Italian football’s dismally low coefficient saw their fourth Champions League spot revoked ahead of the 2012/13 campaign. Now, if they want to get it back, they’re going to have to roll their sleeves up and get some results in the Europa League.
It comes as no surprise to see AC Milan and Juventus in the latter reaches of the Champions League, but when it comes to the tournament’s blander cousin, Serie A representatives don’t seem to care.
Napoli, who finished second in Italy’s top tier last term, were ejected by Viktoria Plzen; a side who they were heavily fancied to beat. After falling short on the cusp of the Champions League group stage, Udinese failed to advance beyond their Europa League pool that contained Anzi, Young Boys and Liverpool reserves.
Inter saved a bit of face in their quarter final against Tottenham, but the Premier League outfit ultimately ousted them.
A much better showing is required from this season’s charges if Serie A is to regain a four-team ticket to Europe’s premier footballing spectacle and, at 16/1 the country’s hopes could rest on Fiorentina.
The Tuscan side have recently made reputable acquisitions in Mario Gomez and Joaquin and have the potential to go far in the competition if they apply themselves in the right way.
Basel reached last season’s semis and they’re not of Fiorentina’s stature, while Middlesbrough, Fulham and Rangers are just three clubs of lower reputation that have gone all the way to the final in the last decade.
Lazio are 20/1 shots to lift the trophy and their run to the quarter-finals last term offers some positivity to backers of this price.
Italian football needs strong showings from both, while 33/1 shots Udinese must also buck their ideas up after a feeble effort in the competition last term.
If Italian football is to restore its former glories, it’s imperative that all three Serie A representatives reach the latter knockout phases of this season’s Europa League and that their suit is followed in future instalments.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date