Everyone has their ideal football. Spalletti and Allegri are poles apart. Like their opinions on the eve of Napoli-Juventus, crucial challenge for the championship, two rounds from the end of the first round, which has already elected its leader: Naples winter champions with a seven-point lead over Juve and Milan and ten over Inter.
To those who ask me why I persist in considering Napoli already champions of Italy, reading the standings should be enough. However I go further: Spalletti’s team plays proactive and constructive football on which the result depends. Allegri’s chases the result regardless of the game. But not from tactics. Beyond the adopted and now almost fixed system (3-5-2), the Juventus coach plays more games within the same game. First, he defends low. Second, he doesn’t pick up the pace. Third, he leaves the initiative to his opponent without granting him dominance. Fourth, he plays the best substitutions not before 60 ‘. Fifth, he noticeably accelerates in the last quarter of an hour.
Is it football? Of course it’s football even if someone doesn’t like it emotionally or ideologically. Because football should be, among many other things, also a collective expression, a spirit of enterprise, the need to seek the goal in an always uniform and not occasional development. That of Naples, to be precise.
If Spalletti and Allegri think in opposite ways about the game, let alone who should be the favorite tomorrow night and, more generally, of the championship. Since they are two nice shrewd guys, each one has tried to slide the weight of this responsibility onto the adversary. Spalletti also with an extra touch of mischief: when you spend and get stronger like Juve did in the last few markets, you can’t fight for fourth place. Allegri says this – that Juve are looking at fourth place – who, to be precise, seems completely uninterested in the Scudetto.
If what Spalletti thinks is true (and it is unequivocally true), Juventus is late and it is of little use to remember that they are second anyway. He lost too many points, had (and has) too many injuries, played, at least in my opinion, many games below his standard. So it would be more correct to say that Juventus were favourites, but now they are no longer. He’s looking for one comeback impossible (at least for the writer), will try to score points against Maradona, but, compared to Napoli, it is lower for the performance of the players and for their quality.
Even if we want to address old-fashioned or anti-historical discourses, who is better between Osimhen and Milik? O: is Napoli’s midfield or Juve’s better? But it will be said: Juventus have the best defense in Serie A, they haven’t conceded a goal for eight days and have won as many times. Right. It’s a pity that tomorrow you face the best attack in the league and the top scorer overall (Osimhen), went to the net only on action. This reasoning leads me to a conclusion: Napoli, as far as they have done so far, are favourites. But it is a favor won on the pitch and with Spalletti’s work, all thanks to him and the players. Obviously Allegri is also working, but he is managing two emergencies: one off the field, with the sports and ordinary justice fronts to be reopened or just opened, the other with a long list of unavailable.
I think that on the field Spalletti will win by bringing the gap from Juve to ten points, as well as from Inter. At that point, with Milan possibly still at minus 7 (but they play in Lecce, mind you), who would have the courage to consider the championship reopened?
I repeat what I wrote before Inter-Naples. Not even an unexpected defeat of the leaders would signal a turnaround. From their four points lead, Napoli would rebuild a breakaway which, in practice, started from the beginning. And, a couple of days later, the situation would be the same as now. As happened after the defeat at San Siro.
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Napoli will beat Juve and close the championship. The reason? Spalletti builds unlike Allegri
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