Susy Campanale’s Serie A Column: The last dance

Sassuolo and Milan club crests

It’s the final round of the 2021-22 Serie A season and so much is still up in the air going into those last 90 minutes. Milan need one point for the Scudetto, but Sassuolo are in no mood to give up anything, while Sampdoria face Inter with the visible relief of a side that has seen the threat of relegation lifted off their shoulders.

Elsewhere, it’s a three-way fight for the final Europa League spot and Roma are also distracted by the Conference League Final. The round and the campaign concludes on Sunday evening with either Salernitana’s great escape or Cagliari scraping through by the skin of their teeth.

It’s worth remembering that in Serie A the head-to-head record is the first way of dividing teams who finish level on points. As Milan picked up four points against Inter in their two meetings, they will take the Scudetto if these sides finish level. After head-to-head, it’s goal difference in the head-to-head, then goal difference overall. It is the latter that could decide relegation, which would favour Cagliari.

Sassuolo decide the Scudetto

The title is in Milan’s hands, because a point at the Mapei Stadium would guarantee Inter cannot leapfrog them at the top. As any hope Sampdoria can trip up Inter is probably floating away tied to a unicorn balloon, it’s all going to be decided in Reggio Emilia. Both have practically a full squad to choose from, including life-long Inter supporter Domenico Berardi, who famously caused the Rossoneri so many problems in the past. Sassuolo will attack and keep lots of possession, as is their approach every time, which could open up spaces for Rafael Leao on the counter. Both teams to score feels like all we can predict at this stage.

Salernitana’s miracle complete

If Salernitana draw with Udinese and Cagliari beat already-doomed Venezia, then these sides finish level and the Sardinians stay in Serie A thanks to better overall goal difference (their head-to-head is identical). When Davide Nicola took over, Salernitana already looked to be in Serie B with a massive gap from the others, but they are unbeaten in seven with four wins and three 1-1 stalemates. Playing on home turf, with that momentum and relishing the pressure, it’s what Nicola lives for.

Atalanta end with a whimper

Atalanta risk missing out on Europe altogether next season, which could in the end help them reboot their project after it reached a plateau under Gian Piero Gasperini. Luis Muriel is injured, Ruslan Malinovskyi suspended, they host an Empoli side whose style of football is capable of causing real problems and finish the campaign with a shocking home record of just four wins compared to 12 on their travels. La Dea need a victory here, I’m not sure they’re going to get it.

Fiorentina’s revenge

Fiorentina are fighting with Roma and Atalanta for that European spot and were embarrassed 4-1 by already-safe Sampdoria. They cannot lack motivation against arch-rivals Juventus, the side they lost to in Serie A and the Coppa Italia. Paulo Dybala and Giorgio Chiellini are probably done with the Juve jersey and Dusan Vlahovic could be rested to avoid the inevitably ugly reception, continuing the tradition of Bianconeri upsets at the end of the campaign when they’ve already got their flip-flops on.

Serie A Week 38 fixtures

Friday May 20

Torino vs. Roma – full betting preview

Saturday May 21

Genoa vs. Bologna

Atalanta vs. Empoli

Fiorentina vs. Juventus – full betting preview

Lazio vs. Verona

Sunday May 22

Spezia vs. Napoli – full betting preview

Inter vs. Sampdoria – full betting preview

Sassuolo vs. Milan

Salernitana vs. Udinese

Venezia vs. Cagliari

Related matches