Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus travel to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona to face Napoli in Serie A.
An epic showdown awaits at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona between two of the Serie A’s finest defensive teams in Napoli and Juventus.
Only five points separate the clubs in the league table ahead of their latest showdown. To nobody’s surprise, Juventus are three spots above sixth-placed Napoli in third-place on 42 points from 20 games.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata’s goals sealed the Bianconeri a 2-0 win in their last encounter with Napoli on January 20 to secure the Italian Super Cup. And with the injury-stricken hosts a little short-handed, an away victory could be on the cards in Naples.
Napoli Form & Stats
The Partenopei have been hot and cold all season. When things have looked promising, a defeat sends them crashing down. And in light of back-to-back losses, the pressure is gradually hitting a boiling point for Gennaro Gattuso. The manager needs a result on Saturday, even if the club’s prospects don’t look great.
Napoli could be without as many as five key players, including Dries Mertens and Kalidou Koulibaly. These absences will have hampered Gattuso’s preparations. A fifth defeat in 12 games (W6 D1) during Wednesday’s 3-1 semi-final loss to Atalanta, meanwhile, ended their Coppa Italia title defense.
The match against Juventus could even reportedly decide Gattuso’s future. It sets up a win-or-bust situation for the under-pressure hosts, who have more crucial games against Granada in the Europa League and Atalanta in Serie A coming up next.
Key Team Stats
- Lost 4 of their last 7 games in all competitions (W2 L1).
- Won only 4 of their last 8 home league games (D1 L3).
- Drawn just 1 of their last 25 league games (W15 L9).
- Second-best defensive record in the league on 21 conceded goals.
- Hope to nail back-to-back wins over Juventus in Serie A for the first time since 2011.
- Last drew against Juventus in April 2017.
Juventus Form & Stats
Andrea Pirlo, unlike his former AC Milan and Italy teammate Gattuso, has overcome his struggles. The rookie coach has overseen a seven-match unbeaten run since winning the Italian Super Cup last month. And while a goalless stalemate against Inter Milan ended a six-game winning streak, Juventus qualified for the Coppa Italia final with a 2-1 aggregate semi-final victory.
2021 has been brilliant, so far. The Bianconeri have only lost one of their 12 games (W10 D1 L1), beating the likes of AC Milan, Roma, and Inter. They also, as previously mentioned, put Napoli to the sword in last month’s Italian Super Cup final.
Pirlo’s side hope to keep the pressure on the Milan sides above them in the league table with a victory over Napoli. Ronaldo will be expected to capitalize on the hosts’ weakened defense. And with a great supporting cast in Alvaro Morata and co, the Serie A’s leading goalscorer will be confident of more goals.
Key Team Stats
- Won 6 of their last 7 games in all competitions (D1).
- Won by 2+ goals in 5 of their last 7 games in all competitions.
- Kept 6 clean sheets in their last 7 games in all competitions.
- Best defensive record in the league on 18 conceded goals.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has made 5 goal contributions in 6 games against Napoli (3 goals, 2 assists).
- Cristiano Ronaldo has managed 23 goals and 4 assists in 25 appearances in all competitions.
Out: Diego Demme, Dries Mertens, Elseid Hysaj, Faouzi Ghoulam, and Kalidou Koulibaly.
Out: Arthur Melo, Aaron Ramsey, Paulo Dybala.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top Goalscorers in Serie A
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in Serie A.
* DC: 1X – Double Chance on Away Team (Juventus)