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The Race To The Champions League: Will Milan Make It?

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Milan remains in the hunt for third place. How likely is it that Milan returns to the Champions League next year?

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

On the 14th of February, Milan played against Genoa and managed a solid 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Carlos Bacca and Keisuke Honda. After the game, Sinisa Mihajlovic was optimistic:

"Looking at our rivals, we are in better shape than them at this moment in several areas. If we keep these performances going, and keep improving in front of goal, we will also be in the hunt for third place."

However, Milan did not "keep these performances going", unfortunately. The Rossoneri's inconsistent form begs the question: how realistic is the hope that Milan can manage a third-placed finish?

As of now, the standings are Juventus in first place with 70 points, Napoli in second with 67 points, Roma in third with 60 points, Fiorentina in fourth with 55 points, Inter in fifth with 55 points and Milan in sixth with 49 points. So, right now, Milan are 11 points away from 3rd place. Last year, Lazio finished third with 69 points. Even though it is very unlikely that the 2015-2016 standings will shape up like the 2014-2015 season, for the sake of argument, let's assume that in order for Milan to finish third, they need 69 points.

That would mean they need to take 20 points from 8 games. Milan could do so if they (1) win all 8 games, (2) win 7 games and lose one, or (3) win 6 games and draw 2. If the most plausible scenario, winning 6 games and tying 2, is the one that materializes, then Milan would end the season with 19 wins, 12 ties, and 7 losses. To put this in perspective, last year Milan finished with 13 wins, 13 ties, and 12 losses, for 52 points and 10th place. In the 2013-2014 season, Milan managed 16 wins, 9 ties, and 13 losses, for a total of 57 points, and finished in 8th place. Only in the 2012-2013 season did Milan achieve this number of points and a little more (71 points) with 21 wins, 9 ties, and 8 losses.

Bluntly put, the odds are not in Milan's favor. To make matters worse, third place will probably require more than 69 points. In other words, Milan will almost definitely fall short of expectations. Again. Wow. What a shocker.