01/03/13 – Napoli vs Juventus (Serie A)

Napoli vs JuventusSecond hosts first in Serie A with Napoli looking to reduce Juventus’ six point lead.

Walter Mazzarri will decide between Pablo Armero and Juan Zuniga for the left wing back role, while Christian Maggio should return on the right. His only other selection concern is likely to be who joins Edison Cavani and Marek Hamsik in attack – does the experienced Goran Pandev return or will Mazzarri continue with young Lorenzo Insigne? Napoli’s forward selection will be important as they have failed to score in their last four games. Should Insigne be selected he would also play slightly deeper than Pandev, making Napoli a 3-4-2-1 shape, which would have ramifications for the tactical battle.

Antonio Conte will hope to welcome Giorgio Chiellini back to the starting line-up after missing two months to injury. In midfield Arturo Vidal faces a race to be fit, but Paul Pogba will be ready to step in should the Chilean miss out. In attack Juventus are rarely predictable – Mirko Vucinic has been in favour of late, so Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Matri are most probably competing for the remaining forward position.

The close mirroring of the teams’ formations makes this a game likely to be settled by small margins and tactical nuances. It is telling that the loser of three of the last four meetings had a man sent off – Friday’s game could be a similar story… (Read more)

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