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Coppa Italia: Sarri Needs a Win

Juventus vs AC Milan

When Juventus host AC Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg on Wednesday, the Old Lady expects a victory, and her manager needs one.

Maurizio Sarri’s position as Juve head coach has come under question, with rumours circulating that he would be for the chop had his side lost the top Serie A clash with Inter this weekend. In the event, the game was postponed, and so this Coppa clash has taken on even more significance for the Juve boss.

The tie is nicely balanced at 1-1 after the first leg in Milan, where Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late penalty to give Juve the slight edge; and the Coppa Italia 2020 prediction point to a final appearance for I Bianconeri. But Milan head coach Stefano Pioli will take his team to Turin with his own expectations.

I Rossoneri are in seventh place in Serie A and chasing Europa qualification, and the sleeping giant desperately wants silverware.

 

Talking Points

Home is where Juve’s heart is

The pressure on Sarri is pretty much down to Juve’s away form as the Old Lady has struggled on the road recently. As well as labouring to a draw in Milan, Juventus has also lost in the league to Hellas Verona and Lyon in the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo was philosophical about the defeat in France, saying: “This can happen, this is football. We are not happy about the game, but this can happen. We are very confident we can change the result and go to the next round.

Coppa Italia: Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to lead Juventus upfront against AC Milan
Cristiano Ronaldo carry the ball to the center circle after converting a late penalty against AC Milan

“The Champions League is the hardest competition in football. There are no easy games but we have the second game at home. I am looking forward to the second leg.”

That will be music to Juve fans’ ears. I Bianconeri weren’t all that convincing in beating Brescia 2-0 at home recently, but they are on a seven-match winning run in Turin and will fully expect to make it eight.

CR7 is sure to be in the Coppa Italia 2020 news on Wednesday night but, of course, Milan has its own Galactico.

 

Is Zlatan Milan’s best hope?

The return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Serie A raised some eyebrows but the 38-year-old Swedish cavalier has proved he still has what it takes. He was dominant in the first half of this semi-final first leg and has made his mark in the league, already netting two goals. He will be a real threat to the Juventus backline but he’s not on his own. Hakan Calhanoglu is a lively customer and Croatian wide-man Ante Rebic has hit a hot streak of form, scoring in each of Milan’s last three games, the latest being a 1-1 draw away to Fiorentina.

Pioli was fuming with the match officials after his side had failed to beat the ten-man Viola. Ibrahimovic had a goal disallowed by VAR, for a handball, and

 

Coronavirus disruption

The emergence of Coronavirus in Italy halved the number of Serie A games this weekend. The Derby D’Italia, Juventus against Inter, was postponed and so Lazio took the opportunity to go top of the league with a 2-0 win over Bologna.

Milan’s home game against Genoa was also postponed and the Coppa final will be delayed by a week to May 20th.

But hopefully, we’ll be in action on Wednesday.

 

History

Juve leads the head to heads in all competitions by 35 to 19, and there have been 15 draws in all matches since 1993.

But the Old Lady’s home form is particularly good news for the hosts, they are on a seven-match winning run, and have not lost at home to Milan in their last ten encounters.

 

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