Preview - Napoli vs Juventus 04 March 19

Started by Harry85, Mar 03, 2019, 05:13 AM

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Match Day 26
Napoli vs. Juventus
Monday, March 4th 2019
03:30am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Stadio San Paolo

Last five matches form: D W D D W
Average goals per match: 1.84
Average goals against per match: 0.72
Top Scorer: Arkadiusz Milik (14)

Last five matches form: W D W W W
Average goals per match: 2.12
Average goals against per match: 0.60
Top Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (19)

It's a top of the table clash in Serie A this weekend as second placed Napoli play host to table toppers Juventus. There's really not all that much at stake other than pride though with Juventus fully 13 points clear at the summit.

Juventus do of course have the unbeaten season to go for. Yet to taste defeat in their opening 25 fixtures, this - on paper at least - will be their toughest remaining test of the season.

Juventus had too much for Napoli in the reverse of this fixture when winning 3-1 in Turin. The Old Lady also came out on top in this game last season with a narrow 1-0 success.

Not many injury concerns for Napoli with Raúl Albiol being the only confirmed absentee at present. Juan Cuadrado, Sami Khedira and Douglas Costa miss out for Juventus.

Napoli may not be able to keep pace with Juventus, but they are eight points clear of the rest in what has been another fine season. They have been particularly impressive at home where they are now unbeaten in their past 18 in Serie A.

Juventus haven't been far off perfect on their travels, winning 11 of 12, with a draw away at Atalanta being the only slight blemish on their record. They have kept a clean sheet in seven of those twelve games.

Napoli are an excellent side, but Juventus are the undoubted class of the division and can take this on the back of another solid defensive showing.

Prediction: Napoli 0 - 2 Juventus


Half time: 0 - 2
Full time: 1 - 2
Shots:  21 - 6
Shots on target: 5 - 3
Corner Kicks: 12 - 4
Possession: 64% - 36%

Plenty to keep referee Gianluca Rocchi busy in this one. Alex Meret was dismissed for the home side in just the 25th minute. Nikola Maksimovic, Kalidou Koulibaly and Allan were also booked for Napoli. Joao Cancelo, Alex Sandro, Rodrigo Bentancur and Paulo Dybala all made their way into the notebook for Juventus who themselves were reduced to ten men when Miralem Pjanic picked up a second yellow two minutes into the second half.

Napoli keeper Alex Meret was dismissed after 25 minutes. Sold short by a poor back-pass, he rushed out in an effort to get to the ball but only succeeded in upending a clean through Cristiano Ronaldo just outside the area. Things were immediately made worse from the resultant free kick which Miralem Pjanic curled up and over the wall and into the left-hand side from just outside the box and slightly to the left.

Napoli almost hit back immediately. Piotr Zielinski racing through to the left but seeing his low effort from just inside the box come back off the right hand upright.

Juventus scored a second in the 39th minute. A short corner routine from the right seeing Federico Bernardeschi send a cross into the area. Emre Can meeting it with a header from the edge of the six-yard box in a central area and sending a header into the left hand side via a slight deflection. 0-2 at the break.

Pjanic picked up his second yellow right at the start of the second half for a silly handball. Napoli were at least now level in terms of number of players as they attempted to claw back the deficit.

Then in the 61st minute the home side pulled a goal back. Lorenzo Insigne picking up the ball just outside the right corner of the eighteen-yard box and playing a wicked ball into the six yard area. Jose Callejon on hand to finish from around three yards.

Napoli then had a golden opportunity to win it in the 83rd minute when a handball was spotted in the area and a penalty kick awarded. However Insigne crashed his effort against the left hand post. 1-2 final score.

No change in the standings for either side. Juventus remain top and are now fully 16 points clear of second placed Napoli who are in turn eight points in front of third placed AC Milan.

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