Two European finalists will meet in a salivating match-up as Fiorentina take on Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday at Stadio Olimpico.
The Viola have had a fairly underwhelming campaign in the league in Vincenzo Italiano’s second season as Fiorentina boss. However, 2023 has proven to be a success and the club have suffered just two defeats in the league since mid-February.
As high as an eighth-place finish is the most that Fiorentina can aim for in Serie A this term and so victory in either the Europa Conference League or the Coppa Italia here is the only route to European football again next season.
Still, the fact that the Viola are on for a cup double this season is impressive and they have certainly displayed strong characteristics. Although, they have been rather fortuitous in their Coppa Italia run, failing to meet anyone from the top seven en route to the final. Arthur Cabral has started to prosper, nonetheless, and has a total of 16 goals across all competitions thus far.
Inter suffered their first defeat in all competitions last Sunday for the first time since mid-April, putting an end to their run of eight consecutive victories. Simone Inzaghi has turned things around for the Nerazzurri, though, and they are now set for Champions League qualification next term, as long as they don’t get complacent in their final two games in Serie A. They also have the opportunity of completing a cup double with a monumental Champions League final against Manchester City on the horizon too.
However, focus must turn to Wednesday first for Inter as they aim to retain their Coppa Italia title but Fiorentina will be no pushovers here. The Nerazzurri have had a much harder path to the final than their opponents, nonetheless, and defeated both Atalanta and Juventus to get here.
It will be interesting to see who Inzaghi selects for the final since he has not been shy of rotation throughout the campaign. Key man Lautaro Martinez was rested against Napoli at the weekend in the 3-1 defeat so he is likely to return to the starting eleven. So too could the likes of Marcelo Brozovic, Francesco Acerbi, Hakan Calhanoglu and Matteo Darmian who were all left on the bench.
The two sides have played both league fixtures for the season and are tied at one win a piece. Fiorentina came away from the San Siro with a 1-0 win in their most recent clash back in April but Inter edged a seven-goal thriller in Florence back in October.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was forced to miss out on the Napoli fixture due to a thigh injury and he is not expected to feature here. That means Brozovic will likely start alongside Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella in the midfield.
Samir Handanovic is expected to start in goal for the Nerazzurri with regular starter Andre Onana dropping to the bench. Milan Skriniar’s back issues remain and he will be absent once more.
Salvatore Sirigu is out for the season due to an Achilles tendon issue but Pietro Terracciano has been the starting ‘keeper this season for the Viola. Fiorentina rested a number of regulars in their 1-1 draw away to Torino last time out so the likes of Cabral, Dodo, Nikola Milenkovic, Jonathan Ikone and Cristiano Biraghi are in line to return to the starting eleven.
Fans can catch the Coppa Italia final live in the UK via Viaplay.
Expert Insight: Holders Inter are the favourites here and Inzaghi excels in the cup competitions. Still, Italiano's Fiorentina have been impressive this term and it will be a tough match for the Nerazzurri. It will likely be a cagey affair that may not yield too many goals but should be captivating either way.