Friday December 29 2017
Napoli aim to be winter champions

Napoli will be crowned winter champions if they beat Crotone tonight, with only five teams in the last 23 years failng to take the Scudetto after leading at halfway.

The Partenopei face Crotone tonight, their 19th game of the Serie A campaign, meaning they’ll be exactly halfway through the season after the final whistle.

With Maurizio Sarri’s side holding a one point lead at the top of the table, they’ll be crowned Campioni d’Inverno if they beat the Squali tonight.

That would represent a good sign for the Neapolitans, as only five times since the 1994-95 season have the winter champions failed to go on and win the Scudetto.

Fiorentina led the way on 34 points in the 1998-99 season, but were ultimately pipped by both Milan and Lazio.

The following season Juventus led at the halfway point, but Lazio won the Scudetto by a point after Carlo Ancelotti’s side lost to Perugia on the last day.

Roma were winter champions in both 2000-01 and 2001-02, but were beaten to the title by Juve in the latter season, and the Bianconeri also won the following season after Milan had been Campioni d’Inverno.

Since then, only team which has been top at Christmas didn’t go on to win Serie A, though Juventus had two Scudetti revoked after the Calciopoli scandal having initially finished top both at the halfway mark and at the end of the season.

Unfortunately for Sarri’s side, they are the only team since the 2002-03 season to fail to win the title after being winter champions.

The Partenopei had 41 points at the halfway stage in 2015-16, but ultimately finished in second place behind the Bianconeri.

In addition, the last three times a team has come from behind at the halfway point to take the Scudetto it was Juventus who emerged as winners.

The Old Lady will be winter champions if they beat Verona, and Napoli don't win at Crotone.

Overall, 69 per cent of teams who finish as Campioni d'Inverno ultimately win the Scudetto.

Winter champions/Scudetto winners:

1994-95: Juventus/Juventus
1995-96: Milan/Milan
1996-97: Juventus/Juventus
1997-98: Juventus/Juventus
1998-99: Fiorentina/Milan
1999-2000: Juventus/Lazio
2000-01: Roma/Roma
2001-02: Roma/Juventus
2002-03: Milan/Juventus
2003-04: Roma + Milan/Milan
2004-05: Juventus/Juventus*
2005-06: Juventus/Juventus*
2006-07: Inter/Inter
2007-08: Inter/Inter
2008-09: Inter/Inter
2009-10: Inter/Inter
2010-11: Milan/Milan
2011-12: Juventus/Juventus
2012-13: Juventus/Juventus
2013-14: Juventus/Juventus
2014-15: Juventus/Juventus
2015-16: Napoli/Juventus
2016-17: Juventus/Juventus

*Juventus finished top, but title revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal

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