The semi-final stage undoubtedly represents the business end of any tournament and this year’s Coppa Italia is no exception with Juventus set to take on Inter in what promises to be an intriguing double header between two of the country’s most successful clubs in the history of the competition.
Previewing tomorrow’s first leg at Juventus Stadium, Nerazzurri boss Roberto Mancini began: “When you get down to the last four teams, it’s quite normal to come up against a strong side. They have made up an enormous amount of ground in the league and are in great form at present. There’s no doubt that we’ll have to battle hard tomorrow.
“These are matches that are ultimately played over the course of 180 minutes, so we need to get a good result tomorrow in order to be in a strong positon when we return home for the second game at the San Siro.”
Inter’s cup run has provided some respite from a month in which they have dropped points in Serie A to Sassuolo, Atalanta and Carpi, leaving the former league-leaders six points adrift of table-topping Napoli.
Asked about the reasons for his charges’ recent dip in form, Mancini responded: “There are times when things don’t go quite so well and that’s not because the boys are playing badly. We’re putting in a lot more running than we did at the start of the season.
“Some teams struggled early on and now we’re going through a bit of a difficult patch. We’re looking to get through this period as quickly as possible and we’ll try to go on another winning streak that would see us return to where we were. We’re capable of doing that, we just need to keep calm."