“We arrive calmly, there is no rush.” Massimiliano Allegri wears his best mask so as not to cause drama after the false start in the championship and not to look for excuses despite the missing half of Juve between injuries and absent South Americans, but the Juventus coach is the first to know the value of the challenge in Naples. Tonight at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium (6 pm) not only the great Tuscan derby is staged between his bench and that of Luciano Spalletti, but the truth test for a team that wants to redeem itself and hopes to do so in this big match that it smells of history and tricolor.
For the new Juventus, born from the farewell of Ronaldo and the need to focus on young people, it is the first crossroads of a season that promises to be complicated and at the same “stimulating” (Allegri dixit). A mix of emotions that will also be experienced in this match where the bianconeri present themselves without the five South Americans in addition to the injured Chiesa: the choice to renounce Dybala, Bentancur, Alex Sandro, Danilo and Cuadrado (who did not leave Colombia due to gastroenteritis after the match against his national team) goes in the direction of avoiding unnecessary risks and above all preserving six starters for the Champions League match. Obviously on Tuesday in Malmö Juve is played even more and the reasoning can be correct, given the value of the first European match compared to a Serie A that has just started, but the risk of ending -8 from the top can be considered a gamble also by a coach who has already become accustomed to record comebacks. This is why Allegri tickles the pride of the surviving players (“In moments of difficulty you have to come up with something more”), while Spalletti sniffs the air and doesn’t trust. “Haven’t Juve won yet?” For us who have to play against it is a disadvantage – he replies – and sending them to -8 is a game that is not done on my part, it puts me at a psychological disadvantage ».
The psychological game between two technicians who know each other very well is the confirmation of what is at stake tonight: no one can afford to lose in this restart of the championship. Napoli are chasing the initial trio of victories, so Spalletti would equal that of Benitez in 2013, also to celebrate the 400th match of Lorenzo Insigne (who scored a goal in all the last three matches against Juve in the league). Without Demme and Lobotka there will be Anguissa’s debut in midfield, but the Neapolitan troubles are less than those of Juventus. Also for this Allegri thinks of the 3-5-2 “tilting” (it can become 4-4-2) with the trio De Ligt-Bonucci-Chiellini in defense plus De Sciglio and Luca Pellegrini on the wings, while in attack there will be Morata with Kulusevski (favorite over Kean).
Curiously, the Juventus coach is chasing a success in Serie A after 7 empty passes (4 knockouts and 3 draws) between old and new management: the last victory dates back to the match against Fiorentina (20 April 2019) which earned him the 5th championship. From here his tricolor race restarts, indeed it starts. –