The Italian football league, Serie A, it's becoming one of the more interesting in Europe this year. In Sunday's match, the second and third of the classification play for getting close to the so-far unbeaten leader, Roma. Juventus and Napoli are tied in points, and that makes this match even more interesting.
The champion of the last two years, Juventus, seems to have lost the shape of the past. They are only three points behind the leader but the feelings are not the same of the past years. The Alberto Conte team has lost strength.
Against Real Madrid, in their last Champions League match, Conte used a traditional defense with four players. But in the league Juventus is used to play with a three defenders formation, so it's very likely that they return to that formation. The usual defenders are Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini and they are helping big time Gianluigi Buffon to be one of the best defenses of the championship as they have only accepted 10 goals in eleven matches, four of them in their only loss of the league.
The Juventus key player is Andrea Pirlo. The Italian midfielder is not the player that he was when his team became champion and that is the main reason why Conte team is not as good as last years. But if he has a good game like the old times, is very likely that they get away with the win. Along Pirlo, there are two more places for several players. It seems that Arturo Vidal is going to be one of them after a good season start. The other place will be for either Paul Pogba or Claudio Marchisio. The sidelines are for Mauricio Isla, the right one, and Kwadwo Asamoah, the left one.
The big purchase of the summer, and a player that has been very praised by his coach, is Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian is an immovable player in the offense not only because of his great skills but also for his leadership. Along to him is likely to be another new player, and who has recently started to recover his good level, Spanish striker and world champion with his country Fernando Llorente.
Napoli started a new project this season with the arrival of Champions League champion, coach Rafa Benitez. Besides this, their past years star, Edinson Cavani, left to PSG.
If the Juventus defense is a good one, the Napoli's is even better. With just eight goals against this season, they have the team in second place ahead their rival because of the goal difference. The central defenders are Federico Fernandez and Raul Albiol. With Giadomenico Mesto out because a knee injury, the laterals are going to be Pablo Armero and Christian Maggio.
Spanish coach have found the balance in midfield with Gökham Inler and Valon Behrami playing as center midfielder while having Jose Callejon, one of the surprises of the season, Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens doing the more offensive tasks.
The striker is going to be the star of the team, Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentinean scored twice in the last Champions League match against Marseille and is playing at a very high level.
Everything is served for the match of the week. A match that will decide which team stands alone in the second place and, if Roma losses, which team catch up the capital team atop the classification.
JUVENTUS: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Isla, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba/Marchisio, Asamoah; Tevez and Llorente.
NAPOLI: Benitez; Maggio, Fernandez, Albiol, Armero; Inler, Behrami, Callejon, Hamsik, Mertens; and Higuain.
STADIUM: Juventus Stadium.