Following a long debate over whether the match will be played or not, Luciano Spalletti’s men have touched down in Turin despite the absence of their commander and several key players.
Therefore, Max Allegri must be smelling blood. Juventus have absentees of their own, especially at the back (Chiellini, Bonucci and Danilo), but the return of Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa will serve as a major boost for the Old Lady against her depleted foe.
So let’s check out the three keys to victory for the Bianconeri in their first match following the dawn of a new year.
Exposing the Fullbacks
Due to the catastrophic number of absentees, the Partenopei could resort to a makeshift lineup that includes Alessandro Zanoli on the right and Faouzi Ghoulam on the opposite side.
The Italian is still inexperienced at this level, and it remains to be seen how he’ll fare on the big occasion.
On the other hand, the Algerian has been reduced into a mere benchwarmer after suffering from severe injury problems during the last few years, and his current level is unbeknownst for most of us.
Therefore, Juventus must do their best to stretch their opponent’s shaky-looking backline and bombard the flanks through the likes of Federico Bernardeschi, Chiesa and Juan Cuadrado.
It appears that Andrea Petagna will be leading the line for the southerners after getting cleared from Covid.
The former Milan man is a classic center forward, and that is exactly the type of strikers that Mattijs de Ligt thrives against,
Napoli is a team that sometimes enjoys playing without giving their adversaries a reference point in attack. But with Petagna on the field, that is unlikely to happen.
If de Ligt and company manage to isolate him from the rest of his teammates, the Azzurri will find it hard to penetrate the Bianconeri’s penalty box.
In his press conference, Allegri stated that one between Chiesa and Dybala will likely start, while the other would take his place later in the match.
You just can’t ask for a better super sup than that.
So while Spalletti (and assistants) will be struggling to name a starting XI, Allegri will have the luxury of bringing in a major star from the bench.
Moreover, the likes of Dejan Kulusevski, Moise Kean and Kaio Jorge should be ready to intervene if Juventus ever need attacking reinforcement during the second half.