When Atalanta knocked Juventus out of the Coppa Italia with a resounding 3-0 win, every other Serie A supporter breathed a sigh of relief.
After four long seasons in which the Bianconeri had been victorious with a league-and-cup double, finally Italy will see a new winner this season.
Other traditional “big clubs” have also missed out on the 2018/19 semi-finals, with Inter, Napoli and AS Roma also already eliminated, setting up a fascinating last four.
The competition will now see Lazio-AC Milan and Fiorentina-Atalanta battle it out in two-legged ties for a place in the final.
This leaves betting options for who will lift the trophy in Rome on May 15th looking very interesting indeed, and what follows is a guide to the best bet to win the competition outright.
Lazio have won this trophy six times in their history, last lifting the cup as recently as 2012/13. They would also come runners up to Juventus in 2014/15 and 2016/17, proving that they have a good pedigree in this knockout competition.
Yet at this moment in time, the club seem to be on a downward curve after disappointing results in both domestic and European competition, and have been plagued by an injury crisis.
“How are we feeling? Angry,” Coach Simone Inzaghi admitted to reporters after a disappointing 2-1 loss to Genoa last weekend. “We played well on Sunday, but games must be killed off.”
The Biancocelesti are available at 9/4 with William Hill to win the Coppa Italia outright, but it seems sensible to leave this inconsistent side well alone here.
Inzaghi’s opponent in the semi-final will be Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan who are in the midst of a completely opposite trend to Lazio.
The Rossoneri are now flying after they signed Lucas Paqueta and Krzysztof Piatek in the January window, and managed to pull off a sensational 3-1 victory over a usually buoyant Atalanta side at the weekend.
“This Milan is enjoying itself, the players are enthusiastic, happy to be together and to train,” Gattuso told Sky Italia after that resounding win.
“We mustn’t lose that. After that, there is a lot of quality in the side, but more importantly everyone is putting their quality to work for the team and that is crucial.”
Furthermore, the Rossoneri have also been losing finalists to Juventus in two of the last four seasons in which the Old Lady has been so dominant, and of course have a long pedigree in winning trophies.
Surprisingly enough, Milan have only won the Coppa Italia five times in the past, but this team will be keen to lift a trophy they last won in the 2002/03 campaign.
At 2/1 favourites with Bet365, the previously mentioned factors would certainly make this Milan a team worth backing, even if the returns are more modest than the rest.
Verdict: Best Bet
Young and exciting, Fiorentina have built a team who have been great value to watch of late, with the addition of January signing Luis Muriel giving them a much-needed boost.
They shocked everyone by pulling off a 7-1 victory over Roma in the quarter-final, and if coach Stefano Pioli can emulate that performance, they really stand an excellent chance of winning the entire competition in May.
The Viola are another side with a good Coppa Italia pedigree, even if the last time they won the trophy was back in 2001. They were losing finalists to Napoli in 2014, and have lifted the trophy six times in the past.
When they became winners under Claudio Ranieri back in 1996, no less than 40,000 people lined the streets of Florence to welcome home Gabriel Batistuta and his team-mates, and after such a long wait for a trophy we would surely see similar scenes this season.
At 5/1 with BetVictor, this would be a smart bet for those looking to back a slight outsider with value.
Coach Stefano Pioli has already hinted that he will be prioritising the cup as a way to get into Europe, and this group of youngsters are looking for a trophy to dedicate to their late Captain Davide Astori, who tragically passed away last March.
Verdict: Value Bet
Gian Piero Gasperini has done miraculous work with Atalanta since taking over in 2016.
He too, has an enthusiastic side, buoyed by the prolific Duvan Zapata and his supporting cast of Josip Ilicic and Alejandro “Papu” Gomez in the forward line.
Yet while this team have a chance of securing a Champions League berth in domestic action, it remains to be seen whether they can continue to compete effectively on both fronts.
Their odds are listed at 7/4 with William Hill, but it would seem this would be a risky punt with all factors considered.
Verdict: AvoidOdds are subject to change
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