Relegation battle explained

by | May 20, 2018 15:10

The final weekend of the Serie A season sees five teams with a mathematic possibility of going down, with just four points separating 14th from 18th.

Benevento and Verona are already gone, but Chievo, Udinese, Cagliari, Spal and Crotone are still battling for their lives.

With everyone playing at the same time, we’ve put together a handy guide to what each team needs.

Crotone – 18th

Final fixture: Napoli (A)

The final weekend of the Serie A season sees five teams with a mathematic possibility of going down, with just four points separating 14th from 18th.

Benevento and Verona are already gone, but Chievo, Udinese, Cagliari, Spal and Crotone are still battling for their lives.

With everyone playing at the same time, we’ve put together a handy guide to what each team needs.

Crotone – 18th

Final fixture: Napoli (A)

If Crotone win: A win for Walter Zenga’s side will see them safe as long one of Chievo, Cagliari, Udinese and Spal lose.

The problem for the Squali is that their head-to-head record is inferior to everyone but Chievo.

Crotone beat the Flying Donkeys at home and lost 2-1 away, so if they win and Chievo draw, that away goal would give them the head-to-head advantage.

If Crotone draw: Crotone will stay up if they draw and Spal lose to at home to Sampdoria. In any other situation, a draw relegates the Calabrians.

If Crotone lose: A loss would relegate Crotone.

Spal – 17th

Final fixture: Sampdoria (H)

If Spal win: A Spal win will see them safe, and could lift them as high as 14th if other results go in their favour.

If Spal draw: If the Spallini draw, they have to hope that Crotone don’t win. Even a loss for Cagliari wouldn’t see them safe, as they’ve lost both matches against the Isolani this season, so they’d finish behind them on head-to-head.

If Spal lose: Spal can afford to lose, as long as Crotone also lose to Napoli. If the Squali get a point at the San Paolo, Spal would go down.

Cagliari – 16th

Final fixture: Atalanta (H)

If Cagliari win: The Sardinians face an Atalanta side who still aren’t mathematically guaranteed Europa League football.

With Fiorentina three points behind and an identical head-to-head record, a seven goal swing would see the Viola move up to seventh.

That therefore makes this a tough fixture, but a win would guarantee Cagliari’s Serie A status.

If Cagliari draw: The Isolani would stay up with a win as long as neither Crotone nor Spal win.

If Cagliari lose: A loss wouldn’t be disastrous as long as both Crotone and Spal fail to win. Diego Lopez’s side hold a head-to-head advantage over both, so if they finish level on 36 points then Cagliari stay up.

Udinese – 15th

Final fixture: Bologna (H)

If Udinese win: Udinese are safe if they win.

If Udinese draw: The Zebrette are safe if they draw, as Crotone’s head-to-head record is inferior. The Squali did win 2-1 at the Dacia Arena, but Udinese’s 3-0 win in Calabria gives them the advantage.

If Udinese lose: Igor Tudor’s men can lose, as long as Crotone and Spal don’t win. If that happens, it all depends on Cagliari’s result.

The Sardinians have won both head-to-head games this season, so they’d only need a draw to send Udinese down.

Chievo – 14th

Final fixture: Benevento (H)

If Chievo win: On paper the Flying Donkeys are in the best position, two points from the relegation zone with a home game against already-relegated Benevento.

If Chievo win, their Serie A status is guaranteed.

If Chievo draw: As long as Crotone don’t win, Chievo will be safe with a point.

However, the Flying Donkeys lost 1-0 at the Stadio Ezio Scida, so their 2-1 win at the Bentegodi means their head-to-head record against the Squali would send them down.

If Chievo lose: Chievo can still stay up with a loss, as long as neither Spal nor Crotone win.

If both win, they have to hope that Cagliari lose or draw, as the Flying Donkeys beat them in both games this season.

Should Spal, Crotone and Cagliari all win, they need Udinese to lose as they hold a better head-to-head record.

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