Naples (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Maksimovic, Mario Rui; Bakayoko, Zielinski; Politano, Insigne, Lozano; Osimhen. Herds Gattuso.
Juventus (4-4-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Chiellini, Danilo; Bernardeschi, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Morata, Ronaldo. All. Pirlo.
Tv: 6 pm, Sky.
Here Naples: the hardest hours for Gattuso
Now at Naples serve as much pride, as well as the strength of despair. The Juventus there is always the Lady against whom it is not recommended to make a bad impression, and where there is a lack of energy and freshness, at least courage is needed. Gattuso, a long-time captain (not), can always know more about the Devil and at the last resort, assuming it is, he arrives with the form he remains most fond of, despite further defections.
The injured in the meantime have become six, not insignificant people like Mertens, Koulibaly, Manolas, Demme, Hysaj and Ghoulam, and the bench will be short as never before. Excluding the young people who are aggregated from the Primavera, in theory, they are the five exchange rates are also at risk. Not very comforting scenario, but Rino has some cartridges. He relies on the most expensive center forward in Neapolitan history, Osimhen, but above all he dusts off Insigne in the role of attacking midfielder, the captain who has an open account with Juventus after the missed penalty in the Super Cup.
The card of despair to find the poison and cancel the discouraging test last Wednesday against Atalanta. Not to be sucked into the whirlwind of criticism and controversy. Napoli-Juventus in these parts is the mother of all games, Rino never wanted to play it in these conditions. The locker room is under stress, but it squares around him. Of course, there are also the discontented ready to turn away, but the big ones (the few who can be enlisted) swear loyalty.
The coach, who arrived with a CV to be framed, finds himself once again living each day as if it were his last. His fate hangs in the balance, and he is forced to score points in the most difficult race of the championship. The Champions zone is not very far away, but another defeat would increase the gap. President De Laurentiis will be in the stands to observe the event (and events), to reflect on what is the most appropriate solution to make sense of the most unfortunate season in recent years, hoping for a collective awakening.
The dialogue with the entire technical area (the coach and the sports director) has been reduced to the essentials for a few weeks. It takes very little to resume or stop it permanently. And everything passes through the most awaited (and most feared) challenge at the Maradona stadium (Monica Scozzafava).
Here Juve: Pirlo can decide Rino’s future: “It’s our job”
Dear friend, I dodge you. And who has seen has seen. The Super Cup won on January 20 against Napoli hto revive Pirlo’s Juventus, who was a veteran of the slap at San Siro taken by Inter. Since then six victories have come for the Bianconeri and a 0-0 draw with Inter which is worth the final of the Italian Cup. Since that match in Reggio Emilia, unspectacular, at times unloaded (like the penalty missed by Insigne at 1-0 for the bianconeri) and very tactical, Gattuso instead began to slide on an inclined plane, losing against Verona and Genoa and coming out of the Cup against Atalanta.
Enough to advance doubts, true and presumed rumors and reactions with Growl’s head held high, ready for anything, as always without filters. His old friend of a thousand battles and many victories in the meantime changed his team’s outfit due to fatigue and injuries: Juve put on a resistant overalls, without fear of getting dirty with an old-fashioned defense and the Ronaldian counterattack. All elements that suggest another not very scenic evening, with Juve favored more than it was three weeks ago.
If the Napoli coach has so many problems, including a defense to be reinvented, it is not the fault of the Juventus coach. But see Bud Spencer and Terence Hill against each other (copyright di Rino) always has a certain effect. Especially if Bud-Gattuso risks taking the final slap from Terence-Pirlo: «Can he lose his job in case of defeat? It is part of our job, it can happen to be sent away, but as always we think about doing our best – says the Juve coach -. The matches are all important, then it can happen that for one or the other there are difficult moments. I have no problem with that: I’m sorry for Rino’s situation, but I think about my problems. We prepare this game to win, then we’ll see what happens. Our goal remains the three points, then anything can happen ».
Could it also happen that Juve ease the tension after winning the Coppa Italia final against Inter, with the accompanying consequence of Conte-Agnelli controversy? The opponent and the moment of the season allow Pirlo to think positively. After all, a match is played that has not yet been played in the first leg, with the ballast of controversies, tensions, calculations and repercussions on the ranking that is likely to carry along, given that there is not yet a date for recovery: if there is another evening not to be missed in the pursuit of the Milanese, this is it. Then there will be Porto in the Champions League and a slightly more expanded calendar: «For us playing now the first leg or the return doesn’t change anything. There are always three points up for grabs, then you will see when the pending match is played. I believe there is no problem for the validity of the championship ».
Without Arthur, struggling with a calcification of the interosseous membrane of the right leg that must be managed with great care. Without Ramsey and without Dybala, who still feels pain in the knee. But with De Ligt and Chiellini in defense, that is the best of the new and the old and with Morata ahead of Kulusevski, Juve is rediscovered a bit short in the middle and in attack. But he did not abandon the idea of dominating the game: “In defense against Roma and Inter? These are my choices, based on the opponent, they gave us important results – underlines Pirlo -. Playing every three days it is difficult to maintain the pressure for 90 ‘. Sometimes it is also okay to lower yourself and give up possession ». Especially if others don’t know how to exploit it.
February 12, 2021 (change February 12, 2021 | 23:31)
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