The Hidden Beauty of Serie B
One of the most engaging divisions in recent years has not, in fact, been one of the top European leagues that get so much media attention and hyperbole. It has actually been – and of course, this is all a matter of opinion – Italy’s Serie B, the second tier of Italian football.
In recent years, it has created some of the most engaging, romantic and simply unbelievable stories that have captivated the imagination. There has been a growing trend that sees some of the most unlikely candidates and teams reach the top tier of Italian football against all odds.
Last season, SPAL, a team from Ferrara, managed to get promoted back to the top flight after more than 40 years in the wilderness. It was a fairytale story for a team that had only just been promoted from Serie C and to say that it was unexpected is an understatement. The team that joined them via the playoffs was even more so. Benevento had never ever been in the Italian top flight before they were promoted in 2017 and although they look like they will come straight back down having averaged exactly zero points this season, it was still an amazing feat to see them up there in the first place.
Success of the Minnows
This isn’t something that has just happened last season. Small clubs in the Italian second tier have been having a resurgence of sorts for some time now. Sassuolo have been a Serie A side since their promotion in 2013; before this, the town was better known for its ceramic tile production than for its football – the club have to play its home games in Reggio Emilia because their own stadium is too small.
Two years after Sassuolo were promoted, Carpi and Frosinone followed them in an unlikely one-two finish in Serie B and then Crotone finished runners-up a season later to put the southern side in the top flight for the first time in their history. It is great to see some of the most unlikely sides making it to Serie A adding to the unpredictability of the sport. The fact that Crotone actually managed to stay up last season prompted their manager Davide Nicola to cycle the length of the country after he promised to do so should the Calabrians avoid the drop.
Several sides have started strongly and are already vying for the promotion spots in Serie B and as usual, there are a number of teams that you would not have considered contenders before the season started. Frosinone are once again pushing at the top and currently have odds of 6/1 in football betting markets to win Serie B which would be quite an achievement for the minnows. They will likely be pushed all the way by the division’s big boys Calcio Palermo, the side from Sicily were relegated last season and will be hoping for a quick return to the top flight and their odds of 5/1 reflect this. The Rosanero are averaging 1.69 points and 2.5 goal per game which has seen them climb up to second in the table.
US Salernitana from Salerno and US Cremonese are also in the mix and their odds of 16/1 and 14/1 would, given the recent successes of smaller teams, be well worth taking a look at. With football often being so predictable at times, Serie B is a division that continues to surprise and long may it continue. While I often use Bet365 for football betting, I often use maxbet to place my other bets.