And after everything going on off the field, we get to finally play a game again.
Maybe it’s not the best idea to some, but Juventus gets to play a game against a team that has, again, seen positive COVID-19 case after positive COVID-19 pop up throughout the week. Hell, Napoli reported had one just a few hours ago, and a shorthanded team got even more ... well, shorthanded. They’ve had a trio of players travel with the team but essentially be quarantined ever since they arrived in Turin.
So, that makes things a little interesting coming back from the holiday break, doesn’t it?
As omicron has made its way through a good portion of Serie A over the last couple of weeks, Juventus first game in the second half of the 2021-22 season has always seemed like it might be hanging on by a thread. But, guess what — we’re here. Juventus has arrived at Allianz Stadium. Napoli’s bus, which I’m guessing is a little on edge at the moment, has also arrived at Allianz Stadium. The two teams, dealing with their own respective lengthy lists of absentees heading into the first game of 2022, now meet on the same field after so much happening off the field and talk of potential postponement.
But, as of this going live, there will be a game.
I mean, both teams are actually at the stadium this team, so there’s going to be a game ... right?
We get to finally see this incredibly important month of January begin. The next three weeks will be crucial, with big-time fixture after big-time fixture coming our way. Almost every one of them will have a big impact on Juventus’ chances of finishing in the top four, and the points that are out there for the taking over these next couple of weeks are vital. It doesn’t matter if it’s against Napoli, Roma or AC Milan, these fixtures are huge — and we all know it.
And after a week full of talk of local health authorities and fearing how many positive tests might show up every time we wake up in the morning, now we get to watch what can actually be an enjoyable part of the week — an actual game between Juventus and Napoli.
When: Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.
When: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy.
Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time; 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time.
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Rugani, de Ligt, Alex Sandro; McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot; Chiesa, Morata, Bernardeschi.
Juventus bench: Perin, Senko, De Sciglio, Arthur, Bentancur, Kulusevski, Dybala, Kean.
Napoli starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Juan Jesus, Ghoulam; Demme, Lobotka; Politano, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens.
Napoli bench: Marfella, Idasiak, Zanoli, Costanzo, Spedalieri, Elmas, Vergara, Petagna.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: CBS Sports Network (United States); TLN (Canada); BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom).
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.