This coming Sunday we could see both the Serie A and the English Premier League all but decided. In England Liverpool host Chelsea in the early Sunday kick off, Chelsea need to win to stay ahead of Manchester Utd who go to Sunderland in the later kick off. Conversely in Italy, Roma play first, on Saturday evening they travel to mid table Parma. Then Lazio host Inter in the customary Sunday evening kick off.
If Liverpool beat or draw with Chelsea and Manchester United defeat Sunderland, the reds will be in pole position to finish the season on top. Taking their total league victories to 19 making them the most successful team in the country. Liverpool need to win to have any hope of finishing in the final Champions League qualifying position but if Spurs win on Saturday the gap will be 5 points with 2 games left to play and basically insurmountable.
Similarly in Italy if Roma win and Inter lose it is very likely that the run ins will be a formality and Roma will take the scudetto. If this is the case it will break Inter’s monopoly on the title which stretches back to the 2005-06 title they were awarded following the Calciopoli corruption case. Lazio also need points, they need just one more win to guarantee safety and another season in Serie A. However if results go their way earlier on in the day then they will not need anything from the game. Atalanta play Bologna and need to win to have any realistic chance of surviving, whereas Siena host Palermo and also need to win to survive.
Having fierce rivals influence each others’ seasons indirectly certainly gets the fans talking. Liverpool fans have been debating how enthusiastically they will be cheering their team on, given the apparent “magnitude” of the result. Likewise Lazio Ultras forums have been calling for the team to throw the game, to ensure that their fierce rivals don’t notch up yet another title.
Ultimately it is the attitude of the players that will decide which way the title fortunes will swing, they are more likely to be moved by the psychological effects of on-pitch causes than a bit of fan banter. However I wouldn’t want to be on the end of an attack from the Irriducibili, the Lazio ultras.