With 37 of the 38 weeks of Serie A now complete and in the record books, the title remains up for grabs, with two teams capable of picking up the Scudetto at suppertime on Sunday. One thing we do know is that the title will remain in Milan, where it is held by Inter after their runaway success in 2021.
The identity of the captain hoisting the trophy aloft, however, is still in question. Will it be Inter’s veteran goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic, whose safe hands gripped it last season? Or will Alessio Romagnoli, Milan defender and Italy international, be the one to prise it from the Nerazzurri’s grasp?
Between now and then there is no doubt that fans of both sides will be furrowing their brows at casino non aams as they look for the best odds on their preferred side. It’s Milan who have the advantage, with two points between them and their hated local rivals as they seek to win their first title since 2011.
Inter, however, have marginally the easier match this weekend, as they host a Sampdoria side that has narrowly escaped relegation. The Rossoneri, meanwhile, travel to Sassuolo. There could yet be time for a last-weekend turnaround.
Milan in the box seat
Although the gap is two points, and Inter would pull level on points with a win if their rivals drew, there can be no last-day goal difference magic. In the event of a tie on points, the title goes to the side who did the best in head-to-head meetings between the sides.
There’s no question, that’s Milan. While the sides drew in the first meeting back in November, the league leaders won the “away” match against their rivals in February, Olivier Giroud notching twice in the last 15 minutes to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Milan win. As a result, Stefano Pioli’s men need only avoid defeat at Sassuolo to lift the title.
Inter banking on a favour
This past weekend saw Inter battle their way to an eventual 3-1 win at Cagliari, boosting their total through 37 matches to 81 points. It also saw them easily surpass 80 Serie A goals for the season, well ahead of their local and title rivals. Too many of their goals, though, have come in one-sided wins where they’ve run up the score.
Smashing five past Salernitana in March was exciting, for sure, but they could have done with one or two of those goals on their visit to Bologna at the end of April. A game that they should have won was lost 2-1 due to a goalkeeping error by reserve Ionut Radu, leaving them trailing Milan as the run-in heated up.
Could there be a final twist in the tale?
If Pioli brings the title back to a club which dominated Italy and Europe alike for much of the 1990s, the biggest factor in that success will be his side’s form since the turn of the year. They’ve lost once in 18 league matches in 2022, and not at all since January.
Recent weeks have seen them win at Lazio in a high-pressure clash against a team aiming for Champions League football, and they beat dangerous Atalanta on Sunday to maintain their two-point lead. It’s hard to see them spilling it from here, really.
But if they fall behind at any stage this coming weekend, the ghosts of the last inglorious decade will certainly come back to haunt them.