Juventus meet Lazio in Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final, looking to complete a domestic double and secure the second part of a historic treble.
With a fourth successive Serie A title comfortably in the bag, Juve could be forgiven for focusing on next month’s UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona.
But first, Massimiliano Allegri’s side must turn their attentions to tasting glory in the Coppa for the first time in 20 years.
In 1995, Juve defeated Parma 3-0 over two legs to lift the trophy for the ninth time, but since that success the Turin giants have just three losing final appearances to show for their efforts.
Lazio, meanwhile, have won the Coppa five times in the intervening period, most recently in 2013 when Senad Lulic’s goal saw off fierce rivals Roma 1-0.
Stefano Pioii’s men are third in Serie A and look well placed to at least return to the Champions League qualifiers, with next weekend’s derby with Roma looking likely to decide who takes the second automatic spot behind Juve.
Their form of late has been mixed, with just two wins from their past six league outings, although Saturday’s 1-0 win at Sampdoria was a timely boost ahead of meeting Juve at their home ground, Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
“We go into the Coppa Italia final, we deserved our place there,” Pioli said. “We’ll be facing the best side in Italy, one of the best in Europe, but we earned the final and want to play it.
“Juve are extra motivated by targeting the treble. Clearly we need the so-called perfect game, we are in Rome in front of our fans, so we’ll give it our best.
“We have the final we were dreaming of. It can be such a big event that it could affect Serie A, so we have to keep focused.”
Lazio reached the showpiece with a 2-1 aggregate success over Napoli, while Juve advanced after comfortably seeing off Fiorentina 4-2 over two legs.
Alvaro Morata was sent off during the second leg of that semi-final, meaning he will miss Wednesday’s game, but the Spaniard believes his team-mates can add to their haul of silverware this season.
“I’m sorry that I won’t be able to be there, but it’s always like that for me – I’m never happy when I don’t play,” said Morata, who scored in both legs of Juve’s Champions League semi-final win over his former club Real Madrid.
“I’m convinced, however, that my team-mates will give it their all to win the cup. The team always wants to win, just like the boss tells us. It doesn’t matter who plays.”
Aside from Morata’s suspension, Allegri has no new injury worries, while Lazio have concerns over Lucas Biglia, who missed the victory over Samp with a knee problem.
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