Juventus vs Napoli
Juventus Stadium, Torino
October 20, 2012
Both teams head into this fixture tied on 19 points of a possible 21, sitting 1 and 2 in the Seria A table. The last time they met was in the Italian Cup final last year when Napoli won 2-0 and prevented Juve from doing a double. Napoli was also the only team to beat Juve in domestic competitions last season.
Gianluigi Buffon suffered a thigh injury and midfielder Claudio Marchisio an injured shoulder in last week’s World Cup qualifiers. Buffon was injured in the Armenia game on Friday thus missing the Wednesdays win over Denmark. But this put Juventus in a controversial position(not for the first time) when the Italian media and critics accused Buffon of saving himself for the Napoli match.
“Ours is a nation of conspiracy,” said Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta. “Everything needs to be taken back to sport.
“There is nothing to say about Buffon. He is the captain of Juventus and of Italy and the allegations are unfounded.Wearing the blue shirt of Italy is the highest aspiration for all players and Buffon is not the kind of guy to give up at the first sign of trouble. He didn’t play against Denmark because he thought he wasn’t ready.”
Juve are set to continue their trademark 3-5-2 formation.
Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci are likely to start in defence.
Just like the defence, the center midfield of Juventus is also an obvious pick. Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal are sure starters.Despite Marchisio’s injury in the mid-week Friendl, he is set to retain his position. And it will all come down to them on how they control the midfield.
The wingers position is going to be a tight call but Assamoah and Lichtsteiner will play the left and right wing role respectively.
Vucinic’s current form will be enough to earn him a place in the starting XI alongside Giovinco.
They not only share the number of points in the league with Juventus but also the similar type of formation. Napoli, in all likeliness, will be fielding a 3-5-2 as well.
Before the start of the season, many pundits stated that the future of Napoli will depend on their task of retaining the dangerous trio of Cavani-Hamsik-Lavezzi. Though they lost Lavezzi, they will take solace in managing to stick onto Hamsik and Cavani.
With Pandev filling in the role to replace Lavezzi, he did not fail drastically but at the same time he hasn’t done anything extra ordinary so far.
They will rely on club veteran Cannavaro and co to have a good game at the back.
They also have popular names in the midfield like Inler, Maggio and Behrami.
There are also mini battles in the game. Just like their current standings the keepers are 1 and 2 for their country respectively.
De Sanctis proved the other day in the International friendly that he will be the Italian number 1 when Buffon retires.
A close contest puts the rigid and strong defending of Juventus against the free flowing, exciting and counter attacking Napoli. Both the teams will score 1 each and it all depends on who can steal that late winner.