With just six weekends left for the Italian champions to be crowned, we are fortunate to be witnessing one of the closest Scudetto finishes in recent times.
All bets were on Inter Milan lifting an unprecedented fifth consecutive championship, but an unbelievable twenty two game unbeaten streak in the league by A.S Roma and some good performances by Milan have kept both teams right on the tail of the Nerazzurri. The March slump in the form of the defending champions has made it a three-way horse race to the top of the league with just three points separating the teams.
Here we look at all the three clubs in contention for the title:
The Rome-based club has already notched up more wins this time around, than they did in the entire last season – in which they only managed a sixth place finish.
The month of March could prove to be very crucial in the race for the Scudetto. It saw Ranieri’s men pick up a priceless 2-1 win over the leaders Inter. This also helped them leapfrog past Milan into the second spot on the table; a single point behind the Nerazzurri.
Roma are on a roll at the moment
The Giallorossi would be looking to bag maximum points from their last 6 fixtures to keep up the pressure on the both the Milanese clubs. The only jitters they might face, are their matches against fifth placed Sampdoria and against Lazio in the all important Rome derby.
The fact that Lazio is flirting with relegation will definitely provide the Biancocelesti with an extra incentive to ruin the party for Totti and his team.
Inter could be forgiven for having gone into the winter break, thinking their fifth consecutive Serie A title was already in the bag.
But a string of less than satisfactory performances, have brought league rivals AS Roma and Milan within touching distance of the league leaders. Inter would like to forget the month of March, which saw them collect just five points out of five league matches. To make matters worse for Mourinho’s men, a loss to the Giallorossi firmly cemented Roma’s credentials as potential winners for this season.
Leading from the front – Inter Milan
With matches coming up against a resilient Fiorentina and a wounded Juventus— both of whom are trying hard to stay in the hunt for a place in Europe next season; the Italian champions surely have a couple of tricky challenges lined up for them in the coming weeks.
Inter can afford no more slip-ups in the remainder of the season, as suddenly even the away match against Siena seems challenging. It’s worth remembering Inter almost crumbled the last time these two teams met in January, when it took strikes by Sneijder and Walter Samuel in the last three minutes at San Siro to save Internazionale from an embarrassing defeat.
After fielding their weakest teams in recent memory, it comes as a pleasant surprise to see Milan alive and kicking, still in with a chance to be crowned Italian champions this season. It is common knowledge, the form of the Rossoneri has been far from impressive, throughout the season— yet, a mathematical miracle sees them within reach of the title.
With just six game days left, Leonardo should work hard to get his team’s focus back on track as the Scudetto – the only silverware they can hope to lift this season. Like their city rivals, Milan too had a forgettable March. Il Diavolo were not only thrashed on their way out of the Champions League but they also squandered a chance to go top of the league table after drawing againsst Napoli and Lazio at home and losing to Parma away. The string of injuries suffered by Beckham, Nesta and Pato hasn’t helped their cause either.
With no suitable back-ups for the injured legs, their inconsistent form and with five out of the remaining six fixtures against teams in the top half; the seven time European champions are not the likeliest to lift the national title. But history seems to depict Milan as having enjoyed a better run in the second half of the season in comparison with Inter. Also, of the three clubs contending for the title, Milan will be the less fatigued side as Roma is still active in Copa Italia and Inter Milan are through to the semi finals of Champions League.
Ronaldinho needs to fire on all cylinders for Milan
Current form and talent available at the clubs’ disposal, dictate that Inter Milan and AS Roma remain favorites. Though one would be hard-pressed to deny Milan even an outside chance when it comes to winning the Scudetto.