Serie A 2013, Week 38 preview and fixtures: Last-minute work for those chasing Europe

Marco Luzzani

With European positions still to be determined, not everyone in Serie A can let their minds wander onto the summer break.

"Calm down!" says Juan Cuadrado. "The season isn't quite finished yet!" The final round of Serie A may have the 'School's Out' feeling and we already know the champions and the relegated sides, though there's still some work to be done near the top.

Fiorentina and AC Milan continue to vie over the third and final Champions League place, while either Lazio or Udinese will secure the second Europa League spot. Elsewhere, there's only minor placings -- and the few million euros that go with them -- to scrap over.

Saturday, May 18

Sampdoria vs. Juventus (8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET)

Juventus wrapped up the Serie A title a couple of weeks ago, and will open the final round away at Sampdoria. Delio Rossi's Samp have been in bad form of late, though having guaranteed safety, they've got nothing to play for either -- other than putting a damper on the the bianconeri title party.

Sunday, May 19

all matches at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted

Atalanta vs. Chievo Verona (3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET)

Sunday's early games promise nothing whatsoever, and this is probably the worse of the two. Only the three relegated sides have scored fewer goals than this pairing, who can be credited with surviving relegation, but nothing more. An end-to-end thrilling climax in Bergamo is off the menu.

Bologna vs. Genoa (3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET)

Bologna ended their winless run in the Emilian derby against Parma last weekend, while Genoa guaranteed their survival with a goalless draw against Inter Milan. Again, there's nothing but minor placings at stake at the Renato Dall'Ara.

Torino vs. Catania

Torino looked like they were at risk of being dragged into the relegation fight a couple of weeks ago, having not won in their last eight. But, with their survival guaranteed, they can play with some freedom here. Sadly is is Torino, so they probably won't. Their elefanti opponents Catania have faded badly over the second half of the season, though they can guarantee their eighth-place finish (above Inter!) with a final flourish.

Pescara vs. Fiorentina

Fiorentina are currently in fourth, on course to miss out on the Champions League to AC Milan by a couple of points. They must beat Pescara and hope Milan fail to win away at Siena if they're to leapfrog the rossoneri. Holding up their part of the bargain should be easy enough -- Pescara were the first team relegated from Serie A this season. Sadly, it's hard to see the viola's Tuscan rivals Siena doing them a favour against Milan.

Siena vs. AC Milan

That brings us on to the game at the Montepaschi Arena, where Milan should be able to topple a side that have lost their last four games, and are also mathematically relegated. It's been three months since the robur won a home game, and the chances of them bidding a fond farewell to Serie A are slim.

Cagliari vs. Lazio

It's been a *shrug of the shoulders* season for Cagliari, who are comfortably cruising to a mid-table finish. As for Lazio, their campaign quickly turned from elation to frustration, as they realised maintaining any kind of title challenge was impossible. They need a win here to give themselves any chance of usurping Udinese into a Europa League place, though I'm sure they won't be inconsolable if they don't.

AS Roma vs. Napoli

This is probably the most exciting-sounding game of the round, though there's little at stake. Napoli have wrapped up second place, while Roma only have a small chance of jumping their rivals Lazio into sixth. Between them, Napoli and Roma have scored 141 goals this season -- that's almost two per match. Hopefully they'll give the campaign a fitting send-off.

Palermo vs. Parma

Palermo's relegation was finally confirmed after they failed to beat Fiorentina last weekend. Hosting tenth-place Parma at the Renzo Barbera in the final game of the season, they'll have to hope a good performance will appease their miserable supporters.

Inter Milan vs. Udinese

For Inter, the season's end can't come fast enough. Andrea Stramaccioni's side have only won once in their last eight, falling down to ninth in the table. Udinese's season has gone in reverse, and after a slow start, they've now strung together seven wins on the bounce. Two points above Lazio, they should be able to guarantee their qualification for Europe again.

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