Juventus (4-4-2): 77 Buffon; 16 Cuadrado, 28 Demiral, 4 De Ligt, 13 Danilo; 14 McKennie, 30 Bentancur, 25 Rabiot, 22 Chiesa; 44 Kulusevski, 7 Ronaldo. All .: Pirlo
Inter (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 37 Skriniar, 6 De Vrij, 95 Bastoni; 2 Hakimi, 23 Barella, 77 Brozovic, 24 Eriksen, 36 Darmian, 9 Lukaku, 10 Lautaro. All .: Conte
Referee: Mariani of Aprilia
Live: 8.45 pm Rai Uno
Close a circle, heal a wound, erase a parenthesis so bad that it cannot be completely true: Juventus have won 10 of their last 11 games and has the opportunity to forget the only one he lost in 2021, 2-0 against Inter in the league. That defeat gave the Bianconeri something more to rediscover themselves, their foundations and the boundless pride of those who have won for nine years.
Up for grabs at the Stadium is the twentieth final of the Italian Cup in the story of Madama, who would thus beat the record that belongs, needless to say, to herself. And it is no coincidence that Andrea Pirlo’s team embarked on the turning point of the season when his coach said it over and over again: “It just depends on us.” It is not arrogance, but awareness of one’s strength and also of the limits, especially of mentality, shown in the first months, which are the cause of the delay in the championship.
If Juve has returned to being the main unit of measurement of itself, there is no doubt that at the top of the list of opponents there is you: Inter from Marotta, Conte, Vidal, just to keep to the close relevance of the great ex, without forgetting what the Italian derby represents and has represented in the more or less recent past of our football. Also for this reason, Tuesday evening is worth double for Pirlo. And it hasn’t started in the best way since Monday Arthur and Morata had a fever: the swabs carried out gave a negative result, but the two are still not at the top, while Ramsey and probably also Dybala are still out. The other little big ballast for the bianconeri is represented by the ten warned players, who would therefore miss the final with another yellow card.
«But we must hit the target at all costs – Pirlo asks his team -. It will be a tough, difficult game, a battle. But we are ready to face it in the best possible way ». With the young defense Demiral-De Ligt instead of the seasoned Bonucci-Chiellini and with Kulusevski in attack who promises to boycott every play of Brozovic as in the first leg, there is the doubt that Juve can hole up in defense of the result, as they did in the second half a week ago and then against Roma: «We start from 0-0. The attitude must be aggressive, of someone who knows what he wants. The mental aspect reassures me – underlines Pirlo -. And the fact that now we play as a team and help each other in every situation ». More than a premise it looks like a promise. And a step back would be a surprise.
The road to the final is very narrow, there is no margin for error for Inter if they don’t want to collect the third elimination of the season, after the double (Champions and Europa League) in December. The return semi-final with Juventus is all uphill, after the 1-2 in the first leg at San Siro. It is necessary to score at least two goals, to win on a field where success has been lacking for more than nine years, November 2012, and where last year the Nerazzurri lost their last match before the lockdown in March. We need a company and Antonio Conte knows it well. «In the first leg we gave two gifts to a team like Juventus that doesn’t need them. We must be determined to pass, to do so we need an almost perfect match ».
For the second time Conte plays as an opponent in the Juventus stadium, this time, however, it will have Lukaku and Hakimi, absent in the first leg. The two were in the league, when Inter overtook Juventus, inflicting the only knockout of 2021. «It can be done », says Conte, as long as« to treasure the mistakes of the first leg ». The amnesia of individuals must be eliminated, errors paid for at a high price. The defense is in place and at least in the league it is armored for four rounds. Not taking them always makes the difference, but this time you have to score and a lot. Inter with the best attack in Serie A (51 goals) faces the strongest defense (just 18 goals conceded). The Nerazzurri have shown that they know how to break through Pirlo’s team: three times in the last two games.
Inter have missed the Coppa Italia final since 2011, last year it was Napoli to deny access to Conte who as a coach never raised the trophy. Lukaku also has the desire to break another wall, who in four games against Juventus, three with Inter, one when he was at Manchester United, has never managed to score or serve an assist. The Belgian striker has always taken part in at least one goal against all the teams he has faced at least four times since he has been at Inter. Conte hopes it’s the right one, even if Juventus’ last home defeat in the Italian Cup dates back to March 2015, the 1-2 against Fiorentina.
Little will change in the Nerazzurri squad, but Vidal’s disqualification could give Eriksen a starting shirt, Milan’s executioner in the quarters. The Dane, however, this time should not act as a low director given the confirmation of Brozovic, but as a midfielder, a role in which he had already performed in Cagliari. The road to the final is narrow and uphill, Inter try a difficult climb, but as Conte says “it can be done”.
February 8, 2021 (change February 8, 2021 | 23:15)
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