The title race has ended, but there is still a lot to play for in the final two rounds of Serie A. Here is the preview of the penultima one.
Inter-Sassuolo: both teams have won three out of their last four games. As a result, the Beneamata are now just two points behind Lazio and the head-to-head clash is coming next week, while the Neroverdi have secured a Serie A stay. Luciano Spalletti is getting excellent contributions from Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic, as usual, while Rafinha has finally notched his first Serie A and Marcelo Brozovic has emerged as their best central midfielder. The Emiliani have scored in ten straight matches, with Matteo Politano doing most of the heavy lifting, but it remains to be seen how they will perform now that they have reached their goal. Domenico Berardi used to shine at San Siro, but it has been a lost year for him. Stefano Sensi has some interesting fantasy upside, should they decide to give him some consistent minutes. The Inter defence, Samir Handanovic and Joao Cancelo in particular, could be in play here, but much will depend on the guests’ attitude.
Crotone-Lazio: the Sharks have lost only once in the last five home games, even tying with Juventus, while Lazio are riding a nine-match undefeated streak. Simy and Marcello Trotta have been running the show for the Calabresi, with Adrian Stoian and Andrea Nalini also chipping in. The Biancocelesti have had the best attack so far, but Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto will likely be sidelined by muscular injuries, so it will be up to Felipe Caicedo, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Felipe Anderson to keep it up. The striker could be a cheap plug.
Atalanta-Milan: the two franchises are separated by just one point, but they also need to fend off Fiorentina. The Orobici have not lost in their last five outings and had won three in a row before drawing with Lazio, while the Rossoneri have won two in a row against some minnows. Musa Barrow has been an unpredictable addition to the array of weapons at Gian Piero Gasperini’s disposal and made up for Andrea Petagna’s injury upfront. Josip Ilicic has not skipped a bit despite the knee injury, while Alejandro Gomez and Bryan Cristante continue to be workhorses. Hakan Calhanoglu is in rare form for Milan, Giacomo Bonaventura is constantly productive, while Patrick Cutrone resumed scoring last week. Suso is always involved, but does not necessarily always translate in bonus points.
Roma-Juventus: the Giallorossi have won four straight matches and gained a small edge on the competition for the final two Champions League spot. The Old Lady has prevailed in their last two games, practically securing the seventh Scudetto in a row. Two pretty dominant defences will go against a formidable offence, Juventus’ one, and a pretty varied one, Roma’s. Cengiz Under netted one in Cagliari, while Edin Dzeko remains their go-to-guy and has had a ton of success in the past couple of months. Stephan El Shaarawy also usually shows up. The Bianconeri are riding Douglas Costa very hard, they have also got a lot from Juan Cuadrado and Sami Khedira recently. Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain have not gained much steam, even but they are always lurking.
Sampdoria-Napoli: the Blucerchiati rarely lose at home, but they have been so poor on the road that they are pretty much out of the running for a Europa League berth despite a marvellous first half of the season. The Partenopei have kissed goodbye to the title hopes that the win in Turin had revived due to the stumbles against Fiorentina and Torino. They have lost only once on the road this year. Duvan Zapata should be available and will be looking to punish the team that never really gave him a chance, while Fabio Quagliarella has been their best player all year long. However, they are both banged up, so the effervescent Dawid Kownacki could get another shot. Dennis Praet and Gaston Ramirez have also shown some signs of life. As for the Azzurri, Dries Mertens and Marek Hamsik ended their scoring slumps, but some backups could be getting some minutes in the final two games and Arek Milik, in particular, will be try to build on his good form. Lorenzo Insigne and José Callejon remain their best weapons upfront though.
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