Four Talking Points Ahead of Napoli’s Clash with Juventus

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Stars collide on Sunday in Naples at the Stadio San Paolo as Juventus and Napoli will author another chapter in their heated rivalry.

Back in late September, the Partenopei, led by Carlo Ancelotti, leapt out of the gates early with a Dries Mertens strike 10 minutes into proceedings in Turin. From there on however, ‘the Old Lady’ established dominance once again over their league rivals, as Mario Mandžukić equalized then grabbed the lead before Leonardo Bonucci put the bow on the victory with Juve’s third in the final quarter-hour.

Entering this tie, the Bianconeri hold a firm grasp of first place with a 13 point advantage over Napoli and sit in pole position to make it eight straight Serie A titles. Despite that, Ancelotti men will press on and look to exact revenge from earlier in the season against a Juventus side hoping to catch fire again after a rough patch of form.

Here are four talking points ahead of Napoli vs Juventus: Continue reading

Four Takeaways From Napoli’s Draw with Torino

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For the second week in a row, Napoli dominate the opposition and create the bulk of the chances, yet fail to capitalize as they were forced to settle with another 0-0 draw at home versus Torino Sunday evening.

With the Partenopei dropping four points over these previous two matchdays, they are now -13 from league leaders Juventus who basically have the Scudetto in the bag.

Here are four takeaways from the Partenopei’s scoreless stalemate. Continue reading

What to Watch for: Fiorentina vs Napoli

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Off the back of a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Udinese, Stefano Pioli’s Fiorentina look to return to winning ways as they play host to second-place Napoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday.

Unlike the Partenopei who sit cozy in second with an 11-point advantage over Inter, the Viola are currently playing catch-up in the heated race for 4th and have their work cut out, trailing the likes of Lazio, Milan, Atalanta, Roma and Sampdoria.

Napoli managed to trim the deficit between them and Juventus back down to single digits last weekend with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria, and hope to narrow the gap even more at the Franchi – confines proving not so friendly for Fiorentina.

Here are five things to watch for in Fiorentina vs Napoli. Continue reading

Four Takeaways From Napoli’s 0-0 Stalemate with Milan

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Familiar faces met yet again last night at the San Siro as Gennaro Gattuso and his mentor Carlo Ancelotti squared off in a clash between Milan and Napoli.

The first half of action saw the Rossoneri assert themselves and threaten to go ahead, while the visitors swung momentum in their favor after the break only to see several attempts go awry.

In the end, the two played to a 0-0 draw. Here are four takeaways from the Partenopei’s stalemate in Milano: Continue reading

Three Keys for Napoli vs Liverpool

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Champions League Group C is a tight one between leaders Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain and last year’s runner-up Liverpool entering the final round of play. As things stand, the Partenopei lead PSG by a single point, while holding a three point cushion over the English giants who they will pay a visit tonight at Anfield.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli can qualify for the Round of 16 through one of the following scenarios: 1) win or draw vs Liverpool, 2) lose by a goal, but score at least once (2-1, 3-2) and PSG wins/loses. Continue reading

Squad rotation continues to pay dividends for Carlo Ancelotti and Napoli

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Napoli turned around their UEFA Champions League Group C bout with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, earning a 1-1 draw with strong second half efforts from Kalidou Koulibaly and Allan, as well as a cold-blooded penalty strike from Lorenzo Insigne.

As things stand, the Partenopei sit joint-first with Liverpool, and cling to a slight advantage on goal differential over the English outfits. Much of this success can be attributed to the individual efforts of many in the squad under manager Carlo Ancelotti. But, without question, the sharpness in play and positive results stem from the Italian’s meticulous approach towards tactical modifications and rotation. Continue reading

Italy improving under Mancini, but supporters must pump the breaks

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After banging in the stoppage-time goal at the back post thanks to substitute Kevin Lasagna’s initial glancing header from the corner, Fiorentina’s Cristiano Biraghi’s late-game heroics were enough to see Italy past Poland 1-0 on Sunday, escaping relegation from Group 3 in the UEFA Nations League.

The 26-year old celebrated his first international tally by throwing up a “13″ towards the heavens in honor of the late Viola captain Davide Astori. Surely, it was a unifying moment for Italy and Italians everywhere who swarmed the match-winner and finally had something to rally around after 12 months of heartbreak.

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Lorenzo Insigne aims to mirror Napoli form for Italy

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Dubbed by the majority of Italians as the darkest period in their history, the Azzurri are traveling up a creek without a paddle here in 2018.

Upon conclusion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in which Italy played the role of spectator, ‘La Nazionale’ dropped two spots to their lowest ever ranking ever of 21st. Whether it be the last remnants of the old guard, the newcomers, Gian Piero Ventura, or the FIGC, accountability is required by all involved if Italy are to turn this around under acting CT Roberto Mancini. But in dire times such as these, certain individuals must rise to the occasion, and be one of many small rays of hope – and Lorenzo Insigne is one of these individuals.

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Napoli cruise past Parma, prepare for Juventus clash

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Napoli entered somewhat of a tricky test last night at the Stadio San Paolo versus Parma who, early on in the season, look destined to stay up in the Italian top-flight after an historic promotion run back from the depths of Serie D. However, the Partenopei ensured the Crociati were not to replicate their impressive victory over Inter by taking control of the tie from the opening whistle – and putting Roberto D’Aversa’s group to the sword by way of a 3-0 beating. Continue reading

Lorenzo Insigne as Napoli’s ‘trequartista’ draws plenty of intrigue

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Manager Carlo Ancelotti, for the most part, has maintained the same tactical shape Maurizio Sarri left behind for him, sticking with a 4-3-3 in Napoli’s first set of fixtures. With the exception of switching back and forth between Arkadiusz Milik and Dries Mertens as the spearheading presence up front, the eyebrow-raising boss has kept his personnel selections minimally changed from week to week. However, last Sunday saw Italian attacker Lorenzo Insigne slide over from his traditional left-wing role into a bit of a different zone for the Partenopei in their 3-1 win vs. Torino, yielding positive results in the process. Continue reading