While the league titles in Germany and Italy have already been decided, the season is far from over because we’ve got relegation, European drama and then some to play for. Just because Bayern Munich and Inter Milan have won their respective titles, it doesn’t mean the season is over, now does it?
Two leagues, twelve teams and a lot to be decided. That is what Italy and Germany have to offer us and that does indeed include an almighty three-team battle for Champions League in Serie A. So, let’s get this show on the road, now shall we?
The situation in the Bundesliga:
The Europa Conference League scenarios:
Borussia Dortmund winning the DFB cup and finishing in a Champions League spot means seventh place earns a place in the play-off round of the inaugural Europa Conference League.
For Union Berlin (7th with 47 points)
Four clubs in the battle and first up to the mound is Union Berlin. They currently sit in pole position for the Conference league and face RB Leipzig at home with a win securing only their second campaign in Europe in the club’s history. They could also make it if they equal the results that the other three teams produce i.e. a draw or a loss.
For Borussia Monchengladbach (8th with 46 points):
For the Foals, things become a little tougher especially after they lost at home to Stuttgart last time around and handed the 9th place side a chance. But should Gladbach beat Werder Bremen on the final day and if Union Berlin fails to win, then Marco Rose’s side will finish 7th. They could also make the cut should they draw and Union lose but will need both Stuttgart and Freiburg to either draw or lose.
For VFB Stuttgart (9th with 45 points):
Stuttgart are at home to Bielefeld and have a chance of going seventh but for that to happen, they need to win and hope that Gladbach don’t and that Union Berlin lose. However, should Gladbach not win but Berlin draw, then Stuttgart will need to beat relegation-threatened Bielefeld by three goals or more.
However, both situations are dependent on Freiburg not winning by two goals more than their own winning margin since both sides are level on points but goal-difference matters. And since Stuttgart (3) are ahead on slightly on goal difference (2 for Freiburg), it adds to the complications.
For Freiburg (10th with 45 points):
It’s the same for Freiburg, who face Eintracht Frankfurt on D-Day because they have to win, hope that Gladbach don’t win and Union Berlin loses to finish 7th. Like Stuttgart, they could also make it if Gladbach don’t win and Berlin draw but will then need to win by at least four or more goals. Not only that, both situations will only work if Freiburg better Stuttgart’s result by two goals.
The Relegation Scenarios:
The bottom two sides are directly relegated to the 2.Bundesliga and with Schalke 04 already occupying one spot, it leaves the other direct relegation spot in contention. That is joined by the playoff spot with the team in 16th battling against the third-placed side in 2.Bundesliga to determine who plays in the top tier next season.
For Arminia Bielefeld (15th with 32 points):
Arminia's place in the German top flight is in their own hands and while they do face Stuttgart, who have problems of their own, Frank Kramer’s side will be safe if they win. Or if they equal both Werder Bremen and FC Koln’s results on D-day.
For Werder Bremen (16th with 31 points):
Now, this is where it gets complex so strap in. Werder currently occupies the relegation play-off, déjà vu for them with them finishing there last season as well, and can still save themselves. They face Borussia Monchengladbach, who also have problems of their own, and a win to the Foals will save them if Bielefeld loses. A draw could also be enough if Bielefeld loses and if Koln fails to win.
However, if they fail to better Arminia’s result, then Werder will have ensure they equal whatever Koln produce on the final day to stay in the play-off spot. The only way Werder do go down automatically, beyond the above-mentioned scenario, is if they don’t win and Koln do; thanks to a superior goal difference.
For FC Koln (17th with 30 points):
This is a tough one. Goal difference for the Billy Goats means that they need to win and hope that Bremen and Arminia lose on the final day to stay safe. Koln play the already relegated Schalke on the final day but should they win and Biefield win, then they’ll need Bremen to lose in order to make the relegation play-off spot. A draw could suffice though if Bremen lose by at least nine goals to Gladbach. Never say never.
The situation in the Serie A:
Next up is Italy and with relegation and the title already decided, we only have European football left on the cards, so let’s get this rock rolling now, shall we?
The Champions League scenarios:
Four teams, three spots and it means that one team will finish outside a Champions League place but inside a Europa League place. Also, head to head (H2H) is applicable in Italy which could further complicate my job but where’s the fun, otherwise?
For Atalanta (2nd with 78 points):
Atalanta have already clinched a place in the Champions League as their 4-3 win over Genoa last weekend means that they can no longer finish outside the top four.
For AC Milan (3rd with 76 points):
AC Milan can finish outside the top four and many fans would be very very upset especially when you consider the fact that they could have sealed it with a win over Cagliari last weekend. But instead, it ended a 0-0 draw and the Rossoneri now could potentially finish outside the top four. Yet should Milan beat Atalanta on the final day, then they will secure the Champions League for next season.
That is even if both Juventus and Napoli manage to win as well since Stefano Pioli’s men have the better H2H record over both sides which means finishing on the same number of points isn’t an issue. That does also mean that a draw over La Dea could do it for Milan as well although that is provided one of Napoli or Juventus slip up as well.
A loss could see them drop in 5th place but that’s only if both Napoli and Juventus don’t match their result.
For Napoli (4th with 76 points):
Napoli plays 10th place Verona and all they need to do is better Juventus’ result. Although, a Napoli loss and a Juventus draw – which would put both sides on 76 points – would also see Napoli finish in the top four as the H2H goal difference and H2H points are equal. That sees it go down to overall GD with Napoli (45) far better than Juventus (36) in that regard. A Napoli loss and a Juventus win though, does send the side from Naples into 5th place and Europa League football.
For Juventus (5th with 75 points):
For the Old Lady, this is very very simple. They need to beat Bologna and hope that one of Napoli or AC Milan loses their games in order to qualify for the Champions League. They could also make it if Napoli, and only Napoli, lose but will still have to win for them to leapfrog Gennaro Gattuso’s side.
The Europa Conference League scenarios:
One place, two teams and with two points separating them this doesn’t make things as complicated as one would imagine.
For AS Roma (7th with 61 points):
Juventus winning the Coppa Italia means seventh place gets the Europa Conference league place and it’s quite simple for Roma and Paulo Fonseca’s men. They need to match Saussolo’s result; whether it be a win, loss or a draw. Although a draw against Spezia could save them should Sassuolo draw or lose their game to Lazio.
For Sassuolo (8th with 59 points):
They need to win. That’s as simple as it gets, they need to win and hope that Roma lose their fixture to Spezia on the final day of the season. Although should Roma draw on D-day then, Sassuolo will need to beat Lazio by five or more goals to leapfrog the Giallorossi. That is since their H2H goal difference and points are level, it would go down to the overall goal difference. Roma (10) have an advantage over I Neroverdi (6) but that would change with a five-goal or more win.