“Sarri: The Derby That Is Worth Everything,” read the headline on the front page of Thursday morning’s Corriere dello Sportin Italy.
Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus face Napoli this weekend, a fixture which is not a geographical derby, however has become something of a crunch fixture as the Neapolitans have pushed Juve for the title in recent seasons. As if this wasn’t enough, there will also be a real derby as Lazio play the nominal home side in the Derby della Capitaleversus cross-city rivals AS Roma.
Serie A Match of the Weekend: Juventus vs Napoli
Following a thrilling 4-3 win over Fiorentina, Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli face another stern test as they travel to champions Juventus for the aforementioned mouthwatering Saturday evening clash. Reports suggest that Bianconeri Coach Maurizio Sarri is hoping to be back on the bench to face his former side after missing his side’s 1-0 win over Parma due to pneumonia.
This fixture between two title contenders should yield plenty of goals, as the opening fixture saw both Juve and Napoli continually looking to go forward, and the home team will be looking to expose some clear weaknesses in the Partenopei backline.
Rest of the weekend:
Lazio will be hoping to put fierce rivals Roma to the sword after Simone Inzaghi’s men recorded a superb 3-0 victory over Sampdoria in matchday one, whereas the Giallorossi stuttered to a disappointing 3-3 draw with Genoa. Former Manchester United man Romelu Lukaku will be hoping to add to his tally versus Cagliari after his debut goal for Inter on Monday, and it will be attack versus defence as Atalanta surge forward hoping to break the solid Torino backline.
Serie A Player to Watch – Erick Pulgar vs Genoa (£1.06)
Following a move from Bologna earlier this summer, Erick Pulgar has slotted into the Fiorentina midfield with ease. The Chilean started versus Napoli last Saturday and put in a superb performance at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The 25-year-old converted a penalty on his debut, in addition to performing his defensive duties with statistics from WhoScored.com showing three tackles, two interceptions and three blocks during the 90 minutes.
Pulgar also completed 82.5% of his 57 passes, creating no less than six goal scoring opportunities for teammates and contributing with an assist. This is already looking to be an excellent capture for the Viola, and is a player worth adding to your portfolio as he contributes all over the pitch. It’s worth noting that he finished last season with six goals and two assists for Bologna and – as a key cog in Vincenzo Montella’s attack-minded Fiorentina – he already seems set to surpass that tally this term.