- Juventus hosts Napoli on January 6th in a game with big Champions League qualification implications
- Just five points separate the third-place Naples club from the fifth-placed Bianconeri
- Read on for betting odds, a full preview and best bets for this Serie A clash
Italy’s Serie A returns from its winter break to launch the second half of the season with a traditional barn-burner in Turin. Juventus, winners of nine of the past 10 scudettos, host Napoli, which has been a top-four team for much of the past decade, on Thursday, January 6th at 2:45 pm ET.
Both teams will want to kick off the second halves of their seasons with a flourish. After a poor start to the season – by their high standards – Juventus are unbeaten in their last six games, and at fifth place are poised to get back into the Champions League spots. Meanwhile, having been neck-and-neck with Inter at the summit for much of the campaign, Napoli have fallen off of late, taking just four points from the last 15 available to them.
Juventus vs Napoli Odds
|Juventus vs Napoli||JUV -0.5 (-120) | NAP +0.5 (+100)||JUV -118 | NAP +340 | DRAW +255||Ov 2.5 (+100) | Un 2.5 (-125)|
Odds as of January 5th at Barstool Sportsbook
Juve On the Up
If Max Allegri’s team is to overtake some of the teams above it to qualify for next season’s Champions League, beating a few of those sides would go a long way in its quest.
SIGN UP BONUS
Get a Risk-Free Bet Up to $1,000
With Napoli first up, Allegri will be chomping at the bit to get a leg up on Juve’s rivals to the south, and despite the winter break, the team is in a good run of form to do just that.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) December 31, 2021
However, despite winning four of its last five league games, and drawing the other, none of the opponents during that stretch should have given Juventus much trouble, with only 10th-placed Bologna in the top half of the table.
Allegri Ringing the Changes
The head coach will be heavily hamstrung for Thursday’s match too, with Giorgio Chiellini, Carlo Pinsoglio and Arthur Melo all out with COVID-19, while Allegri confirmed that Leonardo Bonucci will also miss out with injury. In addition, Danilo is likely to sit out with injury, while Aaron Ramsay is set to leave the club in the January transfer window.
Max Allegri confirms Leonardo Bonucci will miss Napoli, Roma and possibly also the Supercoppa Italiana against Inter, but Juventus will start either Federico Chiesa or Paulo Dybala against Napoli.
➪ Football Italia pic.twitter.com/vr4znUeqqF
— Sports Aproko (@AprokoSports) January 5, 2022
However, playmaker Paulo Dybala, who scored two goals in that five-game unbeaten run, and forward Alvaro Morata, who scored three, will both be available to play, with Juventus apparently rejecting Barcelona’s advances for the Spanish striker.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed Álvaro Morata will not leave in January, despite rumors he was set to join Barcelona 🙅♂️ pic.twitter.com/k8vj1Q6vZB
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 5, 2022
The pair are Juve’s leading scorers in the league this season, with five each. And those underwhelming totals are very much a reflection of an underperforming attack that has scored just 27 league goals in 19 games, tied for 11th most in the division.
SIGN UP BONUS
Get a Risk-Free Bet Up to $1,000
Napoli With Recent Edge
While Juventus has dominated the rivalry throughout history, racking up 83 victories to Napoli’s 41 in 177 official contests, the Partenopei have been on top of late, particularly in Serie A. Napoli has won three of the past four league meetings, and even edged Juve on penalties in the 2020 Italian Cup, though Juventus avenged that in the Supercoppa Italiana a few months later.
But it’s worth noting that Napoli have not fared particularly well at Turin’s Allianz Stadium, losing nine of their 10 visits there since in opened in 2011.
Juventus vs Napoli 2021-22 Stats
|10-5-4||2021-22 Serie A Record||12-4-3|
|16.6||Expected Goals Against||13.7|
|WWDWW||Form This Season (All Competitions)||LWLWL|
Can Spalletti Stop the Rot?
Having seen his team occupy top spot in Serie A earlier this season, head coach Luciano Spalletti must now concern himself with preventing his team from falling out of contention for the Champions League.
The team’s early success was heavily reliant on what is statistically the best defense in the league. Conceding just seven goals through its first 14 games, Napoli have now conceded seven in their past five, although the 14 goals the club has conceded are still a league-best mark.
Piotr Zielinski, Stanislav Lobotka and Amir Rrahmani will not be available against Juventus as they have been in close contact with positive cases and have not had a booster vaccine, while their 2nd vaccination took place more than 120 days ago. (@claudioruss/@Napoli_Report)
— SSC Nap⚽️li News (@SSCNapoliNews_) January 5, 2022
However, Spalletti will have to manage without a host of regulars, with a half-dozen normal starters out with COVID-19. On top of that, regulars Andre-Frank Anguissa, Kalidou Koulibaly and winger Adam Ounas will all miss Thursday’s game after being called up for their countries for the African Cup of Nations.
Best bet: Draw (+255)