Juventus-Napoli Preview: Serie A challengers clash in a bid to claw back Roma
Last season's champions and runners-up are locked on equal points after 11 matches as Rafa Benitez's side look for their first away win over the Bianconeri since 2009
By Nicholas McGee
Antonio Conte's men are seeking their third consecutive Serie A title but, despite a superb start to the campaign, they sit just third in the table after the first 11 games.
Both teams lie three points adrift of unbeaten league leaders Roma, who welcome struggling Sassuolo earlier on Sunday.
Juve have not lost a home league match against Napoli since 2009 and the hosts will likely look to top scorer Carlos Tevez to add to his tally of six league goals as they aim to extend that streak.
Midfielder Arturo Vidal has also been in fine form, scoring five times in Serie A, while the recent performances of striker Fernando Llorente - a scorer in the 2-2 Champions League draw with Real Madrid in midweek - should also come as a boost to Conte.
The Juve boss may be able to recall Montenegro international Mirko Vucinic to the squad for the first time since October 2 after a thigh injury, but Simone Pepe and Stephan Lichtsteiner are unavailable with the same complaint, while Giorgio Chiellini is a doubt.
Napoli are set to welcome back defender Christian Maggio following suspension, but Miguel Britos (collarbone), Camilo Zuniga and Giandomenico Mesto (both knee) miss out.
Gonzalo Higuain will look to continue his fine start to life at Napoli after scoring five league goals since his July move from Real Madrid, while attacking midfielders Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik - who have each scored six times in Serie A this season - will also pose a threat to a more fragile-looking Bianconeri back line.
Juventus and Napoli have combined for 47 league goals so far this season, and visiting head coach Rafael Benitez is anticipating an exciting encounter.
"I think it's going to be a fantastic game between two teams that are doing very well," Benitez said.
"Juventus are the defending champions and I believe they will have a slight advantage as they have one more day to prepare for the game than we do."
The hosts secured the free signing of Anthony Reveillere on Friday but the veteran defender is unlikely to feature.
Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-1 Napoli
- 18.16 %
Juventus 2-0 Napoli
- 16.69 %
Juventus 1-2 Napoli
- 10.01 %
|Italy - Serie A (SR-A)||10 Nov 2013||Juventus 3 - Napoli 0|
|Italy - Serie A (SR-A)||01 Mar 2013||Napoli 1 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Serie A (SR-A)||20 Oct 2012||Juventus 2 - Napoli 0|
|Italy - TIM Supercup (TIMS)||11 Aug 2012||Juventus 4 - Napoli 2|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||20 May 2012||Juventus 0 - Napoli 2|
|02 Mar 2014||AC Milan 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|27 Feb 2014||Trabzonspor 0 - Juventus 2||EL|
|23 Feb 2014||Juventus 1 - Torino 0||SR-A|
|20 Feb 2014||Juventus 2 - Trabzonspor 0||EL|
|16 Feb 2014||Juventus 3 - Chievo 1||SR-A|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|5||Miguel Angel Britos||Defender|