There is a clear-cut case for backing Juventus to go back to back in the Italian Coppa Italia by getting the better of Milan in Saturday’s championship game in Rome.
According to one’s Italian Serie A collateral form data, Juventus holds a commanding 17-2-0 advantage over Milan. Juventus and Milan matched each other’s Italian Serie A performances versus Internazionale (fourth) and Frosinone (19th) but Juve outperformed the Red and Blacks against every other side. Juventus won Italian Serie A with 91 points from its 38 matches and that was despite starting terribly and losing early favouritism. Milan finished seventh on the Italian Serie A ladder with 57 points, registering only one away victory over a top-13 team.
The Italian Coppa Italia final market is a classic case of bookmakers overrating a side because of its name. Milan won just two of its last 11 Italian Serie A games and one of them was at the expense of a Bologna team that played all bar the first 12 minutes with 10 men. Milan lined up against each of the Italian Serie A relegation trio in the final five rounds and the Red and Blacks posted two home draws and one away loss. Milan still had something for which to play when they encountered Carpi, Frosinone and Verona in Italian Serie A action so one cannot excuse their poor results.
Coral is offering odds of -143 about Juventus beating Milan in normal time of the Italian Coppa Italia final and that is an acceptable price given one’s Italian Serie A collateral form analysis that suggests that Juve are in a different league to the team that last won the cup 13 years ago.
Milan must win the Italian Coppa Italia final to qualify for the UEFA Europa League. A Juventus victory and Italy’s third UEFA Europa League berth would pass to Sassuolo based on its Italian Serie A sixth-place finish. Missing out on a UEFA competition spot for the third season in a row would be a big blow to Milan but even that motivation is insufficient for one to gamble on the Red and Blacks at outsider odds.
Such is the gulf in class between Juventus and Milan – one has more faith in one’s Italian Serie A collateral form data than the raw ladder – that there are odds-against options that appeal, the pick of which is the odds of +138 that SkyBet and William Hill are offering about a Juve win to nil.
Juventus kept 22 clean sheets in its 38 Italian Serie A matches and it parlayed 20 of them into victories to nil. Milan failed to score in 11 of its 38 Italian Serie A games, including in four of its six divisional away matches versus sides that finished above it on the ladder. Juventus has the defence to shut out Milan and Juve’s attack ought to breach the Red and Blacks on at least one occasion in normal time.
Gianluca Rocchi will referee the Italian Coppa Italia final between Juventus and Milan. The last time that Rocchi had the whistle for game between Juventus and Milan was in October 2013 when he showed five yellow cards and dismissed Philippe Mexes of the Red and Blacks in a Italian Serie A match that Juve won 3-2. That was the first time in five years that Rocchi had refereed a game between Juventus and Milan, with the April 2008 match in Italian Serie A seeing four yellow cards and Daniele Bonera being sent off.
Juventus to beat AC Milan to Nil
Saturday 21st May, 19:45 GMT