Serie A Week 37 preview – The penultimate weekend could settle all remaining issues

Inter have the fate of the scudetto in their own hands as they aim to make it five league titles in a row. Chievo are the visitors to the San Siro, and with nothing to play for other than pride, may either approach the game without pressure and flourish, or indeed pose a lack of impetus. The one thing that is certain is that all eyes will be on their performance given the commotion created by Lazio against the same opposition last weekend. One team that will certainly be hoping for a good showing from Chievo is Roma, needing to recover quickly following Wednesday’s Coppa Italia disappointment, and will face Cagliari at the Stadio Olimpico, and will still believe that the Serie A championship is achievable. I Giallorossi will need no reminding of how Juventus capitulated in 1990 to, ironically, allow Lazio to become champions, and will want to ensure that any Inter slip-up will be punished to the maximum. Similarly to Chievo, Cagliari have nothing significant to play for.

Issues around the European places are more or less settled, apart from the huge issue of who will take fourth position and secure the final Champions League qualifying spot. This will be largely decided when Palermo entertain Sampdoria at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. Milan, with two wins, two draws and two defeats in their last six games, would like to end their period of inconsistency and finish the season strongly. They need a win to guarantee third place and will hope to complete this as they travel to Genoa, who themselves will finish outside the European places. Napoli and Juventus will finish in the Europa League spots, and both play at home to Atalanta and Parma respectively. Of these four teams, most pressure is on Atalanta as they look for the miracle that will keep them in Italy’s top division, with them five points adrift of safety with two games to play.

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Two relegation issues have already been settled as the bottom two find themselves facing the prospect of playing in Serie B next season. Siena travel to Florence to take on Fiorentina, who will be disappointed that they could not emulate last season’s qualification for the Champions League. Both teams have only claimed one win in their last six fixtures. The other relegated team, Livorno, host Lazio at home and will be desperate not to finish at the foot of the table. A point looks likely to save the Biancocelesti from any lingering fears of dropping from Serie A. Similarly, a point should be enough for Bologna, who are level on points with Lazio. The Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, will host Catania, who are a mere point ahead, and have not been out of the bottom half all season. Thirteenth-placed Udinese face Bari who are in tenth, and barring an exceptional end of season from Inter’s Diego Milito, will boast the league’s top scorer. Striker Antonio di Natale has netted 26 times and one more goal will see him score his 100th.

Game of the weekend

Sampdoria’s trip to Palermo sees the battle for fourth go down to the wire. A win for the Genoa side will ensure a top-four finish. In turn, a victory for the Islanders would see them leap from Sampdoria into fourth and be a victory away from qualifying for Europe’s top tournament.

Blast from the past

In 1970 Cagliari won the scudetto for the only time. While they beat Roma at home they were unable to do so in the capital city, but did manage to claim a point. The Cagliari equaliser came from Angelo Domenghini who played for Italy in the World Cup final the same year.

On this matchday

10 years ago – 1999/00

No Round 37 games took place as just 18 teams competed in Serie A. The division was increased to 20 in 2004/05, which was won by Juventus, before they were later stripped of the scudetto.

Five years ago – 2004/05

A brace from Serginho was not enough for Milan to gain victory over Palermo as the Sicilians came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with two goals in the final 13 minutes.

One year ago – 2008/09

Fiorentina gained their last league point which was to ensure Champions League qualification. This was enough to make certain they would finish above Genoa on the basis of their head-to-head record.

Week 37 fixtures

Sunday May 9

Bologna vs. Catania – 14.00

Fiorentina vs. Siena – 14.00

Genoa vs. Milan – 14.00

Inter vs. Chievo – 14.00

Juventus vs. Parma – 14.00

Livorno vs. Lazio – 14.00

Napoli vs. Atalanta – 14.00

Palermo vs. Sampdoria – 14.00

Roma vs. Cagliari – 14.00

Udinese vs. Bari – 14.00

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