Serie A Matchday 37: Milan host Atalanta knowing victory could seal title
The Serie A title could be decided on the penultimate weekend of the season in Italy.
Three points for the AC Milan against Atalanta on Sunday evening will pile the pressure on second-placed Inter, who are away to Cagliari immediately afterwards.
Elsewhere on Matchday 37, Lazio travel to Juventus as they look to confirm Europa League qualification, fellow European hopefuls Roma face Venezia and Sampdoria take on Fiorentina.
Game of the week: AC Milan vs Atalanta (Sunday, 5pm)
AC Milan entertain Atalanta knowing victory will seal the Scudetto if Inter drop points later on thanks to their two-point lead over their city rivals.
And they could make it three straight wins against La Dea under the same manager for the first time since 1996, during Fabio Capello's reign.
But the visitors have a remarkable recent record away to Milan having won three and drawn four of their last seven trips, keeping five clean sheets in the process.
Should the Rossoneri win or draw on Sunday, they will pass the 80-point mark for the first time since their last title-winning campaign in 2010-11.
Interestingly, Atalanta head into this encounter having had 20 different players find the net this term and only one team in Serie A history has had more separate goalscorers in a single season (Fiorentina with 21 in 2014-15).
Davide Calabria, Sandro Tonali and Rafael Leao were all on target as Milan survived a late fightback to win October's reverse fixture 3-2.
Here are the other big games to keep an eye on this weekend…
Cagliari vs Inter Milan (Sunday, 7.45pm)
Whatever Milan do earlier in the evening, Inter can ill afford anything less than three points at Cagliari — against whom they have won eight of their last 10 matches.
However, the hosts will be looking to spring a surprise in their bid to climb out of the bottom three, having drawn more home matches with the Milan outfit than against any other team (18).
But — their potentially costly defeat at Bologna last month aside — the Nerazzurri head to Sardinia in fine form, after winning six of their last seven outings.
Joao Pedro could well be the key to Cagliari getting anything out of this contest with the Brazilian accounting for seven of his team's 14 home goals this term.
Inter dominated when the sides last met in December, running out 4-0 winners with Lautaro Martinez bagging a brace.
Juventus v Lazio (Monday, 7.45pm)
Juventus have already clinched Champions League qualification and a third-placed finish is still a possibility.
They could close in on that target by making it 11 wins from 12 games against Lazio under boss Massimiliano Allegri.
The visitors have been in excellent form on their travels in 2022 though, winning five of their last seven away matches, including a 4-3 thriller last time out against Spezia.
Defeat for Juve would mean they will finish the campaign having picked up more points on the road than at home for only the second time in the top flight, the other coming way back in 1949-50.
And while their defence is one of the best in the division, it could be in for a busy night against Lazio on Monday the visitors having scored 39 goals in the second half of the season — the joint-most along with Inter.
Juve won the previous league meeting between these clubs 2-0, with both goals coming from Leonardo Bonucci penalties.
Roma vs Venezia (Saturday, 7.45pm)
Winless in four, Roma have work to do if they are to finish in a European qualification spot — and they will be trying to avoid going five games without victory for the first time since January 2018.
Meanwhile, Venezia are aiming to string together back-to-back wins for only the second time this season, having snapped a 10-match losing streak last time out.
But they could be relegated before this game even kicks off if Salernitana win at Empoli earlier on Saturday.
Roma have to score in order to avoid an unwanted club record — if their current home goals tally of 25 stays the same, it will be their lowest ever in a 20-team Serie A season.
As for the visitors, they will be looking to score away at the Giallorossi for the first time since January 1963.
Venezia could also do the double over Roma for the very first time, having come from behind to win the reverse fixture 3-2.
Sampdoria vs Fiorentina (Monday, 5.30pm)
Sampdoria's task is simple in theory — beat Fiorentina to secure their Serie A status for another season. But they have lost three of their last five meetings with their Tuscan opponents.
As for La Viola, three points will keep them on course to qualify for the Europa Conference League and could lift them into the Europa League places.
They head to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris having conceded at least one goal in each of their last 14 away matches —they last went longer without a clean sheet on the road in 2001-02 (17 matches).
Manolo Gabbiadini gave Sampdoria the lead inside 15 minutes when these two faced off in November before Fiorentina came back to win the game 3-1.
The weekend's other games
Empoli vs Salernitana (Saturday, 2pm)
Udinese vs Spezia (Saturday, 5pm)
Verona vs Torino (Saturday, 5pm)
Bologna vs Sassuolo (Sunday, 11.30am)
Napoli vs Genoa (Sunday, 2pm)