About a week ago, I sat here and told you that I was confident that Juventus would show up in last Sunday’s showdown with Napoli. It was based purely around the fact that when we wondered the same thing before Juve’s second leg against Real Madrid earlier in the month.
I was wrong.
While we’ve been left to wonder why Juventus played the way they did in the 1-0 loss to Napoli at Allianz Stadium, the onus to move on is now more true than ever. The lead atop the Serie A standings is as slim as it can get, the schedule has just four more league games on it and, oh yeah, it’s not like Juve’s fixture has nothing but wins aplenty left on it with the way they’re currently playing.
No, Juventus are most definitely hobbling toward the finish line rather than finding that final kick that you would hear your resident track and field coach talking about one of his runners possessing. Or maybe Juve’s “kick” has been more like what mine would be — something slow, rivaling something that’s completely worthless and probably the reason why I’ll never be considered a speed demon like Douglas Costa.
With all of that being said: Holy crap, tonight’s Derby d’Italia at the San Siro just got a whole lot more important based on what happened last weekend.
Juventus’ room for error is now officially a thing of the past. No more four- or six-point lead between Juve and Napoli. None of that. It’s a one-point lead until further notice — and that’s put what was once a comfortable lead atop the table just a few short weeks ago into what we usually consider a situation that will cause us to be a little queasy whenever watching a game.
It’s just crazy to think about where we currently are compared to where we could have been just a couple of weeks ago.
Remember, if Juve had beaten both Crotone and Napoli then this latest edition of the Derby d’Italia could have been a win-the-game, win-the-Scudetto kind of situation.
Instead, Juventus has picked up all of one point of a possible six in its last two games and he we are, wondering if this team can close the final four games in successful fashion and extend this run of Serie A titles from six straight to seven.
Ah, time to grab the antacids.
When: Saturday, April 28, 2018
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, 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; Cuadrado, Barzagli, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Szczesny, Benatia, Marchisio, Dybala, Howedes, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner, Bentancur, Bernardeschi
Inter Milan starting XI (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; Cancelo, Skriniar, Miranda, D’Ambrosio; Vecino, Brozovic; Candreva, Rafinha, Perisic; Icardi
Inter Milan bench: Padelli, Berni, Lisandro Lopez, Ranocchia, Karamoh, Borja Valero, Santon, Eder, Dalbert, Pinamonti
HOW TO WATCH
Television: beIN SPORTS USA, beIN SPORTS en Español, Rai Italia America (United States); beIN Sports Canada, beIN SPORTS en Español, Rai Italia America (Canada); BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom); Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, PremiumSport HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online/Mobile: fuboTV, beIN SPORTS CONNECT (United States); DAZN CANADA, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada, fuboTV Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); Premium Play, SKY Go Italia (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven’t already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.
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