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Juventus vs. Napoli match preview: Time, TV schedule, and how to watch the Serie A

Big game. Another big and important game is about to take place.

Juventus v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Less than two weeks ago, Juventus welcomed the team that many folks are predicting to win the the 2023-24 Scudetto to Allianz Stadium. It lived up to the hype of it for the opening 45 minutes, then fizzled away quickly like a bottle of soda that’s left out overnight without the cap on it.

Now, it’s last season’s Scudetto winners who are rolling into Turin and looking to slow down Juventus’ early-season success on their home field.

Of course, this is not the same Napoli that last visited Turin in the spring. They still have some of the best attacking players you’ll see in Serie A in Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, but the man who pulled all of those strings is now coaching a different shade of blue. The guy who was brought in to replace Luciano Spalletti is gone, too — which means Napoli are already on the second manager of the season despite the fact that they’re the defending Serie A champions and currently fifth place in a very crowded pack of clubs behind third-place Milan.

That manager who replaced Rudi Garcia during the most recent international break is a familiar face to longtime calcio followers: Walter Mazzarri, who had been out of work since May 2022 after failing to keep Cagliari out of the relegation zone. Part of the catch of Mazzarri returning to the club in which he has enjoyed his most success as a manager is to keep things as they had been with Spalletti and then Garcia in terms of tactics — which, if you’re even the slightest bit familiar with Mazzarri then you know anything other than a three-man defense is very much not his bag.

Through Mazzarri’s first three games back in Naples, the results have not exactly been a true turn for the better. As much as his first game against Atalanta was a positive one that ended in a 2-1 win away in Bergamo, Napoli have been handed back-to-back losses by Real Madrid and league leaders Inter by a combined score of 7-2, with the second of those losses being a 3-0 dismantling by Simone Inzaghi’s side this past weekend.

It was Inter at their very best, but also Napoli feeding right into it, too. It could have been closer before Inter took complete control in the second half and truly dictated what they wanted to do on the counterattack. It didn’t help Napoli that Inter keeper Yann Sommer was about as he’s been all season since moving to Inter over the summer.

Max Allegri and Juventus can learn a lot about both this version of Napoli under Mazzarri and how to attack it simply by what Inter did last weekend at the Maradona. Inter may be the better counterattacking side, sure, but a lot of Inter wants to do in terms of playing a certain is along the same lines of how Allegri wants to play. (Although, as we know, Allegri is probably playing deeper than Inter, which is probably the most noticeable difference between the two sides.)

One thing is for certain during this second of three straight Fridays in which Juventus will play: Napoli don’t want to make it three losses out of four with their new manager at the helm. But with a potential added wrinkle of snow in Turin when kickoff rolls around, there could be nothing “normal” about what’s happening as Juve look to get their first win over Napoli since April 2021 when Andrea Pirlo was entering his final weeks as manager.

That, by the way, is also Juve’s only win over Napoli in the last meetings in Serie A between the two clubs who play on opposite ends of Italy.

(I know Napoli have gotten better over the last couple of years, but that’s still a looooong time for a club like Juventus to fail to pick up a win over another big club.)

The first Juve-Napoli showdown of the 2023-24 season combines two of the unique quirks of the schedule so far this season. There’s the bouncing between big game and provincial opponent — something that will continue for pretty much all of December, too — as well as the fact that Juve’s playing three straight Friday night fixtures and have the chance to put the pressure on Inter at least a day before they take the field.

Now, Inter face Udinese this weekend so there’s probably a good chance that the current league leaders tay there. (Udinese are not good!) Because of that, any kind of slip up from Juventus against Napoli means Inter’s lead atop the Serie A table is a little more comfortable if things go as expected for the team currently in first place.

What about the team in second place? Well, it’s another big matchup in what feels like the every-other-week trend for weeks now. The vibes are good coming out of the stoppage-time win over Monza. The fighting spirit is there. Now it’s time to see if they can actually get over the hump against Napoli and beat the reigning champions for the first time in over 2 12 years.

TEAM NEWS

  • Paul Pogba and Nicolo Fagioli are still suspended. One guy hasn’t been really been seen much in weeks, while the other one is training with his teammates every day. You can probably guess which is which.
  • The only two players on the injury report, per Max Allegri: Timothy Weah and Mattia De Sciglio.
  • As Allegri eluded to during his pre-match press conference, Manuel Locatelli is good to go and should be back in the starting lineup.
  • Allegri said that the experimenting is over when it comes to his formation and Danilo won’t be used as a midfielder, only a defender.
  • Speaking of Danilo, Allegri said that the Juve captain is better but still might not have 90 minutes in his legs just yet following his lengthy injury absence.
  • Federico Gatti is the only Juventus player who is one yellow card away from having to serve a one-game suspension.
  • Allegri had glowing things to say about the current state of the team following Gatti’s stoppage-time winner against Monza last Friday. But, at the same time and as he is want to do, Allegri was very much grounded when it came to talking about how his team needs to stay focused on their main goal of finishing in the top four and not getting carried away.

JUVENTUS PLAYER TO WATCH

Go back about 11 months when Juventus played Napoli for the first time in the 2022-23 season. Remember that? Not great! And who was one of the biggest culprits for Juventus’ absolutely dismal performance at the back?

Well, I think that one is pretty easy to remember, too.

Juventus v Hellas Verona FC - Serie A TIM Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

The good thing about all of that nonsense in Naples that took place last January is the simple fact that Bremer is not playing anywhere close to that this season. The Brazilian center back with a perfectly crafted hairline and boulders for shoulders has been great this season and probably the runaway pick for Juventus’ first half MVP.

But, as good as he’s been one of the biggest — maybe the biggest? — domestic defensive challenges is rolling into Turin and looking to do a little bit more than what Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram could muster a couple of weeks ago.

Napoli might not be flying as high as they were last season under Spalletti, but when you’ve got a trident like the reigning champions have, you know you’re going to have to defend and do so with both speed and precision.

The good thing is that Bremer can do that. But just because he can do that with pretty good effectiveness, facing a Napoli squad that is going to probably be in a foul mod after what happened over the weekend is another matter. No matter if it’s Osimhen, Kvara or Matteo Politano, there’s going to be plenty for Bremer and company to try and slow down.

We know how Allegri and Juve will play this. Napoli made them pay for it 11 months ago. Same goes for the last time Napoli played in Turin, too. There will be defending from Juventus — and plenty of it. So let’s hope that the Bremer that takes the field Friday night is the same one we’ve seen through the first four months of the 2023-24 campaign.

MATCH INFO

When: Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.

Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy.

Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. in Italy and the Central European time zone, 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom, 2:45 p.m. Eastern time, 11:45 a.m. Pacific time.

HOW TO WATCH

Television: TNT Sports 3 (United Kingdom).

Online/Streaming: Paramount+ (United States); fuboTV Canada (Canada); discovery+, discovery+ app (United Kingdom); DAZN Italia, 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.