AC Milan will welcome Atalanta to the San Siro on Sunday in the hopes of stealing the Scudetto from local rivals Inter Milan.
Milan are on the verge of winning their first Serie A title since 2011, and one of the six teams left fighting relegation might gift them the title.
If Milan beats Atalanta, who are still in the quest for Europa League status, they would expand their lead over reigning champions Inter to five points.
Inter would then need to win against Cagliari to keep an exciting title fight alive until the final week, which should be a simple challenge considering the disparity in class between the two teams.
Simone Inzaghi’s team is coming off a thrilling extra-time Italian Cup victory over old rivals Juventus on Wednesday, and will be hoping to carry that momentum into the final weeks of the season.
“From July to now, whenever I needed a response from the team, I got one,” Inzaghi said after holding the cup at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
“It’s been a whirlwind of emotions.”
Cagliari is fighting for its Serie A life and showed they still have it last week when they snatched a point against Salernitana due to an equalizer in the ninth minute of stoppage time.
Cagliari spared themselves from very certain relegation in Salerno, despite being just a point below Salernitana.
The Sardinians now play Inter and then bottom-placed Venezia on the last day in the hopes of escaping.
Last week’s results conspired to put over a fourth of the division in danger of relegation, with Genoa’s shock victory over Juve and Venezia’s dramatic 4-3 triumph over Bologna tightening the gap on Spezia and Sampdoria, who are currently in 15th place.
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Venezia is five points behind Salernitana and will be relegated to Serie B unless they win at Roma on Saturday evening.
After Dennis Johnsen saved their skin with a last-minute winner last weekend, they would be the first team to be demoted.
Sandro Tonali is a player to watch.
Tonali accepted a wage cut to make his permanent transfer to Milan from Brescia last summer, and the Italy international has blossomed in the Rossoneri midfield this season.
In recent weeks, the 22-year-old has scored key goals for Lazio and Verona, and few things would make a Brescia youth product happier than defeating Atalanta and taking another step towards the Serie A title.
4 – The number of points Milan needs to take the title from Inter
11 – Milan’s last league title came in 2011, 11 years ago.
Fixtures (times GMT)
Empoli v Salernitana (1300), Verona v Torino, Udinese v Spezia (both 1800), Roma v Venezia (1845)
Bologna v Sassuolo (1030), Napoli v Genoa (1300), AC Milan v Atalanta (1600), Cagliari v Inter Milan (1845)
Sampdoria v Fiorentina (1630), Juventus v Lazio (1845)