If playing to one’s strengths would appear the best way of tackling a trip to Juventus Stadium, there would seem to be no better time to do just that for a Napoli side currently leading the way in the league and entering a fixture against the Bianconeri with the upper hand for the first time ever in the second half of a Serie A season.
Add the facts that Maurizio Sarri’s outfit boast the division’s most potent attack and second strongest defence this term and it’s clear why their manager has urged his players to stay true to the brand of free-flowing football that has seen them accumulate their highest ever points tally (56) at this stage of a top-flight campaign since awarding three for a victory.
“We go to Turin with the aim of imposing our style of play, showing plenty of passion and doing the people of Naples proud,” Sarri began.
“I’d say that we’re a less physical side than they are, so we need to focus on getting our passing game together in order for their physical superiority to have less of an impact.
“History confirms that Juventus have dominated the Italian game over the years and so they clearly have greater experience of approaching these kinds of matches, but we also have four to five world-class players capable of changing a contest. I want to see a Napoli side that has accumulated the right level of expertise to be able to take the game to them.”
With tomorrow’s clash against Massimiliano Allegri’s men being built up by the media as a potential Scudetto decider, Sarri played down the notion that it would determine once and for all the destination of title honours, stressing his side had adopted the right mental attitude for this weekend’s challenge and the run-in ahead.
“While it’s certainly a very important match, there still remain three months until the end of the season. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves, nor are we feeling too much pressure at this stage.
“This week we’ve trained just as hard as any other, the team is showing its usual level of intensity. It’s clear that these are the sort of games that get you particularly pumped up and we need to convert this excitement into positive energy on the pitch.”