clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yes, Napoli do still need to win

Marek, Pepe and Valon all just realized Napoli still need to win a match.
Marek, Pepe and Valon all just realized Napoli still need to win a match.
Giuseppe Bellini

Tonight, Cagliari visit the San Paolo in what many believe will be an insignificant match, what with all the players still nursing Coppa Italia hangovers - or, in fact, Coppa Italia injuries.

Napoli certainly do deserve to celebrate. Their run to the Coppa final wasn't an easy one, nor did Fiorentina make lifting the trophy easy. But it's also important to remember...

Napoli have yet to clinch third place. That means Napoli have yet to secure the chance to get into the Champions League qualifiers, and thus into the Champions League.

It may seem a matter of semantics. After all, the partenopei sit eight points above Fiorentina, with three games left to play. And the viola have a tougher schedule, facing Sampdoria and Livorno, who both need to stay safe, and Torino, who could very well still be battling for a Europa League place.

Meanwhile, Napoli have it rather easy. First up, Cagliari, who are definitely safe after beating Parma last week. Then it's Sampdoria, who fell off a cliff after Siniša Mihajlović got sent off against Fiorentina, and have won just once in the five games since. Finally, we finish it all playing host to Hellas Verona, who might still be hoping for a Europa League place and, in any case, may be determined to avenge for snatching away Jorginho.

But if Napoli have wrapped up their Champions League place by then, it won't matter anyway. And with the way things have gone this season, that should happen sooner rather than later - because it's just a wee bit nerve-wracking.

A Fiorentina loss will do it. But a win against Cagliari would feel much, much better. Hangovers be damned (after all, Juventus managed to beat Atalanta on their title hangovers). Let's get the three points and start dreaming about next season.