There will be a point relatively soon when the games that Juventus have won’t be called a “big game” virtually every time they take the field. The fixture list will still be busy because that’s what the 2020-21 season is all about, but it won’t be considered the gauntlet that we’ve seen essentially since the month of January began six weeks ago.
It just so happens that won’t happen for at least another week.
So say hello to Juventus’ latest big game. That same matchup, sans a Supercoppa to be lifted after the course of the 90 minutes of play, that we saw just a few weeks ago.
Juventus faces Napoli tonight in Naples, the first time that the two teams have met in their fiery rivalry since the Stadio San Paolo has been renamed as the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in the days following the former No. 10’s death last November. The last time the two teams met, in the annual Supercoppa last month, turned out to be the first game in what has been a pretty solid turnaround from Andrea Pirlo and Co. over the course of the last three or four weeks. It’s been entertaining to watch Juventus again rather than the utter frustration we saw from them when they were getting their ass handed to them by well-known frauds Inter last month.
But because of how Juve’s played as of late (and there being, give or take, 100 games played between then and now), Pirlo’s squad has had plenty of chances to right the ship in relatively short order. They’ve done so in a different kind of way than what we’ve seen from Pirlo in the early months of the season; the kind of fashion that have given us flashbacks to some pretty good times at Juventus during the current Scudetto streak.
Now Pirlo faces his old friend Rino Gattuso again just when it looks like the latter’s time at Napoli might be coming to an end. A loss to Juventus might be the nail in Gattuso’s coffin, according to some reports in the Italian media over the last few days. Maybe it turns out to be true. But there’s only one way to find out — and that’s for Juventus to keep the good times rolling and hand Napoli another loss in the span of less than a month.
That sure would be one way to go into the first leg of a Champions League tie, wouldn’t it?
When: Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
Where: Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Naples, Italy
Official kickoff time: 6 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom;12 p.m. Eastern Time; 9 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-4-2/3-5-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Chiellini, Danilo; Bernardeschi, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Morata, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Alex Sandro, Bonucci, Demiral, Di Pardo, Frabotta, McKennie, Fagioli, Kulusevski, Peeters
Napoli starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Rrahmani, Mario Rui; Bakayoko, Zielinski; Politano, L Insigne, Lozano; Osimhen
Napoli bench: Meret, Contini, Zedadka, Costanzo, Elmas, Lobotka, Fabian, Petagna, Cioffi
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia North America (United States); RAI Italia North America, TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); 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.