Full Predictions for Serie A Round 22: Vlahovic and Chiesa Host Fiorentina

With the European knockout stages just around the corner, a host of Serie A sides will be looking to register a positive domestic result before resuming continental action. This weekend will feature a host of intriguing matchups from Friday to Monday, but the most interesting encounter could be the one between Lazio and Atalanta in the capital, with both clubs embroiled in the battle for Champions League spots. However, the most heated affair should be the one taking place at the Allianz Stadium, with Juventus and Fiorentina renewing their old rivalry. So let’s try to foreshadow the events in our full predictions for Serie A Round 22.

Milan vs Torino

Since the turn of the year, Milan have been enduring a free-fall. With every new blow, Stefano Pioli’s position is put under increasing scrutiny, in what has been an astonishing fall from grace for the manager who cemented himself as the ultimate darling of the crowds at the San Siro.

At this point, the 57-year-old simply can’t afford another defeat, so if his players have a mind for saving the job of their boss, they must deliver a performance worthy of the black and red stripes… as soon as possible.

But the problem for the Rossoneri is that their hosts are in fact enjoying a positive period, consolidating their position as possible European contenders.

Beating the Granata won’t be an easy mission, and the two teams’ recent Coppa Italia meeting at the same stadium is a valid testament, but perhaps Milan can snatch a draw that would at least put an end to the losing streak.

Prediction: A hard-fought draw.

Empoli vs Spezia

On the back of three defeats in a row, Spezia travel to Tuscany in the hopes of gaining cital points  and maintain a cushion that separates them from the relegation zone.

The Aquilotti put a decent first-half showing against Napoli last weekend, only to collapse after the interval. The situation hasn’t been easy for Luca Gotti since the departure of star defender Jakub Kiwior and the absence of his lethal striker M’Bala Nzola. So at this point, the hosts should be the obvious favorites to come out on top.

Prediction: Empoli to unlock Spezia’s defenses en route to victory.

Lecce vs Roma

This season, Lecce has been one of the pleasant surprises of the Serie A campaign, but do they have enough talent through their ranks to derail Roma’s momentum in Round 22?

Perhaps not, especially with Paulo Dybala producing sublime football and Tammy Abraham finding his clinical touch as of late. But it won’t be an easy task for José Mourinho’s men at the Via del Mare.

Prediction: Roma produce just enough to earn an away win

Lazio vs Atalanta

As the current standings suggest, this will be the most high-caliber clash from the Serie A weekend, with the Lazio and Atalanta sitting fourth and fifth respectively. Therefore, this will a direct clash between two Champions League hopefuls who are looking to take advantage of Milan’s demise and Juve’s point deduction.

But the common issue that has been plaguing the two sides is their inconsistent displays. Both team can pull off stellar outings on any given day, only to succumb to defeat at the hands of a less prestigious opponent on the following round.

Therefore, predicting the outcome of this one is particularly difficult since we simply can’t forecast the teams’ forms on Saturday night. Nevertheless, this remains quite an interesting tactical battle between Maurizio Sarri and Gian Piero Gasperini.

Prediction: Lazio to prevail at home.

Udinese vs Sassuolo

Perhaps the standings are yet to show it, but Udinese have been on a severe decline recently, partially caused by the absence of their talisman Gerard Deulofeu. The Zebrette still sit in a respectable 8th position in the Serie A standing ahead of Round 22, but that is mostly down to their earlier exploits.

On the other hand, Sassuolo are suddenly enjoying a revival after hitting rock bottom. Alessio Dionisi rescued his job by pulling off stunning wins over Milan and Atalanta in his most recent outings. So perhaps the writing is on the wall for this one.

Prediction: Sassuolo to extend their winning streak.

Bologna vs Monza

For football purists, this is the one to mark on your schedule, as we’re talking about a thrilling battle between two young managers who graduated from Gapserini’s school, and are currently exceeding all expectations this season.

Both sides will be gunning for a victory that would keep them as outsiders in the European race, but perhaps they’ll eventually nullify one another.

Prediction: An entertaining draw.

Juventus vs Fiorentina

On Sunday, Massimiliano Allegri could unleash the striking partnership of Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa, perhaps to rub it in Fiorentina’s face.

Sadly for the Viola, they arrive to this clash against their hated rivals after suffering agonizing defeats in some of their most recent outings.

This won’t be easy for the hosts, but they should have enough talent between the starting lineup and the bench to earn victory.

Prediction: Juventus to secure a slim win.

Napoli vs Cremonese

In what is widely expected to be the most lopsided result of Round 22, the runaway Serie A leaders will host the team that resides at the very bottom of the table, and is yet to taste a league victory since its promotion.

While some would point out to Cremonese’s shocking Coppa Italia victory over Napoli last month, this would only serve as a stern remainder for the southerners to keep their guard up. Plus, Luciano Spalletti won’t be rotating his lineup this time.

Prediction: Napoli to inflict painful vengeance.

Verona vs Salernitana

This one is an interesting battle between Verona who are desperate to grasp an escape route and Salernitana who are trying their best to keep themselves afloat despite their recent difficulties.

It has to be said that the Gialloblu have been the more impressive side lately, and they seem to be picking up positive results at the Bentegodi.

Prediction: Verona to overcome their visitors with a courageous display.

Sampdoria vs Inter

For one reason or another, the football gods have turned their backs on Dejan Stankovic and his Sampdoria band.

The Ligurians have been extremely unlucky as of late, as they have deserved to pick up more points in recent weeks, but a mixture of poor finishing and late defensive blunders left them in an extremely dire situation in the Serie A standings, entering Round 22 in the 19th position with just 10 points.

Now surely the Serbian manager will charge up his troops against his former club, but he’ll probably be short-handed against a jubilant Inter side that is still feeling the euphoria from last weekend’s Derby victory.

Prediction: Inter to win in a commanding fashion.

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