Atalanta and Juventus contest the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday night, as Italian football finally welcomes fans back into the fold. Sassuolo’s Mapei Stadium will be at 20% capacity for this showpiece, which brings great significance to both clubs.
Where and when: Mapei Stadium – 19 May, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Atalanta vs. Juventus: BT Sport
Last time: Ruslan Malinovskyi scored an 87th-minute winner as Atalanta beat Juventus 1-0 in a seismic clash at the Gewiss Stadium in April.
Atalanta v Juventus Predictions and Preview
In the few weeks since Atalanta beat Juventus at the death in Serie A, the fortunes of these two clubs have taken on a very different spin. While Juve’s season hurtles towards disappointment and indeed embarrassment, the opposite is true of La Dea, who are looking to land their first major honour since winning this competition in 1963.
This Coppa Italia final is huge in so many respects. Not least because it comes hot on the heels of Juventus being a key component in the efforts to form the ill-fated European Super League, a project which spat in the face of clubs such as Atalanta.
La Dea went into last weekend’s Serie A schedule three points ahead of Juventus in the Serie A table, occupying a second spot which would bring them Champions League football once again next season – fully-deserved and earned on the pitch, not in cloaked meetings with other executives.
Atalanta went five unbeaten following their victory over Juve last month, scoring five goals twice in winning three of those fixtures, drawing twice away to Roma and in this stadium against Sassuolo. Juventus, on the other hand, suffered a painful and shocking 3-0 home defeat to top-four rivals Milan.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Atalanta to win and BTTS
Atalanta to win 3-2
Over 4.5 goals
Andrea Pirlo’s side recovered to beat Sassuolo 3-1 at the Mapei Stadium in their following game, but the damage was done by Milan previously, leaving the Old Lady in serious danger of missing out on next season’s Champions League.
Not only has Juve’s nine-year reign as Serie A champions come to a shuddering end, failing to even finish in the top four would represent a genuine humiliation for a team on the wane and often lacking ideas.
However, a victory in the Coppa Italia final and somehow managing to wrench a place in next season’s Champions League would be a stunning turnaround for Juve and their rookie coach. It just doesn’t appear as likely as it would in previous seasons.
Atalanta’s victory over Juve in their last meeting brought an end to the Bianconeri’s astonishing 32-match unbeaten run against La Dea in Serie A. The Old Lady won 24 of those games, although four of the previous five ended in draws.
The recent encounter, couple with Juve’s poor form and accompanying disarray both on and off the pitch contributes to their rare status as the underdogs in any kind of domestic game, never mind a cup final.
Pirlo’s side are 17/10 to win the match in normal time, with Atalanta 13/8 and the draw after 90 minutes 23/9. With the potential for extra-time and penalties on Wednesday night, Atalanta are the slight 10/11 favourites to lift the trophy, with Juve 9/10.
One to watch for Atalanta: Luis Muriel is free-scoring Atalanta’s top marksman with 26 goals this season, prior to the weekend. The Colombian forward is well worth a look for the first goal of the final.
One to watch for Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo will start as the favourite to break the deadlock though. It hardly bears thinking about for Juve supporters where their team would be without the Portuguese maestro’s goals this season, and he’s often the man for the big occasion.
Long shot: It may be a cup final with all the pressure that brings, but there’s going to be a carnival-like atmosphere with fans inside the Mapei Stadium. An over 4.5 goals bet is 5/1, while you can back Atalanta to win 3-2 at 25/1.