Sometimes regarded as second tier cup-competition, Coppa Italia or Italian Cup has regained its glory in the recent years – mainly due to Juventus hoisting the trophy for four times in the past five years, along with winning the Serie A, of course.
Juventus being the team to beat both in Serie A and Coppa, many of the better teams make no concessions trying to win one or another. Juventus’ reign in Coppa came to an end last season, with Lazio finishing off Atalanta in the final, after Atalanta had shocked Juventus in the quarterfinal. This time Juventus is among the top four as are three other Italian giants: Napoli, Inter and AC Milan.
Out of the four teams, Napoli and AC Milan are very much out of the contest for the Scudetto, the Italian Serie A title. Despite having improved as of late, both teams had horrific starts to their campaign and the distance to the top seems too wide. Napoli is currently 10th in the Serie A with 27 points and AC Milan is 8th with 31 points.
League leading Juventus is at 51 points and currently the closest rivals Inter is three points behind with 48. Both challengers, Napoli and Milan are definitely hungry for silverware and despite still in contest for European qualification from Serie A, will definitely push for winning the Coppa – especially if it means getting one over Juventus.
Milan will face the league leaders in the semifinals, while Napoli will take on Inter. The semifinals are played in two legs, first one at the home of the challengers Milan & Napoli on 12th of February and the second parts at the favorite’s home stadiums on 4th of March.
Napoli cleared their way to semifinals by beating Lazio in quarterfinal, while Inter ousted Fiorentina. Juventus sent AS Roma packing and their opponent AC Milan upended Torino. Not counting Juventus, the last winner of the remaining teams is Napoli, who took the Coppa in 2014 – after beating Lazio in the quarterfinals. Will the history repeat itself, or will Juventus recapture the Coppa? Three hungry challengers will do everything in their power to topple the “Vecchia Signora”.