Four points. That’s all that separates Juventus and Napoli in the Serie A standings. One, two, three, four points. Nothing more, nothing less.
Although, that could all change by the end of tonight’s showdown in Turin.
It’s the Serie A fixture that a lot of people would decide the Scudetto — and the day is finally here. Juventus and Napoli have been exchanging punches all season long. One team wins, the other team wins. One team drops points, the other one capitalizes. It’s gone back and forth so many times this season it’s hard to keep track of it at this point.
The good thing in all of it this: Juventus is on the positive side coming into this meeting of Italy’s clear-cut top two teams.
When this day is over, Juve could very well have a seven-point lead over Napoli and essentially close up the Scudetto race.
Or, when this day is over, Juve could very well see its lead over Napoli in Serie A cut down to one point and, as a result, make the final month of the season more than just a little interesting.
Or, behind Door No. 3, everything will remain status quo.
Which option this game may bring, we don’t know yet.
But, that will all be solved come a couple of hours from now, won’t it?
The last time Juventus played a “biggest game of the season” it ended in them completely dominating Real Madrid and only being denied a spot in the Champions League semifinals because of that penalty call in stoppage time. We know they can crank it up for a big-time matchup, so that’s not the issue. I mean, they did roll into the San Paolo this season and shut out a Napoli side that was scoring for fun in the weeks leading up to that Dec. 1 fixture.
Now, can they do it again?
That sure would be nice.
Let there be fireworks. A lot of black and white fireworks, too. (I know black fireworks will be impossible to see in the night’s sky, but let’s not sweat the details on this one. We just want Juventus to win, right?)
When: Sunday, April 22, 2018
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kickoff 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 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Buffon; Howedes, Benatia, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Dybala
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Szczesny, Cuadrado, Alex Sandro, Barzagli, Mandzukic, Rugani, Lichtsteiner, Bentancur, Bernardeschi
Napoli starting XI (4-3-3): Reina; Hysaj, Koulibaly, Albiol, Mario Rui; Hamsik, Jorginho, Allan; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne
Napoli bench: Rafael, Sepe, Maggio, Milic, Zielinski, Chiriches, Machach, Rog, Ounas, Diawara, Tonelli, Milik
HOW TO WATCH
Television: beIN SPORTS CONNECT, fuboTV (United States); Rai Italia America (Canada); BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online/Mobile: beIN SPORTS CONNECT, fuboTV (United States); beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada, DAZN Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia (Italy)
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