Juventus take on Lazio in Coppa Italia final in search of domestic mastery
Issued on: Modified:
Juventus play Lazio in the final of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday night hoping to secure a domestic double. If they win, Juve will head to Berlin next month for the Uefa Champions League final against Barcelona trying to emulate the 2010 Inter Milan side who won the three trophies.
Juventus face Lazio attempting to complete the second part of a triple.
The Turin giants have already won the Italian title and Massimo Allegri's men go to the Stadio Olimpico with the chance to pick up their first Coppa Italia since 1995 and secure a domestic double.
The treble will be achieved if they beat Barcelona in the final of the Uefa Champions League at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on 6 June.
But on the eve of the Coppa Italia showdown, Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio insisted his team mates were focused on overcoming Lazio.
"Our number one target at the moment is the Coppa Italia. After that we can start thinking about the Champions League," said the 29-year-old midfielder.
Allegri added: "Making the Champions League final is a great achievement but we can't lose sight of a very important objective, the Coppa Italia, which Juventus hasn't won for 20 years."
If successful, Juve would emulate the feats of Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in 2010.
Since then Inter's fortunes have slumped somewhat. They retained the Coppa Italia in 2011. But as far as Serie A is concerned, AC Milan won it in 2011 and since then it has been all Juve.
This season Inter have been inconsistent and they are likely to finish the campaign well off the places which would allow them to play in next season's Europa League.
"Inter fans are all hoping that Lazio do something against Juve in the Coppa Italia final," said Alessandra Bocci, a football writer at the Gazetta dello Sport. "It's a nightmare for them at the moment. They really don't want Juventus to do what Inter did under Mourinho. "
Inter fans saw the strength of Juve at first hand last weekend at the San Siro. The champions came from behind to win 2-1.
Marchisio, who scored from the penalty spot in the game, will be one of two key players missing from the side for Wednesday's clash. He and the Spanish striker, Alvaro Morata, are both suspended.
Otherwise, Allegri has a full squad at his disposal having rested a number of regulars including Gianluigi Buffon, Patrice Evra, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez for Saturday's win at the San Siro.
However Juve are up against a Lazio team who also have the Champions League on their mind.
Lazio are third in Serie A on 66 points with two games to play. They are a point behind city rivals Roma in the fight for second place - which guarantees direct entry into the group stages of next season's Champions League.
Third place in Serie A will lead to the qualifying rounds for the Champions League.
That would be more glamorous and lucrative than the Europa League and that competition - is a distinct possibility. Lazio are three points ahead of fourth placed Napoli.
And as the footballing gods would have it, Lazio's final two Serie A games couldn't be more loaded. They play Roma on 25 May and away at Napolli on 31 May.
Lazio will go into the final looking for their first win over Juve this season. In November they lost 3-0 and last month Stefano Pioli's men were turned over 2-0 at the Juventus Stadium.
But Lazio do boast a better pedigree in the Coppa Italia. Juve have lost three finals since their 1995 win, 2002 to Parma, 2004 to Lazio and three years ago to Napoli.
Lazio have emerged victorious in six of their seven finals leading up to Wednesday's game against Juve.
With 12 league goals this season, the former Germany striker Miroslav Klose is Lazio's top scorer.
The 36-year-old told the Norwegian website Calcio Norge: "Juventus are a very strong side but I'm sure we can succeed and lift the trophy. We have to be aggressive in the individual duels."
Pioli, 49, who is looking for his first piece of silverware as a coach, said: "Juve are the best side in Italy but we have earned our place in the final.
"They will be motivated by the chance of a treble. Clearly we need a flawless game so we need to give it our best."
Usually there's little love lost between Inter and Lazio supporters. But on Wednesday night, the Nerazzuri half of Milan will be cheering on the Romans.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe