AC Milan will face Juventus in the Coppa Italia today evening to attempt to secure a spot in the final on the 17th of June. Milan drew 1-1 with Juventus in the first leg at home thus enter the game with a disadvantage due to the away goal. Milan have a unique opportunity to salvage this season with just two solid performances over the course of the next week. The club has often overlooked the Coppa Italia but this season in particular it could be just the boost needed by the club ahead of another summer restructure.
Milan are currently struggling in the league due to the horrendous start to the season and face a tough road to finish in the top six given the form of AS Roma, Hellas Verona and Napoli over the past couple of rounds. If the club were to manage to beat Juventus and one of Napoli or Inter Milan in the final, they would gain the final Europa League spot automatically. This would provide some guarantee and ease going into the packed Serie A schedule where Milan face Lazio, Juventus and Napoli in the span of 8 days.
Winning the cup would also given a major financial boost to the club as the prize money stands at 20 million euros in addition to the money from TV rights. The club could use some funds earned from on-pitch victories. The win would also potentially boost merchandising both this season and next season. Also, the cash injection would be beneficial given the massive financial drain the pandemic has been on football.
Furthermore, it is about time Milan add some significant silverware to their trophy cabinet as the last trophy won was the 2016 Supercoppa – which is not a major trophy – and prior to that the 2011 Supercoppa. Milan have not won the Coppa Italia since 2002/03. The league title in 2011 seems like a distant memory and the fans deserve to see their club win something important. Milan have managed to get into two Coppa Italia finals in the past five years losing to Juventus 1-0 in 2016 and 4-0 in 2018. This year however, the team has a bit of an edge and if they can pull of a miracle in Turin tonight have a decent shot at the cup with the full squad for the final.
In addition, given the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the region of Lombardy in particular – which constituted for the most infections and deaths in the country – it may be a huge boost for the city of Milan to see it’s club in the final and potentially lifting the cup. The trophy could be dedicated to the victims of this terrible pandemic and could help raise the spirits in the region. There could possibly be a Derby della Madonnina for the Coppa Italia final which I believe could raise spirits in the region after the tough situation there over the past few months. I also believe seeing Atalanta progress further in the Champions League would do wonders for the spirit of the region. Football can help people rediscover their smile and this should be a motivation for the players to give their all as they could really support the atmosphere of recovery in the region.
Overall, I believe there is a lot on the line for tonight’s game and everyone needs to back the club rather than brush the game off as an L. Although I do not want to get carried away by my optimism and love for Milan, I do feel that there is a chance for the young squad to pull a miracle and upset the home side. Milan have never won a single game at the Allianz Stadium, what an opportunity to get that first hit against Juve.