This is it. With this loss at Genoa we have a real possibility of relegation. Five games left. Here is our schedule:
Here is the table as it stands (relegation battle only):
There are a huge number of factors deciding this one. Essentially, we want the title race to be prolonged as much as possible. There is no chance it will be decided next weekend even if Inter win and Roma lose and there is little chance it will be decided the weekend after when we play Roma. Basically, they are both playing their hardest against us and there is little chance that we will win. Those two are playing two relegation candidates on the last day and Inter faces Catania the day before, so hopefully they are still fighting for the title then.
The Champions League spots battle also affects us. We play only one Champions League spot team, and that is Fiorentina on the last day. We are the only team to play a CL spot contender on the last day, so we can hope the battle is wrapped up by then, specifically on Day 37 as out of the seven other teams here, there are nine matches with CL contenders before then.
Also, there are tons of relegation head-to-head matches here. For better or for worse, we are only involved in one of them. On the plus side this means that all the sides will be taking points from each other. On the minus side, we only have one opportunity to put ourselves "above" the pack. Hopefully we see alot of draws here.
On to our matches, we have a tough time. The magic number (the number of points traditionally needed to gain Serie A survival) is 37 though it was 40 last year and 41 three years ago. We have 34, so a win would help greatly. It will be difficult to find one though. Inter home and Roma away in crucial stages of the title race mean we will get 0 points from these two matches. I would be delighted if we got a point from either team. Next up is Napoli at home in Week 36. Napoli are solidly midtable but have very little chance of qualifying for the UEFA Cup which means in two weeks time they should have very little to play for. We drew at their place earlier in the season. Should be a winnable, if tough match that can all but guarantee safety as long as the other results are reasonably in our favor. The huge match though is against Livorno. The interesting thing is, we drew with Livorno 0-0 on week 37 last year to guarantee the survival of both teams. This time though it will probably not be the same as ATM Livorno are rooted to the bottom of the table. A win here definitely guarantees safety. Last up is Fiorentina at home. Like I said, we can at least get a point if they have nothing to play for.
Also, in the event of a tie, we have better head-to-head records against Catania and Reggina, worse against Siena, Parma, Cagliari, and Empoli, and TBD
against Livorno (a loss, tie, or 1-0 win in ouur match with them would give us worse, a 2-1 win would make us even, and a win by at least two goals are by one goal as long as we score at least 3 would give us better).
My predictions (italics indicate winner, none indicates draw)
If this is how the results stood after Day 37, we would be safe.
Torino-Fiorentina (if CL race is over)
Which would produce the following table:
Satisfying to me, lets see if we can do it. And no matter what, win or lose, survive or relegate, FORZA TORO PER SEMPRE!