italy preview

Italy: Amauri rediscovers form for Napoli game

October 29, 2009
By Reuters

Striker Amauri had not scored since February but four goals in his last three games have come at the perfect time for a previously faltering Juventus.

Ciro Ferrara's side moved up to second in Serie A after Wednesday's 5-1 thrashing of high fliers Sampdoria and another home win over Napoli on Saturday (1700 GMT) would strengthen their claim to be Inter Milan's main title rivals.

Brazil-born Amauri, 29, has long been waiting for an Italian passport and thus an Italy call-up but his form in recent months had plummeted after a strong start at Juve following a big money move from Palermo last year.

Two powerful goals against Samp will have thrust him back into Italy coach Marcello Lippi's thoughts and given Napoli plenty to ponder as well.

"Without doubt (Wednesday's win) is the best Juve (performance) so far this season. If we had to demonstrate something, we have done it," Amauri told reporters after spearheading Ferrara's new 4-3-2-1 formation on Wednesday despite a heavy cold.

"Now we have to offer continuity and we are already thinking about Napoli. If we continue like this we will reach our aims."

Napoli will put up decent resistance, however, after a third decisive late goal in three games under new coach Walter Mazzarri secured a 2-2 draw at home to AC Milan on Wednesday.

Fifth-placed Milan had been buoyed by three wins in a row in all competitions but will now be wary of in-form Parma's visit to the San Siro on Saturday (1945 GMT).

Parma, promoted back to the top flight at the first attempt last term, are up to fourth after another stylish 2-0 win over Bari on Wednesday with Bulgarian striker Valeri Bojinov firing again after years of injury problems.

Leaders Inter, who entertain Palermo later on Thursday, visit improving Livorno on Sunday (1400) while struggling Roman clubs AS Roma and Lazio have easier-looking games.

Claudio Ranieri's Roma, still without the injured Francesco Totti, host lowly Bologna while Lazio travel to bottom club Siena with outcasts Goran Pandev and Cristian Ledesma again set to be left out of the squad despite fan protests.

They asked to move in the close season but transfers did not materialise and they have since been dropped from the team.