It’s Coppa Italia final time in Italy on Wednesday (3 p.m. ET), with current champions Juventus aiming to secure the trophy for the fourth year running in a repeat of the 2015/16 final with AC Milan.
It took the Serie A champions extra time to come out on top two years ago, with Alvaro Morata netting a 110th-minute winner, but both teams will be hoping that this one doesn’t go the distance.
Taking Care of Business
Just a matter of weeks ago, Juventus seemed likely to view this match as something of an unwelcome distraction.
With Juventus coming to the end of an almighty race for the league title with Napoli that looked set to go right to the wire after a 1-0 defeat to their closest rivals last month, all of a sudden the race for the Serie A crown is all but over.
While most neutrals were rooting for Napoli, Milan fans in particular were hopeful that Maurizio Sarri’s side could keep up the pace with Juve. As it stands, however, after taking just one point from their last two matches, the Partenopei appear to have blown it. Napoli are now six points adrift at the top with a vastly inferior goal difference, so Max Allegri’s side will once again be celebrating come the end of the season.
Juve will be hoping to be toasting victory in the Cup before raising the league title, though, and it’s their opponents that will now have one eye on the league standings instead.
Indeed, while AC Milan reclaimed sixth spot in the league at the weekend, they have a huge match at Atalanta to concern themselves with next time out. Their hosts on Sunday are just one point and one place behind in the battle for that final Europa League spot, although Gennaro Gattuso’s side would book their place in the tournament if they can lift the Coppa on Wednesday — a result that would see the seventh-place team in the league also qualify.