Blog Written by Joshua O'Byrne (@JobJobBinks):
This years Coppa Italia final is a clash between two giants of Italian football, Milan and Juventus. For Juventus, a Coppa win would see Allegri's men be the first team to complete a back-to-back double. For Milan, a Coppa win would see them gain access to the Europa League and shine some light on another poor season from the Rossoneri. The stage is set at The Stadio Olimpico in Rome for one of these fierce rivals to add another trophy to their cabinet. So who will come out on top in the big clash tonight?
Juventus will be looking to win the Coppa Italia and become the first team to complete a league and cup double for two successive seasons. Allegri, who is the last Milan manager to win a trophy, will be looking to prevent Brocchi from picking up his first trophy as a manager. Juventus come into the cup final on fine form despite Allegri being disappointed with post-Scudetto performances against Verona and Carpi. The match against Verona was Juve’s first loss in 28 matches, an incredible statistic. This season, Juventus have stormed their way to a fifth consecutive Scudetto after a poor start to the season. A cup win would be a perfect ending to the season for the Bianconeri. If Juventus are to beat Milan tonight which they are heavily fancied to do, players like Paulo Dybala and Paul Pogba will be crucial for The Old Lady. Juventus will be missing Leonardo Bonucci (suspension) and Sami Khedira (injury) for the big match. Bonucci is a massive loss for Juve as he's been a stalwart in the heart of their defense the last few seasons. However, Juventus as ever have great strength in their depth and will be well covered with Daniele Rugani, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini likely to start in defense. Despite being overwhelming favorites, Allegri is aware of the danger of Milan; "There's no such thing as an easy final," he warned in his pre-match press conference. Allegri will no doubt have his players fired up for the match and he will be looking to add more misery to his former employers catastrophic season.
Milan's season has been a catastrophe but a Coppa win would at least qualify them for the Europa League and give creditability to their season. Milan have been in dire form since Brocchi took charge winning only one game out of six, a 1-0 win away to an out-of-sorts Sampdoria. For Milan to beat Juventus, they will need every player to be at the top of their game and have fate on their side. A win for Milan would give the Rossoneri a return to European football and it would be their 29th trophy in 30 years under Berlusconi. However, a defeat would make the situation at Milan, which seemingly can't get any worse, even more catastrophic. Brocchi will almost certainly lose his job if he fails to win and even a win might not be enough to secure his future. Carlos Bacca and Giacomo Bonaventura will have to provide the creativity for Milan if they are to upset the odds and beat Juventus. Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonelli will be big losses for Milan and those injuries could see Alessio Romangnoli moved to left-back. A possible M’Baye Niang return from injury would be a big boost to Milan’s chances. Despite being underdogs, Brocchi is confident that Juventus can be beaten; “All teams have flaws,” Brocchi told reporters at his pre-match press conference. Brocchi will be hoping for a win to possibly secure his own future and clinch a place in the Europa League for Milan.
Tonight's match is set to be a cracker with both groups of fans set to provide us with a fantastic atmosphere. Sassuolo fans will also watch the Coppa final nervously as they await to see if they qualify for the Europa League since the Neroverdi need Juventus to beat Milan. The stage is now set but who will deliver the best performance on the night and take the Coppa Italia home? After all, only one team can prevail in this clash of giants.