The Coppa Italia takes centre stage this week in Italy as the fourth round gets underway at destinations across the country.
Italy’s premier cup competition is unique in that both the fourth and fifth rounds are each made up of 16 teams.
The majority of Serie A clubs entered the fold in the third round, but the top eight placed teams in the league last season were granted direct passage into the round of 16 this term.
So with the seeded clubs—Juventus, Napoli, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Udinese, AS Roma, Lazio and Catania—enjoying a few days of rest, another 16 clubs will battle it out for the right to face them in the next round, which takes place Jan. 14.
|Spezia vs. US Pescara||Dec. 3||14:00 GMT/9:00 ET||Spezia win, 2-1 AET|
|US Avellino vs. Frosinone||Dec. 3||16:00 GMT/11:00 ET||Avellino win, 3-1|
|Bologna vs. Siena||Dec. 3||18:00 GMT/13:00 ET||Bologna win, 2-0|
|Parma vs. Varese||Dec. 3||20:00 GMT/15:00 ET||Parma win, 2-1|
|Chievo vs. Reggina||Dec. 4||16:00 GMT/11:00 ET||Chievo win, 3-0|
|Atalanta vs. Sassuolo||Dec. 4||18:00 GMT/13:00 ET||Atalanta win, 1-0|
|Internazionale vs. Trapani||Dec. 4||20:00 GMT/15:00 ET||Inter win, 3-0|
|Sampdoria vs. Hellas Verona||Dec. 5||20:00 GMT/15:00 ET||Verona win, 2-1 AET|
Schedule via uk.soccerway.com
Internazionale, the third-most successful club in the competition behind Roma and Juventus, will look to secure their place in the round of 16 when they entertain Trapani at the San Siro.
The seven-time champions currently sit fourth in Serie A, having lost just one game all season, and they should face little trouble against the Sicily outfit, who only just gained promotion to Serie B this season.
This year’s Cinderella team, Frosinone, will be hoping to keep their run alive when they travel to US Avellino on Wednesday night. The Lazio-based club, which currently compete in Lega Pro Prima Divisione, Italy’s third tier of football, beat Cagliari after extra time to reach the fourth round.
Head coach Roberto Stellone knows all about competing against sides from the top two tiers of Italian football, having helped Napoli with promotion to Serie A in his playing days, and he will be hoping to devise a successful route past Avellino.
The round’s two blockbuster clashes see Serie A sides Sampdoria and Hellas Verona clash at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, while Atalanta host Sassuolo at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.
Verona are currently flying high in the top tier of Italian football. They lie sixth in Serie A with 22 points from their opening 14 games, while Sampdoria languish in the relegation zone with just two wins to show this campaign.
When the two clubs last met Oct. 30 in Verona, the home side prevailed 2-0, but Sampdoria will enjoy the comforts of their own stadium this time around.
There is little to separate Atalanta and Sassuolo this season. Atalanta sits three points above Sassuolo in the table, but it was the latter that triumphed 2-0 when the sides met one week ago.
Just one point separates Spezia and Pescara in Serie B, and both clubs will be hoping to take advantage of the fact they avoided Serie A clubs when they clash in the fourth round.
Spezia came through a tense encounter in their last match, upsetting Genoa on penalties. As the home side, they will be slight favourites against Pescara, which were relegated to Serie B at the end of last season.
The remaining three games all see Serie A sides take on inferior opposition, so Parma, Chievo and Bologna will all be expected to advance in their respective contests.