- After months without football in Italy, the Coppa Italia returns this weekend
- Napoli heads into the second leg against Inter with a 1-0 advantage, while Juve and AC Milan are tied 1-1 in their first meeting
- Get the odds, picks, and best bet for these two clashes below
With Serie A action set to return next weekend, we first get a taste of Italian football with the second leg of the Coppa Italia Semifinals, featuring four of the best teams in the country. Napoli heads back home with a clear advantage, having won the first leg in Milan against Inter thanks to a Fabian Ruiz goal in the 57th minute. Meanwhile, Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus played a hard-fought match on the road, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the equalizer in injury time as Juve prepare to host AC Milan in Turin on Friday with a berth to the finals on the line.
The winners of these respective fixtures will play for all the marbles on June 17th in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico, just days before league play returns.
Juventus vs AC Milan Coppa Italia Odds
|AC Milan||+1(-114)||+480||Un 2.5(-106)|
Odds taken June 9
In the first leg back in February, Juve dominated 62-percent of the possession in Milan, but Stefano Pioli’s side was a lot more dangerous in the final third, generating 21 shots, with 11 on target. The Old Lady looked to be in trouble heading into the last minutes of injury time until Ronaldo bagged a spot-kick just before the whistle blew.
Juve had a convincing road to the semifinals, having buried Roma 3-1 in the quarters. This will be their first match since the pandemic shut down football across the continent and even though they won’t have their supporters cheering them on, it will be a comfortable feeling for Sarri’s men to play on home soil. The current Serie A title holders usually have no problem handling the majority of the possession, but they will need to be more clinical in front of goal against an AC Milan squad who have improved over the course of this season.
Since Pioli has taken over at San Siro, Milan has been playing a whole lot better. Before COVID-19 postponed competition, the Rossoneri lost just twice in their last ten matches. They’re still in seventh place in Serie A and three points off a Europa League spot, but this will be a chance to possibly win some hardware this season. The quarterfinals were no easy task for Milan, winning 4-2 in extra time against a gritty Torino side. Now, they’ll be looking to upset Juve at Allianz stadium, where the Italian champions have yet to lose this term.
Given Juve’s prolific form at home, I give them the advantage in this second leg. They’ve also gone unbeaten against AC Milan in their last five meetings. Ronaldo has scored five times in just ten appearances against their semifinal counterparts and with the Portuguese star always coming through in the most important situations, expect him to find the back of the net once again on Friday.
Pick: Juventus -189
Napoli vs Inter Milan Coppa Italia Odds
|Napoli||pk (-108)||+168||Ov 2.5 (-111)|
|Inter Milan||pk (-112)||+160||Un 2.5 (-109)|
Despite Inter’s electric attack this year, they struggled to break through Napoli’s backline in the first leg, suffering a 1-0 defeat on the road. Romelu Lukaku had three shots on target but failed to find the back of the net, while Lautaro Martinez didn’t enjoy his best match by any means.
Antonio Conte’s side will head to Naples in search of a convincing victory in order to progress to the Coppa Italia finals. Together, Lukaku and Martinez have scored 16 goals away from the San Siro this season, which is the most of any duo across Europe’s top-five leagues. Although there’s been a substantial amount of time away from football, these two Inter stars will definitely be a force on the attack this Saturday. The Nerazzurri find themselves in the semis after downing Fiorentina 2-1 in late January thanks to tallies from Nicolas Barella and Antonio Candreva.
Napoli was in impressive form before action was postponed, going unbeaten in their last five matches and losing just twice in their last ten. They’re definitely riding a high in this competition after knocking out the defending Coppa Italia champions in Lazio, whom they beat 1-0 in the last round. Gennaro Gattuso has been a breath of fresh air as the new Napoli boss, losing just five of his 15 matches since taking over the helm in early December. Dries Mertens and Arkadiusz Milik have been lethal on the attack, scoring 12 goals apiece across all competitions this year.
Although Napoli won the first leg, Inter’s last visit to Naples resulted in a 3-1 league win behind a Lukaku brace. Conte’s men will be looking for a similar result, but I do believe that Napoli will put forward another strong showing. Inter was in disappointing form prior to coronavirus, winning just twice in five matches, with both of those victories coming against Bulgarian side Ludogorets in Europa League competition. To boot, all three defeats came against Lazio, Juventus, and Napoli, in the Coppa Italia. I think it will take Milan time to get back into form, so I give Napoli the upper hand in Saturday’s clash.
Pick: Napoli +168