Napoli
vs Juventus: Maurizio Sarri makes his anticipated return to the San Paolo
Arkadiusz Milik of SSC Napoli during the Coppa Italia match between SSC Napoli and SS Lazio at Stadio San Paolo Naples Italy on 21 January 2020. (Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Story behind the game 

Napoli welcome Juventus to the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday evening and this should be an entertaining match. Napoli’s season has not been the greatest as the club is currently in the eleventh place. In their past 12 Serie A matches, the Partenopei have won only once and have been in bad form. In their recent Serie A match against Fiorentina, Napoli showed little effort and their play was very poor. The Viola won the match 2-0 as a result of a good performance, while Federico Chiesa led the way with a goal which led to the game winner.

Their season hasn’t been as expected as the club has made a change behind the bench and replaced Carlo Ancelotti with Gennaro Gattuso. The Coppa Italia has been opposite and has been something which Napoli could look forward to. The club find themselves in the semi-finals as they recently won mid week against Lazio. Lorenzo Insigne scored in the second minute of the match and led the Partenopei to a 1-0 victory. Napoli will look to build off their recent game as the club has struggled to compile wins this year.

As for Juventus, they enter this match as the winners of six straight games and have played some of their best football. The Bianconeri have lost to only Lazio this season and this shows how well the club has performed in all competitions this season. In their recent Serie A match, Juventus won 2-1 against Parma, after Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 15th and 16th goal of the season. After a slow start to the year, the forward has turned his season around and will enter this match in fine form. He has scored in his past seven Serie A matches and continues to win games for the Bianconeri. In their recent match-up in the Coppa Italia, Juventus won 3-1 against Roma and Ronaldo scored to help the Bianconeri win their match.

For Maurizio Sarri, he will make his return to Naples as the Juventus coach was fired by Napoli back in 2018. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception the Italian manager will receive in this match as he was a very passionate manager in his time with Napoli. Sarri will lead Juventus this Sunday against his ex team and it will be an exciting match.

Team news

Napoli injuries: Keven Malcuit (Out Indefinitely), Faouzi Ghoulam (Out Indefinitely), Nikola Maksimovic (Out Indefinitely), Kalidou Koulibaly (Doubtful), Dries Mertens (Doubtful), Allan (Questionable), Amin Younes (Questionable)

Juventus injuries: Giorgio Chiellini (Out Indefinitely), Merih Demiral (Out Indefinitely), Sami Khedira (Out Indefinitely), Mattia De Sciglio (Questionable)

Predicted line-up

Napoli (4-3-3): Ospina – Rui, Hysaj, D.Lorenzo, Manolas – Zielinski, Demme, Ruiz – Insigne, Callejon, Milik.

Juventus (4-3-1-2): Szczesny – Alex Sandro, Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci – Bentancur, Matuidi, Pjanic – Ramsey – Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Key clashes

In his recent seven Serie A matches, Ronaldo has shown good form as the forward has scored eleven goals and one assist. Ronaldo has scored the winning goal in five straight matches for the Bianconeri. The forward has turned his play around after a slow start to the year and will be a tough task ahead for Napoli come this Sunday.

Insigne comes off a strong performance in the Coppa Italia versus Lazio. The forward scored the game winner to help Napoli advance into the semi-finals. The Italian will look to build off his recent performance as he’s struggled to score this year in the Serie A. After a successful campaign last year scoring ten goals and three assists, the forward has scored three and four assists to date in Serie A. The forward will look to turn his season around at a crucial time where as Napoli has won once in their last twelve Serie A matches.

 

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