Opinion: Three lessons that Juventus should learn from Milan ahead of Sunday’s clash

Sportem
Sportem
4 Min Read

Until a few weeks ago, Napoli was the hipster pick for every football purist who prides himself in rooting for the underdog. The Partenopei are runaway Serie A leaders, and at this point, it would require a miraculous event to deny them their first Scudetto title in the post-Maradona era.

While no dramatic changes occurred on that front, Luciano Spalletti’s have lost their invincibility aura in less than ten days. Why? Because they ran into a team that deciphered a secret recipe that spelled destruction for the Azzurri.

In less than a fortnight, Milan humiliated Napoli with a 4-0 demolition job in Serie A, before shattering their Champions League hopes in a 2-1 score on aggregate.

This brings us to our beloved Old Lady.

While Juventus have been enjoying a positive week on and off the pitch, the mood remains particularly cautious at the Allianz Stadium, awaiting the arrival of an enraged Napoli side.

For their part, Max Allegri’s men have their own score to settle against the Partenopei following the 5-1 embarrassment in the reverse fixture, but perhaps Milan’s displays against the Southerners could provide the Bianconeri boss with valuable tips.

So here are three lessons that Juventus should learn from Milan ahead of Sunday’s major showdown against Napoli.

Double Marking

Milan coach Stefano Pioli insisted on double-marking Napoli’s golden duo of Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia from start to finish. Now compare that to Juve’s approach in the reverse fixture, when the Nigerian striker and the Georgian winger ran wild while confusing reigned at the back.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that Allegri must deploy more defenders, but instead, the Bianconeri stars must help one another in defensive duties. Take Rafael Leao and Brahim Diaz as examples of talented players who worked extremely hard on both ends of the field to secure a result in a crucial encounter.

Counter-Attacking

Admittedly, telling Allegri to sit back and counterattack is almost like asking a fish to swim. So consider it done!

But as we’ve seen in the defeat against Milan and Lazio, this maneuver might be Napoli’s Achilles Heel.

The Partenopei tend to commit too many men forward, and the quality of their midfielders would always tip the scale in their favor in the middle of the park. Thus, it’s best to leave the initiative to them, pounce on a poor pass and launch a devastating counter-attack.

Although we don’t have Leao amongst our ranks, Federico Chiesa, Angel Di Maria, Juan Cuadrado, Filip Kostic and even Adrien Rabiot are all excellent in swift transitions.

Patience

Despite being one of the most terrifying clubs in Europe, the Partenopei can’t press high and maintain a fast tempo for 90 minutes. Therefore, Juventus must deal with this juggernaut wisely.

The Bianconeri must be both cautious and determined in their attempts to weather the early storm. Hopefully, we’ll adopt a patient approach and our players will bide their time before seizing the right opportunity to strike.

Since these ploys worked for Milan on the biggest European stage, surely they’re worth a try…

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