One of the most iconic domestic competitions in world soccer competes in Italy between August and May. Serie A fixtures are played every weekend, with occasional matches also played in the midweek. You can find out more about the Italian top flight in this beginner's guide, which includes information about the Serie A teams involved, and the format of the competition.
The Italian Serie A was born in 1898, making it one of the oldest domestic competitions in world soccer. It has been operating with a round-robin format since the 1929-30 season, and the winning team at the end of the season is awarded the Scudetto.
The current format of Serie A as we know it today was introduced in 1929. Prior to that, the competition was organised into regional groups, which eventually led to a split between the Italian Football Federation and the Italian Football Confederation.
There have been a number of historical moments throughout the competition's history. The first of those occurred at the end of the 1948-49 season after a tragic accident led to the entire Torino team being killed in a plane crash. The Italian side was awarded the title after a vote from the opposing sides. However, there have also been controversial moments throughout Serie A’s history, including the Calciopoli Scandal. This saw Juventus stripped of their 2005 and 2006 titles and relegated to Serie B for the first time in their history due to their part in the match-fixing fiasco that plagued the Italian top-flight.
Betting on Serie A fixtures throughout the season is extremely popular. All of the leading sportsbooks will offer prices for the most prominent soccer betting markets on all fixtures. You can find out more about some of the most interesting betting markets below.
The most prominent way to place a wager on fixtures throughout the season is on the match result market. Here, bettors will have three options to choose from, which include both sides, as well as the draw. Multiple selections can also be joined up to create an accumulator. However, returns are only awarded if the selection/s is correct.
Serie A is renowned for being one of the most defensive leagues in world soccer. However, that stigma has eased slightly over the past couple of years, as there has been an influx of fine attacking talent brought to Serie A. Therefore, the over/under goals betting markets have become more popular. Bettors can wager their stake on whether there will be more or less the number of total goals in a game from the benchmark set by the sportsbook. For example, bettors could place a wager on over 2.5 goals in a fixture between Napoli and AC Milan. However, to get returns on this selection, there must be at least three goals in the game.
One of the most interesting bets that can be made on Serie A fixtures is that of predicting the player that will score first in a fixture. This type of bet can often be more lucrative than many others available, as the player selected must be the first to score in a match. For example, bettors can place their money on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score first in a fixture against Juventus. However, returns are only awarded if the forward is the first player to find the net in the match.
Serie A has changed in format throughout its history, but the format of having 20 teams involved has been in operation since 2004. Every team in the Serie A table will play against the opposing sides on two occasions throughout the campaign; once at home, and once away from home. Unlike other European leagues, the games in the first half and second half of the season are played in identical order, which means that if Inter Milan plays Lazio on the opening weekend, then that will be their first fixture in the second half of the season.
Since the beginning of the 1994-95 season, teams have been awarded three points for a victory. Prior to that season, only two points were awarded. The Serie A teams in the bottom three spots are relegated to Serie B at the end of each season, with three sides from the second tier promoted to the top flight.
There have been some iconic Serie A players throughout the history of the competition. Gianluigi Buffon is perhaps one of the most iconic players, as the goalkeeper played 657 times between 1995 and 2021 across spells with Parma and Juventus. The highest scorer in Serie A history is Silvia Piola, who played for Pro Vercelli, Lazio, Juventus, and Novara. His career span across a number of decades, as he played in Serie A between 1929 and 1954, scoring a staggering 274 goals in 537 games.
Juventus are the most successful club in Serie A history, as they have been crowned Italian champions on 36 occasions. They have also won nine Serie A crowns since 2011. Inter Milan and AC Milan are the next most successful teams in Italy. Thirteen other Italian sides have won the top prize, including Pro Vercelli, Novese, and Casale, who no longer exist. Genoa has won nine titles, while Bologna, Torino, Lazio, Napoli, Fiorentina, and Cagliari are among the other teams to have won the Serie A title.
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