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Coppa Italia: Lazio Start Title Defence, Inter Milan Fortify Their Lineup

Serie A teams started off on a great note in the Coppa Italia, as Napoli, Inter Milan and Lazio dominated their respective opponents in the Round of 16.

Italy’s top scorers in Lorenzo Insigne, Romelu Lukaku, and Ciro Immobile had their share of Coppa Italia 2020 highlights, as they provided the necessary goals for their teams to move on.

On the other side of the bracket, Torino will await the winner between S.P.A.L. and AC Milan while the victor between Parma and AS Roma will face off against the winner between Juventus and Udinese.

Inter Milan will also await the winner between Fiorentina and Atalanta while Napoli and Lazio are slated to clash in the quarterfinals.

But before we witness some more action in the Coppa Italia, allow SBOTOP to give you a quick roundup on some updates regarding the tournament.

 

Inter hungry to get back on top

Romelu Lukaku is expected to continue his prolific form in Coppa Italia
Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku in action during a Serie A match against Atalanta

It has been a while since Inter Milan won the Coppa Italia plum. They won it last time in 2011 when they were led by the likes of Diego Milito and Samuel Eto’o to defeat a formidable Palermo squad led by Josip Ilicic and Ezequiel Munoz.

Hungry has been the keyword for Inter Milan this season as they’ve been trying to do the same in Serie A. As they try to stop Juventus to get their eighth title in a row, they took it upon themselves to perform consistently well and they are indeed giving the champs a run for their money.

Romelu Lukaku continues to be the alpha dog for the Nerazzurri. As shown in their game against Cagliari in the Coppa Italia, the Belgian striker set the tone early when he scored the first goal just within the first minute. He followed that one up later with a cool finish at the 49th minute to put the game away for good.

But despite the strong performance by Inter Milan so far this campaign, it looks like team manager Antonio Conte isn’t done making moves yet.

The Nerazzurri were indeed aggressive in adding reinforcements to bolster their depth. Just a few hours ago, the first domino has fallen when they pried Christian Eriksen away from Tottenham via transfers.

Eriksen will no doubt contribute for the Nerazzurri as he will look to regain his form in what was a lost season playing for Tottenham. The Danish forward was left hanging to dry especially with the emergence of the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Son Heung-Min.

Pair him with someone like Lukaku and there’s no doubt that Inter’s odds to win it all are very high.

 

Juventus suffer a huge blow

Multiple time Coppa Italia winners Juventus will look to get back on the mountaintop anew as they will first face Udinese in the Round of 16. However, despite finding their dangerous form recently, I Bianconeri’s journey from here on will be much tougher as they will have to do it without some of their key players.

Team captain Giorgio Chiellini and ace defender Merih Demiral are expected to be sidelined indefinitely due to their torn ACLs, while Gonzalo Higuain is dealing with a light hamstring issue.

But even with their growing injury list, Juve are still a very formidable team.

Despite his advancing age, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to show why he’s one of the world’s best. His high-leaping goal versus Sampdoria few weeks ago is still fresh to our memories and his mentorship to a young Paulo Dybala is quite invaluable.

The trio of Blaise Matuidi, Leonardo Bonucci, and Matthijs de Ligt is set to carry the load on the defence, and they are expected to do well for I Bianconeri moving forward.

With a much thinner lineup this time around, I don’t expect Juve to go all out in trying to win the Coppa Italia. However, one shouldn’t look past them especially as we approach the latter stages of the tourney.

 

Lazio eager to defend their crown

It has been a season to remember so far for Lazio and they are hoping that they would continue to ride the wave by bringing home more hardware.

They recently won the Supercoppa Italiana by whipping Juventus in the final and they have yet to be defeated in all competitions since early November.

Lazio have been making their case as title contenders as well in Serie A. They are at firm control at the third spot with 42 points as of this writing.

Ciro Immobile, Joaquin Correa, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are the main catalysts for Simone Inzaghi, and they have been on a roll by providing ample opportunities at the attack for the team.

Their defence isn’t too shabby either as they’ve given up only 17 goals so far in Serie A. While there aren’t too many household names, guys like Luis Alberto, Luiz Felipe, and Francesco Acerbi have done just enough to form a fortress at the back.

It’s hard to see them being taken down in the Coppa Italia with the way that they’re playing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they win the Coppa Italia for the second consecutive time.

 

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