There's still over half of the Serie A schedule to play out come the new year, but first there's the last hurrah for the calendar year of 2014. For all but two of the 20 teams in Italy's top flight, their holiday break has already started. But for Juventus and Napoli, there's still one last game to play.
Today is the day for the Supercoppa in Doha, Qatar. Not exactly how we expected to be closing out their year when we saw the schedule take shape back in the summer, but that's pretty much a moot point these days.
While it's true that Juventus and Napoli will play each other once again on Jan. 11 at the Stadio San Paolo, this 90-minute one-off has a trophy attached to it. Juventus has won the last two Supercoppas, and much like their current Scudetto-winning streak, it's quite possibly going to be a third by the time the final whistle sounds.
Can Max Allegri win his first trophy as Juventus manager?
Can Juventus win another trophy in the final game of 2014 at a stadium that is already covered in bianconero?
(IT'S A SIGN.)
That's why they played the game, ladies and gentlemen.
So as we close out this little introduction, I'll throw out these here stat:
Legendary Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has won all five of the Supercoppas he has played in over the course of his two-decade long career. Think about it. He's never lost, and has celebrated the final whistle by racing toward a bunch of teammates and lifting a trophy over his well-coiffed hair and above his head.
Let's make it a perfect six pack, gentlemen.
Starting lineups for both Juventus and Napoli will be posted RIGHT HERE when they become available. There probably won't be any kind of starting lineup-related surprises, so maybe Max Allegri will walk out of the tunnel with a Santa hat on or something. That would be pretty awesome if you ask me.
UPDATE: LINEUPS ARE IN!
Juventus XI (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Pirlo, Marchisio, Pogba; Vidal; Tevez, Llorente
Juventus bench: Storari, Rubinho, Ogbonna, Romagna, Padoin, Mattiello, Pepe, Pereyra, Coman, Giovinco, Morata
Napoli XI (4-2-3-1): Rafael; Maggio, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Gargano, David Lopez; De Guzman, Hamsik, Callejon; Higuain
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