A 1-1 draw with Lazio Sunday means the Nerazzurri still have an outside shot to qualify for Europe’s top competition next season.
With just two weeks remaining in the season, Inter have their fate squarely set in their hands. As things stand now, Roma are on third with 73 points. Thanks to their draw with Atalanta, Lazio are two points back with 71 and Inter – with help from a big win at Udinese – are just two points back of Lazio in fifth.
Despite that, ESPN’s sister site fivethirtyeight.com still have Inter Milan has having a very low chance of making the Champions League. After the weekend, they boosted Roma to a near certain 98 percent chance of qualifying with Lazio behind at 72 percent and the Nerazzurri clinging on to hope at 31 percent.
Regardless, Inter has already qualified for Europe next year and can do no worse than their current standing – which would make them Italy’s top entrant into the Europa League.
However, we all know that is not enough for Interisti.
Here is what needs to happen for Inter to reach the Champions League.
- Win out – If Inter takes care of Sassuolo at the San Siro next week and tops Lazio on the road, Inter is in. They will not be able to catch Roma, unless Roma stumbles in its next two outings.
- Lazio loses next week – If that happens and Inter beats Sassuolo, Inter can draw with Lazio and take the fourth spot as the Nerazzurri will have one more point than Lazio.
- If Inter beats Sassuolo and ties Lazio while Lazio draws next week, it may not be enough as Lazio will have Inter on goal differential. Of course, if Inter lose to Sassuolo, they would have to hope Lazio loses at Crotone, which would mean Inter would have to beat Lazio in the final game of the season.
- If both teams win next week it would still come down to the final game of the year at Lazio. Winner would take all. A draw would move Lazio into the Champions League while Inter would take the Europa League.
- Inter would still have an outside shot at claiming third if Roma lose both their final matches and Lazio lose both of theirs coupled with Inter winning both of theirs. That would put Inter in third with 75 points, and Roma with 73. Lazio would be outside at 71 points.
I think that covered everything???
The bottom line is Inter need three points in both of their final fixtures to assure themselves of the Champions League next season.
Oh, by the way … thanks Atalanta!!
Hang on Inter fans, it could be a wild ride to the finish line.
What do you think? Post your comments below!