Tomorrow I will be previewing Thursday’s EUFA Cup match with PSV, but today (as promised), I wanted to take a quick look at how things shake out for the Viola in the final weeks of the Series A season. If Fiorentina are indeed going to get that 4th spot and qualify for the Champions League, they are going to have to have a successful final seven weeks.
So here is the fixture list for Fiorentina over the final seven weeks in Series A. This does not list UEFA Cup matches, etc.
This is a pretty favorable schedule. Regardless of their form, one expects to drop all three points to Inter at the San Siro. Otherwise, however, they could get maximum points from Reggina, Palermo, and Parma (all at home) while also getting points from Cagliari and Torino on the road. Samp continues to be a tough team, but they will be at the Artemio Franchi where we have been consistently getting results all season.
I am certainly not guaranteeing anything here. I am just pointing out that the Viola has a favorable schedule. A Champions League-level club should be able to make hay with this kind of schedule. If they play poorly and don’t get much out of it, then they probably don’t deserve to qualify.
Here’s a quick look at the fixture list for the three other contenders for that fourth place spot:
This is interesting stuff. Milan’s run-in is tricky; they have to face Juve and Napoli on the road, while getting Inter and Udinese at home. Those could all feature dropped points by Milan. Udinese, meanwhile, has Samp and Milan on the road and Roma at home in their trickiest ties. Samp, finally, has a brutal last five weeks: Udinese at home, Viola on the road, Roma at home, Palermo on the road, and closing with Juve at home. That’s a tough schedule.
What this doesn’t address is that Fiorentina may have an extended UEFA Cup run in them. If so, we have to add up to five more games to the fixture list for Fiorentina that the other clubs don’t have to play. Fiorentina is already a beat-up squad as it is; those hard-fought European matches might push them over the edge.
Still, it looks to me as if Fiorentina has the most favorable schedule going forward. I think Samps’ is the most difficult, followed by Milan’s.
This does not mean, of course, that Fiorentina will get 4th. It is just an opportunity. But make no mistake, an opportunity has presented itself to the club, and now over the next seven matchdays we will see if this club can earn itself the right to play in the Champions League.
I’ll be back tomorrow with something on PSV! Forza Viola, everybody!