, Napoli has a considerable task in keeping out the visitors’ venerable offensive talents and will again rely heavily on Hirving Lozano and Lorenzo Insigne to weigh with goals at the other end.
While other attackers like Osimhen, Andrea Petagna and the wounded Dries Mertens unreliable this season, the diminutive duo is the team’s best scorer with nine goals each and will be an integral part of Gattuso’s hopes of saving the azzurri season – and his job.
Napoli Serie A Form: LWWLWL
Napoli form (all competitions): LWWDLL
Juventus Serie A form: WWLWWW
Juventus form (all competitions): WWWWWD
All news from the teams
Napoli should be without injured team Elseid Hysaj and Diego demme on Saturday, after the Albanian full-back injured his left leg in the middle of the week and Demme contracted a thigh problem that will be assessed again before the week starts.
As the mainstay of Gennaro Gattuso’s central defender Kalidou Koulibaly is absent due to COVID-19, reserve defensive pair Amir Rrahmani and Nikola Maksimovic should continue to start despite the buggy performances lately, given that Kostas Manolas it is also out of action by the end of the month.
Fabian Ruiz returned from quarantine, but you may not be able to start yet, so Tiemoue Bakayoko could be joined again by Eljif Elmas and Piotr Zielinski in midfield three, while Victor Osimhen must maintain the central attacking wave ahead of Andrea Petagna.
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo you don’t risk running Leonardo Bonucci back in action this week after the strong defender lost his chance to play in the Italian Cup because of muscle fatigue – a luxury offered to the Bianconeri, as they have done Giorgio Chiellini, Ligt’s Matthijs and Merih Demiral everything fit and available to replace it.
although Arthur will be absent again due to injury, Rodrigo Bentancur returns in midfield after being suspended last weekend. Versatile forward Dejan Kulusexi should leave the XI Cup, being replaced by Álvaro Morata, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon also going back to the secondary lines as Wojciech Szczesny back to the side.
Possible initial line-up for Napoli:
Ospine; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Rrahmani, Rui; Elmas, Bakayoko; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Osimhen
Possible starting line-up for Juventus:
Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Chiellini, Danilo; Chiesa, Rabiot, Bentancur, McKennie; Morata, Ronaldo
Probability: Napoli 1-2 Juventus
With the scudetto scent getting closer and closer to Juventus in good shape, there is little evidence that they cannot take advantage of their hosts’ defensive problems, further increasing the distance between clubs that did not exist just a few weeks ago .
Pace and strength to the side and the cunning of the penalty box in the center should terrify Napoli’s improvised defense, with his talented attackers without much work to make up for the disadvantage.