Susy Campanale’s Serie A Column: Take nothing for granted

Genoa and Sampdoria badges ahead of their Serie A fixture

We go into the final four rounds of the season and absolutely nothing is to be considered predictable. Inter played their game in hand against Bologna and lost, meaning Milan are now two points clear at the top – three if we consider they have the superior head-to-head record. Juventus and Napoli are probably, but not certainly, safe in the top four, but the relegation dogfight is more open than ever thanks to Salernitana’s surge fuelled by specialist in miracle escapes Davide Nicola. Genoa, Cagliari and Sampdoria are all in the balance and even Spezia could yet be sucked back into the final battle, so having the Derby della Lanterna this weekend is astonishing timing.

Desperate Derby della Lanterna

It is becoming entirely possible that we could see this fixture in Serie B next season, because both Marassi sides are collapsing in recent weeks. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, considering they have been doing the bare minimum to survive in the top flight for years now, but with Genoa under new ownership and Sampdoria in the process of finding buyers, it’d be a pity to see them drop down. You can guarantee this game will be tight, ugly and nasty, with lots of cards and probably very few goals. Samp in particular would be content with a stalemate, while the Grifone struggle to score.

Advantage Milan

The Scudetto is now in Milan’s hands, so they could take the title even with three wins and a draw. However, they also have on paper a tougher run-in than Inter and have not always dealt well with the pressure. They scraped a 2-1 win away to Lazio in stoppages last week, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to provide an assist. Fiorentina had the chance to go fifth midweek, but were humiliated 4-0 by Udinese in the rescheduled Week 20 fixture. Confidence is all with Stefano Pioli against his former club.

Inter under pressure in Udine

Simone Inzaghi’s men tend to go in bursts, the victory away to Juventus sparked a run of wins to climb up the table, so how will they react to throwing away the game in hand with a defeat to Bologna? Hakan Calhanoglu is suspended, Alessandro Bastoni injured and Samir Handanovic in doubt after missing that Dall’Ara match with a back problem. Meanwhile, Udinese confidence is sky high after a 4-0 victory away to Fiorentina in their rescheduled match midweek, with Roberto Pereyra returning, but Jean-Victor Makengo banned and Norberto Beto still out of action. Inter risk crumbling psychologically.

Unstoppable Salernitana

Davide Nicola achieved miracles with Crotone and Genoa before, there’s absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t make it a hat-trick of impossible escapes with Salernitana. They’ve won three on the bounce and they are away to an Atalanta side with a surprisingly awful home record, including the midweek 4-4 draw against Torino. On current form and motivation too, Salernitana have to be worth a punt.

Serie A Week 35 fixtures

Saturday April 30

Cagliari vs. Verona

Napoli vs. Sassuolo – Click here for a full betting preview

Sampdoria vs. Genoa

Spezia vs. Lazio

Sunday May 1

Juventus vs. Venezia – Click here for a full betting preview

Milan vs. Fiorentina – Click here for a full betting preview

Empoli vs. Torino

Udinese vs. Inter

Roma vs. Bologna

Monday May 2

Atalanta vs. Salernitana

Related matches