Euro 2020 Special
 

The Goddess and the Old Lady Battle for Coppa Italia Glory

Atalanta vs Juventus

For the sixth time in seven seasons, Juventus are in the final of the Coppa Italia. The Old Lady have had a disastrous season in Serie A and will look the salvage it with some silverware.

However, they will face some stiff competition against Atalanta, who have been in fantastic form to end the season. 

The Coppa Italia 2021 betting odds actually have the Goddess as slight favourites in the final. They recently broke their long winless run against Juve in the league and will be hungry to win their first Coppa Italia in nearly 60 years.

Talking Points

Atalanta have a wealth of attacking weapons

Atalanta will head into their second Coppa Italia final in three years in fabulous form. They beat Genoa 4-3 on the weekend as they look on course to finish second in Serie A — their highest finish in club history.

That win extended their undefeated run in the league to 11 matches (nine wins and two draws). One of their wins during that run was a 1-0 home victory over Juventus.

Ruslan Malinovskiy, who scored the late winner against Juve, has been absolutely sensational of late. The Ukrainian midfielder has had a hand in 13 goals (five goals scored and eight assisted) in his last nine matches and now leads Serie A with 12 assists this season.

Meanwhile, Luis Muriel was rested against Genoa but will likely return to the starting XI against Juve. The Colombian striker has had a career year with 22 league goals — third in the league behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku.

Duvan Zapata (15 goals, nine assists) will likely get the nod to start alongside Muriel and Malinovskiy against Juventus. But Gian Piero Gasperini will have a wealth of attacking weapons on the bench, with Josip Ilicic, Mario Pasalic, Aleksey Miranchuk, and Matteo Pessina.

Juventus have positive momentum heading into final

Coppa Italia: Juventus are in the final of the tournament for the sixth time in seven seasons
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring Juventus’ first goal against Inter Milan at the Allianz Stadium

Juventus will also enter the cup final on the back of some impressive Serie A results. They bolstered their hopes of finishing in the top four by picking up big wins over Sassuolo as well as champions Inter, whom they beat to book a spot in the final.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring against Inter after following up on a missed penalty, while Juan Cuadrado sealed the win with a brace.

Juve’s victory was all the more impressive considering they down to 10 men for the last half hour after Rodrigo Bentancur was sent off. Ronaldo was also subbed off for the last 20 minutes.

Ronaldo’s withdrawal did not seem to be injury-related, so he should be ready to make some Coppa Italia 2021 highlights in the final. The 36-year-old has now scored four goals in his last four games and is up to 29 league goals this season.

It remains to be seen who will line up alongside Ronaldo, though. Andrea Pirlo has rotated Ronaldo’s strike partner for most of the season. Paulo Dybala got the nod as he scored in Juve’s impressive 3-1 win away to Sassuolo last midweek but was an unused substitute against Inter as Dejan Kulusevski started up front.

And on the other end, Juventus’ defence continues to struggle. Even with captain Giorgio Chiellini’s return from injury, they have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 14 matches in all competitions.

History

Juventus are the record Coppa Italia winners with 13 titles to their name. They won four consecutive titles from 2015 to 2018 but lost last season’s final to Napoli on penalties.

As for Atalanta, their 1963 Coppa Italia triumph is their only major piece of silverware in club history. They made it back to the final three times since — 1987, 1996, and 2019 — but lost each time.

As for the recent head-to-heads between Atalanta and Juventus, it has been heavily in the Old Lady’s favour. They have won 21 of their last 30 meetings, including three of four in the Coppa Italia. Meanwhile, Atalanta have won just twice in those 30 matches.

However, La Dea did beat Juve in the league for the first time since 2001 in their most recent meeting in April. They also thumped Juve 3-0 in the 2019 Coppa Italia quarter-finals, with Duvan Zapata bagging a brace.