Heading to the last weekend of the Italian Serie A, there is a match that worth watching. All the spots are filled, Juventus won the title in advance, Roma earned the second place and is qualified automatically in next season’s Champions League. Cagliari, Cesena and Parma were relegated to Serie B, and seventh-placed Sampdoria will participate in the Europa League qualifying round as sixth-placed Genoa were not allowed to take part in the next season’s Europa League by UEFA because they filled the paperwork too late and their stadium wasn’t up to standard for the European competition.
There is still the third place and a Champions League qualified campaign spot to fight for. Lazio, third in the Serie A table, will face Napoli, fourth in the table, when just 3 points separates the two sides with a game left to play. The match will define their seasons and is important not just for about 40 millions euros that the team in the Champions League can have more than the one in the Europa League, but the prestige and the players and managers they can attract to their clubs for the next season.
Lazio need a draw or win to earn the spot, but they will have a hard task at hand as they should play away at the Stadio San Paolo, arguably most difficult stadium in Italy to play in, and in front of more than 50,000 Napoli fans. the home side need a win as with the same points Napoli will have a better head-to-head record.
Lazio lost the chance to get over the finish line in front last Monday when cousins Roma beat them 2-1 in a match that the Bianconeri were the better team and a draw would have given them the third place. Napoli also are coming from a 3-1 loss against the champion Juventus.
It will be Napoli manager Rafa Benitez’s last match with the club as earlier this week the Spaniard announced his departure and probably he is heading to Real Madrid to replace Carlo Ancelotti. Benitez definitely wants to finish his career at the club with a gift for the fans that supported him throughout his years in Italy, and Napoli players can be spirited by it.
Napoli v Lazio is a do or die match for both clubs and has the potential to be a great game.