Andrea Pirlo faces his biggest challenge yet as Juventus manager with his side playing host to current Serie A table-toppers Napoli on Sunday (7:45pm kick-off).
The former Juventus midfielder remains unbeaten in his opening two league games as manager, thrashing Sampdoria 3-0 on matchday one before coming from behind twice to secure a point against Roma, with Cristiano Ronaldo helping himself to a brace.
Napoli, likewise, have made a strong start to the new campaign, seeing off Parma and Genoa with an aggregate scoreline of 8-0, which takes Gennaro Gattuso’s men top of the early Serie A table.
The Parthenopeans pulled off a win against Juve last season, but Pirlo will be determined to get back on track and not have early question marks about his tenure flying in his direction. Either way, we’re set for a thrilling match.
Where to watch Juventus v Napoli on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream Juventus v Napoli:
UK: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Juventus v Napoli live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
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Juventus & Napoli’s previous line-ups:
- Juventus (vs Roma): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Cuadrado; Rabiot*, McKennie, Kulusevski, Ramsey; Ronaldo, Morata.
- Napoli (vs Genoa): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Hysaj; Fabian, Zielinski; Mertens, Lozano, Insigne*; Osimhen.
Alex Sandro, Federico Bernardeschi and Matthijs de Ligt remain sidelined for Juve, while Adrien Rabiot is suspended after his sending off against Roma.
Napoli are without captain Lorenzo Insigne who came off early in the 6-0 win over Genoa, with his agent claiming he would be out for at least 20 days, ruling him out of Saturday’s game and international action with Italy.
Players to watch:
Dries Mertens has scored in back-to-back competitive games for the first time since 2017.
Finding his form AGAIN. pic.twitter.com/Z51xw41hmL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 8, 2020
- Juventus: For the past two games Pirlo has entrusted his midfield double-pivot to Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot, with the Italian looking to find a balance between creativity and tenacity. It worked wonders against Sampdoria, but in the Roma draw the partnership came up short. Pirlo will also have to tackle the Napoli game without Rabiot, who picked up a suspension in the capital. So, which central midfield partnership will he opt for? Well, we can’t be certain, but Arthur Melo should get his name on the team sheet after starting the season so far on the bench. He replaced McKennie against Roma and will be desperate to prove his worth in Turin after being tossed aside by Barcelona. Against a midfield as dynamic as Napoli’s, this could be the ideal game for Arthur to step in and bring a bundle of composure to the centre of the pitch.
- Napoli: There are still a lot of unknowns in this current Juve side and Gattuso will know that. Napoli, on the other hand, look sure of themselves under the former Milan midfielder. He will be looking for his side to press and probe the hosts this weekend to see if they buckle. That will mean a strong XI taking to the Turin field, and almost certainly Dries Mertens in attack. The Belgian only scored nine Serie A goals last campaign, poor by his standards, and will be desperate to get back up to double figures this time round. He already has two in two, and while his record against Juve is not great (three goals in 17 outings), his experience and attacking quality should cause Pirlo plenty of problems.