Napoli will be looking to close the gap on second place team Roma to within two points, but they face a difficult test as they welcome the Serie A leaders Juventus to the Stadio San Paolo later today. Napoli are currently on a two-game winning streak since getting knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid though a match against Juventus will be a different test altogether.
Juventus are currently unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions and have a better head to head record against Napoli at the moment winning four of their last five matches. But Napoli have been a formidable force against Juventus at home as they have lost only one of their last nine home league games against them winning six and drawing two.
This match also marks the first time Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain makes a return to his former club since leaving them in the summer. The Argentina international was called a "traitor" and "mercenary" by Napoli fans after their star player left them for the Champions.
While the Napoli fans called him a traitor and a mercenary, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri insists Higuain made a professional decision to leave Napoli. The Italian said this win is a must win and really crucial as it will be well-placed for them to go on and win the Serie A title.
"Higuain made a professional decision and that must be respected. He's calm and has worked well during the week. We haven't had a chance to talk about his longer-term future with the club, but we will have plenty of time to do so, without any pressure," ESPN quoted Allegri as saying.
"Tomorrow we will need to win three more points to put towards our Scudetto bid, and then on Wednesday we have a big knockout game to get through. If we get through this match then we will be well-placed to push on and win Serie A. We will need to play a really good game, knowing that we will have to keep it up across 95 minutes if we are to get past a great team like Napoli."
Medhi Benatia and winger Marko Pjaca are definitely out of this match but Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic who were a doubt until yesterday have both made the provisional squad and could start.
Despite being ten points behind the Serie A champions at the moment, the Napoli players will really fancy their chances of coming out with all three points from this match considering they have a good home record against Juventus.
Napoli will have to do without Lorenzo Tonelli because of a knee problem and also Emanuele Giaccherini who has picked up a muscular injury late in the week. Pepe Reina is also an injury doubt for Napoli ahead of this match. Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri said his team will make no special plans for Juventus striker Higuain. He said the mental aspect and motivation will be more important that the team tactics for tomorrow's match.
"I love Higuain. But tomorrow, he will be an opponent, so we don't take care of him. I am interested in only Napoli against Juve. I never said that we'd make Higuain have a horrible day at the San Paolo, we just want to make life very difficult for Juventus," Sarri said.
"We need application and continuity. Teams like Juventus, they can punish you at the first mistake. Juventus are the strongest Italian team in all respects. Tomorrow the mental aspect and motivation will be more important than tactical. The team feels that for the city Napoli against Juve is not a normal game. I hope I will be able to prove it on the field."
Where to watch
The Serie A match between Napoli and Juventus is set to start at 7:45pm local time, 12:15am IST and 2:45pm EST.
TV and Live streaming information
India: TV: Sony ESPN. Live streaming: Sony Liv.
Italy: TV: Sky Sports 1 HD. Live streaming: Sky Go Italia.
UK: TV: BT Sports 1. Live streaming: BT Sports live streaming.
USA: TV: RAI International. Live streaming: beIN Sports Connect.