With ten matches left, the title race is heating up in the Italian Serie A. The only real contenders left that can still tame the Inter lion and triumph are Juventus.
With a game in hand, Inter are just 4 points ahead of Juventus after Juventus’s 4-1 demolition of Bologna at home in Turin. Inter’s next opponents are Fiorentina, who sit in 5th place on 46 points. Fiorentina will be looking for a win to jump ahead of 4th placed Genoa, who have already played their match this weekend. If Fiorentina win, then the title race will be wide open and the Champions League race will begin again. If it’s Inter who wins, then Juventus will face an uphill struggle to stop the ‘Special One’ from winning the Serie A title.
This is the table right now:
You might be asking, what happened to last year’s second-placed finishers Roma? What happened to the supposedly in-form Milan? Well, Milan, following their exit from the UEFA Cup, have seemed demoralized. Their next match is away at Siena, who are currently sitting in 15th, seven points from the relegation zone. Milan do have a game in hand, and, if they win, will see themselves rise to 54 pts, and would then be five points behind Juventus and nine behind Inter.
Meanwhile, Roma have been steadily recovering from their legendary slump during the first half of the season. They are 6th, three points off a Champions League place. They face Antonio Cassano’s underperforming Sampdoria side away in Genoa. Sampdoria have been underwhelming throughout the season, and are 14th, seven points from relegation.
At the beginning of the season, the Serie A was succulent and entertaining, with Napoli, Udinese, Lazio, Milan, Juventus, Inter, Roma, Palermo, and Genoa all in with a shot. But Napoli soon fell away, and manager Edy Reja was just replaced by former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni. Udinese held out for longer, but they too could not stand the heat. Palermo were never fully in it, and that showed as they plunged to mid-table mediocrity. Lazio slowly went down alongside Roma, and are now one spot behind their rivals in 7th. That leaves the usual suspects: Inter, Juventus and Milan. Milan dazzled, but a shocking UEFA Cup exit left them empty-handed and unable to perform in the Serie A, as they fell behind into 3rd and are 12 points off.
Now, Juventus are the only ones left who have the ability to end Inter’s stranglehold on the Serie A. Not to be biased, but Forza Juve!
One interesting fact for you: Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri, managers of Inter and Juve managers, used to manage Chelsea. Coincidence? I think not.