Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Lazio and Juve want Coppa final destination

Lazio will pull out all the stops to upset Juventus and reach the Coppa Italia final when the two sides meet in Turin on Wednesday night.

The Romans go into the encounter in buoyant mood having won the first leg of the semi-final 2-1 last month.

The Biancoceleste have reason to be confident having rediscovered their form at the right time. Delio Rossi's side bounced back from three consecutive defeats with a convincing 4-2 win against city rivals Roma and a 1-0 triumph at Genoa in their last two Serie A games.

"The clash at Juve is a big game for us," said Lazio captain Tommaso Rocchi. "We are in good form and want to go all the way in this competition."

Lazio's hopes of finishing in the European qualifying spots are still alive, with the Biancoceleste ninth in the standings, trailing five points behind sixth-placed Roma.

However, Rossi's side can increase their chances of playing in the Europa League by avoiding defeat, with a place in the Coppa Italia final likely to be enough to qualify for Europe.

"Our aim this season is to return to Europe," said Rocchi. "It would be magnificent to do that and lift the Italian Cup."

Juve go into the encounter on the back of Saturday's 1-1 draw against Inter, an outcome that saw the Turin outfit drop to third in the standings behind AC Milan.

With the Bianconeri trailing 10 points behind league leaders Inter with six games to go, their scudetto ambitions appear to have faded away.

Juve's attentions have now turned to the Coppa Italia.

"We want to reach the final," said Juve coach Claudio Ranieri. "But first we have to beat Lazio.

"The Coppa Italia is an important aim for us.

"Lazio are playing well, they beat Roma in the derby and also pulled out a win at Genoa, so we will have to be very careful."

In the other semi-final, Inter host Sampdoria at the San Siro on Thursday needing to turn around a 3-0 deficit to advance.

Source: Sporting Life

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