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Aurelio De Laurentiis asks for Juventus matched to be moved back

Napoli's owner wants his team's match with the titleholders moved back to keep any funny business from tainting the Lazio-Roma match two days later.

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There's some musical chairs being played with the Serie A schedule, and Napoli might be joining in the fun. After the Rome derby between Lazio and Roma was pushed back to Monday in order to allow Lazio a better chance to rest after the midweek Coppa Italia final, Aurelio De Laurentiis has lodged a request to the Lega Serie A head office to have Napoli's match in Turin against Juventus to be moved to the same day and time.

De Laurentiis is ostensibly trying to avoid any, shall we say, "funny business" in the match in Rome. If Napoli beat Juventus, it would be easy for Roma and Lazio to come to an accord to help ensure that Napoli have a tougher road to face to land in the top three. With Lazio's three point lead over Napoli in the table, if Roma hand them a win in the derby Lazio can bunker up in Naples in the season closing match knowing that a draw keeps them in third place. Then when Roma almost inevitably crush Palermo, who have fallen in to terrible form, they can reclaim second place.

If Napoli draw against Juventus, Lazio and Roma can settle for a draw of their own to create the same scenario, only with the added benefit for il Lupi that Roma wouldn't be temporarily giving up second place. A Napoli loss could see the two draw and keep third place out of Napoli's reach. These unfortunate scenarios being crafted by their rivals is something Napoli want to avoid at all costs, and having the matches played at the same time would remove any such possibility.

While all that makes good and logical sense, it also comes at a cost for Napoli. Their best chance of beating Juventus as the match is currently scheduled is to take advantage of their fatigue, with only two days off between the Coppa final on Wednesday and their tilt at Juventus Stadium on Saturday. Moving the match to Monday removes any such advantage for Napoli, so there's risk for the partenopei on either side of this gamble.

It's also far from certain that Juventus would accede to the move. They don't care if they lose to Napoli, they've already won the title. What they do care about is setting themselves up in a good position to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League final, and shortening up their rest before their last Serie A match could complicate that.

Either way, we should know the league's decision by the end of Tuesday.