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Why Juve COVID outbreak is not like Napoli

COVID-19 situation at Juventus right now and the adherence to the protocol is very different to the one that emerged at Napoli in October.

Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado have both tested positive over the last 24 hours, so the squad is remaining in its bubble at the J Hotel in Turin for tonight.

Only after another round of swabs tomorrow morning will the team make its trip to Milan for the match against the Serie A leaders.

This is inevitably raising comparisons to the situation that saw Napoli not make the journey to Turin for their game with Juventus on October 4.

They too had two players test positive within a 24-hour period – Eljif Elmas and Piotr Zielinski – but there are some fundamental differences.

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Napoli cancelled their flight to Turin over 24 hours before the game was due to kick off and did not organise any potential replacement trip for the next day.

That would’ve been allowed under the Serie A protocol, as if players provide a negative test the same day as the match, they are given the go-ahead to participate.

Juventus are waiting until tomorrow morning’s swabs to decide who can travel to Milan, as per protocol.

The Turin ASL has already stated it will only intervene if “there is enough evidence to suggest an uncontrolled outbreak within the squad.”

With two positive cases, that is not considered an outbreak, as many teams have played with far more absentees than this.

The ASL in Naples, however, did intervene after just two cases, over-riding the existing and pre-agreed Serie A protocol.

“I’m sorry for those teams who had 4-5 cases of COVID and had to play the game anyway,” said Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo after Napoli won their third appeal on that October incident.

The Lega Serie A was concerned Napoli would set a precedent by pulling out of a big game when they had only two players missing due to COVID-19.

As things stand, there is nothing to suggest enough COVID cases will emerge overnight for the Juventus squad to be locked down in Turin.

Napoli did have one element that the Bianconeri do not, as they had only just played against Genoa, who did have an outbreak of over a dozen cases 48 hours later.

With that in mind, they had the genuine concern that more of the Napoli players would’ve been infected during the match.

However, there were only ever those two cases involving Zielinski and Elmas.

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