Juventus v Napoli – Allianz Stadium at 19:45 Live at BT Sport
Juventus tightened their grip on a seventh successive Serie A crown last weekend as the Bianconeri displayed no hint of a Champions League hangover as they beat Sampdoria 3-0 at their Turin base.
Head coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted the sound of his team being applauded before kick-off by supporters “twisted my nuts all over again about how we went out.” But he’ll have been impressed by his team’s performance, particularly an inspired Douglas Costa who provided all three assists.
The Old Lady are now six points clear at the top of the standings, following Napoli’s disappointing 0-0 draw away to Milan. The Partenopei have surrendered control of their destiny as they’ve now drawn each of their last three away days.
Despite a lack of goals, it was an entertaining encounter at San Siro. Played at a frightening tempo, there were opportunities at both ends but Milan’s 19-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma earned rave reviews post-match for his sensational save to deny Arkadiusz Milik a last-gasp winner that would have kept Napoli’s title dreams alive and kicking.
In truth, Neapolitans knew the race was going to be difficult to win after sliding four points off top spot going into the weekend. However, they remain hopeful of a Lazarus-type comeback, starting on Sunday night when they visit their title rivals Juventus at the Allianz Stadium.
Napoli’s performance levels dropping
Maurizio Sarri appreciates his small squad has come up short in recent weeks. Performance levels have noticeably dropped yet their capacity for grinding out late results has endured. Five of Napoli’s last nine goals have been scored inside the final 10 minutes even if their shot ratio returns had dropped significantly.
Not that Napoli is awash with goals at the minute, mind. The visitors have only once scored more than a solitary goal in their past five outings and on that occasion, both arrived with minutes left to play. But defensively, the Partenopei continue to limit chances to opposition outfits.
Considering Juventus is far from swashbuckling as standard, as well as mighty tough to break down on domestic duty, it wouldn’t be a great surprise to see Sunday night’s epic showdown fail to fire. So much so that, Under 2.5 Goals should prove our best angle of attack at odds of 1.73.
Juventus have shipped one goal in their last nine home Serie A fixtures and over the course of the campaign, the Old Lady have leaked just 18 ahead of the midweek action – Napoli aren’t far off that record with only 21 goals conceded.
But what makes this selection even more interesting is their return against the top teams. December’s contest ended in a 1-0 Juve victory and in four games when welcoming top-seven teams to Turin, the Bianconeri have failed to score more than once.
It’s a similar tale for Napoli. The Partenopei have seen four of their five trips to top-eight sides feature fewer than two goals, with the exception of gung-ho Lazio. Sarri’s side has leaked a single strike across these games and with so much at stake here, a similar outcome could be on the cards.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5 Goals at 1.757