Milan: Cristiano Ronaldo locks horns again with Colombian ace Duvan Zapata as Juventus travel to Atalanta on Wednesday with a Coppa Italia semifinal berth at stake.
Juventus have won the last four editions of the competition sealing a record 18th last season by beating AC Milan in the final.
But their path towards another title after lifting the Italian Super Cup this month could be hampered by quarter-final opponents Atalanta.
Zapata scored a double against Juventus as the side from Bergamo held the champions to a 2-2 draw in Serie ‘A’ on December 26.
The league leaders had travelled to Bergamo with Ronaldo on the bench but were forced to call on the Portuguese star after a Zapata brace threatened their unbeaten run this season.
Both Ronaldo and Zapata are in form having scored 15 goals in Serie ‘A’ so far, and are vying for top scorer.
Ronaldo slotted in the penalty that gave Juventus a hard-fought 2-1 win over Lazio on Sunday.
In Bergamo, Zapata missed a penalty but less than a minute later scored the equaliser as his side came from three goals down to hold Roma 3-3. It was the 27-year-old Colombian’s 14th goal in the last eight league games. He also scored in the Coppa Italia last 16 tie against Cagliari.
Ronaldo, 33, has scored in his last eight away games, along with the winner in the Italian Super Cup final and a Champions League goal for a total of 17 for Juventus. But Juventus looked sluggish for an hour on Sunday with second half substitutes Joao Cancelo and Federico Bernardeschi saving the day in Rome.
“Those who come off the bench are essential,” said Massimiliano Allegri.
“I was sad to leave Bernardeschi out initially, but we have a big game coming up against Atalanta,” Allegri added.
AC Milan vs Napoli in round two
Napoli travel back to the San Siro on Tuesday for round two after being held to a goalless draw there by AC Milan in the league on Saturday.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are trailing 11 points behind Juventus in Serie A and the former AC Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss is desperate to win some silverware in his first season.
Brazilian midfielder Allan returns after being dropped from Napoli’s last game in Milan following speculation of a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, with Ancelotti declaring “the matter over” and the player staying in Italy. Roma travel to Fiorentina midweek with Inter Milan hosting Lazio on Thursday, after falling 1-0 against Torino....