Match Preview Coppa Italia

Juventus v AC Milan Coppa Italia Final – Match Preview

May 20, 2016 - 10:11 am


Juventus v AC Milan

Coppa Italia Final –  Saturday, 21st May – 19:45 GMT – Stadio Olimpico, Rome



On Saturday night, Juventus will wrap up the successful 2016/2017 season with the Coppa Italia final against Milan, hoping to bring home a second trophy. The Bianconeri have lifted the cup ten times in their history. After a month of playing for nothing, Juventus will resume playing a meaningful game. The last bout against Sampdoria was a nice response after the disastrous trip to Verona, so the team will approach the clash, riding high.

Obviously finals are always self-motivating and the words by the players in the last few days have been on point. The biggest risk is to underestimate Milan after they had a subpar season and very mediocre finish, but I think the fact that the Rossoneri challenged Juventus very hard in the most recent encounter, albeit in different circumstances as it was the last game of Sinisa Mihajlovic’s tenure, will make sure that does not happen.

Will it be another Bianconeri victory over Ac Milan?

Sami Khedira will not be available due to a calf strain, so he joins the injury list along with Claudio Marchisio and Martin Caceres. Leonardo Bonucci is disqualified, but will travel with team as he was not allowed to join Italy’s non-mandatory mini-camp, causing a little stir. I think the decision by Juventus had more to do with some of extra activities surrounding the Coppa final, meeting the Pope for starters, than with the pettiness of not sending the player just because they did not have to.

Norberto Neto will replace Gianluigi Buffon in goal: it’s fair to give the no.12 who played in Coppa, the chance to feature in the final, but I have to admit this is one of my least favourite traditions. Massimiliano Allegri used Andrea Barzagli in the heart of the defence in the last game, so it will be up to him to coordinate Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele Rugani. I do not think these three men have ever played together, hopefully there will not be any problems with chemistry between the players.

The doubts are the usual ones. Hernanes seems to be a little favoured over Mario Lemina for the deep-lying playmaker position: the Brazilian midfielder usually has a couple of shining plays per game, but honestly I would like to see the Frenchman, who is set to remain at Juve next season, in a big spot like this. Kwadwo Asamoah has a slight advantage over Stefano Sturaro for the other spot in the middle: the Ghanaian powerhouse has always been the first man off the bench when healthy, although he is a weird fit with Paul Pogba, as they both play better on the left, so maybe the Italian youngster could get the nod.

Stephen Lichsteiner is set to beat out Juan Cuadrado on the right, while Patrice Evra is expected to start on the left, although I would like to see Alex Sandro for the same reasons of Lemina, especially with Evra unsure about extending his contract with the club past this summer. You can not fabricate big-game experience, there is only one way to gain that. Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic will be the two strikers.

Probable lineup: 

3-5-2: Neto; Rugani, Barzagli, Chiellini; Lichsteiner, Pogba, Hernanes, Asamoah, Evra; Mandzukic, Dybala.


Marchisio (knee), Khedira (calf), Caceres (Achilles).






AC Milan

This game has huge implications for Milan: first of all, it’s a trophy and they have not lifted any of those in recent years, which is unusual for a club with such an important tradition. Secondly, Sassuolo leapfrogged them in the standings in the final two match days, which means that they need to win the final to enter the Europa League, which would be an improvement after few seasons without European competition. If Milan qualifies, they will go directly to the group stage, while Fiorentina will have to go through early play-offs and Sassuolo will stay home.

However, the last month or so at Milan under Christian Brocchi has been pretty awkward. The coaching change did not spark much improvement on the pitch and they had a couple of costly results for their sixth place hopes, like the 1-2 against Hellas and the 3-3 at home against Frosinone. In the last game against Roma, they looked in disarray. The potential and possibile Chinese takeover is dangling over everybody’s head, creating more chaos than security for now.

Brocchi, who seems an intense coach but has not managed yet to convey his tactical beliefs to the players yet, had a couple of tirades against the squad after the disappointing performances; We will see if he has managed to rile them up. He was appointed in because Mihajlovic was too defensive and did not play in a proactive way, but changes have been scarce on that front. As a matter of fact, the high offside trap has worked against them as their centre-backs are too slow to catch up, when beaten.

New coach, same problems

The coach is expected to ditch 4-3-1-2 for 4-3-3. The fact that they have not been able to find a good partner for Carlos Bacca is definitely a factor in the decision, but it is also a more defensive choice as Giacomo Bonaventura and Keisuke Honda, who will complete the trident, will try to contain Juve’s flank game. Mbaye Niang has recovered from a severe ankle injury, but he has yet to play so he will make at most, a second-half appearance: he has been pretty energetic this season and definitely their second best striker, but his effectiveness remains to be seen after being sidelined for two months.

They are set to be without the two starting fullbacks: Ignazio Abate is dealing with painful plantar fasciitis, while Luca Antonelli suffered a calf strain few weeks ago. Brocchi has tried Alessio Romagnoli on the left, but that did not work very well. Davide Calabria and Mattia De Sciglio are slated to start, with Romagnoli in the middle, alongside either Philippe Mexes or Cristian Zapata: Alex had a terrible game against Roma and should pay the price in this occasion.

Riccardo Montolivo is primed to anchor the three-man midfield, with Juraj Kucka, who had a great game against Pogba the last time but has underperformed under Brocchi, and probably the good soldier Andrea Poli. Andrea Bertolacci is in Brocchi’s doghouse after not living up to his €20 million price tag, José Mauri has a chance but the veteran is expected to come up victorious in this battle.

As mentioned, Mihajlovic was dispatched because his style was too passive: Brocchi has tried to reverse the course, but he simply does not have the horses to play fast possession football and changing a team’s identity is very difficult in only month, so there have been problems all over the pitch, especially in the defence. At times, they seemed to lack intensity and focus, but that could easily change in a high-stake game.

Probable lineup: 

4-3-3: Donnarumma; Calabria, Mexes, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Poli, Montolivo, Kucka; Honda, Bacca, Bonaventura. 


Abate (foot), Antonelli (calf). 







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  • Avatar
    Moderator May 20, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I don’t see this as a straight forward victory for us – Like Enrico says, Milan were pretty good against us the last time we met, despite the scoreline. They have so much to play for – My hope is that we start in strong fashion and don’t end up chasing the game – Having Dybala and Marione fit give me hope though. The only concern is the midfield which might labour a little with Khedira and Marchisio out.

    A victory will make Allegri the first Serie A coach to a dmoestic double for 2 seasons in a row – He really deserves it – Hope the bouys plays their socks off for him tomorrow – FORZA JUVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino May 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Pretty sure this will be a tough one – this will be a different Milan than the lame beaten-before-it-even-started Milan we saw in the league.

    They have nothing to lose and Europe to gain. For us its just another trophy!

    But I’m sure Juve will be prepared for Milan too.

    Forza Juve

  • Avatar
    Jack Handey May 20, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Totally agree on this being a tricky game. I trust both Allegri and the players recognize the danger and play with caution from the beginning.

    Part of me thinks this the game when Milan get lucky. The last few years, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for that team.

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino May 21, 2016 at 7:03 am

      I would be sorry for us and for Sassuolo, but something in me says it would be better for the League if Milan got in Europe again.

      If Milan wins it, i’ll cheer myself up with the idea it is for the good of the League 😛

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino May 21, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Pjanic said he would consider a Juve move if we seriously go for him..

    And reportedly Madrid wants to poach Fabio Paratici from us, those bastards

  • thegutterpoet
    thegutterpoet May 21, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Wise words, Enrico.

    And yes yes! Despite the doldrums where Ac finds itself, they raise their game whenever they face us, for the two sides represent the twin pillars of majesty and class throughout history, of the italian league.

    I want the game to be a marvellous spectacle. And with Dybala, oddly left out of the copa america squad, it his last chance to make his mark before hanging up his boots for a well deserved summer break. Also, it is the biggest game of Rugani’s career to date and Hernanes will be eager to impress upon Allegri that he is capable of providing cover for Marchisio. I trust in his talents.

    On paper and form, we are far stronger than AC. This is a one-off match, yet if we we play to even 75% of our capacity we should win handsomely. My only bother is the selection of Neto. Its the sign of fair treatment as Neto has been our coppa italia keeper, yet on the other hand, he has yet to impress and is far from match sharp. For such an important game, where we can add silverware and make history in the process, Buffon should be between the sticks.

    I have been steadily drinking for 4 hours, and yet here in Melbourne there remains 2 hours till kick off. I am trying to temper my dalliance with the vodka vixen, focusing on youtube videos of education vis-a-vis counter steering and leaning on my 2009 FZ1. Also attempting to edit, which for me means to simply look at and send to friends for consumption, a 20000 start of a novella I forged during a frenzy of 2-3 weeks last year whilst on my travels. And now I return to juve…too early!

    In the news…

    Real interested in Paratici. No surprise, yet they can go eat a bowl of fuck. Beppe and Fabio work sublimely in tandem, not just at Juve but before. No smoke, just conjecture.

    Morata is as good as gone. Repeated stories of interest from premier league clubs is now appearing on a daily basis back in the motherland. The question now is not when or if he will go, but who we will sign to replace him. I believe we will stick with the 3-5-2 unless we sign Pjanic or another attacking central midfielder, some might call a trequartista. In that case, spending 40m+ on a player will certainly lean us towards a change in formation to accommodate the pricy newcomer. We already had on our shopping list a RB/RWB, Cuadrado is to depart and Berardi is to appear. A 4-3-whatever negates the need to replace Cuadrado if Berardi comes in, for the youngster is naturally a right wing forward. Morata leaving will place us with Zaza, Mandzukic and Dybala. That is clearly one short of a proper striker. As in the ideal situation we have two players for every role.

    The problem I have with any major move for a trequartista is that Dybala already roams in and out of that area, he naturally moves in the same path, and to have another player doing the same is counter productive. For the Argentine has blossomed through roaming deep, hunting the ball, and I noted many times to my faithful, yet often brutal hellhound Oscar during the rout of Sampdoria, how he seemed more often than not heading towards and finding the ball in a RM position.

    Do we even need Gomes? With Hernanes coming good since the turn of the year, possibly Mandragora to join him? I think not. Unless Pereyra is sold, why spend the money, and if so, the position does not seem up for grabs in a centrally attacking position of midfield.

    Pjanic is an interesting idea, yet he leans towards a 4-3-1-2, which for me, lessens the proven ability of Dybala. Having two players roaming the same area is commotion and lessens the players to find further up the field. Dybala can be asked to stay higher up the field, yet as with Tevez, I feel he is at his very best when afforded the capacity to roam deeper.

    And so…Morata out…we need to bring in a front man with searing pace, which is always a weapon in the modern game. Batshuayi has the legs, yet does he have the finishing and can we compete with the riches of the premier league for his signature? Lukaku is a more complete player, and I am a great fan of his talents, for he has excelled in a pretty poor Everton side this term. Sanchez is too similar to Dybala and too costly. Cavani will be costly, yet he is Mandzukic with far more to offer. Finally we find Benteke, who I would be happy to see us sign, the man has power and knows where the goal is. And I suppose, it is worth mentioning baby Jesus.

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino May 21, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      What about a 4-3-2-1instead?
      Use both Dybala and say Pjanic behind a lone striker, Morata/Cavani?

      Perhaps that could be a lethal combination

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino May 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Well, this game is being dictated by Milan. Not even 1 shot toward goal for us in this half, but Milan isnt producing anything dangerous either

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino May 21, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I would like Morata to fill in for Mandzukic now. Not offering anything valuable and leaves the team without any reference point up top.

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino May 21, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I’ll go ahead and call this the most boring game of the season. Christ.

    • Avatar
      ho Hi May 21, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      its so fucking boring……………

  • Avatar
    ho Hi May 21, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    finally. I hope Alvaro stays

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino May 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you Alvaro!! Now I feel vindicated for demanding this sub earlier xD

  • Avatar
    Dar Black May 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Perhaps fitting as that maybe Alvaro’s last match in a Juventus shirt and he scores with his first touch! If that is the end then thanks amigo… You will be missed. But please don’t go cheap Beppe… Offer a decent amount to keep him.

  • Avatar
    DutchJuventus May 21, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Our new jerseys look great! I couldn’t watch the match. I’m happy we won, but many comments about how boring it was.

  • Avatar
    Auzziejuventino May 22, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Whats funny is the player that crossed the ball ( cuadrado ) and the player that scored ( morata ) might not be with us next year