Serie A final day: Four clubs battle for two Champions League places

Published on: 25 May 2019

All eyes will be on the battle for third and fourth when the Italian season comes to a close on Sunday. With Juventus confirmed as champions weeks ago and Napoli safe in second, four clubs -- Atalanta, Inter, Milan and Roma -- will compete for the two remaining Champions League places.

Entering the decisive day, Atalanta and Inter are third and fourth respectively with 66 points apiece, but neither can afford to drop points with Milan (fifth; 65) and Roma (sixth; 63) breathing down their necks. 

The games that matter (LIVE on ESPN+, 2:20 p.m. ET)

Atalanta vs. Sassuolo

Inter vs. Empoli

SPAL vs. Milan

Roma vs. Parma

    Live soccer on ESPN+: Watch Serie A, MLS, Nations League, FA Cup and more (U.S. only)

The simple H2H permutations

In short, there are many! But with head-to-head serving as the first tiebreaker in Serie A and all of these teams having played each other twice, here are the most straightforward scenarios, should teams finish level on points:

Atalanta ahead of Inter if level on points

Inter ahead of Milan if level on points

Milan ahead of Atalanta and Roma if level on points

Roma do not hold a tiebreaker advantage over any of their rivals.

Inter and Milan have not qualified for the Champions League in the same season since 2010-11.

Three- and four-way tiebreakers are also possible

This is where it gets really complicated! Here is who would claim Champions League places, based on the teams in third, fourth and fifth having the same points total:

Atalanta / Inter / Milan: Atalanta and Inter qualify for UCL, Milan to Europa League

Atalanta / Inter / Roma: Atalanta and Roma qualify for UCL, Inter to Europa League

Atalanta / Milan / Roma: Milan and Roma qualify for UCL, Atalanta to Europa League

Inter / Milan / Roma: Inter and Milan qualify for UCL, Roma to Europa League

And in the event of a four-way tie -- it could happen! -- Inter and Milan would finish third and fourth respectively and go into the Champions League, with Atalanta and Roma into the Europa League.

Individual club permutations

Atalanta: Will be guaranteed UCL football if they win against Sassuolo -- which is technically a home game but being played at Sassuolo due to ground redevelopment work. They will also qualify with a point if Milan fail win at SPAL. If Atalanta lose to Sassuolo, they would need Milan to lose to SPAL, OR if Milan win they would need Inter to lose to Empoli.

Inter Milan: Guaranteed a place in the Champions League if they beat Empoli. If they draw, they will be in the UCL if Milan fail to win. If Inter lose, they are through as long as Milan do not win.

AC Milan: Need other results to go their way but victory at SPAL will send them to the Champions League if either Atalanta or Inter fail to win. If Milan draw, they will qualify if Atalanta lose and Inter pick up points, OR if both Atalanta and Inter lose and Roma win.

Roma: Can only qualify for the Champions League if they win at home to Parma, with two possible scenarios. They would then need Atalanta, Inter and Milan to all lose OR Atalanta to lose, Milan to draw and Inter to pick up points. 

Source: espn.co.uk

Comments