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Napoli vs. Juventus: 3 Key Battles to Watch in Serie A Clash

Matteo BonettiContributor IFebruary 27, 2013

Napoli vs. Juventus: 3 Key Battles to Watch in Serie A Clash

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    It's perhaps the last chance for Napoli to make a push for the Scudetto as Juventus has a six point lead in the Serie A table.

    The storyline has been constant all season: teams failing to make a push for the first spot after a rare Bianconeri slip up. 

    On Friday, Juventus can essentially capture the title if they manage a win at the Stadio San Paolo, a place where Napoli has only lost one match all season.

    Let's move on to the top three battles to watch before this pivotal Serie A fixture!

Edinson Cavani vs. Juventus' Full Strength Defense

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    Juventus finally has their three starting central defenders, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli to quell Serie A's leading goalscorer Edinson Cavani, who has 18 goals domestically.

    If you watched Juventus on their near historic 49-match undefeated streak, you'll know that a majority of their success came from the back line. Andrea Barzagli has been the best central defender in Italy after being purchased from German side Wolfsburg, Leonardo Bonucci is one of the finest ball-playing defenders in Europe and Giorgio Chiellini provides a rugged toughness. 

Napoli Trying to Stop Paul Pogba

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    The key for Napoli's Gokhan Inler will be closing down the young starlet Paul Pogba any time he's within 35 meters of goal. The 19-year-old French midfielder has an absolute cannon from outside the box which he has utilized on numerous occasions to give his team all three points in tight battles. 

    Pogba has five goals on the season, most of them spectacular efforts which have caught the eye of highlight reels worldwide. He's expected to play, and you better bet Napoli will be paying plenty of attention to his forward movement.

A Tactical Battle Between Coaches Antonio Conte and Walter Mazzarri

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    Arguably the two most passionate, hot-headed coaches in Serie A face off in a battle that'll send their blood pressure to unfathomable heights. Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri gets sent off about as many times as Maradona has gone through the Taco Bell drive through.

    Interestingly enough, it was Juventus that copied Napoli's 3-5-2 formation two years ago after playing the Partenopei in a tight match. This very formation is what catapulted Juve to the 49-match undefeated streak. Now, two coaches with identical formations square off in what'll be one of the greatest Italian matches of the season.

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