Juventus 4-4-2 1: Szczesny 12 Danilo 19 Bonucci 3 Chiellini 33 Bernardeschi 22 Church 5 Arthur 30 Bentancur 14 McKennie 44 Kuluseveski 7 Ronaldo
Naples 4-2-3-1: 25 Ospina 22 Di Lorenzo 44 Manolas 26 Koulibaly 6 Mario Rui 4 Demme 5 Bakayoko 11 Lozano 20 Zielinski 24 Insigne 37 Petagna
Tv: ore 21 Raiuno
Perhaps we should not call it a “ghost” game, so as not to revive the tensions of the last months on the championship match postponed on 4 October by decision of the ASL of Naples and still without a recovery date after the overturning of the 3-0 at the table for Juve. But finally Juventus-Napoli is being played, even if it applies to the Super Cup and already has its problems blowing away the fog that hangs over the Mapei Stadium of Reggio Emilia and is also scheduled for tonight.
Saudi Arabia, home of the last two editions, is very far away, like his rich salary of 22 million for three games (so there is still one to play there). And above all, “there is a strange air everywhere, there is no tranquility in any respect, the values expressed are not true” as Gattuso points out.
To cheer up a bit, there is the first reunion between two old friends who have become coaches, with the neophyte Pirlo returning from the first real burn of his career in the nightmare night against Conte’s Inter. So what’s better than another dry match, with a cup up for grabs to bring back to Turin after the defeat against Lazio last season, to drive away the bad thoughts of Juventus? «This evening comes at the right time – says the technician -. After a bad defeat we have a great desire to return to the field determined to take this trophy home. What would I not do with the match against Inter? When you lose, you won’t do anything again. But now the head must be freed, another attitude is needed, a desire for revenge, to prove that we are not those of the other night “.
Not even his coach can say that he really knows what the real Juve is: the team that beat Milan and Barcelona or the one that collapsed against Fiorentina and Inter? If in doubt, Pirlo could play with Bernardeschi in place of Frabotta as a left winger, even if the risks are high against Lozano. And especially with Arthur, McKennie and Kulusevski instead of Rabiot, Ramsey e Morata. A small revolution, characterized by a different dynamism in midfield and on the trocar in connection with Ronaldo, taking into account that instead of recovering the absent Pirlo also loses Demiral, unavailable due to the worsening of a muscular problem: «Season at a crossroads? I’m used to this type of situation – Andrea smiles – I’m only sorry for the young people (the reference is above all to Frabotta, ed): I took my responsibilities and I prefer you to attack me, not them. The finals are played, but they must be won and we are here for this ».
At the Continassa yesterday there was the president of Real Madrid Florentino Perez, for a meeting with Andrea Agnelli, which is also number one in the ECA, the association of European clubs. It is not an easy junction for the world of football and it is no exaggeration to say that for Juve tonight’s game is even more important than other times: to chase away the possible crisis that another defeat would bring along and also to to demonstrate that we are not facing “a great cycle that ends”, as captain implied Chiellini a San Siro, but to a cycle that is already beginning again.
«We have our chances and we play them. But we have enormous respect for them, as a club and as a team – repeats Gattuso, who arrives with more tactical and organic certainties -. We mustn’t let him smell the blood. ‘ A metaphor, the latter, very fashionable: suitable for a Super Cup for wolves, certainly not for a ghost game.
Gattuso: “With Andrea sometimes like Bud Spencer and Terence Hill”
Rino Gattuso this time he doesn’t want to joke, he feels like a grand finale and concentration must be kept high. His is an imperative: “We can’t make mistakes.” Fourth act in the history between Juventus and Napoli in the Super Cup, fourth stage different. In the mind remains the night of mid-June, when Napoli snatched the Coppa Italia from Juve.
This time there is Andrea Pirlo, the friend who touches the strings of feeling for the long-standing relationship with the Neapolitan coach, who makes no secret of it. Rather, he dwells on a bond that resists especially off the pitch. “In twenty years he has taken more slaps from me than from his father,” Rino breaks the ice in his own way. “Sometimes we seemed Bud Spencer e Terence Hill, together we started playing early, winning everything we had to win. We have done some damage, but we have always helped each other ».
Here they are, tonight against each other and best friends sometimes it is better not to trust. Seriously, then. Opposite there are two teams that play to win the final. And let no one tell Gattuso than Juventus it is waxed: «I don’t fall for it, with them you never have advantages. There is no crisis in a single game, we have a responsibility not to fall into their traps. A final gives you a great adrenaline rush and makes you raise the bar ».
Napoli have already raised this trophy against Juve in 2014, they weren’t on the pitch Lorenzo Insigne recovering from his Crusader injury. Who today dreams as a consecrated leader. Driver of the team, tonight he chases the goal number 100 in the blue jersey. A personal goal that he sets aside, the captain does not hide: «We want to win the Super Cup, Juventus has great champions but we have the duty to give everything. For our fans and for the club. A team success is much more rewarding than goals scored. We have prepared ourselves to the maximum, we have to face them with the right mentality ». Gattuso’s lesson is well fixed in mind (“the coach is helping me a lot in my growth”, Insigne reiterated), who plays his challenge with Andrea Petagna’s worker strength and the balance in the middle of the field of the new Diego of Naples, Demme. Mertens he is not yet at his best (“he still has pain in his ankle, he is gritting his teeth and we must compliment him”, Rino clarified), yet the Belgian with the head is already at Mapei Stadium: “We will have to give 110 percent, otherwise you can’t win a game like this ».
It really feels like a finale, Gattuso is certain: «The stimuli will be automatic». To Pirlo he says: “May the best win”. Who will still remain the best friend of the other.
January 19, 2021 (change January 19, 2021 | 23:51)
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