Italy starts Group Stages of European Competition this season with a large margin to make up to have any hopes of catching Germany, not to mention having Portugal and France hot on their heels.
In fact, without a significantly better performance than Portugal, Italy will drop to fifth, as Portie gets to drop a very bad score from 08/09. Both fifth and sixth place get to send the same amount of teams as fourth place, and Italy would have to drop to seventh to lose another Champs League place.
So, What is this Coefficient thing anywho?
In European football, the UEFA coefficients are statistics used for ranking and seeding teams in club and international competitions. The coefficients are calculated by UEFA, who administer football within Europe. It uses three different coefficients to rank the national teams, the national leagues, and football clubs.
The country coefficient is used to rank the football associations of Europe, and thus determine the number of clubs from an association that will participate in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
The UEFA ranking determines the number of teams competing in the season after the next, not in the first season after the publication of the ranking. Thus, the rankings at the end of the 2012–13 season determine the team allocation by association in the 2014–15 (not 2013–14) UEFA season; however, the actual teams that will be participating are determined at the end of the 2013–14 season when the individual association classifications and national cups are finalized.
How the heck does this thing work?
This coefficient is determined by the results of the clubs of the associations in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League games over the past five seasons. Two points are awarded for each win by a club, and one for a draw (points are halved in the qualifying and playoff rounds). Results determined by extra time do count in determining the allocation of points, but results determined by penalty-shootouts do not affect the allocation of points, other than for bonus points given for qualification into the latter rounds of the Champions League or the Europa League. The number of points awarded each season is divided by the number of teams that participated for that association in that season. This number is then rounded down to three decimal places (e.g. 2⅔ would be rounded to 2.666).
To determine a country's coefficient for a particular season, the coefficients for the last five seasons are added. Bonus points are added to the number of points scored in a season. Bonus points are allocated for:
Clubs that reach the quarter-finals, semi-finals, or final of either the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Europa League (1 bonus point).
Clubs that qualify for the group stage of the Champions League (4 bonus points).
Clubs that qualify for the round of 16 of the Champions League (5 bonus points).
Italy's participating teams this season are AC Milan and Juventus (Champions League.) Inter, Lazio, Napoli and Udinese (Europa League.) Udinese originally started in the CL, but was knocked out on PKs and sent down to the EL.
So, prior to the group stages, AC Milan and Juventus have earned Italy 4 bonus points each for being in the group stage of the CL. Udinese failed to earn those bonus points as they were knocked out and sent to the Europa League.
Udinese have earned 2 points, however, 1 for each draw the achieved in the qualifying stage.
Inter have won 2 pts for a win against Hajduk Split (they lost the return leg), 2 pts for a win against FC Vaslui and anothe pt for the tie on the return leg for a total of 5 pts.
Lazio have won 4 pts for two wins against Mura.
Napoli have not yet played, being put directly into the group stages.
Match Day 1
Tuesday's Matches to watch start off with AC Milan. Milan host Anderlecht. Anderlecht currently are third in the
Belgian Jupiler League. They qualified for the group stages in a play off with AEL, which they won 4-1 on aggregate.
Since the 2-0 win in the home leg with AEL, Anderlecht have two ties in league, 2-2 at home against Racing Genk and a 1-1 tie at Lierse SK. AC Milan have been woeful at home, losing 1-0 against both Sampdoria and Atalanta. They did beat Bologna away 3-1. Former Viola Riccardo Montolivo looks to not be ready for this match today, so maybe there's hope for the Milanistas.
Matches to watch on Tuesday that impact the coefficient are:
AC Milan 0 v Anderlect 0
Dinamo Zagreb 0 v FC Porto (Portugal) 2
Paris Saint-Germain(France) 4 v Dynamo Kiev 1
Montpellier(France) 1 v Arsenal 2
Olympiakos 1 v Schalke 04(Germany) 2
Borussia Dortmund(Germany) 1 v Ajax Amsterdam 0
Málaga 3 v Zenit St Petersburg 0
Real Madrid 3 v Manchester City 2
For The Day
Germany +4 (of 4 possible)
Portugal +2 (of 2 possible)
France +2 (of 4 possible)
Italy +1 (of 2 possible)
Wednesday's Matches start off with the Marquee Matchup of the week, which has Juventus traveling to last year's winner Chelsea. Both squads are undefeated in League play, Juve with 3 wins, Chelsea with 3 wins and a draw. Should be a cracker as they say in Jolly Old England.
Matches to watch on Wednesday that impact the coefficient are:
Chelsea 2 v Juventus 2
Bayern Munich(Germany) 2 v Valencia 1
Lille(France) 1 v BATE Borisov 3
Celtic 0 v Benfica(Portugal) 0
Braga(Portugal) 0 v CFR Cluj-Napoca 2
Shakhtar Donetsk 2 v FC Nordsjælland 0
Barcelona 3 v Spartak Moscow 2
Manchester United 1 v Galatasaray 0
For the Day
Germany +2 (of 2 possible)
Italy +1 (of 2 possible)
Portugal +1 (of 4 possible)
France 0 (of 2 possible)
For The CL
Germany +6 (of 6 possible)
Portugal +3 (of 6 possible)
Italy +2 (of 4 possible)
France +2 (of 6 possible)
Thursday's Europa League play kicks off early with Udinese v Anzhi Makhachkala. FC Anzhi Makhachkala is a Russian football club based in Makhachkala, currently third in the Russian Premier League. Anzhi beat AZ Alkmaar in a play off to advance and has 5 straight wins. Udinese dropped into the competition, losing a shoot out to Braga and has failed to impress in league play, with 2 losses and a draw. An upset looks very likely here.
The other early Italy match is Napoli v AIK. AIK is currently fourth in the Swedish Allsvenskanliga and qualified for group play with a 2-0 win on the road against CSKA Moscow, after losing 1-0 at home in the first leg. AIK is coming off of four straight league wins. Napoli is currently second in Serie A with 3 straight wins. One topic of conversation will be to see if the pitch has recovered enough to not be a factor. Napoli should win this one easily, but Italian teams are notoriously weak in this competition and nothing should be taken for granted.
The third Italy match is in the afternoon and features FK Rubin Kazan visiting Inter at the San Siro. FC Rubin Kazan is a Russian association football club based in the city of Kazan. They are eighth in the Russian league and are coming off of two losses. Inter are fifth in Italy, win two wins against Torino and Pescara sandwiched around a loss at AS Roma.
The Marquee match of the Europa League is probably Tottenham Hotspur v Lazio. Hotspur have had, for them, a slow start to the EPL, being in tenth place. Only one win in league, but also only one loss and a pair of draws. Lazio are enjoying a fabulous start to their season, three straight wins, admittedly over questionable talent, beating Atalanta, a Palermo squad that just fired their coach and Chievo. This will be a big test for the Roman squad.
Matches to watch on Thursday that impact the coefficient are:
Udinese 1 v Anzhi Makhachkala 1
Napoli 4 v AIK 0
Tottenham Hotspur 0 v Lazio 0
Inter 2 v FK Rubin Kazan 2
AEL 0 v Borussia Monchengladbach(Germany) 0
Fenerbahce 2 v Marseille(France) 2
Viktoria Plzen 3 v Académica de Coimbra(Portugal) 1
Bordeaux(France) 4 v Club Brugge 0
Maritimo(Portugal) 0 v Newcastle United 0
VfB Stuttgart(Germany) 2 v Steaua Bucuresti 2
Sporting Lisbon(Portugal) v FC Basel
Lyon(France) 2 v Sparta Prague 1
Bayer Leverkusen(Germany) 0 v FC Metalist Kharkiv 0
Twente Enschede 2 v Hannover 96(Germany) 2
for the day
Germany +4 (of 8 possible)
Italy +5 (of 8 possible)
Portugal +2 (of 6 possible)
France +5 (of 6 possible)
For the Week
Germany +10 (of 14 possible)
Italy +7 (of 12 possible)
France +7 (of 12 possible)
Portugal +5 (of 12 possible)
End Of Match Day 1