The Serie B promotion and relegation battles are both wide open this year, and the second tier of Italian football promises a thrilling end to the season just about everywhere you look.

With only seven games left U.S Cremonese, the team from the city of Cremona in Lombardy find themselves at the top of the pile after matchday 31 by just one point Pisa S.C who in turn are one point above Silvio Berlusconi’s Monza, who themselves are only a point in front of U.S Lecce from down in the very heel of Italy, and let’s not forget Brescia in fifth place ‘languishing’ only two points behind¬† the team from the southern Apulia region!

Neither does this take into account the chasing pack consisting of Frosinone, Benevento, Ascoli and even Perugia and Cittadella who are also looking to aspire to  one of the six the promotion play-off places and the possible aspirations of Serie A football.

Now that accounts for half of the twenty teams in this fantastic league….down at the other end however there is nearly as much fun to be had with five, possibly six teams in reluctant contention for relegation, being unfortunately propped up by the team with the water park as a back drop to their stadium, Pordenone Calcio from the beautiful northern Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy.

In summary that is sixteen of the twenty teams that currently have something to fight for as the season comes to a close!!

The second tier of Italian football has a relatively complicated relegation and promotion system, although not as complex as Serie C…… more of that another day, with the top two teams gaining direct promotion to Serie A, followed by a third team promoted through the play-off system much like the EFL Leagues in England, however in Serie B six teams take part in the play-off rounds with the third and fourth placed teams sitting out the first play-off round and only coming into play when the fifth to eighth placed teams have been reduced down to two.

Following the two legged second rounds, should the final go to extra time and still not be finalised, penalties are not an option, the tie is then awarded to the team that finished in the higher place in the original standings…all that extra work to possibly end up where you started!!

Four teams are relegated from Serie B, the bottom three sent down automatically with the 16th and 17th place teams fighting out a two legged play -out spot (the 16th placed team being at home in the second round), to avoid becoming the being the fourth and final team to be relegated. However…..should the 16th placed team finish more than five points above the 17th placed team at the conclusion of the regular league, or if the play-out remains tied after the end of regulation play, then the 17th placed team is doomed to Serie C in both cases!*

 

There really is all to play for in this often little understood league which currently plays host to sixteen teams that once upon a time plied their trade in Serie A.

You can see the conclusion of the season as many of the games can be watched free to air with UK commentary on the Mola TV App or website (www.mola.tv.com)

 

*with thanks to the web site of Italian Football TV Commentator David Ferrini www.davidferrini.com for his detailed explanation of the Serie B rules.