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I'm Goin' Down

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A run down on the remaining schedule as it pertains to the Relegation Race.

Paolo Bruno

With 6 weeks left on the schedule, it's a good time to look at what we have in store down the stretch in regards to the relegation battle and who will be playing in Serie B next year.

Bottom Table

(Place, Team, Goal Diff, Points)

15 Cagliari -14 32
16 Chievo Verona -21 27
17 Bologna -24 27

18 Livorno -26 25
19 Sassuolo -30 24
20 Catania -33 20

Catania

Hard to believe the team from Sicily is anything but going down. Win-less in the last 8 matches, with 5 straight losses on the fixture list, none were more painful than the last loss at home against Torino. Catania scored in the 2nd minute and held the lead until the 79th minute when Torino scored twice in four minutes and all Catania's efforts were in vain.

Catania would have to make up 7 points in 6 games and with matches still to play against AC Milan and AS Roma it looks to be a monumental task.

On the plus side, Catania are ahead in the tiebreak race with Bologna, one of the teams they have to catch and there is still a match to play with Bologna, albeit on the road.

Catania also trails Chievo by 7 pts, but the tie breaker would go to goal diff. and Chievo lead by a large margin.

Tie Breakers

Lost Head to head to Sassuolo, Livorno and Cagliari
Lead Bologna after 2-0 win; @Bologna 5/19
Goal Differential with Chievo. Even in head to head points and head to head goal differential.

Schedule

Sun Apr 13 AC Milan v Catania
Sat Apr 19 Catania v Sampdoria
Sun Apr 27 Hellas Verona v Catania
Sun May 4 Catania v AS Roma
Sun May 11 Bologna v Catania
Sun May 18 Catania v Atalanta

Sassuolo

Sassuolo seem to me to be the only team with a hope of staying up. They're coming off a huge win on the road at Atalanta, they have two matches against teams in the bottom six the next two weeks and hold the tie break against Bologna, who are the likely team they have to beat out.

Sassuolo are second bottom, but only a point behind Livorno and three behind Bologna and Chievo.

On the down side is the last four matches of the season are Juventus, at Fiorentina, Genoa and at Milan. Juve seems an almost certain loss, while at Florence is a very tough match.

On the plus side, la Viola have been known to drop points and the match is right after the Coppa, so distraction is almost a certainty. Genoa and Milan are both places with a lot of distractions, which should multiply in the last days of the season. Those are also very likely opportunities to sneak some points.

All these facts combined with the toughness of Bologna and Livorno's schedules leave the Neroverdi with a very realistic shot at staying up. Sassuolo have to beat Cagliari and Chievo the next two weeks, however, to hold out any realistic hope and of course, are going to need the teams above them to falter.

Tie Breakers

Won head to head against Catania and Bologna
Tied at Cagliari 2-2, 4/12 @Sassuolo
Trail Chievo after 1-0 loss at home, 4/19 @Chievo
Lost head to head to Livorno

Schedule

Sat Apr 12 Sassuolo v Cagliari
Sat Apr 19 Chievo Verona v Sassuolo
Mon Apr 28 Sassuolo v Juventus
Tue May 6 Fiorentina v Sassuolo
Sun May 11 Sassuolo v Genoa
Sun May 18 AC Milan v Sassuolo

Livorno

Probably the second toughest schedule in the bottom six, Livorno have lost their last four road matches, and with games still to play at Udinese, Parma and AC Milan, that does not bode well for Livorno. I'm afraid it's second division play next season.

Livorno did beat Bologna at home this month, and also have held both Inter and Napoli at home this month. Hosting Lazio and Fiorentina, Livorno will need similar results, as well as a win at home against Chievo.

Tie Breakers

Won head to head against Cagliari, Catania and Sassuolo
Goal Differential with Bologna. Even in head to head points and head to head goal differential.
Trail Chievo after 3-0 loss away, 4/13 @Livorno

Schedule

Sun Apr 13 Livorno v Chievo Verona
Sat Apr 19 AC Milan v Livorno
Sun Apr 27 Livorno v Lazio
Sun May 4 Udinese v Livorno
Sun May 11 Livorno v Fiorentina
Sun May 18 Parma v Livorno

Bologna

Bologna hover dangerously in fourth bottom, only 2 points ahead of the relegation zone and face the toughest road to go, in my opinion, with matches against Parma and Fiorentina at home and road trips to Juventus, Genoa and Lazio.

Bologna have only three wins this calendar year, but did tie at Inter this weekend.

Tie Breakers

Won head to head against Cagliari
Trail Catania after 2-0 loss away, 5/19 @Bologna
Goal Differential with Livorno. Even in head to head points and head to head goal differential.
Lost head to head against Sassuolo and Chievo

Schedule

Sun Apr 13 Bologna v Parma
Sat Apr 19 Juventus v Bologna
Sat Apr 26 Bologna v Fiorentina
Sun May 4 Genoa v Bologna
Sun May 11 Bologna v Catania
Sun May 18 Lazio v Bologna

Chievo Verona

Chievo also are playing it a bit risky at only 2 points above the relegation zone, but can take major strides to securing their place in Serie A over the next two weeks as they play Livorno and Sassuolo the next two weeks. Any falter and they leave the door open for either team to creep alongside, if not ahead.

Chievo also host Torino and Inter, as well as having road trips to Sampdoria and Cagliari. The Inter match is last match of the season.

Tie Breakers

Won head to head against Bologna
Lead Livorno after 3-0 win at home, 4/13 @Livorno
Lead Sassuolo after 1-0 win away, 4/19 @Chievo
Goal Differential with Catania. Even in head to head points and head to head goal differential.
Tied with Cagliari 0-0 at Chievo, 5/11 @Cagliari

Schedule

Sun Apr 13 Livorno v Chievo Verona
Sat Apr 19 Chievo Verona v Sassuolo
Sun Apr 27 Sampdoria v Chievo Verona
Sun May 4 Chievo Verona v Torino
Sun May 11 Cagliari v Chievo Verona
Sun May 18 Chievo Verona v Internazionale

Cagliari

Cagliari are 7 points ahead of the relegation zone with 6 points, and are likely safe, but they do still have matches with Sassuolo and Chievo, as well as tough games against Parma, Napoli and the season-ender with Juventus.

This month, Cagliari has beaten Udinese, tied at Catania, lost to Lazio and at Bologna, beaten Verona at home, then lost at Torino and at home to AS Roma.

Tie Breakers

Won head to head against Catania
Tied with Sassuolo 2-2 at home, 4/12 @Sassuolo
Tied with Chievo 0-0 at Chievo, 5/11 @Cagliari
Lost head to head to Livorno, Bologna

Schedule

Sat Apr 12 Sassuolo v Cagliari
Sat Apr 19 Genoa v Cagliari
Sun Apr 27 Cagliari v Parma
Tue May 6 Napoli v Cagliari
Sun May 11 Cagliari v Chievo
Sun May 18 Juventus v Cagliari