Let’s take a look at the most interesting games of the conclusive round.
Cagliari-Atalanta: the Sardinians are one point above Spal and Crotone and would be safe with a win, however Orobici are on the hunt for points that could allow them to leapfrog Milan and avoid the long Europa League playoff next summer. After some disappointing performances, Cagliari came to life in Florence with a key victory. The Goddess have not lost in their last seven matches. Leonardo Pavoletti is putting the team on his back and the lack of another scoring threat has been hurting them all year long. Joao Pedro’s suspension resumed, it be will be up to Diego Farias, Marco Sau and Artur Ionita to provide some help. On the other hand, the Nerazzurri have a plethora of weapons at their disposal, starting with the electric Josip Ilicic, Musa Barrow and Alejandro Gomez and finishing with the sneaky cuts of Bryan Cristante and Remo Freuler.
Milan-Fiorentina: the Rossoneri held onto the sixth place thanks to the draw in Bergamo. They have been defeated just once in their last Serie A games, but they have dropped a lot of points due to draws and have been crushed in the Coppa Italia final by Juventus. Fiorentina, after two great wins, fell at home against Cagliari and are substantially out of the running for Europa League because the gap in their goal difference compared to Atalanta’s one is too wide. The Devil have few intriguing players on deck, Hakan Calhanoglu, Giacomo Bonaventura, Suso and Patrick Cutrone, but neither has been too consistent so far. The Viola ride Giovanni Simeone and Federico Chiesa pretty hard, while the third spot has been a work in progress and it could go to either Riccardo Saponara, Valentin Eysseric or Cyril Thereau.
Napoli-Crotone: the Partenopei want to finish the season well and they soundly defeated Sampdoria last week. Arek Milik confirmed his good form, but also Dries Mertens and Marek Hamsik have found the target recently. The Sharks need to make points and hope one of the teams in front of them stumble. Simy has been their most consistent player, with Adrian Stoian, Andrea Nalini and Marcello Trotta chipping in from time to time. Walter Zenga has been using few different looks to try to bolster their defensive phase, which has been mediocre at best. It could be a good opportunity for Lorenzo Insigne and José Callejon, but it depends on their level of engagement. Some of the Napoli youngsters, Marko Rog or Adam Ounas in primis, could see some minutes.
Spal-Sampdoria: the Estensi fumbled away at least a point against Torino, but they would still secure the permanence in the top league with a win. Luckily for them, they will square off against a team whose season has already ended and that has been abysmal on the road all year long. Mirco Antenucci and Alberto Paloschi have put their names in the scoresheets lately and also the midfielders Alberto Grassi and Jasmin Kurtic have done some damage on offence. The Blucerchiati are lost without Fabio Quagliarella, who is not in good physical conditions: Duvan Zapata, Dawid Kownacki and Gianluca Caprari would have big shoes to fill if the seasoned striker could not play again. Gaston Ramirez and Dennis Praet have been up and down.
Lazio-Inter: the Biancocelesti extended their lead with a draw in Crotone, while the Nerazzurri incredibly lost to Sassuolo at home. However, the situation did not change as the guests would qualify to Champions League with a win, while any other result would favour Lazio. The home team could be boosted by the returns of Marco Parolo, Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto, with the first two having a better chance to recover. In their absences, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been glorious, Felipe Caicedo serviceable while Felipe Anderson has not been able to elevate his play when needed. The Beneamata as always live and die by the performances of Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic, but also Rafinha has notched a couple of scores recently.
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