The second of the four competitions on Inter’s plate will come to a conclusion very soon, one way or another. The Nerazzurri are looking to pick up a domestic double of Supercoppa and Coppa Italia for a second year in a row against Fiorentina at the Stadio Olimpico in the Eternal City this Wednesday.
La Viola is on the hunt for their first trophy since 2001 when it beat Parma 1-0 in the Coppa Italia. It’s gotten as close as ever in recent memory to breaking that drought this season. Vincenzo Italiano has guided Fiorentina to not one, but two cup finals in his second campaign in charge, with the UEFA Conference League curtain closer against West Ham a few weeks away as well. Those deep cup runs came at the cost of Fiorentina’s league positioning, as it dropped from 7th last season to 10th this year, meaning its only shot at Europe is winning one of its two finals. La Viola is definitely capable of such a feat and some of its best football all season has come out of domestic action.
The likes of Arthur Cabral (15 goals) and Nico Gonzalez (11g, 3a) lead Fiorentina’s line and are backed up by a supporting cast featuring Antonin Barak (8g, 1a) and Giacomo Bonaventura (6g, 4a) in midfield and assist machine Cristiano Biraghi (3g, 11a). On the other side of the pitch, Sofyan Amrabat and Nikola Milenkovic make up quite the formidable defensive duo, although Italiano’s possession-first style of football does not lend itself to a strong backline. Nonetheless, Fiorentina has conceded just once in its Coppa Italia journey, beating Sampdoria, Torino, and then Cremonese in the semifinals 5-1 combined. And though Inter will be its strongest opponent by far, La Viola has had success against the big teams, beating Inter, Milan, and Roma and taking points off Atalanta Lazio, Juventus, and Napoli.
Inter’s heavy rotation against Napoli showed the importance of this clash for Simone Inzaghi’s side. Inzaghi loves nothing better than a good cup run, and he’s gotten his wish so far. The Nerazzurri knocked out Parma and Atalanta by 1-0 scorelines before a 2-1 aggregate victory over Juventus in the semi-finals. Speaking of La Dea, Inter also has its penultimate Serie A game of the season to keep in mind this Saturday (why it couldn’t be played Sunday with no midweek game the following week is something only Serie A knows) as the Nerazzurri are still four points short of automatically securing top four with two games to go. Of course, the possibility of a further points deduction for Juventus means Inter might end up needing less than 4, so it’s understandable that the Coppa Italia comes first. Plus, who doesn’t love a trophy?
Inter has a 77W-58D-50L lead in the all-time series, although the two sides split the earlier meetings this season; 4-3 for the good guys in Florence but a 1-0 Fiorentina win back in April.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter Milan 2-1 Fiorentina
Inzaghi will get his hands on another Coppa Italia, edging out Fiorentina 2-1 thanks to a late Romelu Lukaku strike after Lautaro and Nico Gonzalez traded early goals.