Juventus Vs. Napoli, 2012 Serie A Week 30: A Lesson In Table Climbing

NAPLES, ITALY - NOVEMBER 29: Marek Hamsik of Napoli celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Juventus FC at Stadio San Paolo on November 29, 2011 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Juventus want to close the gap on league leaders Milan, while Napoli hope to draw even with Lazio in third. Will anyone emerge victorious from Turin?

With their respective competitors failing to impress this weekend, both Juventus and Napoli go into Sunday night's match in Turin with a desperate need for all three points. Serie A leaders AC Milan left Sicily with just a point from their encounter with Catania, while Lazio fell 3-1 to Parma and Udinese lost 1-0 in Siena. Three points for the hosts bring them to within two of Milan. Three for the visitors put them level with Lazio before the two clubs meet next weekend.

With all that being said, who wants to wager that this match will end in a 0-0 draw?

The reverse fixture, back in November, was a thriller, with Napoli going ahead 2-0 before the Juve fightback resulted in a 3-3 draw. That was prior to the arrival of Cautious Conte, however, and the Old Lady's need to stay unbeaten at all costs. They may have smashed Fiorentina 5-0, and secured a respectable 2-0 win over Inter Milan, but one gets the feeling Juve won't bring quite so much bluster to this match.

They will, however, have all their regulars available, with Emanuele Giaccherini returning from injury and Stephan Lichtsteiner from suspension. Fortunately for Walter Mazzarri, he has a full cast as well, and no midweek matches to concern him. There will likely be few surprises in how the teams line up: Juventus in their 3-5-2 formation that worked so well against Inter, Napoli in their consistent 3-4-2-1.

The only surprise remaining, then, will be the result. Will Napoli get caught out on set pieces again, flailing about and failing to stop the ball from landing in the back of the net? Or will it be Juve that fail to keep out the Holy Trinity, unable to stop the synchronicity of their play? Let's hope, at least, for a few goals in this one.

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