We are entering the crucial stages of this Serie A season with three teams still jockeying for top spots and several other battling to stave off relegation. This has definitely been one of the most exciting seasons in recent history of Italian soccer. While Inter Milan defeated Juventus in Turin, AC Milan dropped points at home to Bologna and gave us another unexpected twist to the title race. We should not forget about Napoli, who won a crucial match against Atalanta.
You can watch the best Serie A has to offer all season long on Paramount+. And now let's go into the rankings.
Serie A title contenders
The teams that are in the race to win the scudetto this year.
1. Inter Milan (+1): The huge win at the Allianz Stadium over Juventus has the Nerazzurri storming back to the top of our list after the downfall that was the past couple of months. With AC Milan dropping points to a mid-tier team like Bologna, Simone Inzaghi's team is now the top candidate to win the scudetto thanks to a smooth calendar of fixtures ahead and a game in hand. They need to string together some positive results.
Remaining matches (8): Hellas Verona (H), Spezia (A), Roma (H), Bologna (A), Udinese (A), Empoli (H), Cagliari (A), Sampdoria (H),
2. AC Milan (-1): AC Milan drop after three weeks atop our list, but don't be surprised if they climb up again soon. The Rossoneri failed to pad their lead with an unexpected result against Bologna at home, but the title race is far from over. In the last weeks, AC Milan were cynical enough to score four goals in the last five but also conceding none in the last five. They need to score more in order to avoid depending on other results.
Remaining matches (7): Torino (A), Genoa (H), Lazio (A), Fiorentina (H), Hellas Verona (A), Atalanta (H), Sassuolo (A).
3. Napoli (+1): By far the the most impressive side thus far and fully in the mix for the title. After beating Atalanta away, they are now in second and one point behind AC Milan. The only reason why they are never in our top two is because they really have the most difficult set of matches ahead. Look at the fixtures: Fiorentina, AS Roma -- both at home -- loom large. If they keep this up in those two games, then there's a good chance they'll crack the top of our list.
Remaining matches (7): Fiorentina (H), Roma (H), Empoli (A), Sassuolo (H), Torino (A), Genoa (H), Spezia (A).
Clubs that are fighting to play in Europe next season.
4. Juventus (-1): The loss at home to Inter Milan ruined their chances at creeping back into the scudetto mix, and Massimiliano Allegri confirmed just as much after the game. The focus is on contending for a title next season while safely securing a top-four spot this season. The Bianconeri can definitely make it since they have a five-point edge over AS Roma, but they need to score points immediately in order to keep their pace after suffering their first league defeat since November.
5. Roma (+1): What a moment for Jose Mourinho and AS Roma. After months of turbulence, he finally found the right balance and his team is performing quite well as of late. The Giallorossi have won six of the last 10 with their last defeat coming on Jan. 9 against Juventus. They are fully in the race for the fifth place and now they can eye also Juventus but it seems unlikely they can crack a Champions League spot. That should most certainly be the target for the next season.
6. Atalanta (-1): They're running into a bit of trouble after getting hit hard by injuries to key players such as Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel. Gian Piero Gasperini's side will now probably focus more on the Europa League's quarterfinals, but they need to improve their Serie A record if they want to keep the Europa League direct spot for next season.
7. Lazio (-): It's incredible how Maurizio Sarri's team has a very similar path to the one of AS Roma. Now that Jose Mourinho's side finally found a balance and more results, Lazio has done the same. In fact, Lazio have won three of the past four -- with the lone loss coming in the derby. It's definitely too late to be involved in the Champions League's race but they can remain confident as we approach the end of the season.
8. Fiorentina (-): A team to watch in the final weeks that could play the role of spoiler against top-tier clubs. Only one defeat in the last seven matches, they have produced a high quality of football thanks to a coach that has the ambition of becoming one of the best in Italian soccer. Viola need to be considered for the European race this season, of course, but keep an eye on them for the following season as they are poised to surprise people.
Middle of the pack
These teams are definitely going to stay in the league but have no chance to play in European competitions next season.
9. Hellas Verona (+1): A nice win against Genoa with Giovanni Simeone scoring puts Hellas Verona very high again in our list. Under Igor Tudor as of Sept. 14, Verona have the second-best attack in Serie A with 53 goals scored -- only fewer than Inter at 54.
10. Sassuolo (-1): Alessio Dionisi's side lost to Lazio but are definitely trending up overall. Sassuolo, thanks to Domenico Berardi and Gianluca Scamacca, are one of only three sides to have two players with 13-plus goals in the big five European leagues in 2021-22. The other two? Real Madrid and Liverpool. Now that's good company.
11. Torino (-): Winning against Salernitana was a bit expected. In the end, it proved to be a pivotal moment for Ivan Juric's team who needed some results on the pitch after a disappointing couple of weeks. The captain, Andrea Belotti, scored a penalty, which was also important because this is likely to be his last season and he currently only up to five goals on the season.
12. Udinese (+1): A underestimated side since Gabriele Cioffi came in as Udinese manager to replace Luca Gotti. Another great win against Cagliari has them in the middle of the table after a difficult few weeks and they can now plan for the future in a different way. Cioffi definitely deserves the opportunity to start the new season and prove himself next season.
13. Empoli (-1): It's been a bit of a disappointment seeing Empoli not win a single match in 2022 calendar year. After a very solid first part of the season, they are struggling and won't be involved in the relegation fight only because of the amazing first half.
14. Bologna (-): The first game without Sinisa Mihajlovic on the bench -- after he announced his return to the hospital for new cancer treatments -- was a positive one since Bologna managed to draw at San Siro against AC Milan in one of the best performances of the season. Now they just need to keep this pace until the end of the season as they will need to reorganize their future strategies.
These sides are struggling and are fighting to keep their spot in Serie A for next season.
15. Spezia (-): What a job by Thiago Motta. Spezia are now inching closer to keeping their place in Serie A for next season. Credit to his resilience and commitment to hard work even when he was really close to getting sacked. Also, Spezia can't make deals on the transfer window because of the ban they have for the next year (the appeal is scheduled for May), so they worked with the players they signed last summer and couldn't make improvements in January. Just an amazing work by Motta and his staff.
16. Sampdoria (-): Playing against AS Roma was not easy, but the main issue for Marco Giampaolo's side is that they can't really win games. In the last month, the only two victories have come against Empoli and Venezia. Against superior opponents, Sampdoria have struggling to pull together results. They have few points of margin, but it might not be enough when it comes to the relegation fight.
17. Cagliari (-): Another disappointing week for Cagliari that recently struggled and lost the last four matches, including a worrisome 4-1 result to Udinese. Walter Mazzarri needs to immediately find new solutions to avoid relegation before it is too late.
18. Genoa (-): They lost their first match under coach Alexander Blessin in an unexpected manner, but after that they managed to win against Torino in what seemed to be the turning point of the season. Apparently, it was not and it will be interesting how they will react in the coming weeks.
19. Venezia (-): After being one of the best sides in the first part of the season, Paolo Zanetti's team is now struggling week in and week out with five consecutive defeats to their name. Venezia are now still in a position where they can hope to stay in the league because the rivals are not doing particularly better, but if they continue to play as they are doing right now, their chances are pretty slim.
20. Salernitana (-): Different week, same story for Salernitana. It's only a matter of time before they're officially relegated and we get to learn how they will build their future in Serie B.