Picking a Combined XI of Napoli and Juventus Players Ahead of Sunday's Encounter

Napoli and Juventus go head to head in two titanic clashes in the next week; the Old Lady travel to Naples on Sunday for a league clash which sees first face third, and Napoli will be eager to cut Juve's lead at the top. And just three days later, the Partenopei welcome the Italian champions again, this time in the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final. The duo have been two of the best teams in Italy over the last few seasons, and in recognition of that, here is a superb starting XI...

Gianluigi Buffon

Was it ever going to be anybody else?

 

Game number 1,001 is going to be pretty important for Buffon, and being the phenomenal professional that he is, the goalkeeper won't allow the media frenzy to affect his performance.

 

At 39, the Juve skipper's performances have not dipped this season, and the clash on Sunday will be his 34th of the season.

Dani Alves

At 33, Dani Alves is no spring chicken either.

 

The Brazilian is looking to win his first trophies with Juventus following his summer move from Barcelona. Two wins over the next week would certainly help his chances.

 

The attacking full-back has maintained his high level of performance since moving to Italy, and his experience could prove invaluable for Juventus.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Since his move to Napoli in 2014, Koulibaly has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in Serie A.

 

His versatility, strength and passing ability have made him one of the most sought after defenders in Europe.

 

Chelsea are reportedly interested in bringing him to Stamford Bridge for around £50m this summer.

Giorgio Chiellini

Another player who certainly doesn't lack experience.

 

Chiellini is another Italian defender who just simply gets better with age.

 

However, the centre-back has missed the last two Juve games with a muscular problem, and it remains unclear whether he will start Sunday's encounter

Faouzi Ghoulam

The Algerian left-back has been in superb form for Napoli this season, and has registered four assists in the league so far.

 

Ghoulam is being heavily linked with a move away from the Stadio San Paolo, and he could use the double header as an opportunity to advertise himself to the likes of Manchester City and PSG, who are interested in the defender.

Sami Khedira

The German is enjoying another superb season at Juventus, and has even managed four Serie A goals so far.

 

Known for his tough tacking, and superb positional sense, the former Real Madrid man will need to be at his best to guard against Napoli's tricky attacking players.

Marek Hamšík

Hamsik has proved himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in Serie A over the last number of years.

 

In ten season at Napoli, the Slovakian has scored 110 goals in all comepetitions.

 

He has continued that effort this campaign, and has managed just under a goal every three games in the league this year.

Dries Mertens

Mertens has simply been unstoppable this season.

 

He has netted 20 Serie A goals in 26 games, and has added another five in the Champions League this season.

 

The Belgian has certainly filled the void left by Higuian last summer, and he would love nothing more to net a few against Juve over the next week.

Paulo Dybala

The Argentine scored two vital goals against Napoli when the two sides met in the first leg of the Coppa Italaia semi-final a few weeks ago.

 

Dybala has registered 14 goals and seven assists so far this season, and is certainly a player the Napoli back line will need to keep an eye on.

Lorenzo Insigne

Another player who is rumoured to be leaving the south of Italy this summer.

 

Insigne has been superb for Napoli this season, and will be desperate to help his boyhood club beat Juve over the next week.

 

He has impressively only missed one league game all season, proving how important he is for Napoli.

Gonzalo Higuain

The man who all eyes will be on over the next week.


Higuain somewhat controversially left Napoli this summer to join Juve, which prompted a less than happy reaction from his former supporters.

 

In the days following his transfer to Turin, the streets of Naples were full of burnt and shredded Higuaín jerseys.

 

Sunday is the first time he will return to his former club since the €94m transfer. Although, he has scored in both previous meetings between the teams this year and refused to celebrate.

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