We could write about the title race in Serie A if Juventus was not once again a class above all other competitors. So, with the league champion more or less already decided, all we have left is to look at the other end of the table, where the worst performing teams this season fight to avoid being relegated into Serie B.
As we drop to the bottom of the Serie A table, we can instantly see one team that stands out. And for all the wrong reasons. Chievo started off this season with a 3 point deduction on the leaderboard, which not surprisingly set them for a terrible season. As it stands now, they are sitting at the bottom of the league, where Chievo set up a tent and had not left since the 2nd round of the league. Going back to the 3 point deduction, it’s a result of a penalty Chievo received by FIGC due to false accounting. On the bright side, they almost received a 15 point penalty, which would mean Chievo would still have negative points on the leaderboard.
With a 1-11-16 record and 11 points, there is no beating around the bush. Chievo are the main candidate for relegation and quite frankly they need a miracle to get themselves out of there. Moving up to the 19th spot, we have got Frosinone, who just like Chievo spent their whole season at the bottom of the league. With a 3-8-17 record and 17 points, Frosinone are still 8 points from reaching the safe spot. However, after losing to Empoli last week, Frosinone may have set themselves for a relegation. And finally, we get to Bologna at the 18th spot, who are just barely in the bottom 3, but still just a bit short of escaping the relegation.
I’ve already mentioned Frosinone is more or less doomed for this season after a 2:1 defeat against Empoli. But it’s not only that but also their incredible difficult schedule which will set them up for a tough season finish. In the upcoming matches, Frosinone has been among other teams paired with Fiorentina (A), Inter (H), Napoli (H) and AC Milan (A). On the bright side, they will get to face off against 6 of the relegation candidates, which will be crucial for Frosinone to win if they want another go in Serie A next season. Bologna managed to get back up with 2 straight wins against Cagliari (2:0) and Torino (2:3), which now puts them only a point away from escaping the relegation zone. They can also be happy that 17th placed Empoli must endure one of the toughest fixtures in the upcoming weeks, as they need to face off against 7 of the top half sides in the remaining 10 weeks. Further up, at 16th and 17th place we have Udinese and Spal who are just 1 and 2 points clear of ending up in the relegation zone. While this is not a margin, they should be comfortable with, they have got a favorable schedule ahead of them, facing 6 bottom half teams in the remaining 10 matches, against whom they have managed to win 5 and 6 points respectively.
I don’t believe there is a reason for concern for Spal, however, if they slip and fall, they will fall deep. Meanwhile, Udinese needs to wake up and perform against Frosinone and Chievo, otherwise, they just might have a problem on their hands, but if they can win both matches, they should be good. At 14th and 13th place sit Cagliari and Sassuolo who remain 6 and 8 points out of the relegation zone. Despite mediocre performances lately, I do not believe they will end up in the relegation zone. They might not be among the best in the league, but they sure aren’t among the worst. Additionally, Sassuolo has one of the easiest schedules ahead of them. Lastly, Genoa and Parma, who are 12th and 11th in the league, both with 33 points, which puts them 9 points clear of the relegation zone. Genoa should not even be mentioned here, as I hardly believe they will end up any lower down the leaderboard than they are. Genoa simply plays good football and if anything, they can end up in the top 10. Same cannot be said for Parma, who has not been too convincing. While their schedule is quite easy, Parma has a lot to prove in the remaining matches. If they fail to win against Frosinone on April 3rd, as well as Sassuolo and Chievo, I would not be surprised if they end up in the bottom 5.
Do you know what I like about Serie A this season? There are 8 teams only 10 points within being relegated. What makes the final 10 rounds that more interesting is that many of the teams who could potentially end up in the relegation still need to face off against each other. So we need to strap ourselves in for an entertaining season finish.
All in all, the relegation race, or should I say the fight to stay out of it is still very much alive. What is the most fascinating thing about the whole relegation fight in Serie A is that there are teams that are just as likely to end up in the relegation as they are to end up in the top 6.