All is hideous presently with Juve. Poor form, poor results. Pirlo’s position questioned hourly. Dumped out the CL with two awful games against a team we were expected to beat. Dropping down the table with now CL qualification very much in jeopardy. Players trouncing the COVID rules to play poker and likely more revelry. Dybala’s contract offer allegedly withdrawn. Kulu, young player of the year in Serie A last campaign as the scapegoat…and to top it all, more bothersome news of yet another Juve player branded with THE PLAGUE…and Agnelli dining with Max Allegri.

The nut of the matter is that we have emerged with the same sense of a shambles of a club as felt and looked the case at this stage last season. No dice revealing better numbers.

We head into this re-arranged fixture – if it even takes place with THE PLAGUE abounding with concerns, though for anyone with a functioning mind, those deemed condemned with THE PLAGUE, are far from fending off the Grim Reaper – yes yes, the game may not even take place, and yet it probably will.

Our visitors are level on points, in slightly better form on paper, yet my own appraisal is that Napoli are playing much more cohesively than our crowd, with a weaker squad. They have a stronger sense of synergy with the players, the tactics, the coach.

Despite the table, and my analysis of the two sides, I remain, against many measures of logical reasoning, leaning towards our superior quality. I still, close to assume, that our rock bottom is 4th position. And project the worst we will manage against Napoli, and thereafter is that rock bottom 4th place in the table.

Which will be a damningly negative report on the management of the club which includes still one of the few elite players on the planet. And by ‘management’ I mean not just Pirlo and his coaching staff, but Paratici and Nedved and even Agnelli…

Mckennie and Dybala should be available, Arthur still injured. The American should start in that hybrid CM/AM/RM role to allow Juan to bomb forward, always predictably, as our main creative force, flinging in crosses.

The stage is set more than ever before for Dybala to make his entrance and inject something we have long been missing. Yet he has not played for many moons and to expect him to hit the ground electric and potent, is unreasonable.

The selection matters little to me. We are a falling giant. Gone seems the quest for the glory we have owned for so long, now all we have left is PRIDE. Forget Pirlo. This is now all about the grinta of those given the privilege to step onto the field in our colours, and to go to war for the shared cause…

Any player as aware of this cause as us, who cares for the club, of now or our history, will be hurting. They have the perfect platform to prove their value to the club, to us, and to themselves…when our old chums the partenopei come to town.

UPDATE –

Expected formation>

Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Chiellini, Danilo; McKennie, Arthur, Bentancur, Chiesa; Morata, Ronaldo