Snow hampering Juventus and AC Milan Cup preparations | 2018-02-27 |

Snow hampering Juventus and AC Milan Cup preparations

Sun Online Desk     27th February, 2018 12:40:07 printer

Snow hampering Juventus and AC Milan Cup preparations

Snow permitting, holders Juventus will take on Atalanta in the Italian Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday with AC Milan looking to complete their Roman conquest against Lazio.


Italy has been gripped by snow and icy weather in recent days.


Juventus and Atalanta's Serie A game in Turin on Sunday was postponed because of the conditions, with more snowfall predicted in northern Italy during the week.


The capital was not spared either with rare snowfall paralysing Rome on Monday, a day after AC Milan beat Roma 2-0 in Serie A.


Gennaro Gattuso's Milan remained in the capital ahead of the midweek game against Lazio -- if they win, they will be back in Rome for the final on May 9.


"Lazio are a difficult side to tackle, they are set-up well with quality players, we have to be careful," said Gattuso.


Five-time winners Milan -- who last held aloft the Cup in 2003 -- were held 0-0 by Lazio in the first leg in the San Siro but have been boosted by Sunday night's win in the Stadio Olimpico.


Three-in-a-row holders Juventus are pushing for a 13th title and have a 1- 0 lead from the first-leg thanks to Gonzalo Higuain's third-minute goal in Bergamo.


With a vital Champions League last 16 second leg next week against Tottenham at Wembley, Higuain is unlikely to be risked after picking up an ankle sprain in the derby win over Torino a week ago.


Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi are also still out, with Paulo Dybala named on the bench before Sunday's postponed game.


Atalanta -- whose only Cup victory was back in 1963 -- knocked out Serie A leaders Napoli en route to the semi-finals.


Milan are on a 12-match unbeaten run, including five wins on the trot in all competitions, and are now back in contention for a Champions League spot.


Lazio have won the Cup six times, most recently in 2013, and are also riding high after moving up to third in Serie A with a 3-0 win over Sassuolo on Sunday.


Both sides were unable to train outside on Monday because of the weather, much to Gattuso's frustration.


"We're a bit annoyed: snow hadn't been seen in Rome for years. We've worked in the gym, but I'd have preferred us to work on the pitch," said Gattuso.


"We must recover our energy and think about our upcoming games. We're going to play every three days."


Italian Cup, semi-final, second leg fixtures (all times GMT):


Juventus v Atalanta (1630)

Juventus lead 1-0 from the first leg


Lazio v AC Milan (1945)

First leg finished 0-0


Source: AFP