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Guest Article – Serie A Review Week 29

Another guest article now and Filippo Festuccia returns with an extensive review of all the action in Week 29 of Serie A. You can follow Filippo on Twitter here @FilippoFest. Over to you Filippo

With only nine games left until the end of this hard-fought Serie A season, there are three key questions that need final answers to shape the table into its definitive form.

Can Juventus be stopped? At this point I don’t think so. Last Friday they swiftly defeated 7th-placed Sassuolo, despite a surprisingly wasteful performance (16 chances created and one goal is not your typical Juventus game). The fact is, Juventus can be beaten in a single game. Inter gutted them in the Coppa Italia, Bologna had little trouble getting away with a draw a few weeks ago, Bayern dominated them. Juventus, however, is the only title contender with a mindset for the long run. The only team currently doing better than them is Roma, but even after their 8 consecutive victories (the latest one this Sunday against Udinese) the Spalletti boys have an 8 points gap from Juventus. They are a credible threat to Napoli, who had a terrible February and is now starting to get back to speed, with two wins after two draws and one loss (against Juventus). If Juventus doesn’t have a meltdown after their likely elimination from the Champions League – and they’re not really known for their fragility – the title is in their hands.

Is the fight for Champions and Europa League spots clear-cut? It looks like it is, yes, but with a huge variable coming from the Coppa Italia final between Milan and Juventus. As far as the Champions League spots go, Roma might catch up with Napoli and it’s quite safe from Fiorentina, who drew with last-placed Verona. Fiorentina (9 points in the last six games, to Roma’s 18) is once again even with Inter, and both teams are eyeing a guaranteed spot in the Europa League group stage. They will both achieve it, unless Milan wins the Coppa Italia – in that case, one of the two will have to start from the playoffs, which could be disastrous given that this Summer international players will have no chance to rest.

What’s going on in the relegation zone? Simply put, no team is doing what they should, except for Genoa, who went over Torino in a spectacular fashion this Sunday and are now basically clear. The same can’t be said about Empoli, who may be sitting one point above Genoa but haven’t won a game in two months. Torino and Sampdoria have too much quality to lose so many points (they have respectively 6 and 5 points on 18th place), so that leaves us with five teams in the thick of the fight and Verona in a solitary last place. Of these five – Udinese, Atalanta, Palermo, Frosinone and Carpi – Frosinone is the one with the best recent form, but they keep missing key opportunities. They lost to Sampdoria and to Carpi (2-1 this weekend), the kind of games you simply must win if you want to stay in Serie A. Everyone else is doing worse, though, so there’s hope. Palermo is among the most likely teams to get relegated. They’ve changed manager once again, but their (perfectly acceptable) loss to Napoli showed the insecurities of every player in the team. They’re struggling physically and mentally, and it’s only thanks to Frosinone’s blunders that they’re still clear of relegation. Atalanta and Udinese have more chances to stay in Serie A, but they need to be more clinical in their approach. Atalanta created more chances than Lazio this weekend but lost 2-0 due to dreadful finishing and were unable to defend without constant fouls. Udinese seems the best team of the bottom six, but they need to tighten up their defence and make a decent amount of easy points in the following weeks – even a draw can make the difference.


Thanks Filippo, make sure to keep an eye out for his preview for Week 30 later this week and subsequent articles between now and the end of the season.

If you would like to have any content posted on here then please feel free to contact me at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com and hopefully we can get something of yours up as well.

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