Massimiliano Allegri believes that Napoli is Scudetto's favorite despite Juventus leading Serie A, what do Opta numbers tell us?
News April 28, 2018, 12:30 IST
] League Titles have already been decided in England, Germany and France, while Barcelona are expected to win the LaLiga title this weekend, leaving the Serie A race as the most exciting of the European elite.
Juventus are pursuing a seventh consecutive Scudetto being chased by Napoli, with the team of Maurizio Sarri trying to win the league for the first time since the 1989-1990 season, when goals by Diego Maradona led them to glory.
The battle between the two clubs has been in balance for much of the season, with Napoli's 1-0 triumph in Turin last weekend ensuring that they are just one point away from Juventus with four rounds of Serie A games.
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri believes that Napoli is Scudetto's favorite because of his accessories, but is he right? Here, we take a look at the matches that each contender has left.
Matchweek 35 – Inter v Juventus, Fiorentina v Napoli
Both teams face trials this weekend, with Juventus away from Inter on Saturday before Napoli travels to Fiorentina one day later. Inter has won just one of their last 10 Serie A games against Juventus, but Allegri's team has lost its last two away games against the Nerazzurri in all competitions. Inter is a point outside the Champions League places, so they have a lot to play. Napoli, meanwhile, have only lost one of their last 15 league appearances with Fiorentina, which starts the weekend in ninth place. The first leg at the start of the season was a 0-0 draw, a result that could be damaging to Sarri.
| Here is @OfficialAllegri squad of #InterJuve ! #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/GtEuM66T94
– JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) April 27, 2018
Matchweek 36 – Juventus v Bologna, Napoli v Torino
Juventus will play first next weekend and have only lost once in their last 30 games against Bologna in all competitions, so Allegri's men will trust to take all three points. Bologna is very far from the relegation zone with little to play. Next Sunday, Napoli will host Torino in the middle of the table, against whom they have won nine of the last 10 games. Napoli has won each of the last four league games at home against Torino and has scored 2.8 goals per game on average in that race. Both title contenders should win their games in this round.
We made it!
#JuveNapoli 0-1 pic.twitter.com/AJZqfHQboC
– Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) April 22, 2018
Final Cup Italy – Juventus v AC Milan
While Napoli have a clear week before the last two rounds, Juventus plays the Coppa Italia final against AC Milan on May 9. Another national duo is in sight of Allegri, but he will have to decide which matches to prioritize if he wants to keep his key players fresh throughout the game. Juventus have won the Coppa Italia title in each of the last three seasons, with the Rossoneri in rematch after their defeat in the 2016 final.
Matchweek 37 – Roma v Juventus, Sampdoria v Napoli
Perhaps the most difficult game that Juventus has yet to play is away from Rome on the penultimate weekend. Eusebio Di Francesco's men could be out of the Champions League by then, except for another miraculous comeback against Liverpool, but they have work to do if they want to qualify for the tournament next season. Juventus have won more Serie A (80) games against Roma than anyone, but in their last two visits to the capital they have been defeated. Napoli plays Sampdoria and they have not lost this game since May 2010, winning 10 and drawing three games since then. On paper, this has the potential to be the weekend when the race for the title becomes Napoli's favor.
FT | #JuveRoma
Benatia's attack in the first half wins for the hosts, as Florenzi hits the crossbar and Schick sees a late chance saved by Szczesny. pic.twitter.com/AAbTuNoBu6
– AS Roma Español (@ASRomaEN) December 23, 2017
Matchweek 38 – Juventus v Verona, Napoli v Crotone
The last weekend sees Juventus and Napoli as hosts of the teams threatened by the descent, although the last three had already been decided by then. Juventus plays in Verona, with the Bianconeri losing only one of the last 11 meetings of the league between the teams. Verona is six points from safety with four games to play, so it could be relegated to the descent by the time they head to Turin. Crotone is just above the relegation zone now, but they have lost each of their last three Serie A meetings against Napoli. If Sarri's men lead the table towards the last round, surely they will not be lost. But the results can be unpredictable at this stage of the season and there are likely to be twists and turns before Allegri or Sarri can celebrate.
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