28.10.2016 19:30 - in: Serie A S

      #JuveNapoli: key names and numbers

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      Juventus.com brings you the lowdown ahead of this weekend’s match-up against title rivals Napoli
      When Juve host the Partenopei

      The Bianconeri boast the best Serie A record against Napoli of any team in Italy’s top tier (64 wins, 30 draws and 46 losses) and the statistics begin to look even more favourable for Juventus when considering the 70 matches played between the sides in Turin: W 43, D 20, L 7.

      Furthermore, the Partenopei have lost on all five of their trips to Juventus Stadium, scoring just once and conceding 12 goals in the process.

      Juve often find their shooting boots when hosting Napoli. They haven’t failed to find the net in this fixture since 1982, netting 51 times in 26 games at an average of 1.9 per match.

      Last season proved to be an exception to the rule, with Simone Zaza scoring the only goal of the game, but his 88th-minute match-winner was arguably the most important of the season, allowing the Bianconeri to leapfrog the Partenopei into top spot for the first time of 2015/16 where they would remain to sew up a history-making fifth successive Scudetto title.

      Such was the impact of Zaza’s goal, its dramatic timing at the end of the match, not to mention the power with which it was struck in order to beat a fine keeper in Pepe Reina, supporters voted it their Goal of the Season.

      The season so far

      What makes Saturday’s match arguably the biggest so far in Serie A this season is that it sees first place take on third with just four points separating league leaders Juventus (24) and their title rivals Napoli (20) after the first ten games of 2016/17.

      While the Bianconeri enter the fixture on the back of an emphatic 4-1 win over Sampdoria in midweek, the Partenopei are looking for what would be a third straight win after beating Crotone and Empoli.

      Before those two victories against Serie A’s bottom two sides, Maurizio Sarri’s men had been treading water in the league, picking up four points in as many games – a run of results that saw them lose top spot to Juventus on Matchday 5.

      Juve’s supremacy at the Stadium is well reported, having won 83 of their 100 league games at the ground.

      Napoli, meanwhile, are seeking greater consistency on their travels, having failed to secure successive away victories in Serie A since February.

      Main men to monitor

      Perhaps predictably, all eyes will be on Gonzalo Higuain before, during and possibly after Saturday night’s encounter. The Argentine forward, who scored 71 goals in 104 Serie A matches for Napoli, leads Juve’s scoring charts this term with six league strikes and seven in all competitions.

      A goal scorer in midweek in the win over Sampdoria, Miralem Pjanic also has history of making his mark against this weekend’s opponents. The Bosnian midfielder found the net three times for former club Roma in meetings with Napoli, including a brace in October 2013.

      Marek Hamsik, meanwhile, is the player with the best personal record against Juventus of Napoli’s current side, scoring five goals in 18 Serie A matches, albeit none in the most recent nine contests.

      Hamsik (475) and midfield partner Jorginho (340) are two of Serie A’s three highest passers in the opposition half this term, Inter’s Ever Banega sitting in second place (387).

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