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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Can CavaNapoli do it?

Edinson Cavani- What a revelation he has been! He hasn't just scored 25 goals in his first season at Napoli, but has also carried the San Paolo team on his shoulders and look where they are now, sitting second with just three points behind Milan. Naturally, all the neutrals want Napoli for the Scudetto. Just when SerieA was bored of seeing Inter win it year after year, add to that all the talk of serieA in decline having already lost the 4th Champions League spot to Bundesliga, this is a welcome change all the serieA followers were waiting for. Why not, Napoli is also one of the most attractive and attacking sides (unlike Lazio who are 4th at the moment and play very very boring football) in serieA. Another side equally entertaining to watch this season has been Udinese, driven by the goals of Di Natali and skills of Alexis Sanchez, who are 3 points behind Lazio at 5th. And thats what precisely I am trying to point out. A mouth watering clash- Napoli vs Udinese on Sunday night would definitely be the match of the week in serieA.

What is interesting about this match is that it puts two teams against each other, both of them who have seen a lot of success recently with their wing play. The credit to Napoli's rise in Italian football has a lot to do with their coach Walter Mazzari as well. His 3-4-1-2, or sometimes 3-4-2-1 depending on the opposition, has made good use of the wing backs Christian Maggio and Andrea Dossena. However, Hassan Yebda has been preferred recently instead of the wonderful Walter Gargano at the holding role for reasons unknown (On-field issues or Off-field??). It would be an exciting prospect to see this team play in the Champions League next year after they lit up the early stages of Europa League with the brilliance of Cavani. It is rather unfortunate that Italian teams still tend to take the Europa League lightly, as it showed in Napoli's game against Villarreal in the first knockout round. After having completely dominated the yellow submarines, both in possession and control in the first leg, they went to Spain and left Cavani on bench to rest him ahead of their match against Milan then. They lost in Spain after hitting the post 3 times and eventually lost the following weekend against Milan too. A bad case of not grasping the right opportunity when it knocks!

The success story of Udinese started with their formation
changing to 3-5-2. Their creative spark, Alexis Sanchez performed miracles once he was used as a classic NO.10. This made him use his pace and skills to beat the defence in the centre and supply more to their center forward Antonio Di Natali. It gave them the results and now Di Natali is the top scorer of the league with 26 goals.

So this match could be about whose wing backs are better and also set up a duel between Cavani and Sanchez. All the eyes of the big European clubs will be on Sanchez as he has already attracted a lot of attention from them. He has even expressed once of his love for the Premier League.

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