Just like in every other second division, priority is qualification for the top league in the country. This has played out in countries like England and Germany. And the race is on in Italy’s Serie B.
Filippo Inzaghi’s Benevento finished the league season with the most points and the most goals scored. They also finished the season 18 points ahead of second-placed Crotone. Despite the gap, both sides gained automatic promotion back to the Italian Serie A.
This leaves just one slot left to be fought for, by six teams, those that finished the season in 3rd through to 8th.
While Pordenone and Spezia gained automatic progression in the Serie B playoffs, sides like Citadella, Frosinone, Chievo Verona and Empoli had to play games to qualify for the semi-finals. Those two quarter-final games finished with both sides scoring and Frosinone completing a comeback.
All is now set for the semi-final promotion play-off games, which will be played over two legs.
Frosinone vs. Pordenone
In each of the two meetings between these two sides in the regular season, at least three goals were scored. And with a chance to play in the playoffs final at stake, you can expect both sides to go all guns blazing in this one.
They conceded five goals in those two games.
How many do you think they will concede in this contest?
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Led by former AC Milan defender, Alessandro Nesta, Frosinone have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 10 games. In five of their last six, both teams have scored and they have conceded the first goal in all of their last seven.
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Chievo Verona vs. Spezia
One thing common to both of these sides as they head into the Serie B playoffs is the lack of goals. Only two of Verona’s last nine have seen more than two goals scored. This has been the same trend too in Spezia’s games – four of their last five have seen less than 2,5 goals scored.
However, playoff football is different.
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Chievo may have failed to defeat Spezia in the regular season. But they will be looking to right those wrongs when both sides clash, over two legs, this month.
Going into the playoffs, Spezia finished the regular season with a three-game unbeaten streak. Chievo’s was a four-game unbeaten run.
The Italian Serie A has relegated three teams. Two Serie B teams have secured top-flight football next season. Four teams are now competing for the final slot available, via the Serie B promotion playoffs. Which team do you think will make it all the way? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.