For those unfamiliar, this will serve as a quick breakdown of the layout and structure of club football (soccer) in Italy.
The top tier of Italian football is called Serie A (20 teams). The divisions below Serie A begin Serie B (22 teams), Serie C (57 teams in 3 groups), and Serie D (162 teams in 9 groups). Serie A features two of the world’s biggest and most supported clubs in AC Milan and Juventus, who just recently snatched Cristiano Ronaldo away from Spain’s Real Madrid. The league just recently signed a huge contract with ESPN for viewers in the United States! ESPN+ will be showing on average 9 matches per week, while a match of the week will be featured on ESPN, ESPN 2, and/or ESPN Deportes. Seasons typically begin in August and end in May with each team playing each other twice (once each on each other’s home pitch) for a total of 38 games for each team. At the end of each season, the bottom three teams are relegated down to Serie B, while three other teams are promoted up from Serie B for the following season.
Coppa Italia (Italian Cup): All teams from Serie A and Serie B, as well as select teams from lower divisions participate in this cup tournament for a total of 78 teams. Matches are played periodically throughout the season intertwining with the Serie A schedule. The winner of the cup gets a berth in the following season’s Europa League competition as well as a spot in the Italian Supercup match.
Supercoppa (Italian Supercup): single match contest played at a neutral location in August between the winners of Serie A and the Coppa Italia from the previous season.
Notes from 2017-2018 season:
Serie A Champion – Juventus
Coppa Italia (Italian Cup) Champion – Juventus
Supercoppa Italiana (Italian Supercup) Winner – Lazio
Serie A Promoted teams – Empoli, Parma, Frosinone
Serie A Relegated teams – Crotone, Verona, Benevento
Champions League ’18-’19 Qualifiers – Juventus, Napoli, AS Roma, Inter Milan
Europa League ’18-’19 Qualifiers – Lazio, AC Milan, Atalanta
The 2018-19 Serie A season will begin on Saturday, August 18, with Ronaldo’s debut for Juventus against Chievo at noon EST.
The preseason odds to win the league for the 2018-2019 Serie A season are shown here: