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Juventus-Lazio; 2nd Leg Semifinal Coppa Non-Preview

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Because the Coppa is still a joke, though we're on the verge of the final. It'd be nice to put that silver star on the jersey before Roma, though.

Callups:

The morning session in Vinovo saw the team involved in a fine-tuning session but also presented a negative surprise, that of not seeing Chiellini on the field due to a muscle problem. The defender from Livorno will definitely not be available even for the next away match in Reggio Calabria.

Ranieri compensated for the absence with youngster Ariaudo. The others are all available for the match with the exception of Amauri, Zebina and Ekdal, aw well as Sissoko and Salihamidzic. Manninger and Cristiano Zanetti are once available bringing the number of players on the list to 21. With respect to the championship even Marchisio and Camoranesi are back after having been suspended for the match against Inter.

Below is the list of players called-up:

1 Buffon
4 Mellberg
6 Zanetti
9 Iaquinta
10 Del Piero
11 Nedved
12 Chimenti
13 Manninger
15 Knezevic
16 Camoranesi
17 Trezeguet
18 Poulsen
19 Marchisio
20 Giovinco
21 Grygera
28 Molinaro
29 De Ceglie
30 Tiago
32 Marchionni
33 Legrottaglie
41 Ariaudo

Ranieri's press conference:

The topics of the press conference were mainly two: the aftermath of Saturday’s match against Inter and the decisive match against Lazio which could open the doors to the Coppa Italia final.

Three days after the match against the nerazzurri there is still much to talk about, especially after the decision by the sport authorities to close the Olimpico’s doors to supporters during the match against Lecce on the 3rd of May. The coach expressed his thoughts: «I don’t think that this sanction is just. There must be reiteration and this is the first time that such things happened. The behaviour was wrong and unfortunately it is something that we Italians carry with us. I understand Balotelli and I am sorry for him. I repeat, this beahaviour should be stigmatized. I am for the chants in favour of the team but not for those “against” that do not help the men on the field. If I had to hear such chants again I would signal the captain to make them stop».

However, before the match without supporters against Lecce, about which we must wait for the outcome of the appeal made by the club, there is another match to be played at the Olimpico and one as important as the one on Saturday against Inter. Tomorrow night the bianconeri will be hosting Lazio in the return match of the semi-final of the Coppa Italia. The bianconeri must turn around the 2-1 defeat suffered in Rome on the 3rd of March. The mission is not an impossible one but it is made more difficult by the good moment which Lazio are going through: «We will be playing against a team which fully-charged – confirmed the coach – and which this year had some great performances. They came from 3 defeats ina row but won the derby and the match against Genoa managing to play the match which we failed to the week before. It will definitely be a very difficult and hard-fought match».

Apart from the condition of the rivals, Juventus will descend on the field determined to reach the objective. The Coppa Italia is a trophy which they want to win especially to reach the 10th title. «We are very much into this match. We really want to reach the final because this trophy is an objective we want to reach. There will not be Chiellini and I prefer Amauri to continue working. In order to decide about the line-up I must consider many factors including who has problems, who is more charged-up and who is fresher».

Words from Marchionni:

«Matches against Lazio are always very difficult and for this reason we will need great concentration to guide Juventus to the semi-final and after to its tenth trophy»

«I am happy to have scored in the first leg because a goal away is always important but we will nonetheless have to be very concentrated because Lazio is going through a good moment. We are coming from a draw against Inter, having shown that we are alive and that we want to qualify for the final ». This statement was made by Marco Marchionni, who on March 3rd scored the opener during the first leg of the semi-final at the Rome Olimpico in the match which Lazio won 2-1. His goal keeps Juventus’ hopes alive and on Wednesday the team will be trying to qualify for the final: «Matches against Lazio are always very difficult because bthey find ulterior stimuli against us. Even if there are six matches left and you can never tell what can happen, we only have the Coppa Italia left to win and we must concentrate on this commitment to be able to give Juventus its tenth title. We thought of the Coppa right from the start because we knew it would be a year full of commitments and we noted that if things did not go well with the championship or the Champions League, going ahead in the Coppa Italia we would have still had the occasion of winning something important».

Predicted Lineup:

Manninger
Mellberg Legrottaglie Ariaudo Molinaro
Marchionni Marchisio Tiago Giovinco
Del Piero Trezeguet

By the way, if anyone wondered if the Cannavaro->Juve rumors were speculation or not, we have confirmation. I said the other day that there was too much buzz out of nowhere across Italy and among reputable newspapers (not Tuttosport or the Gazzetta) and sadly it's true. On Juventus.com:

The news has been confirmed. Claudio Ranieri spoke of the topic during the press conference when asked about the interest of Juventus towards the former Juventus player Fabio Cannavaro: «The club authorities told me that there was the possibility of bring back Cannavaro and I gave my go ahead. Now they will have to discuss with Fabio. The Juventus strategy is clear: youngsters, champions and free release. He is the captain of the national team and has a contract which is about to expire. We couldn’t miss this opportunity».

Juventus, as demanded by the FIFA regulations, have already informed Real Madrid of their intention to negotiate with the player.

Kill me.

C’E UNA STELLA IN CIELO CHE INDICA IL CAMMINO, FORZA JUVE, VINCERE E' IL TUO DESTINO!!