It’s only week two in Serie A, but we already get to see two of the best teams in the league square off with each other, as Juventus host Napoli on Saturday, kicking off at 8:45pm local time. Who will make a statement in this early pivotal clash?
Home Team: Juventus
Juventus started their Serie A defence in winning fashion, despite manager Maurizio Sarri not travelling with the squad. He has some health concerns at the moment, but the news is good regarding his progress, and he should return to manage the side against Napoli – his former club – on Saturday. Despite his absence, Juventus did what Juventus always do. Look incredibly tough to break down, and can always muster a goal, whether it’s a set-piece or a piece of brilliance from one of their key attacking players.
They opened with a 1-0 victory at Parma, with Georgio Chiellini turning in a deflected shot, which turned out to be the only goal of the game. No new blood was in the starting line-up including new key signing Matthijs de Ligt, but Adrien Rabiot did come on in the 2nd half. Cristiano Ronaldo looked as threatening as he ever did, being involved in all the major chances for Juventus, and even scored a sublime goal – before it was later ruled out by VAR. Can Juve push on from this victory?[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Away Team: Napoli
Napoli were involved in the most entertaining match of the weekend in Serie A, when they travelled to Fiorentina this past Saturday. In a topsy-turvy match, where they went behind, went ahead, lost their lead, and then finally regained it again, as they saw out an impeccable 4-3 result. The pick of the bunch was Dries Mertens who scored an incredible goal from distance, which was undoubtedly the best goal of the weekend – and there were some real crackers to compete with.
A new defensive partnership of Kalidou Koulibaly and Kostas Manolas played their first game as a unit, and it didn’t go down too well. They conceded 20 shots in total, and three goals, which is something manager Carlo Ancelotti won’t like to see. Having said that, the manager has talked up the chances of Napoli winning the league this season, but they’ll have to prove it on the pitch when they face the sizeable task on Saturday night. Can they keep Juve out?
Head to Head
Juventus asserted their authority in the league last season over Napoli with a double, winning at home 3-1 early on in the season, and then winning 2-1 in Naples in March. At the Allianz Stadium, Juventus do have the upper hand winning eight of the last nine meetings. The only time Napoli were able to get a result was relatively recent, winning via a 1-0 score line towards the end of the 2017/2018 season. Their only other success at the Allianz Stadium in the last decade was in the Coppa Italia back in 2012.
My Predictions and Betting Tips
Juventus are strong favourites to win at 5/6, with a draw priced at 12/5. For Napoli to get an unlikely victory, they are at 10/3 to win. In the last fourteen meetings they have only been one draw, and that happened in Naples, however, I am going to opt for a draw in this match. It provides excellent value at 12/5, and I believe Juventus haven’t hit full gear yet, and Napoli are more than capable of getting a draw.
My score line prediction would be a 1-1 draw at 11/2. For the hosts, Cristiano Ronaldo is surely going to get the goal and he is at 8/11 to score at any time. The visitors’ most likely scorer will be Dries Mertens, who is at 11/10 to score at any time. For them both to score in the game, you can get a double at 7/2. Despite going for a 1-1 draw, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw many goals in this game given the attacking qualities of Juventus and Napoli, so consider backing them to score more than 4.5 goals in the match between them at 6/1.
Finally, for the tipsters, you can back there to be a high scoring first half at great odds, so as an example, a 3-2 score line in the favour of Juventus by half time is at an incredible 125/1.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot] [geot country="US,CA" ]
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