Napoli v Juventus: Where will the title go?

For the first time in a long time, the Serie A title race is a close run thing with Napoli and Juventus scrapping for it and it seems the title race will go right to the wire.

It is nice to see one of Europe’s top five leagues have entertainment at the top and with two great teams involved in it.

The now leaders Juventus are the current holders of the scudetto for the past five seasons and have very much been unopposed when going for the title in that time.

Coached by the very talented Max [Massimiliano] Allegri who has been in charge since 2014, has carried on the good work domestically that Antonio Conte laid on back from 2011 to 2014.

Arguably Juventus have a slightly better squad than Napoli with top talents like Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala and former Napoli man Gonzalo Higuain. But that is not to say Napoli don’t have exceptional talents.

Juventus philosophy under Allegri is that they are very disciplined and hard to beat, but also like to attack and have a real eye for goal.

Defensively they are brilliant despite losing Leonardo Bonucci in the summer to AC Milan. Giorgio Chiellini, Medhi Benatia and Daniele Rugani are the usual back three. With Bonucci’s departure, the ‘Bianconeri’ didn’t need to worry with academy graduate Daniele Rugani stepping up and producing good performances.

They have a good quality all round team and on their day are a match for anyone in Europe.

Meanwhile, Napoli have been the darlings of Serie A this season and have played exceptional football under a talented but quiet coach in Maurizio Sarri.

The changes have not so much been in the playing squad and player recruitment but the style and philosophy has been changed under him dramatically.

The biggest moment of his tenure came when in the summer of 2016, Gonzalo Higuain left Naples to join rivals Juventus which was a knife to the heart of the Napoli team and it’s loyal fans.

Sarri’s management and tactics saw him decide that Belgian attacking midfielder Dries Mertens would be the centre striker playing in a false nine and that decision has benefitted both the player and manager.

Sarri was hired from Empoli in 2015 and was a surprise replacement to many as he succeeded Rafael Benitez.

The main reason for his arrival was the intent to play attacking football and Sarri has delivered on that promise brilliantly.

Sarri has an emphasis on attacking and entertaining football. He has built the team around the talented trio of Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens who have been frightening this season for Napoli.

The last two seasons under his leadership have seen Napoli finish second and fall short; but does this year look like they are going one better.

Napoil and Juventus will face each other in what will be potentially the title decider at the Allianz Stadium, Turin on April the 22nd. So the drama between those teams will see them lock horns so close to the end of the season in a pivotal game.

Who do you think will come out on top? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image credit