Friday, 4 May 2007

New Serie A season to start on Aug 26

The 2007-08 Serie A season will kick off on August 26, while the dates for this season's Serie B play-offs and play-outs have been confirmed.

Today’s Lega Calcio meeting set the fixture list for the final few weeks of the season and a precise start date for the next campaign.

It had originally been suggested that Serie A would begin on August 19, helping the Italian national team to better prepare for the crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers. The Azzurri will take on France on September 8 and the Ukraine on September 12 – two of their main rivals in Group B.

However, as the transfer market is still wide open at that time, it was decided to postpone the Serie A campaign until August 26.

Back to this season, the dates of the Serie B play-offs and play-outs have been set as the season nears its close. The play-off semi-finals will take place over two legs on June 13 and 16. The two-legged final will take place on June 21 and 24.

The two-legged play-out matches to avoid relegation will take place on June 15 and 22.

However, the play-offs will only be required if there is less than a 10-point gap between the third and fourth placed teams. At the bottom, a play-out final will only take place if there is a gap of 6 points or less between the 19th and 18th-placed teams.

Meanwhile, Milan’s Serie A match with Udinese in Week 37 has been brought forward to Saturday May 19 in order to best prepare for the Champions League Final.

The fixture had originally been planned for Sunday May 20 – as all the final four rounds of the season are traditionally played simultaneously – but an exception was made in this case.

The Lega Calcio wanted to stick to these rules by bringing the entire round forward, but that was not possible as Inter and Roma play the second leg of the Coppa Italia Final on Thursday May 17.

So only Milan-Udinese has been moved to the Saturday with a 18.00 local time kick-off, 17.00 in the UK.

The Rossoneri will take on Liverpool, who play their final Premier League fixture at home to Charlton Athletic on Sunday May 13, in Athens on Wednesday May 23.

[Serie A & B Fixture Changes]

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