Coppa Italia Semifinal • Juventus-Milan Preview: Fans (Not) Included…


The coronavirus outbreak is a serious health problem. But the Lega Serie A have some serious mental health problems. Obviously, weighing out the consequences of a public health crisis, the financial impacts for the league and clubs, scheduling, and last and clearly the very least, the safety of players and staff members of the clubs, can cause a psychotic episode. It is the only reasonable explanation besides Juventus controlling the League’s actions for their own benefit. That can obviously not be the issue here at all (no extra charge for the sarcasm.) So, amidst the League’s clear mental breakdown of the past couple of weeks, as of this writing, it is actually still unclear as to whether or not fans will be allowed to attend this match, or if only fans of the region where Juventus plays, or no fans at all, or what. Because… well… I’ve got nothing, this is ridiculous.

At least Ronaldo's hair is no longer the most ridiculous thing about this match

With Juventus already having the edge of a controversial away goal in a two-legged tie that finished 1-1 at the San Siro, as well as not having three starters suspended like us, Milan’s performance at home three weeks ago clearly made them nervous enough to call in the favors from the League. While some League matches were postponed, a Europa League game was played behind closed doors, and travelling fans from infected regions were allowed to travel to non-infected regions, it is difficult to imagine a less confusing scenario from the League than what happened last weekend. Teams travelling to their away matches were told just hours before they were scheduled to play that their game was postponed. Well, less confusing than say, this match, to which fans from “the Lombardy region” (the region Milan is located in) were uninvited, while fans from “the Piedmont region” (where Juventus plays) would still be allowed to attend. Talk about territorial discrimination.

Dal Pino continuing the legacy of insanity as President of the Lega Serie A

So… after a lot of controversy and discussion in the media, the League announced that the game would be played behind closed doors. But then maybe… well, we may not even know for sure  until kickoff, they keep flip-flopping. And they certainly won’t give enough notice for travelling fans to actually travel to the stadium… just in case they actually did. In fact, the Lega Serie A are having an extraordinary meeting today to… well, to probably fight and then have De Laurentiis ride off on some stranger’s scooter. It’s not like they will come to a consensus on anything, unless Agnelli hypnotizes everyone into allowing Juventus to have every advantage in the scheduling and fan attendance in the face of a global public health crisis. Because winning is the only thing.

Gazidis is the one without the knife in his back

It’s not like Milan’s management are going to step up and say or do anything, because they are too busy being undermined by their own CEO, who is supported by the vulture fund that repossessed Milan from the hapless Chinese businessman. Yeah. Just when we thought we had found some stability.

Sarri probably wishes he could smoke like a chimney for this match

Speaking of stability, Juventus’ iron-fisted grip on all things winning has been a little rusty lately, with Sarri-ball losing some of its savor with the fans. Not that losing to Lyon in the Champions League last week was a shock. It is the Champions League, after all, and we all know how that ends for Juve.

That being their last match played, Sarri lined up Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Cuadrado, Dybala, and Ronaldo. He is still missing Demiral to his long-term injury, and Rabiot is in doubt. Traditionally, the backup keeper plays in the Coppa Italia. Buffon not only came back to Juve to steal Maldini’s appearance record, but after the first leg, he took Daniel Maldini’s shirt, too, so expect him to try for another Gol di Muntari to lie about tomorrow.

Buffon tries to distract the ref, forgetting the GLT he inspired

If Gazidis hasn’t replaced Pioli by tomorrow, he will be missing Duarte, Krunic, and Biglia to long-term injuries. However, Gigio and Kjaer are rumored to make it back for this match. If not, the capable Begovic would start in goal, and the young but exciting Gabbia might start ahead of Musacchio, for some unknown reason. The big blows are the suspensions of Ibrahimovic, Hernandez, and Castillejo. All three have been starting regularly, and the loss of Ibrahimovic means not only losing our tallest and most experienced striker, but also the soul and grinta of our team.

Ibrahimovic and his supporting cast members will miss this formality

All signs point to Juventus winning this in stoppage time with a dubious penalty in front of an all-Juventus crowd, with the all-Juve crowd being the only benefit not typically afforded them. After, of course, their massive match vs. Inter being conveniently postponed in their busy week. Honestly, Milan have much bigger problems right now anyway, as their entire identity is on the line. But it’s not enough to have to face a team with a wage bill two and a half times ours, while missing three of our starters. The League have chosen to make scheduling decisions that are not only insane, but 100 percent favor Juventus, so it is impossible to travel to the ridiculous “J Stadium” and feel like there will be even a centimeter of impartiality. The League almost seems to be allowing everyone to risk their health by going and playing the match as a formality. The result is clearly a foregone conclusion, and whether or not fans will be included in the farce could change at any minute. Fans (not) included…

This post inspired by the music of New Order’s “Power, Corruption & Lies” album

Coppa Italia Semifinal, Second Leg
Juventus vs. Milan
Wednesday, March 4 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match can be streamed live on ESPN+ in the U.S.


Coppa Italia Semifinal • Juventus-Milan Preview: Fans (Not) Included… Coppa Italia Semifinal • Juventus-Milan Preview: Fans (Not) Included… Reviewed by Elaine on 12:12 AM Rating: 5
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