Milan v Roma Women preview: Coppa Italia Femminile final

Roma Women play the biggest game of their history so far on Sunday as they battle with Milan in the Coppa Italia Femminile final.

A first piece of silverware is at stake for both clubs, who each entered women’s football in 2018. For Roma, this is a chance to define their third season as a success and bring some joy to the club as a whole entity.

Milan finished above them in the Serie A table, securing Champions League qualification while Roma slipped to fifth. But form goes out of the window on occasions such as these and Roma will be looking to revive the psychological qualities that enabled them to beat an even better side in Juventus in the semi-finals.

Getting to the final required Roma to defeat Juventus for the first time ever, and now to lift the trophy they must do the same to Milan. They have been close to overcoming them before, and drew their last meeting at the start of this month 0-0, but now must go one better.

Roma will be relying on their usual key players to try and get the job done. There are no new injury concerns for Betty Bavagnoli to deal with, leaving her with virtually a full-strength squad.

Missing are Emma Severini and Alice Corelli, who helped the Primavera retain their national title on Saturday. They would have been unlikely to start this game anyway, but instead their achievement could serve as the perfect precursor to what the senior team are aiming for on Sunday.

Several of the more experienced players who will be lining up at the Mapei Stadium – which will be open to just over 4,000 supporters – have tasted glory in this competition before. Goalkeeper Camelia Ceasar and top scorer Annamaria Serturini won it with Brescia twice, captain Elisa Bartoli with Fiorentina twice, and influential defender Elena Linari once with the former and twice with the latter.

For coach Bavagnoli, this is a chance to win a first club trophy in her managerial career. It would be the reward for all the work she has done since the inception of this squad.

She admitted before the match that her side are not the favourites, though – but hopes to see the same application they showed against Juventus to make the most of this opportunity.

“It’s a final – you always need to have big, positive thoughts,” she said at her pre-match press conference. “It’s a final and it’s a game on its own.

“But it would be a massive mistake if I considered us favourites. I have the utmost respect for Milan. We know that we are can play well, that we can show how much we’ve improved thanks to our hard work.”

The club are hungry for a trophy, with the men’s team’s last success coming way back in 2008. Bavagnoli said it would be an honour if her side are the ones to end that wait for silverware.

But before they can dream of that, 90 minutes of hard work – and potentially more – are required.

The game kicks off at 7:30pm UK time and will be streamed live on Roma TV+.

FURTHER READING: Previewing the Coppa Italia Femminile final with SempreMilan

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