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.
Amauri's hot streak has Juve looking like title contenders
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 would strengthen their claim to be Inter Milan's main title rivals.
The Brazil-born striker 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 said 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.
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 entertained Palermo last night, visit improving Livorno on Sunday. * With agencies