The Coppa Italia has reached the quarter-final stage and you could say that the cream has risen to the top.
This season’s Coppa Italia tournament started with 26 teams back in September. We’re now down to the final eight, and those remaining clubs all come from the top eight positions in the Serie A table.
The current holders of the trophy are Juventus, but that win dates back to two years ago. Last season’s edition was cut short by the global Covid-19 crisis. The only other former winner left in the competition is Fiorentina. They won the Coppa Italia for two consecutive seasons prior to the Juventus win.
This stage of the competition will be played over two legs, with the team that finished higher in the league last season gaining home advantage for the second leg.
Juventus Travel To In-Form Empoli
Empoli vs Juventus: Saturday 30 January, 13:30 GMTEmbed from Getty Images
Three In A Row
These two sides will certainly get to know each other very well over the next few weeks. Juventus will need to return to Tuscany again next weekend to face Empoli in the league, before welcoming them to Turin for the return leg of this game the following weekend.
Last Season vs This Season
These two clubs actually met at the same stage of this competition last season. While they never got to play the second leg after the season was halted, they did clash here in Empoli where Juventus came away with a 6-0 win.
Paying The Penalty
It’s a much improved Empoli side this season though and when the sides last met back in August on matchday two of the league, Juventus scraped a home win in a game that had seven goals, including three penalties.
Both sides had the lead during the game, and it was the last of those three penalties that decided the game. Cristiana Girelli putting away her second of the game to give the home side a 4-3 win.
Two new signings have certainly boosted Empoli’s attack this season. Between them, Elisa Polli and Benedetta Glionna have notched up 12 goals in the league so far. Glionna is actually on loan from Juve, having also spent last season on a loan spell at Verona.
A forced change to the Juventus match squad from last week’s 5-0 win over Verona is due to a positive Covid-19 test for Valentina Soggiu. Her place will be taken by youth player Alice Giai. Cecilia Salvia is also back in the squad
Viola Travel To Milan After Last Week’s Win
Inter Milan vs Fiorentina: Saturday 30 January 13:30 GMTEmbed from Getty Images
Back Once Again
After escaping with a late 3-2 win last Sunday, Fiorentina head back to Milan to take on Inter again this weekend in their first leg clash.
The squad has been very much a depleted one of late, with Covid-19 issues and injuries. Antonio Cincotta did return to tale charge of the team in last week’s win after his enforced absence due to his positive Covid-19 test.
To get to this stage, Fiorentina won both their group games quite easily. They had a 6-1 win at Serie B side Riozzese followed by a 5-1 win at San Marino.
Out of the title race, Fiorentina will look to this competition as a very real chance to lift a trophy this season.
Inter Scraped Through
Inter on the other hand were the only one of the quarter finalists to drop points to a Serie B side at the group stage. They drew 3-3 at Lazio, managing to qualify only thanks to their better goal difference having beaten Brescia 4-0.
Fiorentina’s Daniela Sabatino is the competition’s leading scorer at this stage, with four goals. She also scored her 10th of the league campaign in last week’s win from the penalty spot. Sabatino also scored two goals against Inter on the first day of this season.
You can watch the game live here.
Evenly Matched Tie In Tuscany
Florentia San Gimignano vs AS Roma: Sunday 31 January 13:30 GMTEmbed from Getty Images
There are just three points separating these two sides in the league. They also played out a 1-1 draw the last time they met back in December. Melania Martinovic got the Florentia equaliser that day, and she also has three goals in the Coppa Italia so far.
How They Got Here
In the group stage, the home side first beat Serie B club Cittadella 4-0. They then managed a 1-0 win at Verona to make it through.
Roma made light work of their opponents in Group H. First came a 5-0 win at Tavagnacco back in November. They followed that up with a 7-0 win over another club from the capital, Roma CF. Andressa Alves bagged a hat-trick in that recent win.
Claudia Ciccotti has been ruled out for at least three weeks having suffered an injury in last week’s win over Sassuolo.
Title Challengers Milan Still In Trophy Hunt
Sassuolo vs AC Milan: Sunday 31 January 13:30 GMTEmbed from Getty Images
The Story So Far
It was Valentina Giacinti and Giorgia Spinelli who scored the goals when Milan beat Sassuolo in December. They were also on the scoresheet in their first game at the group stage. That 2-0 win at Cesena was followed up three days later with a 4-0 win over Orobica.
Sassuolo meanwhile won their group thanks to a better goal difference than Napoli. The two sides played out a 1-1 draw in the final Group G game, with Sassuolo already having beaten Pontedera 4-2.
Despite it being a very positive season so far for Sassuolo, their defeat at the hands of Roma last weekend saw them lose ground on their Coppa rivals. Milan now have an eight point advantage and look set to at least take the runners-up spot in Serie A.
Haley Bugeja may get to start in place of Veronica Batellani who she replaced in last week’s loss to Roma. Benedetta Orsi could also come in with Benedetta Brignoli dropping to the bench.
Julia Simic could come in to replace Christy Grimshaw for this one, with Francesca Vitale also a possibility to get the nod ahead of Giorgia Spinelli.
While they are still very much in the hunt for the Scudetto, they will see the Coppa Italia as another great chance to win their first ever trophy.