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Gonzalo Higuain on goal hunt as Napoli and Juventus jostle

| 26.09.2015

Napoli and Juventus are the two Italian top-flight teams to have underwhelmed most in their opening five fixtures of Serie A. Though this clash at the Stadio San Paolo will potentially give the victor a chance to claw their way back into title contention.

It is amazingly early in the Scudetto race to claim any club out for the count, but rejuvenated Inter Milan have already raced 10 points clear of current champions the Old Lady. A big scalp could work wonders for Juve, and they are a tempting 23/10 with Coral for a restorative win.

Recent head-to-head history does back Massimiliano Allegri’s men to best this battle, after the Turin team completed a league double against the Little Donkeys last season, both with 3-1 scorelines in their favour (and customers can take odds of 28/1 for a repeat result here).

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Despite the recent dominance of the northern Italian giants when facing Neapolitan side Napoli, who have defeated the Old Lady just once across all competitions in their past eight attempts, this Juventus team are not quite the same animal.

Two draws and as many losses have damaged Allegri’s hopes of retaining their champions crown, but Inter and the chasing pack are all bound to stumble at some point. A splitting of the spoils at 21/10 will do neither side much good, so Juve must go for the jugular, with the Old Lady an excellent 11/2 to win and both teams to score.

Juventus have injury doubts in attack with Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata both likely missing. Yet, with emerging talents Paulo Dybala (6/1 to open scoring, or 9/4 to net anytime), a recent Argentina call-up, and Azzurri international Simone Zaza (7/1 to strike last) in the ranks, the Piedmontese have plenty of potency left in their tank.

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Little Donkeys dangerman Gonzalo Higuain is one player in particular who has reason to outshine fellow Argentine Dybala, which could work in Napoli’s favour, as the Juventus starlet has directly replaced his older peer in the recent La Albiceleste selection.

Hitman Higuain has been in formidable form this term, however, with a fearsome four from five in Serie A, including a recent big-game brace against Lazio.

Always worth backing to sniff out a goal and now with a point to prove, Higuain is 4/1 to be the one to fire home first, or 5/1 to net two or more for Napoli yet again. Supporting the prolific striker in Campania will be likely be Manolo Gabbiadini (5/2 to make a difference anytime) and Lorenzo Insigne (21/10 in the same market).

Betting tip: Juventus are generous value at 11/2 to win with both teams to score.

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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.