If you are to believe what some corners of the Italian press are throwing out there, then there is more than just three points at stake tonight when Juventus faces Napoli. You can probably guess what I’m getting at with that last sentence, and the fact that there’s so many uncertainties on top of the squad’s struggles in recent weeks just adds to the pressure that comes with being in such a situation Juventus currently is.
Juventus needs points. Badly. They need points to stay ahead of Napoli. And they need points to ensure that their current fourth-place standing, at worst, stays right where it is and missing out on the Champions League next season never actually becomes a thing. The thing is, though, their form is basically the opposite what they need to make sure that they are finishing no worse than fourth place.
The mistakes of the last few weeks and months are the reason why Juventus enter this showdown with Napoli — remember, the fabled game in hand that we’ve been touting for months now — on the cusp of either getting some breathing room between fourth and fifth place or falling out of the top four completely. (There’s also the possibility of a draw where all of this becomes moot and there’s another week of this exact same talking point, but whatever.)
For Juventus, it’s rather simple: put an end to the stumble they’re currently on.
We’ve seen Juventus play well against Napoli this season in the Supercoppa. We’ve also seen Juventus not play well against Napoli all of a matter of days later in their first Serie A meeting of the season. We know Juventus can beat Napoli because they’ve already done it once before this season. But we also know that Napoli can beat Juventus because that has also happened once before this season.
What could this third meeting entail? Well, who the hell knows. But we’re about to find out.
When: Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 6:45 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 5:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12:45 p.m. Eastern Time; 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-4-2): Buffon; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Morata, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Demiral, Frabotta, Dragusin, Di Pardo, Arthur, McKennie, Fagioli, Ramsey, Kulusevski, Dybala
Napoli starting XI (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Hysaj; Fabian Ruiz, Demme; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens
Napoli bench: Contini, Ospina, Bakayoko, Mario Rui, Elmas, Osimhen, Maksimovic, Politano, Petagna, Manolas, Cioffi, Lobotka
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia North America (United States); RAI Italia North American, TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport 254, Sky Sport Serie A (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); Sky Go Italia, NOW TV (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.