Casa Calcio: Coppa Italia Preview

Casa Calcio (Serie A Italy) brought to you by Trevor Stynes.

This weekend will decide who goes forward to the Coppa Italia semi-finals. Roma have probably already booked their spot but the other three places are all still up for grabs.

First Leg Highlights

Juventus vs Empoli – Saturday, 11:30am GMT

Empoli will be hoping it’s third time lucky as they face the league leaders once again. Having hosting Juventus for the last two weekends, they face a trip to Turin this time around. They travel with the knowledge that they need to win by two clear goals to make it to the semi-finals.

In the first leg, Empoli twice held a two-goal advantage only for Juve to come back to win. That 5-4 scoreline gives them the advantage for the return tie.

Benedetta Glionna – on loan from the league champions – scored a hat-trick of free-kicks in that game. Juventus then managed to score three unanswered goals in the last 15 minutes.

The visiting side, although badly needing to score, will also need to keep things tight at the back. In last week’s league game, Juventus came away with a 3-0 win.

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Glionna and Girelli

They have a lot of firepower in their side, including this season’s top scorer Cristiana Girelli. Although she has been rested in their cup games so far, she came off the bench in the first leg to grab her first goal in the competition, to add to her 15 in the league.

Glionna is the top scorer in this season’s Coppa Italia, with a total of five to her name. Andrea Stašková meanwhile has been the Juventus goal-getter in the competition. Although the Czech forward has just one goal in the league she has scored three from three games in the cup.

Whichever of the two makes it through, they will face either Roma or Florentia in the semi-final.

All Juventus games are available by taking either a monthly or annual subscription with Juventus TV

AC Milan vs Sassuolo – Saturday, 1:30pm GMT

Davina Philtjens’ late goal in the first leg has given Sassuolo a much better chance of making it through to the semi-finals. A 1-1 scoreline gave us the only draw from the four quarter-final first leg games.

Sassuolo went into that game off the back of a defeat at Roma, but this time around they’ll have recovered their confidence. They had a 1-0 win over Inter last week, Valeria Pirone scoring the only goal of the game.

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While Pirone is the club’s top scorer in the league, with eight goals to date, she has yet to open her account in the cup campaign. Valentina Giacinti on the other hand, is Milan’s top scorer in both competitions. It was her goal which opened the scoring in the first leg just before half-time, her fourth in this season’s tournament.

The prize for the winner here is a semi-final place against either Inter Milan or Fiorentina.

Fiorentina vs Inter – Sunday, 11:30am GMT

The Viola have left themselves with a tough ask after Inter Milan’s 2-0 win from the first leg. However, if any team is capable of pulling off a comeback, it’s this Fiorentina side.

The game will take place at Fiorentina’s Stadio Franchi where the hosts defeated Inter 4-0 on the opening day of the season. They also appeared here for their Champions League clash in December with Slavia Prague.

When the sides met in January in Serie A, it was Inter who took the lead but Fiorentina came out 3-2 winners thanks to a late Tessel Middag goal. Without an away goal from the first leg though, they will also need to stop Inter from scoring this time around.

Last week Fiorentina did keep a clean sheet when winning their home game with Napoli. Louise Quinn and her defensive colleagues will need to be at their best again.

Gloria Marinelli is Inter’s top scorer in both league and cup. Her three goals in this competition helped her team get through the group stage. They have struggled at times for goals in the league campaign, scoring 16 in 13 games.

Goalkeeper Astrid Gilardi made her Inter debut in the first leg, and kept her place to make her first appearance in Serie A in last week’s 1-0 loss at Sassuolo.

The home side will be looking to Daniela Sabatino to get on the scoresheet yet again. The club’s highest scorer this season, Sabatino has four goals in this competition to add to her 11 in the league campaign. She also scored two in that 4-0 win over Inter back in August.

Cláudia Neto is available again to manager Antonio Cincotta after her injury problems. She returned to the bench for Fiorentina’s win over Napoli last weekend.

This game, like all Fiorentina matches, will be available to stream for free on the club’s official website.

The winner of this tie will go on to meet either AC Milan or Sassuolo in the semi-fnal.

AS Roma vs Florentia San Gimignano – Sunday, 1:30pm GMT

After a 4-0 away win in the first leg, Roma look to have one foot in the semi-final. Florentia though are a proud side and will want to show that the result two weeks ago was just a one-off.

Paloma Lázaro scored twice in that game, her first two goals in this season’s cup campaign. Andressa Alves grabbed the final goal that day, making her Roma’s top scorer in the competition with four goals so far.

The other Roma goal was Annamaria Serturini’s first in the cup but she is the club’s joint top scorer in Serie A. Her seven Serie A goals put her level with Lázaro.

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Florentia bounced back from the first leg defeat with a win away at Verona last week. After going behind in the second-half, Sara Nilsson scored her first two of the season to give San Gimignano the win.

The club’s other Swede, Jonna Dahlberg has scored two in the cup so far while Melania Martinovic has three to her name. They haven’t always found it easy to get goals this season though, their Serie A average is just one goal per game at the moment.

A semi-final place against either Empoli or Juventus awaits the winner of this one.

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