Find out how to watch Juventus face Napoli in a Serie A contest on Saturday, Aug. 31.
Two weeks into Serie A and arguably the most mouth-watering clash of the season takes place Saturday in Turin, where reigning eight-time champions Juventus could have Maurizio Sarri back on the touchline as they face his former squad and runners-up Napoli.
Sarri, who returned to Italian soccer after leading Chelsea to the Europa League title and a third-place finish in his only season in the Premier League, was absent for Juve’s slender 1-0 victory over Parma after being diagnosed with pneumonia. The eccentric 60-year-old, who has rankled the club’s top officials by refusing to quit smoking despite the diagnosis, has reportedly been feeling better and has been eyeing a return to the coach’s box.
The scudetto holders got their goal from an unlikely source as defender Giorgio Chiellini re-directed Alex Sandro’s scuffed shot past Parma keeper Luigi Sepe in the 21st minute. Despite not being on the sideline, Juventus played Sarri’s preferred 4-3-3 formation which featured Cristiano Ronaldo as the centre-forward flanked by Douglas Costa and Gonzalo Higuain in attack.
Ronaldo had a first-half goal chalked off for offsides following a VAR review, but Juve dominated play over the first 45 minutes before slowing down in the second due to the warm temperatures. Also interesting who was not among the starters for the Old Lady as midfielder Aaron Ramsey missed out with a back injury and $83 million summer signing Matthijs de Ligt -- part of the Ajax side that sent Juventus crashing out of the Champions League quarterfinals -- was an unused substitute.
Juve’s bench also included strikers Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic, and wide back Danilo -- acquired from Manchester City as part of Joao Cancelo’s move to the Premier League champions -- was also among those who watched the full 90 minutes.
In his first season, Carlo Ancelotti guided Napoli to the same place Sarri did for two of his three seasons in charge -- second to Juventus. In a bid to make up the 11 points that separated the sides last season, Napoli signed defender Kostas Manolas from AS Roma and striker Hirving Lozano from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven for a combined $86 million.
The club-record $46.5 million transfer fee for Lozano is the most for a Mexico international player, topping the $42 million Wolverhampton shelled out for Raul Jimenez in March.
Napoli were clinical offensively but ragged defensively as they opened the season with a 4-3 victory at Fiorentina. Lorenzo Insigne completed his brace with a go-ahead goal in the 67th minute as Ancelotti’s team twice was pegged back in the second half after taking a lead. Insigne also assisted on goals by Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon, with the latter setting up Insigne’s go-ahead marker.
Juve did the double over Napoli last season, winning 3-1 in Turin as Mandzukic had a brace and the Partenopei played the final 32 minutes with 10 men after Mario Rui was booked a second time. The Old Lady has won eight of the last nine league meetings in Turin by a combined 17-6 count, with Napoli breaking through only in the 2017-18 season on Kalidou Koulibaly’s 90th-minute goal for a 1-0 victory.
How to Watch Juventus vs Napoli
When: Saturday, Aug. 31
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Time: 2:45 PM EDT
Live Stream: fuboTV (try for free)