on Friday for a key game of the Scudetto race after the Azzurri lost 3-0 to Inter last Sunday and find themselves now fifth in the table. On the other hand, the Bianconeri won against Monza and are only two points behind Inter, who are currently leading Serie A. It's clear that this game will shape the upcoming weeks of the teams as Napoli might be back in a crisis after Walter Mazzarri took charge of the club, while Juventus need to keep pace in the title race.
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Both teams, in alternative ways, depend on the key players. Federico Chiesa on one side, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia on the other one. While the Bianconeri depend on the individual plays of the Italian winger, Napoli rely on the idea of "Kvara" to solve the problems they are facing this season so far. The two teams play in a different way and also with a different tactical system. Chiesa, who is a winger, plays as a second striker in the 3-5-2, with the freedom to move to his natural position on the left side of the attacking wing, while the Georgian international is a pure left wing in the 4-3-3 of Mazzarri.
The two sides have many things in common, starting from their left wingers (if we consider Chiesa as so), but play in a totally different way. However, looking at the numbers, we can see that Chiesa and Kvaratskhelia are both left wingers. This season, Chiesa had a 72% passing complete in the attacking third, while "Kvara" had a higher figure of 85.2% (100% in the last game away against Atalanta). The Georgian created more chances (23 to 15) but mainly because of the way Juventus play. The Bianconeri are a much more defensive side that rely on counterattacks. In fact, Juve created a total of 152 chances, while Napoli 195. It's not easy for a player like Chiesa to express himself in the tactical system he plays and also for the number of chances he has per game.
Both Chiesa and Kvaratskhelia scored four goals so far in the Serie A and provided respectively one and three assists to their teammates. Looking at the data, they are performing as they should when it comes to scoring goals. Chiesa has a total xG of 3.08 while Kvaratskhelia a total xG of 4.96. Chiesa is slightly over performing, while Kvara is just scoring as he should as per the numbers. It's also interesting to look at the numbers of shots on target of the two players: Chiesa has a total of 11 (37.9%), while Kvaratskhelia has 13 (28.9%) shots so far.
Chiesa comes from a long-term injury, but after his comeback last season, he has had some ups and downs that forced him to change his position when he was available again. He had to adapt to the new system that worked without him, but looking at the numbers, we should not consider him as a striker but more like a proper winger.
The heat maps of the two players are very similar and this tells us that sometimes we shouldn't really look at the tactical systems of the teams, but more at the way they play on the pitch. Chiesa is definitely moving more in the center of the field, but also because he has to share the attacking line with one player (mainly Dusan Vlahovic), while "Kvara" has both Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano playing alongside him. Both Chiesa and Kvaratskhelia, finally, need to be considered as the crucial players of the team. Even if they play in different positions on the paper, we showed that they actually play in a much similar way and are both decisive for Juventus and Napoli.