The last matchweek of the Serie A is upon us. While many of the league positions have already been confirmed, there are still important positions that are up for grabs.
Ahead of the matches, here is a look at what is to be decided.
Europa League places: Atalanta (61 points), AS Roma (60), Juventus (59)
Although all three of Atalanta, Roma and Juventus have qualified for Europe, the competition they will take part in is still to be determined.
Napoli, Lazio, Inter and Milan have all secured a top four place and therefore Champions League football in the fall. The next best thing – a place in the Europa League – is what is at stake here.
For Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta, it could not be any simpler. A victory over Monza will assure them one of the two places. If they drop points and both Roma and Juve win, then La Dea will drop to seventh and partake in the Europa Conference League playoff round.
Roma will have to shake off the disappointment of Wednesday’s Europa League final defeat to Sevilla very quickly. José Mourinho’s Giallorossi just need a win over relegation threatened Spezia to re-enter the UEL in the fall. If Juventus fails to win their game, then Roma will finish at least sixth regardless, as the capital club owns the head to head. If Roma drop points and Juve win, then it will be a return to the Conference League for Roma.
Juventus find themselves in an unfamiliar position as they will miss out on Champions League football for the first time in a decade.
To make things worse, they could still be banned from Europe next season, pending UEFA’s decision. Having been docked 10 points for capital gains, the Bianconeri can finish fifth at best.
They travel to Udine to meet Udinese. Failure to win will condemn Juve to the Conference League. The only way for them to make the Europa League is by winning and hoping at least one of Atalanta or Roma drops points.
A brief note: should Juventus be barred from competing in Europe next season, Roma and Atalanta will earn a Europa League place regardless of the results. The Conference League spot would then be transferred to the eighth best team, one of Torino, Fiorentina, Monza or Bologna.
In this case, if Fiorentina finishes eighth and prevails in next Wednesday’s UECL final against West Ham, they will enter the Europa League, joining Roma and Atalanta. The Conference League place would not be passed down to the ninth place team.
Relegation: Spezia (31), Hellas Verona (31)
The battle avoid joining Cremonese and Sampdoria in Serie B next season is on the line. One of Spezia or Hellas Verona will go down, but it is a matter of who, and when?
The scenario could not be any simpler: whoever collects more points on Sunday will maintain their Serie A status at the expense of the other. If both sides get the same number of points on Sunday, then there will be a one-game playoff at a neutral venue the following weekend. That will determine who stays in the league and who gets relegated.
Spezia has the more difficult game of the two, as they head to the capital to face Roma. With that said, however, who knows what state their opponents will be in after Wednesday’s result.
As for Verona, they travel to Milan to take on the Rossoneri. Outside of trying to finish one spot higher, there is not much on the line for Stefano Pioli’s Milan team. That provides an excellent chance for the Gialloblù to earn a result.
David Parkes | GIFN