Serie A: what does Juventus point deduction do to the Champions League qualification race?

The race for the Champions League places in Serie A has taken a surprise twist following Juventus’ 10-point deduction. As a result of this penalty, can the Bianconeri still qualify for the 2023/24 edition of Europe’s premier competition?

Reports emerged on Monday revealing that a court in Italy had given Juventus a 10-point deduction. This came after the club successfully appealed an earlier 15-point penalty in January. The reasoning behind this punishment is due to apparent irregularities in the club’s transfer dealings.

Juve’s off-field drama has once again seemed to upset the on-pitch product, too. Last night, “The Old Lady” suffered a thrashing at the hands of Empoli, losing 4-1. Given that the point deduction has already demoted them to seventh, Juventus’ top-four hopes appear in tatters.

They are not impossible, though. But, in order to reach the Serie A Champions League spots, Massimiliano Allegri’s side will need a massive slice of fortune. Let’s break down the run-in for each of the UCL-chasing sides.

3rd – Inter Milan, 66 points

Champions League finalists Internazionale are sitting in a strong position heading into the last two matches of the season. They are five points clear of Atalanta in fifth, meaning they need just a point when the two sides meet at San Siro on Saturday night to secure a top-four spot.

Inter then see out their domestic season with a trip to Torino. Provided that they do not lose to Atalanta in Matchday 37, the Nerazzurri can focus fully on their Champions League final.

4th – AC Milan, 64 points

The Rossoneri were the biggest winners from Juventus’ points deduction. It elevated them into the Champions League places – although they are just three points above Atalanta in fifth.

It is therefore absolutely crucial that Milan avoid defeat in their Matchday 37 clash with Juve. If they take at least a point in Turin, a home match against relegation-threatened Hellas Verona on the final day should provide a strong potential for three points.

Alternatively, a win away at Juve on Sunday night would confirm their UCL status for 2023/24. That is only if Inter help them against Atalanta, though…

5th – Atalanta, 61 points

The first of the chasers, Atalanta needs AC Milan to drop points in order to overtake them. Finishing level on points with the Rossoneri is not enough; as Milan have beaten and drawn with Atalanta in their games this season, they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

La Dea needs a favour from both Juventus and Hellas Verona as a result. Even if they beat Inter and Monza, the Bergamo side still requires Milan to not win either match in order to leapfrog the Rossoneri.  

6th – Roma, 60 points

Jose Mourinho’s side is in a similar state of play to Atalanta. However, Roma sit four points adrift of Milan in the race for the last Serie A Champions League spot. The Giallorossi thus needs Stefano Pioli’s squad to go winless in their last two matches in 2022/23.

Roma’s last two games see them travel to Fiorentina on Matchday 37, then host Spezia on Matchday 38. If they win both, the team from the capital certainly has a chance.

If they are level on points with AC Milan in the battle for fourth, then their tiebreaker will be goal difference. This is because Milan and Roma drew in both their games this season.

Unfortunately, though, if Atalanta are tied on points with Roma, the Giallorossi will lose out. La Dea have defeated them twice in 2022/23.

Curiously, Roma does have an alternative way in – the Europa League. Sandwiched between their remaining domestic fixtures is a European final against Sevilla. Should Roma win, they will have an automatic spot in the group stage of next year’s UCL.

7th – Juventus, 59 points

Dropping from second to seventh place is an absolute disaster for Juve. They were all set to be in next season’s Champions League, yet now it has been ripped away from them. So, what do they need to do?

The answer here is obvious: win. Juventus needs six points from their matches against AC Milan and Udinese. From here, the rest of it is out of their hands.

The Bianconeri’s best-possible points tally is now 65 points. Therefore, they need AC Milan to take a maximum of one point from their last two games. Additionally, Juve requires Atalanta and Roma to take four or fewer points.

A potential tiebreaker between Milan and Juve depends on their match this weekend. If the Bianconeri can win by two or more goals, then they will have it. Meanwhile, a win and a draw over Atalanta means that the Old Lady holds the advantage here, too.

The race for the Champions League in Serie A is well and truly on. Inter should be safe, but the final slot is anyone’s guess.  

Featured image credit: Getty