Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Ebrahim Sadien On April - 4 - 2013

The Race for the Champions League Next Season: Part One

Race for the Champions League spots: Part 1

With eight games left of the season and Juventus in command at the top of the table, the race for the final two Champions League spot is set to provide a fascinating finale in Serie A. Napoli and AC Milan look set for dogfight for second place. However should either one of them slip up, Fiorentina, Lazio, Roma and Internazionale are all well placed to snatch the third and final Champions League position.

Race for second

Due to Napoli’s impressive early season run and AC Milan second half of the season turnaround, they are the prime contenders for the final automatic Champions League qualification spot.

This season’s talking point has without a doubt been the resurgence of AC Milan. An unbeaten run in the league in 2013 including nine wins and three draws, has seen the Rossoneri ascend up the table. Massimiliano Alegri’s trust in youth has received much acclaim for Milan’s revival. Furthermore the form of Ricardo Montolivo, the rise of Mattia De Sciglio and of course the arrival of Mario Balotelli, have also immensely contributed. The Rossoneri come off a scrappy 1-0 away victory against Chievo and a tough April fixture list now awaits them as we reach the business end of the season. Games against Fiorentina, Napoli and Juventus all in April could well define how the season pans out for the Rossoneri. Balotelli has received plenty of plaudits for his performances for club and country recently and the will be crucial in Milan’s final charge.

After fighting toe to toe with Juventus through the first half of the season, Napoli have regressed during 2013. A bad run beginning in February saw Napoli draw four consecutive games before losing 2-0 away to Chievo. This run of games has seen the Partenopei fall into the clutches of AC Milan who are now only two points adrift in third position. Synonymous with Napoli’s form has been the form of star striker Edinson Cavani. Not surprising as Napoli struggled, the Uruguayan experienced a dry spell through February and early March. However, both Napoli and Cavani have now seemed to put their troubles behind them as they attempt to fend off Milan. Two consecutive victories against Atlanta and Torino which included a Cavani brace in each have proved that they will not be giving up second place without a fight.

With Milan on the upward spiral and Napoli’s indifferent form, the Rossoneri look odds on favourites to claim second spot. Despite Napoli’s two consecutive victories in their last two outings they have looked far from convincing. Allegri’s team have done the hard work but need to continue progressing especially through a tough April schedule. Those within the Milan camp have also voiced their opinion on finishing second. Recently veteran defender Daniele Bonera told Gazzetta dello Sport “Juventus are having an incredible season but second place can be reached.”

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