BLOG ITALIA
Saturday April 27 2013
A real Euro fight

As the race for third hots up, Alex Mott looks at the remaining few weeks for Milan and Fiorentina.

The Scudetto has been decided. Juventus have been the best team in Serie A all season and are set to romp to their second successive title. Second place isn’t really up for grabs either – Napoli, and the goals of Edinson Cavani, have virtually secured the Partenopei a place in the Champions League next term. That leaves just one spot in Europe’s premier club competition come August, and it’s all to play for between two giants of the Italian game.

Fiorentina and Milan are set to fight it out for that all-important third place finish over the next few weeks. With the Viola in fourth on 58 points and the Rossoneri on 59, it really is going right down to the wire. As the Tuscans won 3-1 at San Siro and drew 2-2 in Florence, they would qualify if the sides finished level on points.

Momentum is a funny thing in football and right now the Tuscan side are riding on a wave of optimism and confidence. Last weekend’s 4-3 win against Torino was a real shot in the arm for their season and took them to within one point of the San Siro side.

This weekend Vincenzo Montella’s men travel to Sampdoria facing a Blucerchiati team who already look as though they are on the beach, whilst Milan host a Catania squad with the distant hope of an unprecedented Europa League finish.

As the 38-year-old says, his boys are more than up for the challenge of toppling the Milanese giants. “We are ready for this mini-tournament of the last five rounds and are aware anything can happen,” he told Sport Mediaset earlier this week.

“Our primary objective is to consolidate our current position in the table, then try to catch Milan. We know that this will depend on both our own results and those of the Rossoneri.

“We must try to do our best. Milan are a club built to reach certain targets, so they won’t let themselves get affected by the fact Fiorentina are a point behind them.”

“In fact, we still need to secure our qualification for the Europa League, which at the start of the season was considered an ambitious and impressive target.”

He may be trying to play down the next few weeks, but Montella knows he has the squad and the style to make this a real fight. A win against Roma next weekend and that assurance the Viola are currently playing with could turn into proper, swaggering belief.

On the other side, talk of Allegri losing his job will only undermine the Rossoneri’s bid for a Champions League place further. Luciano Spalletti has been rumoured as his replacement over the past week, with the Coach himself coming out on Saturday to deny the stories. “My future? We have third place to fight for, so I really don’t have time to consider other situations,” he said at a Press conference.

“We’ve done good work at Milan over the last three years. I don’t think my future will be decided in the next five games.”

It’s going to be a gripping last few weeks in Serie A, and it could be a real turning of the tide for years to come.

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

Have your say...
Ah well I wasn't far off. He made Bonera captain! What a shocking performance by Bonera and another mistake by Abate. We really need to get Abate into midfield and away from defence. At least he brought on Pazzo before 88th minute! In the end decent performance but yet more changes to the starting line up. Why did Nocerina start ahead of Muntari? Did Muntari also need a rest now?
on the 29th April, 2013 at 9:39am
I think you were all being biased, fiorentina shud qualify for cl just forget about the milan experience. Looking for a typical example ? Dortmund
on the 29th April, 2013 at 4:32am
Forzanapoli@

Yes because it's really likely that Fiorentina fires montella.
Or sell their star players.
Think it' s more likely Napoli lose their coach and står player suck as cavani
So i really hope they lose every game in CL next season.
It's a really weak argument.
on the 28th April, 2013 at 10:36pm
Tbh, I guess the experience thing is a weak argument but Milan will always be the favourites to qualify for all the critics.
Let the best team get it, but I hope Fiorentina dont get it if they fire Montella and sell their star players such as Jovetic, Valero etc.

Btw, Milan are drawing against Catania and I gotta admit, Fiorentina play much better football eventhough they are weaker defensively
on the 28th April, 2013 at 8:51pm
Saying Fiorentina Isn't experinced enough as all juve and Napoli fans say is riduclious this years Juventus ond Napoli rosters have only slightly möte European experince then Fiorentina.
Maybe serie A shouldnt send any team to CL because of this reasoning.
Milan don' t have more experince from cl in their starting XI tjen Fiorentina and last time Fiorentina played in the tournament they were the ones that defended serie A's honor.
People forget fast
on the 28th April, 2013 at 7:47pm
I fail to witness the impressive experience of the current milan squad in CL. This group of their squad hasnt really been in there so much as to be eliminated in quarterfinal by refereeing decisions like fiorentina 2010. That said, may the best team get it
on the 28th April, 2013 at 6:38pm
Last time the Viola were in the CL they did better than all the other Italian teams, and only left the tournament due to poor refereeing and cheating Bayerns. I hope they get 3rd place and qualification.
on the 28th April, 2013 at 4:27pm
he'll switch the full backs around again, mess around with the midfield, play Monty somewhere in the 3, toss a coin to decide who to make captain and then having made lots of random changes to the starting 11 he'll wait until the 88th minute to bring on Pazzini when Milan need goals. Oh I forgot to mention he'll play such a rigid un-imaginative 4-3-3 that the team will be utterly predictable.
on the 28th April, 2013 at 11:17am
Very simply Milan have to qualify for the CL or else Allegri must go. Allegri has completely exaggerated the weaknesses of the squad which is no worse than Fiorentina and Napoli. The difference is I could probably name the first choice 11 for Fiorentina and Napoli but I have not got a clue what Allegri's starting 11 is. This evening he'll probably play Bonera despite producing some of the worst defensive performances of the season, he'll mess around with Boateng's position, he'll switch the....
on the 28th April, 2013 at 11:14am
@forzanapoli: i agree with u.. milan has more experience in europe..hope they will make it.. forza juve! forza italy!
on the 28th April, 2013 at 7:10am
It would be BEYOND disappointing if Milan don't grab third spot. It would be absolutely disappointing. While there are things to work on, they have done great this season and another trophy to play for will definitely be a boost for them especially the younger players. Can't wait to see Balo in the CL. I can only imagine. (All this from a Juve fan) Good luck milan!
on the 28th April, 2013 at 4:31am
for the good of Italian football, i feel Balotelli & Co would perform better in Champions League than an impressesive but inexperienced Viola side
hope Milan get the 3rd positon
this is coming from a Napoli fan
on the 27th April, 2013 at 11:46pm
For the sake of serie A and football I really hope fiorentina end up 3rd place.
One of the teams that played the best football in europe this year and will strenghten more over the summer and even more so if they reach the CL preliminary rounds.
on the 27th April, 2013 at 11:36pm
The Rossoneri have been there so many times they know how to get across the line.The Viola do not have that experience and this will ultimately lead to their failure although I do hope I'm wrong.Roma and Allegri deserve each other.
on the 27th April, 2013 at 10:43pm
For the sake of Serie A, I hope Milan end up 3rd. No disrespect to fiorentina, but I don't see them reaching far because they have little experience - I'd think the Europa League will help them more, to see the realistic level they are at. Fingers crossed for Milan to see out the remaining games and reach the CL premilinary rounds.
on the 27th April, 2013 at 9:52pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.