Serie A Betting Introduction
Interested in betting on Italian football? Here’s are guide to get you up to speed as quick as possible! Serie A is the name given to the top tier of football in Italy. Italian football has long been popular with fans around the world for the attractive style of play, though in recent years a more conservative style has taken over and Italian football is somewhat in decline.
Despite this, its international popularity is about equal with that of the German Bundesliga, both of which trail La Liga in Spain and the Premier League in England in their global appeal. Technically speaking, Serie A has fallen behind the Bundesliga in quality when measured by UEFA’s League Coefficient criteria.
Serie A’s most successful team is Juventus, having claimed 27 titles over the years. Internazionale and A.C. Milan have both won 18 titles. In recent years the league has been dominated by Internazionale, also known as Inter Milan having won five titles in a row between 2006 and 2010, though the first of these was awarded to them retroactively after the relegation of Juventus who were implicated in a match fixing scandal dubbed the ‘Calciopoli’ scandal, which also saw them stripped of their 2005 title. In that year there was no official Serie A champion, as 2nd place team Milan were also implicated.
Serie A is a winter league, beginning in August and running until June, slightly later than other European leagues. There are currently 20 clubs in Serie A and each team plays each other home and away for a total of 38 games. The order of games is different to other leagues in that the entire schedule of fixtures is completed once in the first half of the season, and then played out in exactly the same order with the home grounds reversed for the second half.
In other leagues the schedule isn’t as orderly, and teams can often end up facing each other twice in a matter of a few weeks. Notably, Inter Milan and AC Milan share the San Siro stadium as their home ground however when the two meet, the designated home team gets a bigger ticket allocation and use of the home team dressing room.
Serie A matches offer three points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss, as is standard in FIFA competitions nowadays. They moved from the two-points-for-a-win system in the mid 1990s a year before most countries adopted the three point system.
Teams finishing in the top three are automatically entered in the Champions League group stages for the following season, while the fourth placed team enters into a two-leg playoff with another European team, the winner of which gets a place in the group stages. As of the 2012-2013 Italy is reduced to having two automatic qualifications and the third place team entering the playoff as they have been downgraded to fourth place (behind England, Spain, and Germany) in the UEFA rankings thanks to lacklustre performance by Italian clubs in European competition.
The teams finishing in the two spots below the Champions League places are entered into the Europa League, as is the team from the final Champions League spot should they lose the play off.
At the other end of the table, the bottom three teams are relegated and replaced with three teams from Serie B; the top two teams, and if the third team is 10 or more points ahead of fourth they too are also automatically promoted. If not, the teams placed third to sixth enter a two round playoff for the final promotion spot.
Sponsorship and Media Coverage in Italian Football
The official sponsor of Seria A is currently Telecom Italia and shirt sponsors tend to come from a mix of large global companies like Emirates and Mazda and Italian brands and banks.
Despite a perceived lowering of the standard of play and the adoption of a very conservative style by Italian clubs in recent years, Serie A is still a popular league on TV both at home and abroad. In Italy all live matches are shown on Pay TV with national broadcaster Rai only showing highlights. Abroad, live Serie A matches air in many countries around the world.
As stated, Italian football has suffered in recent years do the conservative approach taken by Italian managers who have a reputation for operating extremely stringent systems which have the effect of stifling creative players. Abroad managers of the Irish and English national teams, Giovanni Trappatoni and Fabio Capello have been widely criticised for their boring styles, although Trappatoni’s style has come with some success.
Away from the pitch, Italian soccer has been scarred by the Calciopoli match fixing scandal which saw Juventus relegated and other big names like A.C. Milan implicated. Rumours and investigations around match fixing continue to this day.
By and large Inter Milan are dominant in Italy having won five titles and beating Bayern Munich in the 2010 Champion’s League final under manager Jose Mourinho. Aside from Inter, A.C. Milan won the Champion’s League in 2007 but have had a poor showing since then. Juventus and A.S. Roma are the other regular participants from Italy in the Champions League.
Interesting Facts About Serie A
-Silvio Piola holds the all-time goal scoring record in Serie A with 274 goals in 539 games over 25 seasons between 1929 and 1954.
-Roberto Baggio who retired in 2004 is the only modern day player to score more than 200 goals in Serie A.
-Paulo Maldini holds the appearances record with 647, scoring 29 goals in that time.