Euro 2020 Special
 

Tactical Analysis of Coppa Italia Final

In the 2021 Coppa Italia Final, Pirlo’s Juventus will take on Gasperini’s Atalanta at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore. 

Often underrated, Atalanta have embodied consistency this season. Since taking over the reins of the team over five years ago, Gasperini has completely transformed the side from Bergamo. 

They are second in the Serie A table currently and have assured themselves of Champions League football for the third consecutive season under Gasperini. The 63-year-old would want to lift his first trophy in Italian football and help Atalanta command a position among the elites of world football as they set out to seek their second Coppa Italia trophy after going all the way in 1963.

On the other hand, the season has been far from ideal for Juventus so far and the thirteen-time Coppa Italia winners would want to get their hands on silverware in order to salvage some pride. Not only have Juventus lost their nine-year Serie A winning streak, they are in danger of not qualifying for the Champions League next season. 

Going into the final game week, The Old Lady of Turin are fifth in the table, despite their recent victory over champions Inter Milan and their Champions League qualification hopes will depend on Napoli and Milan dropping points. In April, when they met Atalanta, the result was a 0-1 loss

Ahead of the Coppa Italia final, let’s take a look at the tactics that Atalanta and Juventus might deploy during the match. 

HOW ATALANTA COULD LINE UP AGAINST JUVENTUS

Gian Piero Gasperini will be relieved to have an almost injury-free camp going into the most important fixture in the club’s recent history. Both Rafael Toloi and Luis Muriel shrugged off their recent injuries and returned to the action on the pitch in the 4-3 win over Genoa during the weekend.

With 25 goals, Luis Muriel is the top-scorer for Atalanta this season and hopes to start alongside Duvan Zapata. Behind them, there’s a severe competition for the supporting striker role. Though Ruslan Malinovskyi has been in astounding form and is the favourite to receive Gasperini’s approval, Josip Ilicic, Mario Pasalic and even Aleksei Miranchuk are worthy contenders. 

Atalanta have preferred to play the 3-4-2-1 formation this season, but in the final, Gasperini might tweak it to a 3-4-1-2 as he did in both the league games against Juventus. The 3-4-1-2 allows his side more freedom to press the Juventus centre-backs while also having a central player in order to prevent the Bianconeri from having a free man in midfield.

Wing-back Robin Gosens, who has contributed 17 goals in the Serie A this season, might tuck in deeper in order to negate the threat of Juventus’ Juan Cuadrado who was in brilliant form during the weekend game against Inter.

ATALANTA PREDICTED PLAYING XI 

Atalanta Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Pierluigi Gollini; Cristian Romero, Rafael Toloi, Berat Djimsiti; Hans Hateboer, Marten de Roon, Remo Freuler, Robin Gosens; Ruslan Malinovskiy, Luis Muriel, Duvan Zapata

HOW JUVENTUS COULD LINE UP AGAINST ATALANTA 

Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo will have to deal with the loss of full-back Alex Sandro who picked up his second yellow card in the semi-final and as a result, is suspended for the final. This might see Juan Cuadrado, who was arguably the difference in the close win over Inter, being asked to play deeper as a right-back despite his brace against Inter Milan in the last Serie A fixture. Danilo might be deployed as a left-back.

Gianluigi Buffon is expected to start in goal as he has been Juventus’ regular keeper in Coppa Italia. Buffon, who is set to leave The Bianconeri at the end of the season, would want to end his second spell at the club with a trophy.

While Cristiano Ronaldo – who scored his 100th goal for Juventus last week but cut a frustrated figure against Inter Milan – is sure to lead the line, there are considerable doubts regarding his partner in attack. Dybala seems the likeliest option while Dejan Kulusevski might also vie for a place with Alvaro Morata.

Andrea Pirlo will be tempted to use the 4-4-2 formation against Atalanta in order to prevent their centre-backs from advancing too high up the pitch. This formation would also accommodate Cuadrado and Danilo as full-backs.

JUVENTUS PREDICTED PLAYING XI 


Juventus Predicted XI (4-4-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Danilo, Matttijs de Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Juan Cuadrado; Federico Chiesa, Rodrigo Bentancur, Weston McKennie, Adrien Rabiot; Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo

 

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