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Champions League Prospects Update

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Roma looking like an even better bet to return the Champions League after Sunday’s results.

Cagliari Calcio v AS Roma - Serie A
Roma could be celebrating a Champions League spot as early as next week.
Photo by Enrico Locci/Getty Images

The last few weeks, Roma’s chances of returning to the Champions League by finishing in the Top 4 of Serie A having been increasing little by little. With only two weeks remaining, they now have reached a point where they are close to guaranteed. This is thanks to another win for the Giallorossi, coupled with Lazio’s 1-1 draw. With Lazio dropping points, Roma finally can momentarily claim sole possession of third place. As things currently stand Roma are in third on 73 points, Lazio are two points behind in fourth, and Inter are hanging around with 69 points after their victory yesterday.

According to ESPN’s sister site fivethirtyeight.com , Roma have now increased their chances of finishing in the top 4 to 98%. Meanwhile, the computers still see Lazio (72%) with the advantage over Inter (31%) to claim Serie A’s last CL spot.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/soccer-predictions/serie-a/

With only two games remaining and a small cushion to work with, Roma have to do very little in their last two matches to mathematically clinch a top 4 finish. In fact, as little as one point in their last two matches would be enough for Roma. In fact, thanks to that same reason it’s even possible that Roma could get in without a point (but let’s hope it doesn’t go there). The main reason for this is the fact that Inter and Lazio will be squaring off head-to-head in the last week of the season, which means dropped points for one or both.

The Scenarios

  • The easiest way in is of course with a win in their last two matches. A win by Roma guarantees that they will finish at least ahead of Inter, thanks to the four point cushion they currently hold.
  • A draw is also enough for Roma. Even if Roma finish on 74 points and Inter win out to get to 75, Roma would still be safe. The reason? Well, for Inter to win out, Lazio would have to lose. So, even if Lazio win this week and also finish on 74 points, Roma own the head-to-head tie breaker thanks to a win and a draw in this season’s Derby della Capitale matches.
  • For Roma to qualify without a win is a bit more tricky. For that to happen, Lazio would have to draw this week and Inter would have to win. This would mean Roma holding a one point advantage going into week 38. If Roma were to then lose to Sassuolo, and the Inter-Lazio match ended in a draw, everyone involved would be tied on 73 points. Roma would then lose their head-to-head with Inter and win theirs with Lazio. Meanwhile, Inter and Lazio would have shared points in both matches this season, leading to it coming down to goal differential. Meaning both teams from Roma would qualify.

As you can see there are various ways in which Roma can qualify for next season’s Champions League. However, let’s hope for the sake of our nerves they do it the easy way by winning one of their last two matches and leave the tiebreakers out of it.