From Scudetto to Relegation: What Is Left to Fight for in Serie A

We have come down to the final round of matches in the Serie A, with seven teams still competing for various different places. Among the seven teams, the Scudetto is guaranteed to stay in Milan for another year, potential places in the Europa League and Europa Conference League are up for grabs, and two teams will be fighting to maintain their Serie A status for August.

Here is the fixture list for the ultimate round of action. All times are in CET.

Here is what is to come, and the scenarios needed for each club and situation.

Title race: Milan (83 points), Inter (81)

It has been quite some time since we have seen the Scudetto race come down to the very last matchday. Yet the Milan clubs will head into Sunday’s evening kickoffs knowing what they need to do in order to end up on top.

The situation is very simple; should Milan avoid defeat, they will be champions for the first time in 11 years. The only way Inter can end up defending their crown is by winning at home to Sampdoria and the Rossoneri losing at Sassuolo. Should both teams finish level on 84 points (Inter win + Milan draw), the title will go to Milan on head-to-head.

The media hype ahead of Sunday has talked about various matters, including the fact that the timing of these two sides’ matches coinciding with the last round of the Premier League. The Premier League games will kick off an hour earlier than Milan and Inter’s matches.

To go along with this, some Milan supporters are unhappy with the coverage by the media, claiming that more interviews have been conducted towards Sassuolo representatives than those from Sampdoria. While this may seem less significant it has certainly caught the attention of many.

Regardless of what happens on Sunday, this battle between two of Italy’s greatest names will surely provide plenty of drama.

European Race: Roma (60), Fiorentina (59), Atalanta (59)

The Champions League places had all been confirmed with a couple rounds to go, with the Milan sides, Napoli and Juventus claiming those spots. After a dramatic end on Monday, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s last ditch equalizer for Lazio at the Allianz Stadium granted the Biancocelesti a return to the Europa League for next September. As Inter defeated Juve in the Coppa Italia Final, the team that finish sixth will enter the Europa League while the seventh place club will partake in the playoff round of the Europa Conference League in August.

The fight for the other Europa League place and the Conference League spot comes down to the wire, with Roma, Fiorentina and Atalanta all in contention for each place. Roma can still finish fifth if they win and Lazio lose (Roma own the head-to-head).

Jose Mourinho’s men will play a day earlier in order to allow more time for the Giallorossi to prepare for their Europa Conference League final meeting with Feyenoord next Wednesday in Tirana (more on that later). It is very simple for Roma; a win at Torino will secure them a Europa League berth. Drop points and it could prove to be costly. Roma will end up in the Conference League place for the second straight season if they do not win and one of Fiorentina and Atalanta takes three points. Should both outdo the Giallorossi, they will end up out of the European places domestically.

Fiorentina and Atalanta will both play on Saturday night at home to Juventus and Empoli respectively. If both win and Roma do not, they will both pass the capital club and play in Europe. The only way for Atalanta to partake in European football next campaign is to win and hope at least one of Fiorentina and Roma do not. A draw will not to be enough for La Dea unless Fiorentina lose. That would leave them with Europa Conference League football. Any other scenario does not favour Atalanta, as they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with both La Viola and the Giallorossi. The only way for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side to make the Europa League is by winning while both teams above them do not. If only one fails to win, then it will mean Conference League football for the Bergamaschi.

Fiorentina simply need a win or to at least match Atalanta’s result to make a return to Europe after five seasons without continental action. Vicenzo Italiano’s men will finish sixth if they take all three points at the Artemio Franchi and Roma do not do the same in Torino. If both sides win Fiorentina will be the second ever Italian team to enter the Conference League.

Here is a handy table as to how things would look reflecting the possible win-draw-loss combination among the three teams.

An extra word on Roma and their situation. The Italian European places, as well as the continental spots for other national associations, could hinge on how results go this weekend as well as next week Wednesday in the Conference League Final.

If Roma finish fifth or sixth, then there will be no changes to the Italian European places next season. Interestingly enough, the primary benefactors in this case would be Roma’s opponents on Wednesday night, Feyenoord. The Dutch club would automatically enter the Europa League group stage in this case irrespective of the result of the Final (the Rotterdammers finished third in the Eredivisie, good enough for a place in the Europa League’s playoff round). More details on what would happen in this scenario can be found here.

Should Roma finish seventh and capture the Conference League, this would leave Italy without a place in the Europa Conference League for next season. Instead, Roma would join Lazio and either Fiorentina or Atalanta in the Europa League as Conference League title holders.

Finally, if Mourinho’s men drop to eighth and claim the first ever Conference League trophy, it would give Italy eight European places for next season, something Germany will also see happen following Frankfurt’s Europa League triumph on Wednesday night. Under this scenario, the top four would still enter the Europa League, Lazio, Fiorentina/Atalanta and Roma (as Conference League winners) would partake in the Europa League, while Fiorentina/Atalanta would end up in the Conference League.

Relegation Battle: Salernitana (31), Cagliari (29)

The other race of note going on this weekend will be the one to end the Serie A campaign. Davide Nicola’s Salernitana find themselves in control of their own destiny. They will aim to avoid what seemed to be an inevitable return to Serie B as Cagliari still hope for survival.

After five years on the spin in Italy’s top division, Cagliari are staring into the abyss. They must win and hope Salernitana not do the same in order to be keep top flight status through the summer. Should both teams end up level on 32 points (Salernitana draw + Cagliari win), it will be the Sardinia-based Cagliari that will stay up on goal difference (the head-to-head offsets).

Salernitana meanwhile looked certain to go down for most of the campaign. Despite adding some experience to the squad, their maiden Serie A season since 1998/99 has gone far from what was hoped. After spending the most time of all clubs in the basement of the table, the Granata are unbeaten in their last seven outings, winning four. Whether this will be enough to stay up will be determined on Sunday night.

The weekend promises to provide plenty of drama for the teams involved in their respective endeavors. With so much still on the line, there is much excitement and nerves still to be had. Who will end up champions of Italy? Who will represent the Belpaese in Europe next season and in which competition? Who will join Venezia and Genoa in Serie B later on this year? We will find that all out over the next several days.