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Who will grab the fourth Champions League place in Serie A – Udinese, Lazio, Roma or Juventus?

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There are just eight rounds remaining in Italy’s Serie A this season, and as Milan, Inter and Napoli battle it out for the Scudetto, here we have a look at which club will join them in Europe’s premier football competition, the UEFA Champions League, next season.

Here are the contenders:

Udinese (4th, 56pts)

Remaining fixtures:
v Lecce (away)
v Roma (home)
v Napoli (away)
v Parma (home)
v Fiorentina (away)
v Lazio (home)
v Chievo (away)
v Milan (home)

Chances of finishing in fourth: Udinese have a very tough run home, and simply must kick it off with a win away to a struggling Lecce side next weekend. Fortunately for their sake, they are in control of their own destiny, and know that if they avoid any form of major disaster, fourth place is well within their reach.

Key match: v Roma (home) – Should the Bianconeri overcome the Romans, they will all but assure themselves of fourth place, as their lead over the Giallorossi could be extended to a hefty margin with just six rounds to play.

Predictions: A lot depends on the result against Roma, however a tough run home will take its toll on the team that will narrowly be edged out for the final CL place.

5th, 67pts

Lazio (5th, 54pts)

Remaining fixtures:
v Napoli (away)
v Parma (home)
v Catania (away)
v Inter (away)
v Juventus (home)
v Udinese (away)
v Genoa (home)
v Lecce (away)

Chances of finishing in fourth: Lazio certainly have the toughest run home of all their rivals, as three of their four road trips are against the top four sides. In order to keep themselves in the race for fourth, they will need to obtain at least a result from a couple of those matches, however their chances aren’t great.

Key match: v Udinese (away) – This may be the game that makes or breaks the Aquile’s season. Whether it be to assure themselves of Europa League qualification, or maintain the pace with their opponents for fourth, this match is destined to be a pivotal one.

Predictions: Lazio have had a brilliant season and should be proud of their efforts. Unfortunately though, they will not feature in next season’s Champions League.

6th, 66pts

Roma (6th, 50pts)

Remaining fixtures:
v Juventus (home)
v Udinese (away)
v Palermo (home)
v Chievo (home)
v Bari (away)
v Milan (home)
v Catania (away)
v Sampdoria (home)

Chances of finishing fourth: Roma will desperately want to reclaim a place in next season’s Champions League, and will throw everything at it in the final eight rounds of the season. Not having many players involved in international fixtures over the next fortnight will work in their favour, as they simply must remain unbeaten in the final eight fixtures, if they wish to achieve their goal.

Key match: v Juventus (home) – Anything but a win in this match could effectively end any hope they have of finishing fourth. If their deficit to Udinese were to extend any further, then it would cap off one of the most disappointing seasons in the club’s recent history.

Predictions: Plenty at stake for the Giallorossi against Juve, and even more the following week against Udinese. If they can obtain at least four points from these two matches, pencil them in to finish off the season on a high.

4th, 68pts

Juventus (7th, 45pts)

Remaining fixtures:
v Roma (away)
v Genoa (home)
v Fiorentina (away)
v Catania (home)
v Lazio (away)
v Chievo (home)
v Parma (away)
v Napoli (home)

Chances of finishing fourth: Whilst there is belief amongst the Juventus squad that fourth is a realistic possibility, in reality, they have no chance whatsoever. Not even winning all eight matches would guarantee them progression to the Champions League next season, however similar to Roma; they are a very proud club that will continue to fight until the end.

Key match: v Roma (away) – Similar to the Romans, if they want to have any chance of claiming fourth, this is a match that they can ill afford to lose. They must look to continue the resilience they showed against Brescia last weekend, and maintain that for the remainder of the campaign.

Predictions: Juve will struggle to finish in the top six, let alone the top four, and so the club should direct all of its attention to qualifying for the Europa League once again next season.

7th, 60pts

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Comments (4)

  1. Typical bias against the better teams of the season.

    Roma will not finish above Udinese or Lazio, as your bias prediciton suggests. They have failed to maintain any momentum all season and often given up on games rather than seeing them out.

    Out of all of the suggested teams, Roma deserve the least to be part of the CL next season.

    Also, the gap between Napoli and Lazio is 5 points, potentially reduced to 2 if Lazio win next week. I can see Napoli dropping points in the coming weeks and no longer fighting for the Scudetto. They also have to play Udinese, so could easily drop to 5th…

    Poor predictions…

  2. I thought I read something a few weeks back saying Germany was getting a fourth CL spot and Italy was losing one.

  3. Never mind … I found this article on the matter …

    http://goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/bundesliga-gets-fourth-spot-in-champions-league/

    It doesn’t take effect until 2012.

  4. In response to your comment Ricardo – Italy have a fourth CL spot next season, however it’s the season after that they will only have three clubs in the competition.