Juventus to close Serie A title hunt against Napoli
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Juventus to close Serie A title hunt against Napoli

Juventus to close Serie A title hunt against Napoli

Juventus travel to Napoli on Sunday looking to close the book on a Serie A title race that has hardly looked in doubt since the opening day of the season.

Under previous coach Maurizio Sarri, Napoli had become Juve’s biggest rivals and last season even managed to take the title race down to the final weeks.

But managed by Carlo Ancelotti this campaign they have failed to provide a challenge for the champions, who are odds-on to clinch their eighth straight “Scudetto” regardless of what happens at the San Paolo stadium on Sunday night.

“The race has finished too quickly,” said Jose Mourinho, who won the treble with Inter Milan in 2010, in an interview with the Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Juve are 13 points clear after 25 matches and that gap has taken some of the sting out of what is one of Italy’s iconic fixtures, as well as leaving little room for drama at the top.

“Juventus aren’t facing much of a challenge, and while that’s obviously good for them, it’s a negative for Italian football,” Mourinho added.

That lack of threat means that coach Massimiliano Allegri can rest Cristiano Ronaldo for the trip after he picked up an ankle knock during the 1-0 win at Bologna at the weekend.

On Wednesday, Juve revealed that the Portuguese would have scans on his left ankle and it would be no surprise if the 34-year-old were left out, as with the title all but wrapped up his team’s season rests on the second leg of their of Champions League last 16 clash with Atletico Madrid on March 12.

Ronaldo was signed partly in the hope he would fire Juve to continental glory for the first time in over two decades so it would be no surprise to see him left to recover fully with a view to overturning the 2-0 defeat they suffered at the Wanda Metropolitano.

His absence will be a boon to Napoli, who are unbeaten at home this season in all competitions and haven’t conceded a goal in five matches.

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