Cavani hoping to be first to shoot down Juve

30 March 2012 01:46

Napoli travel to Juventus this weekend with the southerners' Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani vowing to help his side become the first to defeat the Old Lady of Turin this season.

Juve have had a remarkable run this term, remaining unbeaten over 33 games in league and cup.

The have reached the Italian Cup final and trail leaders AC Milan by four points in Serie A.

Napoli have come closer than anyone to beating Juve this season as they led the northern giants 3-1 in Naples before a late collapse saw their opponents snatch a 3-3 draw.

But Cavani is confident his side can see through the job this time around.

"It's always important for Neapolitans to play against Juve and therefore also for me," said Cavani.

"Juve haven't lost but we hope to beat them."

Napoli have had their first week off in a long time having qualified for the Italian Cup final -- to play Juve -- last week following their Champions League elimination to Chelsea the week before that.

They have gone off the boil a little recently having thrown away a 2-0 lead at home to Catania last weekend to draw 2-2.

And Cavani says they must improve on that.

"We lacked the necessary experience against Catania to take the three points," he said.

"We can still improve a lot from that point of view."

Juve are buzzing following their 2-0 win over Inter but this is perhaps their toughest match remaining.

Antonio Conte's side must win to keep the pressure up on Milan but for Napoli a win is also vital.

They trail Lazio by three points in the race for third and Champions League football next term.

They also have tough away matches to come against Lazio and Roma before the end of the season.

Milan have no easy task on Saturday following their Champions League quarter-final draw at home to Barcelona as they travel to Sicily to tackle in-form Catania.

The Sicilians have not lost in seven games and have only lost twice since the turn of the year.

That run has thrust Vincenzo Montella's side into European qualification contention and they trail Roma in the final Europa League berth by just two points.

According to Montella their improved form is due to finding the right balance between attack and defence.

"When a team manages to interpret the two phases in the right way it means that at any time they can exploit the spaces left open by the two forwards to get midfielders breaking into them from deep," he said.

The other big interest of the weekend will be Andrea Stramaccioni's debut as Inter Milan coach, at home to Genoa.

Stramaccioni was the shock pick to replace the sacked Claudio Ranieri on Monday, just after their defeat to Juve.

The 36-year-old has no first team coaching experience and had only been at Inter since the beginning of the season as the youth team boss.

The nerazzurri have only won one of their last 10 league games, though and now sit eighth in Serie A and 10 points off the Champions League finishes.

But they are still in contention for a Europa League position as they only trail sixth-placed Roma by three points.

Roma host lowly Novara while Lazio are at Parma as they try to defend third place from Napoli and Udinese, who travel to Siena.



Catania v AC Milan (1600GMT), Parma v Lazio (1845GMT)

Sunday (1300GMT unless stated)

Roma v Novara (1030GMT), Bologna v Palermo, Cagliari v Atalanta, Fiorentina v Chievo, Inter Milan v Genoa, Lecce v Cesena, Siena v Udinese, Juventus v Napoli (1845GMT)

Source: AFP