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It’s Napoli Versus Juventus! – Italian Football News 13 Jan 23

Calcio Daily - The Daily Italian Football Podcast!
Calcio Daily - The Daily Italian Football Podcast!
It's Napoli Versus Juventus! – Italian Football News 13 Jan 23
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Ciao, ragazzi! This is Andrew with your Calcio Daily for Friday January 13th!

It’s ON!

Oh yes, tonight sees one of the most hotly-anticipated games of the season.

I know I say that almost every week and indeed, with so many of world football’s great names fighting each other in Serie A and so many rivalries forged in the history of Italian football, many games seem to have extra significance.

Tonight, at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples, league leaders Napoli face second-place Juventus.

It’s a game that some see as good versus evil.

For several years, since the days of Sarrismo, Napoli have been one of the darlings of European football. At one point described by Pep Guardiola as the best team in Europe, they have received many compliments but only one piece of silverware in recent years – the 2020 Coppa Italia where they beat Juve on penalties.

Juve, meanwhile, are serial winners. 9 Scudettos in a row, that run broken by Inter’s win in 2021 but although they are by far Italy’s biggest and best-supported clubs, mention their name to fans of other clubs and you will hear the word “ladri” – Thieves.

People will talk of Juve’s impossible record of somehow managing to get out of trouble, on the field and off it, always getting a penalty when they needed one, or an offside flag against an opponent but this is now harder under VAR, perhaps that partly explains their barren last two seasons.

Napoli are in the driving seat right now and both managers have been lavishing praise on the other and their teams. Allegri saying that Napoli are the best team in Italy and that victory is more important for them than it is for his side, Spalletti firing back saying that it’s impossible for Allegri to hide from being favourites.

The title will not be decided tonight, but I feel that a win for Juventus will give them a huge boost of confidence and belief. It would put them only 4 points behind and give them a ninth win in a row.

Given Napoli’s ability to stumble and suffer a poor month of results, defeat could be fatal.

Elsewhere, Milan boss Stefano Pioli made his players stay at their training ground after their Coppa Italia defeat to Torino on Wednesday night, although he did allow them home after a morning training session yesterday.

Pioli seems to be getting increasingly irritated by his team’s lack of consistency.

Here are this weekend’s Serie A matches:

That’s your Calcio Daily for today! You can show us some love for free by subscribing to the YouTube channel, or if you value what we do, you can send us a boost from the fountain podcast app.

Until tomorrow, this is Andrew saying “Arrivederci ragazzi, a domani!”

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