Even if Atalanta are in better shape than Juventus and seem favourite in the Coppa Italia Final, the Old Lady should learn a lesson from La Dea’s latest home match, in which they beat Roma only 2-1 despite creating several goal-scoring opportunities.

Atalanta’s latest win, which sent La Dea to fifth place in Serie A, was somehow frustrating for Gian Piero Gasperini as his men had to struggle until the very end to secure all three points in a dominating performance.

Atalanta attempted 24 shots against Roma’s nine. They had more ball possession (58%) and better passing accuracy (86% to 79%). Charles De Ketelaere scored a brace in the opening 20 minutes, but Gasp’s men could have bagged even more with CDK, Gianluca Scamacca, Mario Pasalic, and Ademola Lookman.

Nevertheless, the key victory over Daniele De Rossi’s men was the latest proof of an impressive form. La Dea have won seven of the last 10 matches across all competitions, drawing twice and losing once to Liverpool, a painless defeat which still allowed the Nerazzurri to qualify for the Europa League semifinal.

Atalanta may have won just one trophy in their history, so many, including Gasperini, would find it strange to see them favourite against one of Italy’s biggest teams, Juventus, in Wednesday’s Coppa Italia Final. But here we are.

Contrary to Atalanta, Juventus have been beyond poor in the second half of the season, both in terms of results and playing style.

La Gazzetta dello Sport described Juventus’ latest performance against Salernitana as ’embarrassing,’ but the situation doesn’t seem any better if we look at the bigger picture. The Bianconeri have earned 15 points in the last 15 league games, winning just twice in Serie A since January 27.

“I think it’s a bit much to suggest we’d be favourites against Juve. We are in good form, but it’s difficult to tell playing every three days, which we’ve been doing non-stop since February 27,” Gasperini said after Atalanta’s latest win over Roma insisting that his team won’t be favourite in Rome on Wednesday.

However, despite La Dea’s strength of schedule, it is undeniable that the Nerazzurri arrive in Rome with more confidence and, perhaps, even more desire than their opponents.

Juventus have practically given up since losing to Inter in February and their players have given the impression that they considered a top-four placement a guaranteed target. They only showed a different attitude in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal against Lazio, in which they deservedly won 2-0, paving the way for the final in Rome.

On the other hand, Atalanta have been fighting on all fronts until the very end of the season. They’ve managed to qualify for two finals and they currently sit fifth in Serie A, which would grant them a Champions League place in 2024-25.

Does this mean the Old Lady are not favourites against Atalanta? Yes. Does it mean they are beaten already? Absolutely no. La Dea won’t rely on their current best player, Italy striker Scamacca, who will serve a one-game ban in Rome. At the same time, Atalanta’s errors in front of the goal against Roma suggest Juventus can hope to remain in the game and try to hurt the Nerazzurri when they are more tired. In other words, Allegri’s ideal game plan.

The Olimpico showdown will be worth more than a trophy for both Atalanta and Juve. The Bianconeri have a chance to end a two-season trophyless run while La Dea can further boost confidence ahead of another historic game for them, next week’s Europa League Final against Bayer Leverkusen in Dublin.

Awkwardly, Juventus will be the underdog against La Dea, but Gasperini, a former Juventus coach at a youth level, knows it would be a huge mistake to rule them out.

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