Milan confident of overhauling Europa League rivals


With the Serie A season approaching its final straight, the race for the Europpean places is set to go down to the wire.

With Juventus having already secured their title, and Napoli and Inter Milan looking strong to secure a Champions League finish, the battle for Europe is spread across seven sides.

Atalanta and Roma look set to fight it out for fourth place, and Champions League football for 2019-20.

With one of them dropping into the Europa League places, that leaves one move available slot to join them.

That battle will be between Torino, AC Milan and Lazio, with four Serie A games remaining.

Torino have the current edge, with their head to head lead over Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan side giving them a lead, with Lazio a further point behind.

The respective run ins of the three sides is likely to be the deciding factor in who will be renewing their passports ahead of an early start to next season, with Italy’s sixth best joining at the Europa League Second Qualifying stage.

Walter Mazzarri’s Torino have been a picture of consistency in 2019, losing just once in their last 14 league games – however they face a trip to Juventus and a potential Europa League play-off on the last day at home to Lazio.

The Rome-based side also face a tough run of games before the end of the season, as they go to Champions League chasing Atalanta and are likely to need a result at the Olimpico di Torino on the final weekend.

That should mean that the pieces are falling into place for the Rossoneri to power through and clinch sixth spot.

However the big concern at the San Siro has been the serious dip in form of late – putting increased pressure on Gattuso’s future at the club.

Four defeats in their last seven Serie A games, and an Coppa Italia semi final exit to Lazio, has made their situation harder.

Krzysztof Piatek’s explosive start to life at the club has slowed down, with no goals in his last four appearances in league and cup action – with midfielder Franck Kessie his closest rival for club top scorer, with five Serie A goals.

Gattuso’s faith will have to be in the experienced core of his side, including Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodriguez and Lucas Biglia, that will have the nous to get them over the line.

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