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Juve won last season’s Serie A while Napoli managed to get their hands on the Coppa Italia – now both sides will face off for the Super Cup.
But they would take all the help they could get, even if that comes from tradition.
69% – This will be the 33rd edition of the Italian Super Cup; the team holding the Scudetto has lifted the trophy in 69% of the previous 32 such ties (22 of 32). However, last year’s edition was won by Lazio, the Coppa Italia winner. Challenge.#JuventusNapoli #PS5Supercup pic.twitter.com/DA5cmqAujC
Of course the game is going to take place behind closed doors due to COVID-19 restrictions in Italy.
If there is no winner between Juventus and Napoli within the 90-minute time frame then we will go on to extra time.
If none of the two teams manages to pick up the lead then we will move on to penalties
The two football legends spent 10 years together at AC Milan where they won two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia and two Champions League trophies.
Gattuso has way more experience than Pirlo as a manager, though, as he has also coached the likes of Palermo, OFI, Pisa and Milan
Insigne is the Partenopei’s top goalscorer in the Serie A with nine goals in 14 matches.
In fact, the star winger has netted a whopping five goals in his last five league games with the Naples outfit.
And should the Italy international score tonight then that will mark his 100th goal for the club
Juventus have been rather inconsistent this season but the same doesn’t apply for the team’s biggest star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo is the top scorer in the Serie A this term with a whopping 15 goals in 14 matches in the league – rather impressive stat considering he is 35 years old.
In addition, the star forward has netted a staggering total of 19 goals in 19 games across all competitions.
In fact, the Manchester United legend is only 16 crackers away from recording 100 goals for Juventus ever since his arrival in 2018
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo opted for a 4-4-2 formation as well as four changes to the team that lost 2-0 to Inter Milan away on Sunday.
Wojciech Szczesny starts in goal with Juan Cuadrado returning at left-back in Gianluca Frabotta’s place whereas Danilo features on the other side – Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci link up at centre-back.
Dejan Kulusevski and Weston McKennie play on the right and left flank as they replace Alvaro Morata and Aaron Ramsey respectively.
Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso makes only one change to the team that destroyed Fiorentina 6-0 at home on Sunday as Giovanni Di Lorenzo comes in for Elseid Hysaj in what seems to be a 4-3-3 formation.
Ex-Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina starts in goal with Di Lorenzo at right-back and Mario Rui on the other side – Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly link up at centre-back.
📃 | StartingXI: Ospina, Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mario Rui, Demme, Bakayoko, Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne, Petagna. # JuveNapoli # PS5Supercup💙 #ForzaNapoliSempre pic.twitter.com/w1MenIGoyz
The defending Italian champions are fifth in the table with 10 points separating them from high-flyers AC Milan with a game in hand.
Juve have only managed nine wins in the league this season, which is the least amount out of the entire top five, and a staggering six draws.
The Bianconeri have also netted the least amount of goals out of the entire top six as they’ve scored a mere 35.
However, they have the third best defence in the league, behind Napoli and Verona, having conceded only 18 goals
Napoli are third in the Serie A table with only nine points separating them from high-flyers AC Milan with a game in hand.
The Partenopei have won 11 out of 17 matches in the league but lost five throughout the ongoing campaign.
Gennaro Gattuso’s men have scored a total of 40 goals this season and conceded a mere 16 in the Serie A.
That makes them the best defence in the top flight, but tonight’s opponents Juventus don’t fare much worse as they’ve only conceded 18 goals
Napoli and Juventus were scheduled to face off on October 4 in the Serie A but the former were stricken by a number of coronavirus cases and didn’t show up in Turin.
As a result, the Partenopei were penalised with a 3-0 loss and were stripped of a point whereas Juve were awarded three points.
The Naples outfit issued a number of appeals only to see them getting overruled until they took the matter to the Italian Olympic Committee, which ultimately decided in favour of the club in December.
Thus, Napoli got their point back, Juventus had their three points omitted and the two teams are set to face off at an undetermined date
Juventus and Napoli first faced off way back in 1926 during Benito Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship in a match which was won by Juve with a score of 3-0 in Naples.
Since then, the Italian giants have clashed a total of 180 times with the Bianconeri winning a majority of 84 matches whereas the Partenopei have amassed 39 wins.
The two teams have battled twice in the Italian Super Cup in the last 10 years with Juventus winning 4-2 in 2012 thanks to goals by Kwadwo Asamoah, Arturo Vidal, Mirko Vucinic and Christian Maggio’s own goal – Edinson Cavani and Goran Pandev got on the scoresheet for the Naples outfit.
Napoli, though, prevailed in their most recent meeting in 2014 on penalties following a 2-2 draw, which saw Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain each scoring a brace
Welcome to our live coverage of the Italian Super Cup clash between champions Juventus and Coppa Italia winners Napoli at the Mapei Stadium.
Juve won the Serie A last season with 83 points, one more than runners-up Inter Milan, but lost to the Partenopei in the cup final on penalties following a goalless draw and Arkadiusz Milik’s winning spot-kick.
Bianconeri manager Andrea Pirlo may have to reshuffle his depleted defence following Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Scudetto rivals Inter.
Juventus’ defence struggled immensely against Antonio Conte’s counter-attacking side and Pirlo’s backline will still be missing Alex Sandro and Matthijs de Ligt, who tested positive for coronavirus and are still in quarantine.
Juan Cuadrado, who also returned a positive test a few weeks ago, came back from self-isolation but didn’t make the squad for the Super Cup.
The Old Lady of Turin will also be without the creativity of Paulo Dybala, who is still nursing a knee injury.
Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso will also be missing key players due to the pandemic as Fabian Ruiz and Victor Osimhen tested positive for COVID-19.
Dries Mertens is not expected to start against Juventus as he has yet to regain full form following an ankle injury but could come off the bench.
However, Andrea Petagna has recovered from a calf injury and will provide cover up front with support from the powerful midfield trio of Lorenzo Insigne, Piotr Zielinski and Hirving Lozano
Sky & BT release TV games for Feb including Arsenal v Man Utd & Spurs v Chelsea
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