Atalanta lead Champions League chase on final day of Serie A season

Atalanta are on the brink of history with a first Champions League qualification in the club's 111-year history within their grasp in the final match of the Serie A season which they play at home but away to Sassuolo.

The Bergamo side's own stadium is being renovated and as a result they will play at the Maipei Stadium, which is also the home ground of rivals Sassuolo, and where, if they qualify, they will play the Champions League next season.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side are one of four teams battling for the remaining two Champions League places on the final day.

Champions Juventus are already through along with second-placed Napoli with just three points separating four teams who are chasing the remaining two elite European berths.

Atalanta are third with 66 points from their 37 games, ahead of Inter Milan on their head-to-head record, with AC Milan fifth on 65 and AS Roma sixth on 63.

Gasperini's side have not been beaten in the league in three months, earning a crucial point last weekend with a 1-1 draw at Juvenuts.

"The Champions League is the ultimate goal but we shouldn't think we're already there," warned Gasperini.

Atalanta are unbeaten in nine straight Serie A game against tenth-placed Sassuolo, and have won the last three in a row.

A win would give Atalanta the club's first top-three finish in 58 years of Serie A history.

Inter Milan have dropped to fourth after last weekend's 4-1 defeat at Napoli, and play at home against Empoli, a side fighting for Serie A survival and on a a run of three straight wins.

Coach Luciano Spalletti is under pressure, with reports he is set to be replaced by former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

But former Roma and Zenit Saint Petersburg coach Spalletti is used to cliff hangers having secured a Champions League return last season at direct rivals Lazio on the final day.

"For me it's better compared to Lazio a year ago," said Spalletti of Sunday's game at the San Siro.

AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso is also under threat ahead of his side's trip to SPAL, a side they have a good record against having won all their meetings over the last two seasons.

- De Rossi farewell -

Roma's hopes of a Champions League return next season are slim with last year's European semi-finals hosting Parma in a match which will be the final one for club legend Daniele De Rossi after an 18-year-old career.

"There's still a remote possibility that we get a Champions League place," said coach Claudio Ranieri.

"We'll need to score five and see what happens in the other matches. We'll do our best. That's the sort of person I am – I never give up and always strive, until the very end."

At the other end of the table, Fiorentina are among four teams trying to avoid joining Chievo and Frosinone in Serie B next season.

Genoa are in the relegation zone on 37 points with Empoli above them on 38 and Udinese and Fiorentina on 40.

Genoa travel to Fiorentina who have lost their last five league games, and winless in their last 13.

Massimiliano Allegri's final game as Juventus coach will be at Genoa side Sampdoria.

Sampdoria triker Fabio Quagliarella will be looking to seal the Serie A top scorer's crown as he has a four-goal advantage on AC Milan's Krzysztof Piatek.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is five goals behind Quagliarella as the end of his first season in Italy approaches.

Fixtures (GMT)


Frosinone v Chievo (1600), Bologna v Napoli (1830)


Torino v Lazio (1300), Sampdoria v Juventus (1600), Atalanta v Sassuolo, Cagliari v Udinese, Fiorentina v Genoa, Inter Milan v Empoli, AS Roma v Parma, SPAL v AC Milan (all 1830)

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