Juventus’s grip at the top of the Serie A may be insurmountable to the chasing pack but that does not mean there is still not a lot to play for in the top half of Italy’s famous league.
Eight points is The Old Lady’s stranglehold on the top of Serie A from Roma who themselves are finding their second place under threat from an on-form Napoli side.
There is little to separate Roma in second and Napoli in third bar the two points difference in the standings. Over the last ten games, Napoli have closed the gap by a meagre two points to their rivals from the capital.
Both sides have won eight of the last ten with Roma losing two and Napoli losing one and drawing one.
All of this will make for a tight finish however, both sides are all but assured Champions League football for next season with the gap to fourth placed side Lazio, six points further adrift with nine matches still to play.
Unfortunately for Serie A, only three teams qualify for the Champions league with the top two gaining progression to the group stage and the third placed side entering at the qualification rounds.
However, that is set to change from the 2018/19 season with Fifa’s top four leagues all gaining four qualifying places (currently La Liga, Premier League, Bundesliga and Serie A).
That may be too late for the team who finishes fourth in Serie A this season, but, league position equates to finances and automatic qualification to the Europa League with Serie A’s fourth spot one of the most hotly contested in European football this season.
Just four points separates Lazio in fourth and AC Milan in seventh with each team putting a strong case to be on the one to make the spot their own.
Lazio currently occupy fourth spot by two points from Inter Milan largely by regular consistent performances.
Of the four teams vying for fourth spot, Lazio hold the best defence record but have hardly set the world alight in front of goal compared to a lot of their counterparts.
Fifty goals may sound a solid enough return, but Inter Milan in fifth have scored 55 and Napoli in third have found the back of the net 68 times. You can see why the Eagles position could be under threat.
Inter Milan have won seven of their last ten and look in confident mood heading towards the twilight of the season.
Striker Mauro Icardi has scored twenty times this season marking him out as Inter’s best chance of snatching a top four spot.
To do it however, they will not only have to overhaul Lazio but keep surprise package Atalanta and neighbours AC Milan at bay.
Atalanta finished a lowly 13th last season but manager Gian Piero Gasperini has the goddesses firing on all cylinders this season as they bid for European football next season.
AC Milan may not be the force they once were, however, with nine games to go expect them to lay down a marker to return to former glories next season.