The league with the most matches left on its domestic calendar for the 2019-20 season is Serie A, and there’s plenty to like about the race for top four placement and the capocannoniere.
But is the scudetto race run?
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Juventus is chasing a ninth-straight Serie A crown and for a while looked to have a stiff challenge from Lazio. But the Roman side fell off the map and sealed their fate as mere chasers by losing 2-1 to The Old Lady on Monday.
Once Juve’s top challenger for the league, Lazio dipped into fourth with Monday’s loss and is 11 points back of The Old Lady.
Juve’s 80 points are six clear of second-place Atalanta and eight ahead of third-place Inter with four matches to play for Juve and Inter and three for Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta.
The schedule is favorable to Juve, too. Juve finishes with Udinese, Sampdoria, Cagliari, and Roma.
Atalanta and Inter still meet, while the former still has Milan and the latter Napoli.
Europa League picture
Unless Lazio falls off a map and Roma wins out, the top four is settled.
So is the identity of the next three, provided the same situation doesn’t befall Roma or AC Milan while Sassuolo or Verona gets red hot (Napoli is safe and will join the UEL group stage after winning the Italian Cup over Juventus).
It’s going to come down to whether Milan (56 points) can pass Roma (58) to go from UEL qualifying rounds to group stage. Roma can still qualify for the UCL by winning the 2019-20 UEL, where they face Sevilla in the Round of 16.
It’s going to be Immobile or Ronaldo unless Romelu Lukaku goes on a historic run and outscored both by 10 over Inter’s final four outings.
Both Ronaldo and Immobile have scored 12 of their 30 goals from the spot.
Immobile has twice won the capocannoniere, once in 2013-14 with Torino and in 2017-18 with Lazio. Ronaldo has yet to lead Italy in scoring during his brief tenure in the league.
Remaining opponents for Juve are Udinese, Sampdoria, Cagliari, and Roma, while Lazio meets Cagliari, Verona, Brescia, and Napoli. That’s about even, with Udinese surprisingly tough at the back and on both lists.
SPAL is going down and Brescia is close. The 19th-place Rondinelle are nine points back of safety with 12 points available to them.
Lecce’s in 18th and more than one win from safety, four points behind Genoa and seven behind Udinese. Torino’s eight ahead of 18th and you’d estimate they’ll be safe along with Udinese.
Genoa faces Sampdoria, Inter Milan, Sassuolo, and Verona. Only Samp is bottom half so there is reason for concern.
Lecce’s run for safety would require plenty of points from home matches with Brescia and Parma sandwiched around trips to Bologna and Udinese. So there’s reason for hope there, too, though Lecce’s only claimed one point from three matches since stunning Lazio.
*Sassuolo and AC Milan are playing as of post-time