It's been whispered that Antonio Conte admitted that he picks the Juventus starting XI at 3 a.m. That might be the only way to explain the forward paring against Napoli: Mirko Vucinic has played well over the past month, but using Marco Borriello from the start makes no sense whatsoever. It may have been that Conte hoped his imposing presence would slow down play, but the only way Borriello is slowing things down is by rolling on the ground and complaining. It's got to be a sure thing that Conte will bring off Borriello after the break, right?
The visitors have already been forced into a substitute, with Christian Maggio still suffering from the injury he picked up against Chelsea. Andrea Dossena replaced the wingback, taking Camile Zuniga's place on the left while the Colombian shifted to the right. While Maggio rarely grabs as much attention as the Three Tenors up front, he is the backbone of Napoli, and it's tough to see them winning without him on the pitch.
While Juventus have seen plenty of chances go begging thus far, primarily due to the inability of Borriello and Vucinic to link up, one or two substitutions will make all the difference. Despite Walter Mazzarri's insistence that his team has worked on set pieces this week, they look frail as ever when confronted with a corner or free kick. It's likely Juve will score -- but will Napoli be able to respond? Their counterattack is there, sure, but their passes have gone astray. If they don't settle down, nothing will even come close.
Yet if Juve don't settle down their tempers, the match could change in an instant. The hosts are playing a bit down and dirty tonight, with three players already having picked up yellow cards. Arturo Vidal earned a caution for a dangerous foul on Marek Hamsik, Stephan Lichtsteiner for dissent, and Paolo De Ceglie for a rash challenge on Ezequiel Lavezzi.