Brave Crotone set for Serie B relegation

Soccer: Serie A; Crotone-Lazio

As the Serie A season approaches its conclusion this weekend, the only issues left to resolve are at the bottom of the table.

With Juventus crowned as champions for a seventh successive time, and the European qualification spots sewn up, attention turns to the race to avoid the drop.

Benevento and Verona have already fallen into the second division, with potentially one of five other sides joining them in Serie B.

Udinese and Chievo, both on 37 points, should be able to survive any last day drama, with home games against Bologna and Benevento respectively.

Wins would see both sides safe, although a draw for could see them secure, due to the unlikelihood of three other results going against them, and their better goal differences.

The teams realistically in the frame to go down are Cagliari, SPAL and Crotone, with 36, 35 and 35 respectively – with SPAL having a better goal difference than Walter Zenga’s Crotone.

Cagliari boosted their survival chances last weekend with a 1-0 win at Fiorentina, their first victory in five Serie A games.

That win, secured by star man Leonardo Pavoletti, has given them breathing space – and with a final game at home to Atalanta, who have already qualified for the Europa League, should give them a chance to stay in the top flight.

That leaves two teams.

SPAL and Crotone.

SPAL were the only side of the five threatened by relegation to lose last weekend, going down 2-1 away at Torino, meaning that only goal difference is keeping them out of the bottom three.

However, much the same as Cagliari, their home form has been a source of consistency in recent weeks, losing just one of their last six games -also to Roma.

That run included draws against Sassuolo, Juventus and Atalanta – and on Sunday they take on Sampdoria, who have nothing left to play for, at home.

That leaves Crotone, on the brink of relegation, with a weekend trip to Napoli – who have not lost at home since March.

Crotone are actually on their best run of form this season, with just one loss in their last five games, with Simmy and Marcello Trotta scoring some key goals, but a 2-1 loss to Chievo a fortnight ago has damaged them.

Despite this good run of form it is hard to see anything other than a Napoli win on Sunday, and relegation for Crotone for the first time since 2015-16.

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