Serie A is back: The games to decide the title, European qualification and relegation

By Sports Desk May 28, 2020

Serie A is ready to return, with Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora having confirmed the league will be able to resume from June 20.

There has been no action in Italy's top flight since March 9 and the league is delicately poised at both ends of the table.

Juventus and Lazio are embroiled in a fascinating title race and, though they are eight points adrift in third, Inter may not consider themselves out of the running just yet due to their game in hand.

There are up to six teams in realistic danger of relegation, while Atalanta and Roma are vying for a spot in the Champions League places.

Here are the key fixtures for each remaining matchday.

 

MD28: Brescia v Genoa

If Brescia, who sit nine points adrift of safety, are to pull off an incredible escape they will need to hit the ground running when play restarts. A home match against Genoa, who are only outside the bottom three on goal difference, is a great opportunity to do just that.

MD29: Atalanta v Napoli, Parma v Hellas Verona

Atalanta and Napoli both have to play five of the other six teams in the top seven before the end of the season, so their meeting could play a big role on their momentum in the final stretch. Parma or Hellas Verona – eighth and ninth respectively – could make a late bid for European football with three points here.

MD30: Juventus v Torino, Napoli v Roma

As Juve attempt to fend off Lazio, their first big fixture comes in the form of the Turin derby on matchday 30. This round of games also sees Champions League-chasing Napoli and Roma go head-to-head at the San Paolo.

MD32: Juventus v Atalanta, Napoli v Milan

Another huge match in Juve's title defence comes against Atalanta, who by this stage will be hoping their Champions League bid is still on. Gennaro Gattuso, meanwhile, will face his former club Milan, who will be looking to cement their place in the European qualification spots.

MD34: Juventus v Lazio

There will be only one place to be on matchday 34, as the two title contenders go head to head. With just four fixtures remaining afterwards, it could be the match that settles the title race.

MD35: Lecce v Brescia, Sampdoria v Genoa

The battle for top-flight survival could take some significant turns in this round of matches. The hopes of Lecce and Brescia, the latter of whom face fellow strugglers SPAL the matchday prior, could hinge on this match, while the Derby della Lanterna will take on greater significance if Samp and Genoa remain in precarious positions by this point.

MD37: Inter v Napoli

The success of Inter's season could well centre on a pair of tricky games to end the campaign. If they are able to mount a late charge for Scudetto glory they will certainly have to work hard to see it through, but if it goes the other way they could end up clinching onto a space in the top four.

MD38: Juventus v Roma, Napoli v Lazio, Atalanta v Inter

As fate would have it, the current top six all play each other on the final day of the season and plenty of drama will surely be on offer. The title, Champions League places and Europa League spots could all be decided on an incredible final day.

Related items

  • Real Madrid 2-0 Deportivo Alaves: Zidane's men on brink of title glory Real Madrid 2-0 Deportivo Alaves: Zidane's men on brink of title glory

    Real Madrid moved a significant step nearer to a 34th LaLiga title as Karim Benzema set them on the way to a 2-0 win over Deportivo Alaves.

    The gap to Barcelona in second place is back to four points, and it would take a mighty collapse from this position for the teams to swap positions.

    Marco Asensio grabbed Madrid's second goal after Benzema's early penalty, and Zinedine Zidane's side could have stretched their lead as a string of chances came their way.

    But lowly Alaves contributed plenty to an entertaining game, enough to suggest they can survive in the top flight under their new coach Juan Muniz.

  • Championship: Fulham secure top-six spot, Luton climb off the bottom Championship: Fulham secure top-six spot, Luton climb off the bottom

    Fulham guaranteed themselves at least a place in the Championship play-offs and dented visitors Cardiff City's hopes with a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage on Friday.

    The Cottagers' success came while Luton Town climbed off the bottom of the table by beating fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town.

    Aleksandar Mitrovic marked his return to Fulham's team from a three-game suspension with his 24th league goal this season, guiding a 35th-minute penalty into the top-right corner after he was fouled by Cardiff's Dion Sanderson.

    Josh Onomah doubled Fulham's advantage in the 66th minute with a quick touch and shot that was arrowed across Alex Smithies.

    Scott Parker's side saw out a win that moved them up to third and closed the gap to West Brom in the second automatic promotion berth to four points, while sixth-placed Cardiff could slip to ninth if results elsewhere go against them this weekend.

    A pair of second-half goals saw Luton claim an important 2-0 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium.

    Sonny Bradley nodded home James Bree's corner within four minutes of the restart, before Elliot Lee fired beyond Jonas Lossl after James Collins' attempt came back off the post.

    Luton consequently moved above Barnsley and two points adrift of the last currently safe teams, with Huddersfield just two points clear of the bottom three in 19th.

  • This chance is not coming back - Guardiola issues Champions League rallying call to City This chance is not coming back - Guardiola issues Champions League rallying call to City

    Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City players to fight for the Champions League "until the last effort they have in their bodies" after Friday's draw mapped out a devilishly tough route to glory.

    The deposed Premier League champions hold a 2-1 last-16 advantage over Real Madrid ahead of the August 7 return at the Etihad Stadium.

    The winners of that tie will take on the victors of Lyon versus Juventus – the Ligue 1 outfit 1-0 to the good at the midway point – at UEFA's mini-tournament to decide the coronavirus-impacted Champions League in Lisbon on August 15.

    Whichever team progresses from that quarter-final will meet the team remaining from Barcelona or Napoli and Bayern Munich or Chelsea.

    "All of us want to try, to be ourselves in the game against Real Madrid, to try to defend really well and suffer the bad moments," Guardiola said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

    "Try to impose our game and our football, try to score our goals and defend the game against Real Madrid. It is incredible what [Madrid] have done in this competition, nobody has done it."

    If City finally claim the prize Madrid have lifted on a record 13 occasions, they will do so in unique circumstances heightened by the reality of a trying season on and off the field.

    Guardiola's team could be facing up to their final European game for two years next month, if the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides to uphold a two-season ban for contravening UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules. A verdict in the case is due on Monday.

    The Champions League, along with the FA Cup, offers the chance to triumphantly salvage a campaign where they meekly surrendered the Premier League title to Liverpool.

    This crescendo of events is something Guardiola believes has got through to his players.

    "I feel the motivation," he said. "I have the feeling from my players and the club that we have, in the next four weeks, something that is not coming back again.

    "Of course, we have the chance to fight but the situation that we have is not coming back again.

    "I think the big clubs don't miss these chances to try until the last effort they have in their bodies."

    The situation will certainly not come back for club great David Silva.

    City's veteran playmaker is set to leave at the end of his contract and, as a World Cup and two-time European Championship winner with Spain, he is seeking the biggest honour to have eluded him over the course of a decorated career.

    "David has won everything," Guardiola said. "The World Cup, European Championships with Spain, the Premier League and all the titles you can achieve except the Champions League.

    "All of the players want to try but the younger ones, maybe they think they have more chances.

    "Maybe David might go back to Europe with another top club and have another chance. But I'm pretty sure after one decade in this club, he will try."

    With a top-four place in the Premier League now guaranteed – whatever that comes to mean – Guardiola's main challenge for the rest of the campaign is getting Silva and the rest to next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal and the Madrid match in prime condition.

    He concedes this is a balancing act but will not shirk from giving Premier League minutes to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, even if sight of the star midfielder receiving a heavy knock during the closing stages of Wednesday's 5-0 win over Newcastle United caused understandable disquiet among the City faithful.

    "That's part of football. The important thing is they are fit," he added.

    "We cannot say one or two games, don't play and then come back. Sometimes the players who play regularly are in better condition for the important games.

    "Arsenal is an important point but it's important to keep momentum and rhythm to the way we play."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.