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Sunday November 26 2017
Don't rush to Napoli-Juventus

Napoli and Juventus are already gearing up for next week's showdown, but Marco D'Onofrio warns they risk Serie A slip-ups on Sunday first.

With the San Paolo nearly sold out already for Friday's massive tilt between Napoli and Juventus, it is easy to see how both may be overlooking this weekend's contests. Neither team will be up against a giant of Italian football, but both will have to get the job done on Sunday first before they can even begin thinking about what's next on the schedule. Laying both could make for extraordinary FootyAccumulators.

After dropping points for just the second time this season before the international break against Chievo, Napoli sent a real signal of intent to the rest of the league by taking down Milan 2-1 last week. With their match against Udinese sandwiched between two crucial fixtures for Maurizio Sarri's men though, it is far too easy for them to see past a Friuli side that will surely come into the affair extra motivated.

Coach Luigi Del Neri was let go earlier in the week with the Zebrette sitting in 14th place and just three points clear of the dreaded relegation zone. World Cup winner Massimo Oddo was named Del Neri's replacement and he will be eager to get the most of his men in his first game at the helm. The fact that the match will be played at the friendly confines of Dacia Arena will only provide extra incentive to hand Napoli their first Serie A defeat of the campaign.

Oddo has already made it clear that his side are not going out to merely earn some sort of moral victory, but are legitimately looking to topple the Southerners. Considering the aforementioned Chievo were able to hold the league leaders to a scoreless draw in Napoli's last away match, Oddo and company have every reason to be optimistic about their chances on Sunday.

Juventus will be provided with an equally daunting task as they host a Crotone side who have won two of their last three matches and would love nothing more than to take points from the six-time defending champions. While they currently find themselves sitting 15th in the table, they have looked much better in recent weeks and will certainly be no pushover.

Many had expected the Rossoblu to go right back down after securing promotion in 2016, but they defied the odds and were able to stave off relegation in their first year in the Italian top flight. It is that same passion and fighting spirit that Juventus will be up against Sunday evening when the Calabrese come to town and the FootyAccas result isn’t to be taken for granted.

The Bianconeri learned the hard way last week that there are no easy games in Serie A, after falling at the hands of Sampdoria and will need to secure all three points this weekend in order to avoid slipping further behind in the Scudetto race. Even the mighty Juventus may find it too steep a hill to climb if they drop points on Sunday and potentially fall seven points behind the league leaders before even playing Napoli, Roma, or Inter.

Indeed, fans and media alike have every reason to be excited about next weekend's critical clash between the two rivals, but players must be focused solely on the task at hand this weekend if they are to claim the much-desired spoils.  

Have your say...
I feel a strange sense of calm going into this one. Even if Napoli win, they'll probably stumble and drop points in their next five games -- what with their hyper-ecstatic eagerness for a Juve coffin procession. I hope their fans get the tombstones out for us mid-season just to give us some motivation.
on the 28th November, 2017 at 2:15pm
You spoke as though Juve never does well outside of Serie A. This Juve was a 2 times UCL finalist. Apparently u don't seems to understand that a finalist is either 1 or 2 placement, the best teams in the tournament. Maybe you should seek gray matters cause u can't even understand something so simple. Juve lost many finals not because they were incapable, but lost because they were too scare. What Chiellini said is probably the most conscious statement I've heard from a Juve player in a long time
on the 28th November, 2017 at 6:14am
Juve are in a tough spot. They have important games against Napoli, Olympiacos, Inter, then Roma before Christmas. Unless they improve I can see them dropping a few points. Maybe Marchisio's return will balance the ship.

If Napoli win Friday I'd half expect them to rotate all 11 players for their final CL group match and focus solely on Serie A.
on the 28th November, 2017 at 12:59am
Chiellini needs to rephrase his comments to: "If Juventus want to win in it, they'll win it, only in Serie A". Otherwise stop spotting nonsense.
on the 27th November, 2017 at 8:51pm
@Wolfgang - Juve's only good performance this season came against Milan (if you can call Milan a top team). So far, Juve have failed to deliver both domestically and in Europe against good teams and they don't come any tougher than Napoli domestically. Can you honestly say who Juve's starting 11 is?? Not even Allegri knows - given his continuous chops and changes. If Juve are lucky this season, they will finish second behind Napoli. The winning cycle is over and its evident.
on the 27th November, 2017 at 3:55pm
"If Juventus want to win, they'll win it" - Giorgio Chiellini
on the 27th November, 2017 at 3:52pm
@ Mez:

LOL... You know what? You sound like a spiteful gambler and a jealous Milan fans.

I tell you what, Juve is BACK on the right time! Allegri has restored Juve's defence to 3 man defence. a thing that Juventus defenders know very well and the result speaks it self: Clean sheet 2x.

I would be worry if I were a Napoli player because San Paolo is like a double edged sword in this kind of match. If you perform badly, Napoli fans won't hesitate to mock you which is a good thing for Juventus.
on the 27th November, 2017 at 2:06pm
Maradonamac - No - its not hard to predict. Friday will see that gap between Juve and Napoli go back to 7 point again. I can't see Juve getting anything out of that game. Specially, as they will have one eye on the next game away to Olympiacos - which I think they will lose too. Its bye to the title and CL for Juve.
on the 27th November, 2017 at 10:55am
This game will take care of itself for both sets of players. The encouraging thing from a Napoli perspective, is that this season they seem to be finding a way to win the ugly games, the ones where the so-called smaller teams pack in the players and pinch a goal on a break or set piece.

Friday is hard to predict, and probably for the 1st time in 30 years are Napoli favorites.

I’d say a 1-1 draw.
on the 26th November, 2017 at 11:15pm
WAYYYY too often we see teams forget about the "smaller" teams and draw or lose when they shouldn't. This will be a big test for both teams and whether they have the right mentality going forward.
on the 26th November, 2017 at 1:48pm
So true!! Both teams need to make it happen against weaker teams before thinking about next week. Too often we see teams drop points when they shouldn't.
on the 26th November, 2017 at 12:55pm

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