Serie A is the most exciting league in Europe this season
With just five games to go the title race, top four positions and the battle to avoid relegation looks set to go to the wire.
No matter where you look in the Italian top flight this season, there are fascinating storylines. Obviously, with Juventus gunning for a seventh successive league title and Napoli, under Maurizio Sarri, going toe-to-toe at the top, both sides will share most the coverage.
The main storylines
Then there is the intriguing project at third-placed Roma, who are in their first Champions League semi-final for 34 years and above free-scoring Lazio on goal difference only, with a resurgent Inter just one point behind.
Across Milan, the big-money project with the Rossoneri quickly developed into a nightmare under Vincenzo Montella before Gennaro Gattuso’s appointment turning the situation on its head against all expectations.
There, of course, has been tragedy too, with Fiorentina losing their captain Davide Astori before embarking on an inspired winning run as they jostle for spots with a vibrant Atalanta and a fascinating rebuild at Sampdoria.
Relegation battle will have a grandstand finish
The bottom half of the table has been equally intriguing, with no sides yet condemned to contesting in Serie B next year. Benevento surely will be as they are 11 points adrift at the bottom but they have had some memorable moments this season. Who could forget goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli’s diving header in the fifth minute of added time against Milan, to win his side’s first point of the season in December.
Other minnows such as SPAL, who are back in the top flight after a 49-year absence, and Crotone, who are trying to build on last season’s dramatic survival, are both battling to stay in the division. Hellas Verona’s situation looks precarious, despite a 3-0 thumping of Milan in December, while Chievo Verona, Cagliari, Udinese and Sassuolo still sweating over their status in the division.
There have been subplots and freak runs of form for clubs throughout the season, Benevento’s early point-less run a case in point, but perhaps the most notable was at Inter.
Serie A compared to the rest of Europe
I Nerazzurri led the table at the start of December before embarking on a 10-game winless run, which saw them topple to fifth. Such a run of form totally derailed their title ambitions but both Rome giants suffered similar runs of form simultaneously as the title race was whittled from five to two.
The German Bundesliga title was won on April 7th while eight days later, the English Premiership was wrapped up. Eight days after that Paris Saint-Germain romped to the Ligue 1 title on the same day with a 7-1 annihilation of Monaco. Barcelona will confirm their La Liga title this month and look like they could complete the season unbeaten.
In Italy, the gap at the top between Juve and Napoli stands at just four points with the two going head-to-head on Sunday. The Old Lady still have to face both of the Milanese giants and face a potentially crucial final day trip to Roma, who may have one eye on a Champions League final.
It has been a fascinating season to date and there are still five more rounds of Italian football to enjoy with plenty to play for.
Who do you think will win Serie A this season? Let us know in the comments section below.