Reasons Why This Season Has Been a Success for Atalanta

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To say this has been a good season for Atalanta is an understatement. It’s been a great season! From currently being in a top-four spot in Serie A to qualifying for the Champions League Quarterfinals, it’s been spectacular. So, here the reasons why this season has been a success for Atalanta!

1. Gasperini’s Squad Management

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There are so many articles where I clearly admire Gasperini. See this article and others for reference! One particular aspect from him that I’ve really enjoyed this season, particularly, is how he’s been able to manage the squad. Many people like me, thought that Atalanta didn’t have the depth to compete in three competitions. However, Gasperini has rotated the squad so well that it’s hard to notice their depth issues. He’s been rotating his players particularly well at the attacking positions. But, in saying that, it helps when you have the likes of Papu Gomez, Duvan Zapata, Luis Muriel, Josip Ilicic and a few others to lead your attack. If this season does in fact continue, the only question will be whether they can sustain this level of attacking prowess. But, either way, it’s been another successful season for them.

2. Atalanta’s Market Value Increase

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According to Transfermarkt, Atalanta’s current Market value as of April 1st is $364.76 million USD. On April lst 2019, their market value was $213.35 million USD. That’s approximately a 71% increase in market value. That’s remarkable! Their market value was eighth highest in Serie A on April 1st of 2019. But, on April 1st of 2020, their market value moved up to being seventh-highest in Serie A. This also demonstrates that when clubs get results on the field, results off the field tend to follow. I’m sure Atalanta’s owner, Antonio Percassi, as well as other stakeholders within the club, are enjoying that increase. I mean, who wouldn’t? Let’s hope their market value keeps increasing!

3. Atalanta’s Attack

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I’m no soccer analytics person. However, this season has seen plenty of goals from this la dea side. Once again this season, they’ve scored the most goals in Serie A. They’ve got 70 goals in 25 matches, so far. Last season the squad scored 77 goals in 38 Serie A matches. That’s amazing! Papu Gomez, Josip Ilicic, Luis Muriel, and Duvan Zapata have combined for 45 goals. That’s very impressive and consider the likes of Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel were injured for several matches during this season. This squad has made goalscoring look like an art form. When opponents face this club, it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll concede a goal. If their attackers are on top of their game, it’s scary for any opponent to face.

The Most Exciting Serie A Clubs to Watch Over the Course of the Season

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This season has been exciting for a number of reasons. We don’t know what’ll happen with the rest of it, but, nonetheless, here are the clubs that I think have been the most exciting ones to watch over the course of this season.

Lazio

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What else is there to say to about this squad? Not only have they overachieved, but they’ve also been very exciting to watch. Week in and week out they’ve dominated the opponents they’ve faced. Whether Luis Alberto is making some amazing plays or Ciro Immobile is scoring some great goals, this squad is definitely exciting to watch. It doesn’t matter who they face, either. They play the same style no matter how good their opponent is. In other words, it’s constantly fun to have watched them on a weekly basis this season. I’m just hoping that they can keep a lot of their core group of players together in the future.

Parma

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From reading some of my blog posts, it’s obvious that I’m a fan of Parma’s squad and their manager, Roberto D’aversa. Read this article, to see how much I’m a fan of D’aversa’s Parma squad. Not only is he a great manager, but his squad is also super exciting to watch! They defend well and their counterattack is fast as well as fun to see. Their fast attacking players make you feel as though they’ll create something out of nothing. That’s why I think their attack is so exciting to watch. With Kulusevski in the midfield throughout the season as well as Gervinho in the attack, there’s no reason not to smile when watching this club.

Atalanta

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Watching this club under Gasperini has been mesmerizing. Despite, selling a lot of players over the past several seasons, they’ve maintained a high-level of attacking play that makes you want to watch every one of their matches. In February, they even outscored Valencia in the Champions League. Every time I watch them, I feel like they can pretty much outscore anybody. Yes, they tend to leave themselves vulnerable at the back. But, their attack makes up for it, results-wise, and for my own personal excitement. This squad never fails to amuse me.

Lecce

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If the season ends tomorrow, which it literally could in these circumstances, Lecce would be relegated. However, their relegation battle has not provided a shortage of excitement. On the turn of a dime, they can score on you. Unfortunately, they haven’t done that consistently enough. But, either way, they’ve provided tons of excitement. They may not have many players that stand out, but despite that, they play a fun brand of football. They kind of remind me of Benevento in the 2017/2018. Of course, Benevento got relegated to Serie B the next season. But, them and Lecce are fun to watch. It would suck to see this Lecce side not be in Serie B next season, as they’re very fun to watch.

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My Three Favourite Serie A Players of All-Time

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There have been many players that have caught my eyes in Italian Soccer over the years. Even now, there are still tons of players that I like watching on a weekly basis within the league. However, there are three players that stood out for me over all these years of watching Serie A. So, here are my three favourite Serie A players of all-time.

3. Francesco Totti

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The king of Rome was an outright legend and Roma fans worship him like a God. Indeed, he was everything that encapsulates a legend. He was a great captain that won multiple trophies with the Giallorossi. He’s also my third favourite Serie A player of all-time. Similar to other legends I’m going to mention in this article, I liked him for more than just his skill with the ball. He not only had the hunger and mental strength to deliver in clutch moments for the club, but he was also a true leader. By just watching him on TV, you could tell that everyone one of his teammates respected him. You could also tell that he was a leader on that pitch. I’d compare him to a general. That’s why he’s my third favourite Serie A player of all-time.

2. Paolo Maldini

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Paolo Maldini is arguably the greatest football defender of all-time. He narrowed defending down to a science. For the most part, he didn’t have to make tackles. He read the game so well that for the most part, he was able to strip opponents of the ball without being rough. When he was on AC Milan it must’ve been tough for opposing managers to figure out his vulnerabilities, as they were nearly impossible to find. In Maldini’s case, I admired him purely because of his intelligence for the game. Of course, you need certain skills to be as great of a defender as he was. But, the reason why I liked him so much and why I think he’s an all-time great is because it was almost as if he was four steps ahead of his opponents every play. He was able to anticipate opposing player’s movements as well as what they’d do in advance, faster than everyone else. That’s why I loved him as a player so much.

1. Alessandro Del Piero

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I’ve explicitly mentioned multiple times, that Del Piero is my favourite soccer player of all time. I even wrote on article about how I became a Juve fan and watching him was a big part of that. Here’s the article on how I became a Juve fan , just for reference. Anyways, I became a Juve fan because of Alessandro Del Piero. He always been one of the few inspirational athletes for me. Like with Totti, I really admired his mental strength. It didn’t matter how mighty the opponent was, he was never afraid of dribbling past multiple defenders to pass or to score. He’s scored many great goals against formidable opponents. Among my favourites are his clutch free-kick goal against Inter in 2006, his amazing goal at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2008 that made fans give him a standing ovation, as well his goal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup. Sometimes, I wish he’d come out of retirement for just one match, that’s how much I admired him as a player.

My Five Serie A Manager of the Year Nominees

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This Serie A season may or may not be continuing after this tough time. However, in any case, the majority of the season has happened already. So, I’ve decided to nominate five managers of the year candidates. Here they are!

5. Paulo Fonseca

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Coming into this season, I expected Roma to barely get a place within the Serie A top 4. However, as of now, they aren’t. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster type of season for the giallorossi. But, they currently sit in fifth. A big reason for that has been the work of Paulo Fonseca. Roma’s backline is still suspect. But, it has definitely improved under Fonseca. Last season they scored a total of 66 goals, which was fourth-best in Serie A. This season they’ve scored 50 goals in 26 matches. So, they’ve definitely improved in that aspect. Their midfield has also stood out, as offensively the speed of their track has improved. Also, without the ball, the midfield looks better this season. Fonseca has elevated Roma this season. We’ll see what he does in the future for them.

4. Roberto D’aversa

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Roberto D’aversa’s Parma side hasn’t been talked about much this season. However, they’re definitely proving to be a formidable force within the league. Last season, Parma was only three points from relegation and ended up in 14th. This season, they’re way past being in the relegation zone. They currently sit in ninth. They’ve proved to be a difficult opponent for any club that faces them. Roberto D’aversa has made them tough to break down at the back. Also, they’re dangerous for any backline to face, as their counter-attack has lots of speed to it. Their biggest flaw is they don’t have a top goalscorer. But, other than that, Roberto D’aversa has gotten the best out of this group.

3. Gian Piero Gasperini

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Based on last season’s spectacular season from Atalanta, many people, including myself didn’t think Atalanta would be able to maintain this level of play because of being in the Champions League this season. Fast-forward to this season and they’ve somehow been able to continue staying in the Serie A top four. They also made it past the Champions League round of 16. They do have issues at the back, but they’re able to outscore most clubs. This should be credited to Gasperini’s work. The likes of Duvan Zapata, Josip Ilicic, and others weren’t big names. But, under Gasperini, they’ve become household names in Italy and around Europe, they’re starting to get the recognition they deserve.

2. Ivan Juric

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The biggest Cinderella story in Serie A has to be Hellas Verona. I expected Hellas Verona to be relegated this season. But, they’ve surpassed my expectations by far. Who would’ve predicted that they’d possibly be challenging for a Europa League spot for next season? I certainly didn’t. Ivan Juric has elevated this squad beyond levels that I could’ve ever imagined this season. They may not qualify for the Europa League, at the end of the season. But, I’d consider it successful for Ivan Juric. Ivan Juric has earned the right to be a top nominee for the Serie A manager of the season, in my view.

1. Simone Inzaghi

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If you would’ve told Lazio fans that they’d be contending for the scudetto at the beginning of the season, I think they would’ve taken it. This season has been beyond anyone’s imagination for Lazio. Like I’ve reiterated in several other articles, over the past several seasons Lazio hasn’t had issues creating chances and scoring goals. However, this season their backline has immensely improved. A massive amount of credit should go to Simone Inzaghi for that. This Lazio project has been a work in progress. But, it seems like they’ve figured out the issues they’ve had and fixed them. Whatever happens, I’m sure this will be a season to remember for fans of the club. Simone Inzaghi has been a big part of making this dream season happen.

Previewing the Derby d’Italia

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It was officially announced yesterday, that the Derby d’Italia will be played behind closed doors on Sunday, March 8th at 3:45 pm Eastern Time. This means that there will be no fans attending the match. However, despite that, it’s still going to be such a crucial match. So, here’s my article previewing the Derby d’Italia!

Inter Milan

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The season is mostly finished and Inter has definitely looked better than the last several seasons. However, recently their form has dipped. In their last five Serie A matches, they’ve won two matches, they’ve lose two matches and drew a match. That form has led them to go down in the table. Currently, they sit third in Serie A. If Inter are to win this match, I’d advise Conte to not play the 3-5-2. Unfortunately, their wingbacks are vulnerable defensively, which will make this formation very tough to implement. Especially, against a side such as Juve. I’d also advise Conte to start Christian Eriksen in this match.

Juventus

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Juve fans like myself will find it tough to complement Juve’s season so far. They’ve looked a bit shaky. However, in Serie A, they’ve had a pretty good season through the majority of it. They’re one point clear at the top of the table. Their form hasn’t been superb in the league lately, as they’ve won three out of their last five matches. If I were to give advise to Maurizio Sarri, it’d be to implement the 4-3-1-2 for this match. Unfortunately, Juve doesn’t seem to have good enough wingers going forward to play the 4-3-3. In my opinion, I think the 4-3-1-2 works for them, as they’ve looked more fluid going forward.

Match Prediction

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Based on this match being played behind closed doors, the Derby d’Italia will definitely be different this time around. Juve won’t be about to feed off the energy of the crowd, as they do with most matches they play at the Allianz Stadium. Just because of that, I think it’ll be a 1-1 draw. Whatever the result, get ready for the popcorn. It should be awesome!

Four Reasons Why Lazio Has Surprised This Season

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If I’m being completely honest, I’ll admit that at the beginning of the season, I thought Lazio would finish outside of the top four. Fast-forward to March 1st and they are now scudetto contenders. For the past few seasons, they’ve finished in Europa League spots. It has completed changed this season. Here are the four reasons why they’ve surprised many this season.

1. Simone Inzaghi’s Tactical Flexibility.

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Ever since Simone Inzaghi took the reins behind the bench, I thought he’s been underrated. It’s been even more apparent this season. Whenever Lazio’s opponents seem to take leads on them, Inzaghi is very tactical flexible and can change their tactics on the fly. It’s absolutely remarkable! Simone Inzaghi has all got the best out of the players he has, which is always easier said than done. If Lazio keeps getting results, Simone Inzaghi should be the Serie A coach of the season, in my opinion.

2. Lazio’s Attack Has Been Spectacular

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Lazio’s attackers have been scoring like crazy this season. It’s been exciting to watch and it’s obvious opposing clubs would rather not face Lazio’s frontline. Also, consider, the likes of Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have contributed mightily to this already deadly attack. One thing is for sure, it’s highly-difficult to prevent Lazio from scoring on your club, as their attack is so deadly.

3. Lazio’s Midfield Has Been Deadly

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When another club faces Lazio, one thing that is very hard to do is contain their dynamic midfield. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic leads the Biancocelesti in the middle of the park. It’s amazing to watch on a weekly basis. The dynamism of their midfield is nearly flawless and the transition they create from midfield to attack is top-class. Luis Alberto has also been the best player to combine Lazio’s attack and midfield very well. Not a lot discuss this, but their midfield is very good at tracking back and assisting on the defensive end, which also makes them fun to watch.

4. Lazio’s Backline Has Been Solid

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Over previous seasons, a massive part of Lazio’s inconsistency has been their vulnerable backline. However, this season it’s been a completely different story. They’ve only conceded 23 goals in the league this season. That’s the Second lowest in Serie A. Francesco Acerbi has been the leader of a backline that’s been solid. Manuel Lazzari has looked the same. I’d argue that Lazzari and Acerbi have been the some of most underrated signings in the last Summer Transfer Window. They seem to have more structure at the back and they’re harder to break down. Combine all these reasons and you have a Lazio squad whose contending for the Scudetto and currently sit first in the Serie A table.

Previewing Lazio Against Inter

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There are a lot of matches over the course of the Serie A season that are crucial. However, this one probably tops all of them so far. Both Inter and Lazio are competing in a tight scudetto race and this could be a deciding match in it. So, here’s the article of me previewing Lazio against Inter.

Lazio

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Coming into this match, Lazio are among the scudetto contenders. I assume that pundits and fans can’t believe it. However, they have the potential to win the Scudetto, for sure. Everything has been working out for them this season. Immobile is Serie A’s leading scorer with 25 goals thus far. His partner in crime, Joaquin Correa is doing decent as well. Things have definitely fallen in to place for them. Heading into this match, they’re undefeated in their last 5 league matches. Indeed, if they play as they have for the better part of the season, Inter will have a very difficult match on their hands. Consider, Lazio is playing Inter at the Stadio Olimpico as well.

Inter

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For Inter, this season has definitely been a good one so far. Yes, many expected them to be scudetto contenders this season. But, I don’t know who thought they’d make the title race this tight. Antonio Conte has definitely got the best out of his squad. Their defence and midfield are great sights to watch. Even, upfront both Lautaro Martinez and Romelu lukaku are having tremendous seasons. That striker duo has combined for 28 goals so far this season, which is very surprising. Coming into this match, they’ve been undefeated in the last 5 matches. However, out of those 5 matches, they’ve only got 2 wins. However, one thing is for sure and that’s the fact that this match will probably be Inter’s biggest challenge so far this season.

Comparing Atalanta and Roma’s Market Values from February 15, 2018 to now.

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Coming into this weekend’s match, both Atalanta and Roma are battling for the last Champions League spot for next season. For each of these clubs, this could be the most important match. It should be a good one. So here’s an article each club’s respective market value from February 15th, 2018 to February 15th, 2020. The market value is in US Dollars, so keep that in mind when you read this article.

Atalanta’s Market Value

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As a result of last season, Atalanta is in the Champions League for the first time in their history. That remarkable feat is definitely reflected in their market value. According to transfermarkt.us, on February 15, 2018, Atalanta’s club market value was $167.59 million . At that time, Atalanta was Serie A’s 8th most valuable club. Now, if you fast-forward a year later, their market value increased to $188.93 Million. However, as a result of them being in the Champions League this season, and possibly other factors, their market value is currently $328.79 million. Which, is a massive jump in value. From February 15, 2018, to February 18, 2020, Atalanta’s market value increased by 96.2 %, which is remarkable. Looks like things are looking up on and off the pitch for this club.

Roma’s Market Value

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Since 2018, Roma has qualified for the Champions League Semifinals as well as being in the competition every season other than this one since then. So, here is their market value from 2018-2020. On February 15th of 2018, their value was $378.84 million. That was a couple of months before they made it pretty far in the Champions League, of course. Their market value was forth-highest in Serie A at the time. Exactly, a year later in 2019, their market value was $438.24 million. However, they went down a place and we’re the fifth most valuable club in Serie A. Then, today their market value is $484.33 million. As a result, from February of 2018 to February of 2020, their market value increased by 27.8%. It’s obvious that since 2018, they’ve been doing well off the field. However, in the field, it hasn’t been that great.

As you can see, off the field Atalanta and Roma’s market values have increased since 2018. But, we’ll see how they do on the pitch when they face each other today.

Top 5 Players That Have Played For Both Milan Clubs

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This weekend, there will be a huge derby. That derby is between Milan giants, AC Milan and Inter. Historically, they’re definitely some of the greatest football clubs in the world. Many legendary players have also decided to play for both clubs. As a result, I’ve decided to write an article on the top 5 players that have played for both Inter and AC Milan. Enjoy!

5. Christian Vieri

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Christian Vieri was probably one of the strongest and most physical strikers of all-time. His power combined with his finishing ability and eye for goal was an enjoyment to watch. He also played for both Inter and AC Milan. He spent 6 years at Inter from 1999-2005 and won a Coppa Italia trophy. He only spent a season at AC Milan. However, it was in 2005-2006, which was when his playing career was almost over. Nonetheless, he’s a legend and played for both of these legendary teams.

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Despite, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s often arrogant remarks to the press, you can’t deny he’s a legendary player. Even, at the age of 38, he plays for AC Milan and looks sharp on the pitch. He may not have the athletic ability that he used to, but he still dazzles on the field. Also, he’s played for both of these legendary clubs. His trophy haul for both clubs has been immense as well. During Ibrahimovic’s three seasons at Inter, he won three Serie A titles and two Italian Supercup trophies. Also, in two full seasons at AC Milan, he’s won two trophies. Like I mentioned earlier, he still plays for AC Milan as well.

3. Andrea Pirlo

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When Andrea Pirlo played it was like he was an actual magician. His playmaking, as well as his passing abilities, were world-class. It took a while for his retirement to sink-in for me when it became official in 2017. He won so many trophies over the course of his career as well. He only played two seasons for Inter and didn’t win any trophies. However, he spent a good portion of his career at AC Milan, 10 seasons to be exact. During that time, he established himself as a world-class player. During his time at AC Milan, he won a total of ten trophies, which included two Serie A and Champions League titles.

2. Roberto Baggio

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Roberto Baggio is considered by many to be among the greatest Italian football players of all-time. He nearly perfected so many faucets of the beautiful game. He was a world-class dribbler as well as being a great goalscorer. While a good portion of his career was spent at Juve, he also spent a couple of seasons at Inter and AC Milan. He only won one trophy combined for both Milan clubs. Despite that, he is definitely an all-time great in Italian football.

1. Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima

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Ronaldo Nazario De Lima is considered one of the top football players of all-time. He was probably the most well-rounded striker of all-time, at least in my view. He could do it all. Despite him not winning a Champions League trophy, he was still a very likeable and world-class player. It’s common knowledge for many football fans that he played for both Inter and AC Milan. He spent five seasons at Inter and only two seasons at AC Milan. Some would even say that he established himself as an all-time great, whilst at Inter. There’s no doubt he made a huge mark for both clubs as well as football in general. That’s why I’ve decided to put him at number one.

Two Reasons Why Napoli Needs to Beat Juve

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Today, two Italian football giants will face off with each other at the Stadio San Paolo, which is Naples. However, if there’s any club that needs to win this more, it’s definitely Napoli. So, here are two reasons why they desperately need to win this game.

1. To Move Up in the Serie A Table

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Something that is obvious that Napoli needs to do is move up in the Serie A table. What better way to do that than beat your rivals, Juve, at your home stadium? They need the points and beating Juve could possibly move them up in the Serie A table. If they do win this match they could possibly overtake Fiorentina, who is above them in 12th. It’s definitely obvious for many Serie A and Napoli fans that the Azzuri (one of Napoli’s nicknames), is way below what they’re supposed to be this season. Of course, as I just said above moving up in the standings is a reason why they need to beat Juve.

2. To Boost the Morale of the Squad

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One thing that seems to be a problem with this Napoli squad is their morale. They’ve gotten a result here and there, however, based on the talent of the squad their morale seems low based on results this season. A win against Juve may only be a one-off. However, a win in this match could also significantly boost their morale and may kickstart a turning point to their season. Beating the reigning Serie A champions could change their season for the better and in the end, they could qualify for European competition for next season. It’ll be interesting to see if Napoli can get a result in this massive game.

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