It seems like we were just here a couple of days ago. You know, the whole “Juventus playing arch-rival Napoli and the Stadio San Paolo” thing. Yeah, that.
Here we are once again. Three days after Juventus arrived in Naples, played out a 1-1 draw and subsequently saw their lead atop the Serie A standings cut down to six points, they’re back at the San Paolo to play the same Napoli side they did over the weekend. This time it’s the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinals, with Juve taking a 3-1 aggregate lead into tonight’s game.
@OfficialAllegri: "We want to reach our third straight Coppa Italia final and we're in a great position to do so." #NapoliJuve— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) April 4, 2017
(FYI: I am a Golden State Warriors fan. No 3-1 jokes are allowed. I MEAN IT.)
As Max said, Juventus are in a great position to advance to their third straight Coppa Italia final. Say what you want about how Juventus attained said 3-1 lead, but they got it and now all that stands in front of them and the chance to defend their Coppa Italia title once more is 90 minutes against Napoli.
Now, as we found out from Allegri himself after Sunday’s 1-1 draw against this same Napoli side, the Coppa Italia semifinal is the priority of the back-to-back games in Naples. So now we get to see if the relatively conservative approach three days ago will end up paying off three days later.
They do say things come in threes...
But I digress.
The odds are in Juventus’ favor entering tonight’s second leg. I think anybody who knows something about how aggregate scorelines would tell you that. A decent amount of things will have to go wrong for Juventus not to advance to another Coppa Italia final. Allegri said Juve will have to score if they want to advance, which is a fair statement knowing who his team is going up against.
So now we get to see if Allegri’s planning for tonight’s semifinal pays off. If it does, then that’s good. If it doesn’t? I guess we should go out and see if there are any pitchforks are available for the taking. Because we know the house is gonna burn down if something goes wrong.
Location: Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy
Kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 p.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-2-3-1): Neto; Dani Alves, Bonucci, Benatia, Alex Sandro; Rincon, Khedira; Cuadrado, Dybala, Sturaro; Higuain
Juventus bench: Buffon, Audero, Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Chiellini, Rugani, Asamoah, Marchisio, Lemina, Pjanic, Mandragora
Napoli starting XI (4-3-3): Reina; Hysaj, Chiriches, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Zielinski, Diawara, Hamsik; Callejon, Milik, Insigne
Napoli bench: Rafael, Sepe, Strinic, Allan, Jorginho, Maggio, Mertens, Maksimovic, Rog, Pavoletti, Albiol
TV: GOLTV USA (United States); Sky Sports 5/HD UK, NOW TV UK (United Kingdom); RAI Uno (Italy)
Online: fuboTV, beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A. (United States); Sky Go UK, SKY GO Extra (United Kingdom)
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