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Handicapping the Serie A Race for Champions League Qualification

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Handicapping the Serie A Race for Champions League Qualification
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

When the Serie A ceded its third spot in the UEFA coefficient rankings to Germany two seasons ago, it saw the number of berths given to Italian teams in the Champions League reduced from four to three. It made the Champions League spots in Serie A that much more precious, and the race for them that much more determined.

Today, we'll look at the clubs in the Serie A who have the best chances of claiming one of the coveted top-three slots in the league table and the lucrative Champions League play that come with them.

For the record, I have included on this list of contenders all teams that are within six points of Champions League position. At this point in the league table, with 26 matches played and 12 remaining for every club, a six-point swing for any of these clubs is within the realm of possibility, although obviously far more or less probable given the individual club.

Also included on every slide is the number of "big matches" the team has left this season. For our purposes, a "big match" constitutes any game against another team on this list, plus any other potential trap game from those on the outside.

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