Serie A Power Rankings: Round 28

Tim Fontenault@Tim_FontenaultCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2012

Serie A Power Rankings: Round 28

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    10 matches left.

    That is all that remains for each Serie A team as the season is unfortunately drawing to an end.

    Lucky for us, we have Euro 2012 this summer as well as World Cup Qualifying and the Olympics to keep us occupied. But I know personally, the deprivation of Serie A and indeed club football in general will be hard to deal with (apart from Major League Soccer, which will occupy much of the my summer).

    While the summer and of course the waning rounds of the Champions League are on our minds, there is a lot of storylines to follow in Serie A.

    Can Milan hold on in the title race? Will Juventus go unbeaten? Will Juventus go unbeaten and not win the title? Who will win the tight race for the scoring title? Can Lecce avoid relegation and if so, who goes down with Cesena and Novara?

    All these questions will make for a good end to the season. As we approach the end, here are the Round 28 power rankings.

20. Cesena (20)

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    Round 28: Lost 3-0 vs. Cagliari (A)

    I don't know what else to say. Another match, another loss for a team guaranteed to be playing in Serie B next year.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Parma (H)

19. Novara (19)

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    Round 28: Won 2-0 vs. Siena (A)

    Wow! Novara won a match!

    The result won't matter much. This team is gone anyways. Serie B football next year for this club.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Lecce (H)

18. Lecce (18)

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    Round 28: Drew 1-1 vs. Palermo (H)

    David Di Michele's penalty kick gave Lecce a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, but the lead was short-lived, as it only lasted nine minutes in a draw with Palermo.

    Despite the draw, Lecce have shown that they can be a pesky team. If anyone in the bottom three is capable of survival, it's Lecce. Five points is a tough gap, but crazier things have happened.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Novara (A)

17. Fiorentina (17)

4 of 20

    Round 28: Lost 5-0 vs. Juventus (H)

    What is there to say about this?

    Only six points separate Fiorentina and the relegation zone at this point.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Genoa (A)

16. Parma (16)

5 of 20

    Round 28: Lost 2-0 vs. AC Milan (H)

    The champions and current table-toppers were too much for a struggling Parma side, which is now five points above the drop zone, the closest side to Lecce in the standings.

    Parma are going to sweat through the next few weeks, but they may have just enough to survive.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Cesena (A)

15. Siena (15)

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    Round 28: Lost 2-0 vs. Novara (H)

    Well, it wasn't a desired result by any means, but Siena are still in good position after climbing away from the depths.

    Where they were once hanging on to 17th by a thread, Siena are now 15th in the table, based on goal difference over Fiorentina. They are now six points ahead of Lecce and Parma and Fiorentina sit in between them.

    10 matches left; can Siena keep themselves in the clear?

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Chievo Verona (A)

14. Genoa (13)

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    Round 28: Lost 1-0 vs. Roma (A)

    Not really an unexpected result, but Genoa drop after falling to Roma at the Olimpico.

    The drop lines up with the club's table position, as they are now 14th in Serie A, seven points clear of the drop zone.

    Genoa now face a tricky test on Sunday. They can be sure that they'll be seeing the best the Viola can give them.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Fiorentina (H)

13. Cagliari (14)

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    Round 28: Won 3-0 vs. Cesena (H)

    Cagliari took advantage of a terrible team to get three points at the weekend.

    Mauricio Pinilla recorded a hat trick with two of the three goals coming from the penalty spot. It doesn't matter how the goals came. They came and Cagliari were clearly the better team.

    The win has them in 13th place on 34 points. The season started off promising, but they fell off.

    Can they somehow find a way back into the top half? We shall see.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Lazio (A)

12. Chievo Verona (12)

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    Round 28: Drew 2-2 vs. Bologna (A)

    Chievo twice blew the lead, but they were able to pick up a point on the road at one of the toughest teams to play in Serie A at the moment.

    Marco Andreolli scored in the 26th minute to send Chievo into the break up 1-0. After Bologna equalized, Cyril Thereau picked up yet another goal with 20 minutes to play, before Bologna equalized shortly thereafter.

    11th in the table and one point outside the top half, the Flying Donkeys can really make a good impression by finishing this season in the top 10.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Siena (H)

11. Palermo (11)

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    Round 28: Drew 1-1 vs. Lecce (A)

    Palermo were part of a strange match last weekend. After going down 1-0 on a penalty in the sixth minute, Ezequiel Munoz equalized for the Rosanero and Lecce had a player sent off two minutes later.

    Palermo were unable to take advantage and they went down to 10 men as well when Nicolas Bertolo was sent off right before halftime. Neither side could get the better of each other the rest of the way.

    Saturday is a big match for Palermo. They can make a big statement and pull their way deeper into the top 10 with a win.

    Round 29: 3/24 vs. Udinese (H)

10. Inter Milan (10)

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    Round 28: Drew 0-0 vs. Atalanta (H)

    Inter were unable to capture the home victory when Atalanta came to the San Siro last weekend, drawing 0-0 with La Dea.

    The dropped two points put Inter in three points behind Roma for sixth place, which could become a very important spot if Napoli defeat Juventus in the Coppa Italia Final.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Juventus (A)

9. Bologna (9)

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    Round 28: Drew 2-2 vs. Chievo Verona (H)

    They went down on two separate occasions, but Bologna were able to overcome the adversity and get a draw at home against Chievo.

    Marco Di Vaio scored the club's first goal with a half hour to play and Alessandro Diamanti equalized again 20 minutes later. The draw keeps them ahead of Palermo and Chievo Verona by a point.

    It's been a great run lately by Bologna. Can they keep it up and finish in the top 10?

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Atalanta (A)

8. Atalanta (8)

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    Round 28: Drew 0-0 vs. Inter Milan (A)

    Atalanta spoiled the fun for Inter Milan by picking up a point at the San Siro last weekend.

    The scoreless affair prevented Inter from being able to close the gap on the European spots. Atalanta were able to stay within range of the top 10, even though they would be there right now if not for the six-point deduction in the preseason.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Bologna (H)

7. Lazio (5)

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    Round 28: Lost 1-0 vs. Catania (A)

    Edy Reja certainly wasn't a happy customer after his side lost to Catania on the road.

    Despite the loss, Lazio are third in the table, but they won't be there much longer if they can't turn it around.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Cagliari (H)

6. Udinese (6)

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    Round 28: Drew 2-2 vs. Napoli (H)

    Udinese held the lead for most of the match, but two late goals from Napoli resulted in both sides getting a point.

    Giampiero Pinzi and Antonio Di Natale had Udinese up 2-0, but Diego Fabbrini was shown his second yellow card on the hour mark. If not for Samir Handanovic not moving on a 75th-minute penalty—one that he saved right down the middle—Udinese lose the match.

    Still, the point has them within one of Lazio.

    Round 29: 3/24 vs. Palermo (A)

5. Catania (7)

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    Round 28: Won 1-0 vs. Lazio (H)

    Catania picked up the big win against Lazio to make their claim as a top-half club legit.

    Nicola Legrottaglie scored with 10 minutes to go. For the former Juventus and Milan defender, it was his fourth goal of the season, topping his combined Serie A total from the past three seasons.

    The win puts them into eighth and they are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. Three points behind Roma and six behind Udinese. They very well could still compete for a European spot.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Napoli (A)

4. Roma (4)

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    Round 28: Won 1-0 vs. Genoa (H)

    Pablo Osvaldo's third-minute goal kept Roma in the hunt for the Champions League as they defeated Genoa 1-0.

    Roma are three points behind Udinese for the last Europa League spot, but they are only four points out of the Champions League. They are more than capable of such a feat.

    Round 29: 3/24 vs. AC Milan (A)

3. Napoli (3)

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    Round 28: Drew 2-2 vs. Udinese (A)

    Napoli were supposedly down and out when Udinese took a 2-0 lead, but when Udinese were reduced to 10 men, Napoli seized the moment and were able to salvage a draw.

    Big shocker who saved the day for the Azzurri. After missing a penalty in the 75th minute, Edinson Cavani scored in the 81st and 85th minutes to bring the game back to 2-2.

    Napoli are on the verge of the Champions League, trailing Lazio by only a point. Of all the teams in with a chance, they may be the most likely to join Milan and Juventus.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Catania (H)

2. Juventus (2)

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    Round 28: Won 5-0 vs. Fiorentina (A)

    Juventus put the hurt on La Viola last weekend, something they haven't done to anyone in a while.

    Antonio Conte's men have been unable to close out matches, so this win could prove to be a big one, even if it was against such a struggling team.

    They need to keep pace with Milan and react to any blunder by the Rossoneri. The title is still in reach.

    Round 29: 3/25 vs. Inter Milan (H)

1. AC Milan (1)

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    Round 28: Won 2-0 vs. Parma (A)

    Milan kept their four-point lead in Serie A with a 2-0 win over Parma.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a penalty and Urby Emanuelson scored his second of the season as Milan kept out in front of Juventus.

    With only 10 matches left, Milan are looking good for their 19th Scudetto and their second in a row.

    Round 29: 3/24 vs. Roma (H)


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