MILAN, ITALY - The final of the Coppa Italia awaits for the victors in tonight’s semi final second leg. Roma make the trip to Milan holding a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg that was played at the back end of January. Roma have the added incentive of neighbours Lazio waiting in the final after they dispatched league leaders Juventus 3-2 on aggregate.
The bookmakers cannot split the teams in the 90 minute market. Both sides are chalked up at 17/10 with BetVictor to win the game inside the distance and the draw is available to back at 5/2 with Bwin - probably the best value to be had out of the three options.
Inter Milan have major problems mounting and seem to verge from one crisis to the next. Their league form has suffered as their injury list has lengthened and confidence seems to be at a premium as we head into the business end of the season. Nagatomo and Gargano both suffered season ending injuries at the weekend to bring their injury list up to 12 players, with a further two players missing through suspension.
Andrea Stramaccioni also suggested that Ricky Alvaverz and Juan Jesus are rated as 50/50 for tonight’s game, leaving the Inter coach looking set to delve into youth team to fill his squad for the visit of Roma.
The visitors, on the other hand, had the luxury of resting players at the weekend with the Coppa Italia in mind. Torosidis and Marquinhos will return to the fold after missing out on the 2-1 win at Torino, a win that saw them climb above Lazio on goal difference.
Roma coach Aurelio Andreazzoli has indicated he will start Mattia Destro up front this evening and he is relying on the 22 year-old Italian to deliver the goods "This will be Destro’s game for many reasons, including his return from injury, his past with Inter and the importance of the fixture.” said the Roma coach this week.
Mattia Destro scored the second goal in the 2-1 first leg victory and could be the difference this evening. Skybet are a top price of 8/1 on Destro scoring first and William Hill go 9/4 on him scoring anytime - both bets look great value in a tricky match to find a good betting angle.
The over 2.5 goals is an industry best price of 4/6 with BetVictor and Stan James, but it's not a price I would want to get involved with. However, I do fancy goals in this match as second leg affairs tend to be end-to-end games with lots of goal scoring opportunities.
Instead I would rather back the first goal to be scored before the 27 minute mark with Boylesports at 5/6. Inter will start the game with a high intensity as they look to get themselves back in the tie but their 3-4-3 system and patched up starting XI will be venerable to Roma counter attacks that will hopefully lead to an early goal.
Mauro Bergonzi will officiate tonight’s game and he was in charge in the corresponding fixture earlier this season - a 3-1 win to Roma. The Italian referee brandished five yellow cards and one red that day and I fancy more red to be shown as tensions run high with a place in the Coppa Italia final at stake - Skybet offer 7/4 on a red card being shown but Paddy Power go 20/1 on both teams being shown red - a decent value fun bet that is worth small stakes.
Finally, correct scores of 1-1 and 2-2 make appeal at the prices of 15/2 and 13/1 with BetVictor - a result that will be enough to see Roma advance and face Lazio in the final.
The game kicks off at 19:45 BST on Wednesday 17th April 2013 and is live on ESPN HD.