Serie A Round 38 Preview: Final day showdowns and dramas

Published on: 25 May 2019

We enter the final weekend of the season where the top two and bottom two have been settled for a while now but all the other significant issues come down to the final day before they will be resolved.

Where better to start than high-flying Atalanta who find themselves in pole position to gain a spot in the Champions League. After losing their first two Serie A matches against visitors Sassuolo, Atalanta have gone unbeaten in the last nine against the Neroverdi (W5, D4).

Visiting Sassuolo may prove to be stubborn opponents as they have lost only one of their last eight league games (W2, D5), keeping four clean sheets in the process.

Bologna have lost their last two home games against Napoli in Serie A (one scored, 10 conceded).

Napoli have scored at least two goals in each of their last 11 matches against Bologna, averaging 3.4 goals per game in this run (37 goals).

Cagliari have won each of their last four home matches against Udinese, as many as in the previous 18 games in the top-flight.

Nearly safe Udinese have hit form at precisely the right time and are looking to win three consecutive games while also scoring 3+ goals in each victory for the first time since December 1997.

Fiorentina have lost only three of a total 47 home matches against Genoa in Serie A history (W30, D14); the last Rossoblu win in Florence came back in March 1977 (2-1).

Visiting Genoa currently occupy the final relegation place so they will need something from this game. Sadly for them they haven’t scored in three of their last four away matches against Fiorentina in Serie A, conceding four goals in total during this run.

Perhaps the most irrelevant game of the weekend sees the bottom two face each other. Hosts Frosinone (29) and Chievo (25) have scored fewer goals than any other side in the current campaign; the last season to see at least two teams score fewer than 30 goals in a single Serie A season was back in the 2003/04.

Chievo will be rooting for talisman Sergio Pellissier. He has scored 112 goals in Serie A (level with Edinson Cavani): he could reach Antonio Cassano and Nicola Amoruso at 113 goals in the competition by scoring in this match.

Given their league position (4th), Champions League chasing Inter Milan will be the favourite of the two Milan clubs to take a spot in the top four. They have won 10 of their previous 11 Serie A meetings with Empoli (D1) including each of the last six. Empoli’s last win against Nerazzurri in the competition was back to April 2006 (1-0), under Luigi Cagni.

Empoli have come back from the dead in the last few weeks as they have won their last three Serie A matches; only once in their history have the Toscani secured four wins in a row in the competition, this in December 2015. It would be a big ask to top this but who knows?

AS Roma have won 15 of their last 19 Serie A matches against Parma (D3, L1) with the last defeat coming in October 2012.

Struggling Parma will need to improve their ailing form ready for next season, they have conceded the most goals away from home in the second half of this season (21 in nine games).

Sampdoria have conceded goals in each of their last 13 Serie A matches against Champions Juventus (29); the last time the Blucerchiati kept a clean sheet in the top-flight against the Bianconeri was back in January 2011 (0-0).

Paulo Dybala’s first goal in Serie A arrived against Sampdoria (a brace in November 2012 for Palermo); the Juventus striker has scored six goals against the Blucerchiati: only against Lazio and Udinese has he netted more in the top-flight (seven against both).

The last time SPAL lost three Serie A games in a row, was back in October 2018, they’re currently on two consecutive defeats.

In one of the more curious statistics of the weekend, only Juventus (182’) have gone fewer minutes trailing than AC Milan (200’) in Serie A this season, SPAL however, have been winning for just 280 minutes at Mazza, with only Frosinone (161’) and Chievo (85’) winning for fewer minutes in home games in 2018/19.

The last time Torino won a Serie A home game against Lazio was back in December 2013. The Biancocelesti won their last match in Piemonte against the Granata; they could win two in a row for the first time since 2006.

Ciro Immobile made 47 appearances for Torino in Serie A (27 goals); the Lazio striker has netted two goals against the Granata in the top-flight, with the last one coming in March 2017.

Source: forzaitalianfootball.com

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