With six games remaining in Serie A, it seems increasingly likely that Juventus will win this season’s Scudetto.
Coach Marcello Lippi will be pleased that his side are also still competing in the Champions League and are consistently getting points in the league. Juve did however only manage to draw 2-2 with Bologna on Sunday to give the chasing pack some hope for the remaining weeks of the season.
The Turin side also have difficult games to come against the likes of Roma, Lazio and Chievo, none of whom can be taken lightly.
Milan leapfrogged rivals Inter to lead the chasing pack on Saturday after their win in the Milan derby. They are in the quarter-finals of the Champion’s League and play Perugia tonight in the second leg of a Coppa Italia semi-final tie which currently stands at 0-0.
Their league run in is not as difficult as some of their rivals, with fixtures against three of the bottom five sides to come along with potentially tricky ties against Rona at the Stadio Olimpico and the inconsistent Bologna.
The final push however will be hindered by long term injuries to Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo – both of whom could miss the rest of the season.
Inter are in third place and level on points with their neighbours, but they are in the middle of a poor run at the moment with only one point from their last three games. They still have to play Lazio and European-chasing Parma. Hector Cuper’s side finish the season at Perugia. However, they are still, in the Champions League and take a 1-0 lead going into the second leg against Valencia. Victories for both Milan and Inter would set up a mouth watering Milan derby in the semi.
After being battered 4-1 at the hands of Porto in the UEFA Cup semi and no chance of the title, Lazio’s priority is to cement a place in the Champion’s League for next season. They still have toplay Inter and Juve in their final run in and have a tough final day game against Udinese.
Coach Roberto Mancini will rue a run of six drawn games in a row in February and March. Lazio have only won one two of their last ten games in the league and have a 2-1 deficit to make up in their Coppa semi-final clash with Roma.
Parma are only four points behind Lazio in the chase for the coveted Champion’s League spot and have a far easier run in with matches against Torino, Reggina, Piacenza and Empoli plus Inter in May.
The other side chasing a place in the Champion’s League ius Chievo, who are just a point behind Parma and in the midst of a mixed run in. Luigi Del Nerii’s team have to play relegation threatened Reggina, Piacenza and Como but their final two games are against Roma and away to Juve.
Both Parma and Chievo currently occupy the UEFA Cup places. Udinese are four points adrift of Chievo but will have to take points in their next threegames, when they play three of the bottom five. Their current form is not good though, and they have only collected four points from their last eighteen.
Roma have had an extremely disappointing season. They are currently eighth in the league, out of Europe and all they can hope for is qualifying for the UEFA cup through finishing sixth or winning the Coppa Italia. Their next two games are against two top two in the league, so a top six place looks unlikely.
At the other end of the table, both Torino and Como look like they are going to have to be content with a place in Serie B next season. Piacenza look certain to join them, as they still have to play four of the top six.
However four clubs are separated by just three points. Atalanta currently occupy the relegation slot and still have to play Inter and Roma on the last day of the season. They do, however, have to play the bottom two as well.
Reggina appear to have the toughest run in of all the teams near the bottom. They have to play Chievo, Parma, Roma and Juve but still have to play Piacenza.
Empoli have a mixed run in, and must Milan, Udinese and Parma but also they have to play bottom side Torino, Atalanta and Modena. As well as Empoli, Modena still have to play Inter and a tough game away to Brescia on the last day. With so many of the struggling teams yet to face each other the battle to avoid the drop looks likely to run until the final day of the season.
In Serie B, there are still eight games to play but Sampdoria, Siena and Ancona look likely to be promoted. But all other teams down to Cagliari in tenth can still go up. At the other end of the table, a famous name in Italian football is in serious danger of falling into complete obscurity. Napoli, league champions just over a decade ago, are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.