The first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals is behind us and there are just two more matches to go before the final is set. So now it’s time to take stock of the remaining clubs and who looks to be the favourite among the contenders. This past week saw two closely contested matches: Udinese defended their home ground and earned a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina while AS Roma did the same with a 3-2 win over Napoli. But can the first leg’s winners maintain their advantages through the coming week’s matches? Here’s a quick look at each team’s status heading into the second leg.
Having entered the semi-finals as the team seen with the worst chance of winning the Coppa Italia, Udinese performed admirably in the first leg of their semi-final pairing with Fiorentina. According to the Betfair sports betting site, Udinese have actually moved up to respectable odds, at 11/2 to win the Cup. These odds are still worst among the remaining contenders. However, should Udinese manage a draw or better in the second leg, they’ll be moving on to the final. Fiorentina will need to win by more than one goal to take the tie by aggregate score and avoid relying on a tiebreak.
Many would argue that Fiorentina remains in good shape having snagged a goal in the away leg of their tie with Udinese. Also, the club does maintain 7/2 odds to win the Cup, indicating the oddsmakers still believe they’ll overcome Udinese. Furthermore, Fiorentina have 4/7 odds to win the second leg on February 11, and if they can do so by more than one goal they’ll win the tie outright.
In the heavyweight tie, so to speak, AS Roma have put themselves in strong position to make the final. Following the 3-2 home win over Napoli, Roma has strong and appealing 7/5 odds to win the Cup. As Goal writes in its match recap, however, Roma has reason to be disappointed as well. The club was on its way to a commanding lead in the semi-final tie before a few miscues tied the score at 2-2, and they just barely escaped with a win on Gervinho’s late goal.
Of the remaining clubs, Napoli maintain strong odds but have fallen a touch behind Roma at 13/5. Really, it’s as simple as this: to avoid a tiebreak, Napoli will need to win by more than one goal, which may seem like a decent proposal at San Paolo. The truth is that this club was outplayed fairly clearly by Roma and got lucky. Napoli will need to play a composed, complete game to keep Roma out of the net, and this should be the match of the semi-finals so far.
So who wins from here on out? Neither of the first leg semi-final matches were decisive enough to say. However, the likeliest outcome seems to be that Fiorentina will seize control at home while AS Roma will play well enough away to set up a final between these two clubs.