Champions-elect Inter close in on Milan derby title triumph

Inter Milan are two wins away from a 20th Serie A title
Inter Milan are two wins away from a 20th Serie A titleAFP
Inter Milan are one step away from having the chance to win the Serie A title in the Milan derby as they welcome in-form Cagliari to the San Siro on Sunday.

Davide Frattesi's last-gasp winner at Udinese on Monday kept Inter 14 points ahead of closest challengers AC Milan and in with a chance of winning the Scudetto with a record-equalling five matches to spare.

Inter will guarantee themselves a shot at the title against Milan as long as they beat Cagliari, regardless of how their local rivals - who have won their last five league fixtures - do at Sassuolo.

Simone Inzaghi's side should do it as they have only dropped points once since the turn of the year and last lost a league fixture in late September.

Inter also have the chance to break several league records, with the all-time points tally and wins, as well as best defence in a 20-team season, all up for grabs.

Both Inter and Milan are locked on 19 league crowns so to reach 20 first by winning a sixth straight derby would be a dream come true for 'Nerazzurri' fans.

"We need eight points to be mathematically certain and we're playing clubs fighting against relegation or for the top spots," said Inzaghi after coming from behind to win at Udinese.

"We can't let our concentration slip."

The champions-elect haven't been on their best form since being knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid last month and shouldn't expect an easy ride against Cagliari, especially with top scorer Lautaro Martinez suspended.

Claudio Ranieri's team have pulled four points away from the relegation zone after losing just once in their last seven matches.

In that run Cagliari have held Napoli and beaten Champions League chasers Atalanta, and they will need that spirit if they are to avoid the drop with a hellish run-in which also features matches with Juventus and Milan.

Juve will be aiming to further consolidate their place in Italy's top four with a local derby of their own at Torino, as the battle for European football hots up.

After two consecutive wins in league and cup, Massimiliano Allegri's third-placed side are trying to hold off Bologna and Roma, in fifth, who both host Juve between now and the end of the season.

Bologna, trying to reach the Champions League for the first time, are four points behind Juve in fourth before Saturday's visit of Monza while Roma are at Udinese and a further three points back.

A top-five finish should be enough for a spot in Europe's most prestigious club competition as Serie A is leading the race for an extra place in next season's revamped tournament.

Player to watch: Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Nigeria forward Osimhen was key to dragging Napoli back from behind to a convincing win at Monza last weekend with a stunning leap and bullet header - his first goal in five matches.

Napoli look way off the pace in the Champions League fight as they are seven points behind Roma and have had a dismal season as Italian champions.

However, Francesco Calzona's side were hugely impressive at Monza and still have both Roma and Bologna to play at home.

And with Roma's schedule also containing Juve, Bologna and sixth-placed Atalanta, Osimhen's form will be key to whether Napoli manage a surprise happy ending to a difficult campaign.

Key stats

102 - Serie A's record single-season points total, set by Juventus in 2014.

5 - Inter can equal the Serie A record of winning the title with five fixtures remaining.

Follow Serie A with Flashscore.

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