Atalanta and Roma face off in battle for final Champions League spot

Atalanta and Roma are level on points in Serie A
Atalanta and Roma are level on points in Serie AAFP
Serie A will have five clubs in next season's revamped Champions League, and this weekend Atalanta host Roma with both sides aiming to finish in the top five and make a return to Europe's top competition.

Atalanta currently occupy that all-important fifth spot and have a game in hand on Roma in sixth, with the teams level on 60 points. They have a four-point gap to Lazio in seventh, so Sunday's game in Bergamo could prove decisive.

Roma reached two European finals in the last two seasons, winning the Conference League in 2022 and losing the Europa League final on penalties to Sevilla last year, but Champions League football has been missing since 2019.

When Daniele De Rossi replaced Jose Mourinho as manager in January, he declared Champions League qualification as his main goal despite the fact that Roma were ninth in the standings at the time, and is close to making that objective a reality.

Their recent dip in form, however, has allowed Atalanta to regain the upper hand, with Roma recording just one win in their last four league games, while Atalanta have won three in the same period.

Atalanta's recent form
Atalanta's recent formFlashscore

Atalanta had to wait until 2019 to make their Champions League debut, but after three consecutive appearances in the competition, they missed out in the last two seasons.

Last season just one point separated these two in the league table, Atalanta finishing fifth with Roma in sixth, but this season that fifth place is a much more attractive proposition.

The sides drew 1-1 at the Stadio Olimpico in January, so whoever wins this weekend's clash will have the better head-to-head record should they finish level on points when the season ends.

Bologna can take a major step towards clinching their place in the Champions League at Napoli on Saturday. Bologna are fourth, with a four-point advantage over Atalanta and Roma, and sit two points behind Juventus in third.

Last season's champions Napoli are eighth in the standings, struggling to even make the Conference League next season, and face a Bologna side unbeaten in seven games.

Current Serie A standings
Current Serie A standingsFlashscore

AC Milan can strengthen their hold on second place when they host Cagliari on Saturday. Milan are five points ahead of Juventus, but are up against a Cagliari side still involved in the relegation battle.

Juventus welcome already relegated Salernitana on Sunday, while champions Inter Milan are at Frosinone on Friday. Frosinone are 16th, just two points above the relegation zone.

The fight for survival is hotting up, and Sassuolo's win over Inter last weekend gave them some hope. They are second from bottom, and three points from the safety zone, so desperately need a win at Genoa on Sunday.

Udinese are the other side in the relegation zone, and are away to Lecce on Monday, while Empoli, like Frosinone, are two points above Udinese, and are at Lazio on Sunday.


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