After cruising to victory over Parma in their mid-week test on Wednesday, Napoli now prepare for their biggest clash of the young season on Saturday vs. Juventus at Allianz Stadium.
Here are three keys for manager Carlo Ancelotti and his Partenopei to pick up a victory over the rivaling Bianconeri:
1. Chase early lead: Juventus have scored first in three of the previous four Serie A contests, with ‘the Old Lady’ winning three in the process. Easier said than done to break down a Max Allegri side that is structured extremely well defensively with plenty of experience and quality, especially inside Allianz Stadium which has been a fortress since opening roughly seven years ago. However, Napoli do have the attacking talent capable of grabbing a goal on the break while Juve push numbers forward, and must make the most of the limited chances they will have before the home side settles in.
2. Win the full-back battle: Barring any late scratches from Ancelotti, Elseid Hysaj and Mario Rui will start in the full-back positions for Napoli, with the opposite two for Juventus likely being Alex Sandro and Joao Cancelo. The Bianconeri duo is widely considered one of the top three full-back tandems in Europe at the moment, contributing plenty on the offensive for an already high-powered scoring side, and you can expect Napoli to feel the pressure from the jump. However, both Hysaj and Rui are more than capable to rival the opposition, as we have seen in previous head-to-head meetings. But with the Portuguese international providing the game-breaking speed and quick countering ability, the Partenopei will have their hands full. Cancelo is averaging two tackles and three successful dribbles per game (via Who Scored), indicating he is emerging as a well-rounded player on both ends of the pitch. Keeping both under control for an entire 90 will not be easy, but if Napoli can somehow neutralize or keep the duo’s impact to a minimum, they will fancy their chance for a win.
3. Allow Insigne to create: Lorenzo Insigne has been utilized as a gadget player of sorts under Ancelotti, in that he is playing just about everywhere in the attack. Whether it has been on the left wing in a 433, as a second striker alongside Milik in the 442 or as a ‘trequartista’ of a 4231, the Azzurri international’s influence in Ancelotti’s system has been crucial. The 27-year old Italian is off and running this season, with 5 goals to his name through six Serie A matches. It remains to be seen which shape Ancelotti will roll out, but Insigne is a lock to start and arguably Napoli’s key man heading into Turin. Averaging 5 shots, 2.5 key passes, and 3.7 long balls per game, Insigne’s prone to floating around in search of the ball and moments where he can make a difference. Even if the Naples-born attacker does not get on the scoresheet, he can still create and be the lynchpin Napoli require to best a star-studded Juventus side at home.
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re up to challenging the best then play www.seriea-fantasy.com now!