The second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final is -- finally -- here. Who will win the right to face Juventus in the final in Rome next month? It's time for Napoli and Lazio to find out.
Bringing fire to a volcano
Lazio are the form team in Italy right now. They've roared up the table over the last few months, taking a firm grasp of third place and now threatening to knock rival Roma off their perch in second. Stefano Pioli has worked miracles, and Lazio can easily be described as "on fire" because of those miracles.
Of course, the vesuviani have quelled plenty of fires in the Mediterranean Sea just a hop, skip, and jump away from the San Paolo. Lazio may face such a quelling on Wednesday, because for all their accomplishments of late, precious few of them have come against teams with actual quality. They've been beating up on the Cesenas, the Chievos, the Parmas of the league, and when last they faced a good team, they drew them 1-1 at home despite that team playing like crap in the first half.
That team was Napoli.
Now Napoli are kick-starting a rather more difficult run of matches for Lazio, and hopefully the boys in the right shade of blue will be showing Lazio that their fire isn't anywhere near as hot as the flows of Vesuvius.
Now we learn what they have
Napoli are a side being sorely tested right now. There's less than no certainty about the managerial situation, and questions loom over almost every player's future with the club as well. With the top portion of the Serie A table slipping away and everything so unsettled, it would be easy for the players to just throw up their hands and give the rest of the season the middle finger.
But what if they don't? What if they players say "hey, screw this, we're going to go out and win for us"? What if they take this match by the throat and force their way to the Coppa Italia final, what if they keep on with their Europa League run, what if they actually win one, or both, of those cup competitions, just because they can, and just because no one thinks they will?
Wouldn't that be something.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Napoli: Andujar; Maggio, Henrique, Koulibaly, Strinic; Inler, Gargano; Gabbiadini, De Guzman, Insigne; Higuain
Lazio: Berisha; Basta, De Vrij, Mauricio, Braafheid; Parolo, Biglia, Ledesma; Candreva, Klose, Anderson
When Last We Met: Lazio 1-1 Napoli
In the first leg a month ago, Napoli played poorly in the first half and looked half-sunk, but somehow only gave up one goal. Then they turned things around and dominated the second half, snagging an all-important away goal in the process. The full recap is here, and may be important to touch on because holy crap why do we need a month between legs.
TV: RAI Uno (Italy), Sky Sports 3/HD (U.K.)
Online: beIN Sports Connect (U.S. & Canada), Sky Go (U.K.)
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