I feel safe in saying that we all wish Juventus were prepping for another trophy right now rather than the one they are going to be playing for tomorrow against AC Milan. But, I also feel safe in saying that when it comes to winning domestic doubles, I will never tire of them. Nope, not gonna happen, folks.
For the second straight season and third time during this incredibly enjoyable five-year run of Scudetto-filled celebrations, Juve are playing for the chance to win said domestic double.
Yes, we know the 10th Coppa Italia has already been captured 12 months ago. That 10th Coppa, well, that's a record. And Juventus has the chance to break it's own record in just about 24 hours from this post going live. But, the thing is, with no silver star going to be on the recently-released 2016-17 kits, keeping the Coppa patch right where it is on the right collarbone seems like a pretty good alternative.
Saturday will see Juventus go for that second straight Coppa Italia title. They will be the favorites just like they were a year ago when they faced Lazio. They will be facing a Milan side that has its European hopes riding on this single game. No Coppa Italia win for Milan, then it's Sassuolo who hops into the Europa League and one of Italy's most storied clubs goes without European football — again.
Juventus has history on its side regardless.
They've won both of the meetings against Milan this season. And, as pointed out by the always-brilliant James Horncastle on WhoScored.com, Juventus has won the last seven games against Milan. That's what we like to call ownage, boys and girls. Another one will mean Juventus ends its 2015-16 season just like it started — with a trophy being hoisted above the players' heads and a celebration being had..
That sure would be nice, if you ask me.
.@OfficialAllegri: "Tomorrow is our final game of the season. It's our duty to try and win it." #MilanJuve #CoppaItalia— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 20, 2016
If it is your duty, Max, then go ahead and win that damn trophy.
Juventus are a good team. Milan, well, aren't.
Last official Juventus game that means something until mid- or late-August. Cherish these 90 or so minutes, people. Around this time next week we're going to be sick of having no Juve games in our lives.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
1. Who will be Juventus' holding midfielder?
We know it going to be either Hernanes or Mario Lemina patrolling the middle of the Juve midfield. And, considering Sami Khedira will be watching from the Stadio Olimpico stands, it could very well be that we see both Lemina and Hernanes in the starting lineup in one way or another tomorrow against Milan. The good thing going these days is that the doom and gloom surrounding a potential Hernanes start from an outsider's point of view isn't there anymore. He closed the Serie A season out quite well, and that means that him playing in an important game doesn't have us losing our minds. If it's just consistent playing time that Hernanes needed to shake the funk he was in for most of the season, then I guess that worked. And hey, if it ends up being Lemina to play in the center of the midfield, then that's fine, too. If there's one thing that Allegri has going for him even with the injuries is so solid options who are palying well right now to turn to.
2. Andrea Barzagli in the center of Juve's defense.
We got a sneak peak of this during Juve's Serie A finale against Sampdoria last weekend even with Leonardo Bonucci in the starting lineup. The assumption is that Allegri was using it to prepare Barzagli for this weekend where we knew Bonucci was going to be suspended. There's no reason to think that Barzagli won't be more than capable of filling the void left by Bonucci's suspension. And with Daniele Rugani and Giorgio Chiellini se to flank either side of Barzagli, the defense is definitely not at full strength, but pretty close to it considering how Rugani has played the last few months. This is why Juve's depth is so crucial. Even in a game where they will be missing their best and most important defender, they can just shift things around and potentially not even miss a beat. That's the plan at least.
3. Paulo Dybala's finish to an unbelievable season.
The young man just seems to have a flair for the dramatics, doesn't he? He was absolutely phenomenal against Sampdoria last weekend, a performance that got a perfect 10 rating on WhoScored. Dybala awesomeness is something we've gotten used to over his first season with Juventus. And even when he came off the bench to score against Lazio in the Supercoppa, he absolutely dazzled. This is what Dybala does — just when you think he can't impress you even more, he goes out and proves you wrong again. Some folks around here call him 'Boy Wonder,' and they aren't wrong. Can you imagine what another Dybala goal or two would mean not only to the Juventus team, but also to tifo in the stands at the Olimpico? The stage is set for Juve's Argentinian jewel to have one more monster game before he heads out for the summer. Here's to hoping that the post-game thread has more than just one or two mentions of Paulo Dybala.
My starting lineup
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Neto; Daniele Rugani, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Mario Lemina, Hernanes, Paul Pogba, Alex Sandro; Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dubala
TV: GOLTV (United States); Mediaset Italia (Canada); Sky Sports 2/HD, NOW TV UK (United Kingdom); RAI Uno, RAI Sport 1 (Italy)
Online: fuboTV (United States); Sky Go UK, SKY GO Extra (United Kingdom)
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