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Scudetto race continues to heat up

Serie A title race continues to heat up as both Milan and Inter win over weekend

May 2, 2022 By Michelle Bonsu
Two points separate the Milan-based clubs with just three games to go, meaning that this season's Scudetto race really could go down to the wire.

With Real Madrid winning the La Liga title this weekend thanks to a comfortable 4-0 win over Espanyol, that now means that three out of five of Europe's "Big Five" title races have now been decided.

That leaves the Premier League and Serie A, where, in the case of Serie A, it's a close race between reigning Scudetto champs Inter and their cross-town rivals AC Milan.

At the moment, the Rossoneri presently have a lead, but it's only by two points. Three games remain between now and the end of the season, meaning that anything can happen.

Here's how the table is looking, with just three games to go:

So, how does the run-in look for both teams?

Milan - 1st place, 77 points

The Rossoneri presently are on top of the table, but only just. Their narrow 1-0 win over Fiorentina means that Milan are still ahead of Inter, but by two points, and will need to stay on top of things if they don't want to miss out on winning the Scudetto once again. Last season saw Milan leading the way, only to suffer a mid-season collapse and for Inter to win the Scudetto for the first time since 2010.

Stefano Pioli's men are hoping to end their long wait for the league title after failing to make inroads in the Champions League and recently being dumped out of the Coppa Italia by Inter. As of now, Milan would win the Scudetto for the first time since 2011, but they have three more games to play in order to make sure that their dreams become a reality.

Their trip there could be quite tricky. First up is a clash against Hellas Verona, who have punched well above their weight thanks to the stand-out performances by Giovanni Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone. The Gialloblu are presently in ninth spot, and have lost just one of their last five, so this match could present a banana peel if Milan aren't careful.

After that, they'll take on Atalanta, who have been in lousy form lately, but La Dea will still be desperate to cause as much problems for Milan as possible. Their last clash sees them face Sassuolo, who have always proven to be a nuisance for Italy's biggest sides. The Neroverdi are the side that humiliated Milan back in January 2014, with Domenico Berardi scoring four goals and thus ending Massimiliano Allegri's reign at the club, and while their form has been quite poor lately, one would be foolish to count against them causing some trouble on matchday 38 if Milan aren't careful.

Provided everything goes smoothly, Milan will win their first Scudetto since 2011, but each of these three games could potentially prove to be a stumbling block.

Inter - 2nd place, 75 points

Inter's schedule is a bit more congested than Milan's, as the Nerazzurri are also in contention to win the Coppa Italia this term, and will face familiar foes Juventus in the final on May 11th. That means that Simone Inzaghi's men will have to play one more game than their city rivals, but it may not be such a bad thing.

Before facing Juventus, Inter will take on Empoli. The Azzurri presently are in 14th spot, with just one win from their last five but are pretty much guaranteed safety for next season. It will be very interesting to see how Inzaghi rotates his squad for this one, especially with one eye on the Coppa Italia final coming up five days after that match.

After the Coppa Italia final, which just may conclude with Inter winning that prize, the Nerazzurri will next face Cagliari. The Rossoblu are another team who have been in awful form lately, with just one win from their last five and are dangerously close to being sucked down into the drop zone considering Salernitana's recent uptick in form. Of course, this will be another must-win for Inter if they want to continue to keep up the pressure on Milan and potentially overtake the Rossoneri to clinch top spot.

Finally, Inter will conclude their Serie A campaign by facing Sampdoria on May 22nd. At this point, it's possible that Inter could be on top of the table, or could find themselves still in second. Depending on how things go for them - and for Milan - the Scudetto could actually end up being decided on the final matchday.

Can anyone else upset the apple cart?

Napoli were once in the running for the league title, but have now fallen by the wayside and given that they're seven points behind Milan, it's hard to see how realistically the Partenopei will win the Scudetto. That will only be possible if Luciano Spalletti's side somehow win all three of their matches and both Milan and Inter lose all of their three ties. Football is indeed unpredictable, but even the most ardent Napoli fans will know that's highly unlikely to happen.

The same can be said about Juventus, who are one point behind Napoli and are set to secure a spot in the Champions League. Given that the Bianconeri are eight behind Milan, it is still mathematically possible for them to snatch the league title, but again, Massimiliano Allegri's side will need to win all of their matches and make sure that Milan, Inter, and Napoli all lose theirs to have a shot at winning the league title. Certainly, La Vecchia Signora will be more focused on winning the Coppa Italia, as that represents their only realistic shot at silverware this season.

 


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