The last time we saw Juventus taking part in the Coppa Italia, it involved Alvaro Morata scoring his final goal with the club and celebrating like he thought that might be the case weeks in advance. We saw Paulo Dybala flash his million-dollar smile and hold up the cup itself while, at the same time, Juan Cuadrado was draped in a Colombia flag as he sat on top of one of the goals at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
To say that Coppa Italia experience was quite fun was pretty much the truth.
But a new year brings a new adventure in the “other” tournament of the season. And Juventus is set to jump into the Coppa Italia fray for the first time this season, squaring off against one of Serie A’s best success stories this season, Atalanta, in the round of 16. The same Atalanta side that made its way up to Juventus Stadium all of a month ago in red-hot form only to see Juventus show why they’re Serie A’s top dogs in a 3-1 dismantling courtesy of Max Allegri’s squad.
Now, Allegri has stated in the build-up to the one-off Coppa tie that he will field a relatively strong starting lineup. Some of that has to do with the injuries that have hit his squad in recent weeks and months. Some of it has to do with the fact that other players, like Patrice Evra and Giorgio Chiellini, aren’t called up for their respective and probably very different reasons. With it comes the realization that a probably very full-strength lineup is about to take place. (And will be posted below before kickoff when it becomes available to all of us around the world.)
So a lineup like the one that had no trouble dispensing of Bologna over the weekend could try and help Juventus advance in the Coppa Italia once again. Maybe we’ll have a few bits of squad rotation to talk about, but it doesn’t seem like much. How very un-Coppa Italia-like, right? Very interesting, Max...
No matter who is playing from the start or off the bench, the goal is to do what happened the last time Atalanta made the trip from Bergamo to Turin. There may not be three points up for grabs, but there’s a spot in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals that goes to the winner. And even though the Coppa Italia is the “other” tournament, I like to see Juventus win games. Therefore, go ahead and win this one, Juventus.
Location: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-3-1-2): Neto; Lichtsteiner, Rugani, Barzagli, Asamoah; Rincon, Hernanes, Marchisio; Pjanic; Dybala, Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Audero, Del Favero, Semprini, Bonucci, Khedira, Sturaro, Cuadrado, Higuain, Pjaca
Atalanta starting XI (3-5-2): Berisha; Toloi, Caldara, Masiello; Conti, Freuler, Grassi, Spinazzola, Kurtic; Petagna, D’Alessandro
Atalanta bench: Sportiello, Bassi, Migliaccio, Pesic, Gomez, Konko, Raimondi, Melegoni, Gatti, Capone, Latte
TV: GOLTV USA (United States); RAI Uno (Italy)
Online: fuboTV (United States)
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