Coppa Italia Preview: Juventus, Napoli, & Inter Continue Trophy Push

By Adam Digby & Chloe Beresford


The Coppa Italia continues Saturday with the first round of 16 matches. These games will be live on FloFC for Canadian viewers. Keep watching through Monday to see which teams advance to the quarterfinals.

Lazio vs. Novara (Saturday, Jan. 12, 9 a.m. ET)

  • Novara have scored at least two goals in their last three Coppa Italia matches.

  • There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Lazio's last three Coppa Italia games.

Sitting mid-table in Italy’s third tier, Novara face a daunting visit to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday when they take on Lazio. The hosts have lost to Juventus in the final of this competition twice in the last four seasons and arrives at this fixture having lost just one of their last nine Serie A fixtures.

Sampdoria vs. AC Milan (Saturday, Jan. 12, 12 p.m. ET)

  • Milan have failed to score in their last four Coppa Italia matches.

  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in seven of Sampdoria’s last eight cup games.

Arguably the most intriguing clash of this round, the Coppa Italia should provide some respite for a Milan side that has struggled in the league this term. Currently sitting fifth in the table, Milan are just two points above a Sampdoria side, which was leading 2-1 at San Siro back in October but eventually lost 3-2 to the Rossoneri.

Bologna vs. Juventus (Saturday, Jan. 12, 2:45 p.m. ET)

  • Juventus have won the Coppa Italia in each of the last four seasons.

  • Juventus have also kept a clean sheet in their last six Coppa Italia matches.

  • Bologna have scored at least two goals in five of their last six matches (Coppa Italia).

Facing Cristiano Ronaldo and co. will be a tough task for Bologna, which arrived in the new year stuck in the Serie A relegation zone. Welcoming the Bianconeri to the Stadio Dall’Ara, Pippo Inzaghi would love to get one over on his former boss Max Allegri, but with Juve undefeated in domestic competition this term, it is highly likely that the Old Lady will make smooth progress into the next round.

Torino vs. Fiorentina (Sunday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m. ET)

  • Torino have won five of their last six Coppa Italia matches.

  • Fiorentina have only lost one of their last six meetings with Torino.

Fiorentina will be hoping to make progress in the Coppa Italia versus friendly rivals Torino, and the away side may well hand a debut appearance to new striker Luis Muriel. The Colombian has scored once and assisted once in four previous encounters with Sunday’s opponent and will be hoping to mark his return to Italy with a maiden goal for La Viola. One thing you can certainly expect is for Walter Mazzarri’s side to be well-organized defensively, a factor that may exacerbate Fiorentina’s recent scoring problems. 

Inter vs. Benevento (Sunday, Jan. 13, 12 p.m. ET)

  • Benevento arrive in Milan on a four-game win streak.

  • Inter will have their eye on a quarterfinal meeting with Lazio.

These two teams have only met twice in the past, both encounters coming last term as Benevento enjoyed the only top-flight campaign in the club’s history. Succumbing to 2-0 and 2-1 defeats, it is hard to imagine the second-tier side managing to get a positive result here, although Inter did record a win at San Siro last April with an unforgettable 1-0 victory over AC Milan.

Napoli vs. Sassuolo (Sunday, Jan. 13, 2:45 p.m. ET)

  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Sassuolo's last four Coppa Italia games.

  • Napoli has never lost a single game at home against Sassuolo.

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti already has experience of winning the Coppa Italia with his great AC Milan side of 2002-03, and the Rossoneri also won Champions League that season for good measure. The veteran manager has demonstrated his prowess in cup competitions time and time again, and now could be the time for the Partenopei to break Juve’s recent dominance. That will start with a must-win fixture versus Sassuolo, one that should prove to be fairly straightforward if Ancelotti’s men are in top form.

Cagliari vs. Atalanta (Monday, Jan. 14, 11:30 a.m. ET)

  • Atalanta have not won away at Cagliari since September 2014.

  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in six of Cagliari's last seven Coppa Italia games.

This may not be one of the most glamorous ties of the round, but it should certainly prove more interesting than the fixture itself suggests. Atalanta have made a name for themselves for aggressive attacking play under boss Gian Piero Gasperini, while the Sicilians have a penchant for wildly indifferent form. This could be a game with plenty of goals and is certainly one to watch out for.

AS Roma vs. Virtus Entella (Monday, Jan. 14, 3 p.m. ET)

  • Virtus Entella have scored at least two goals in their last three Coppa Italia matches.

  • Roma have conceded at least two goals in their last three cup matches.

This is the David versus Goliath fixture of the round, the kind of tie that can always prove to be a “banana skin” fixture for the bigger team. Here, Roma will host Virtus Entella, a team currently sixth in third-tier Lega Pro which already beat top-flight Genoa on penalties in the last round. Can the Giallorossi avoid potential embarrassment here?


Adam Digby is an Italian football writer for FourFourTwo, The Independent, and elsewhere. Author of "Juventus: A History In Black & White." Follow Adam on Twitter.

Chloe Beresford specializes in Serie A for a number of outlets and can be found on Twitter and on Facebook via her page CalcioByChloe.

Matthijs De Ligt Could Be More Crucial For Juventus Than Cristiano Ronaldo

A year after Portuguese megastar Cristiano Ronaldo ended Juventus’ Champions League run, 19-year-old Matthijs de Ligt did the same thing, his powerful header sending Ajax through at the expense of the Bianconeri.

D.C. United Overcome Second Half Penalty, Beat FC Cincinnati 4-1

D.C. United were quite unhappy about a second-half penalty awarded to hosts FC Cincinnati on Thursday night in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs. Emmanuel Ledesma converted the spot-kick in the 54th minute, canceling out Lucas Rodriguez's first-half goal. However, instead of being put off by the call, United responded in aggressive fashion, scoring three second-half goals to win 4-1 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. 

USMNT No. 1 Zack Steffen Heads To Fortuna Dusseldorf On Loan

Throughout the decades of ups and downs in U.S. Soccer, there has always been one thing that fans of the men’s national team have been able to count on: a good goalie between the sticks. Tim Howard, Kasey Keller, and Tony Meola each earned at least 100 caps since 1988, and a host of dependable reserve keepers since that year has kept the position completely solid. 

18 Players The USMNT Should & Shouldn't Play In The Concacaf Nations League

When my wife and I got to our car in the parking garage this morning, I realized with great sadness I had left my cell phone — which I use to stream audiobooks on my morning commute — up in the condo, and since we were already a couple minutes late I decided not to waste several minutes retrieving it. 

Bournemouth & Girona Are Paragons Of Small-Market Success In England, Spain

You’ve probably heard the tale at least once by now. 

D.C. United Face FC Cincinnati For The First Time In Need Of A Win

A week after facing off against an MLS original, D.C. United head to Ohio to take on the league's newest team, FC Cincinnati, in the first meeting between the two clubs. Last Friday, the Black-and-Red had to fight back for a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution, giving them just one win in their past nine league games. Meanwhile, Cincinnati, still mired in last place in MLS in 2019, have reeled off two wins in a row.

Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa: The Most Talented & Divisive Starlet In Italy

Growing up, there was this kid named Albus Dinglefeet — I’ve fictionalized his name for anonymity’s sake — in my brother’s grade, and Albus was one of the fastest kids around. 

Everton, Sevilla & Nantes Feature On Top 5 European Friendlies On FloFC

With the Women’s World Cup, Copa America, and Concacaf Gold Cup officially in the books, your significant other is breathing a sigh of relief because a break in summer soccer has finally arrived, right? 

Orlando's US Open Cup Quarterfinal Win Hints At Future Potential

In the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals against NYCFC last week, Orlando City SC nearly blew it. They held a 1-0 lead at home, with a chance to squeak into the semifinals of a tournament that could be a boon for the playoff-less Lions. Simply playing important knockout games is enticing for a restless fanbase just waiting to get excited about something.

How FC Cincinnati Beat The Chicago Fire En Route To A 2-Game Winning Streak

Fresh off their first three points in nearly two months, FC Cincinnati burst out of the gates and held on for their second win on the trot against the Chicago Fire on Saturday.