The international break is over and it is time for the final stretch of the season. Between now and June 6th, all of the league competitions will end. This is the fast and furious race to the finish. Who will win the league title? Who will win the cup competitions? Who will qualify for the Champions League next year? Who will win the Europa league? Most importantly, who will win the Champions League? It will be a great two month race, and I cannot wait to see who wins them all.
With just two months left in the season, let’s take a look at where we stand in each league and what is on tap for this weekend.
In Germany, Bayern Munich looks set to win their 25th German League title. It will be their third in a row. Wolfsburg looks set to qualify for the Champions League coming in second place. Monchengladbach and Bayer are in third and fourth place. Schalke and Augsburg are chasing them for a spot in Champions League. Stuttgart, Paderborn, and Hamburger all sit in the relegation spots with Freiburg, Hannover, Hertha, and Koln still fighting for safety. This weekend, the big match up sees Monchengladbach hosting Augsburg. This game will go a long way in deciding those last couple Champions League places. The other match to watch is Paderborn hosting Stuttgart as both of them will try to get out of the relegation zone.
In France, PSG have finally taken the top spot as they look to defend their title. Lyon are hot on their tail with Marseille just behind them. Monaco and St. Etienne are catching up on Marseille in the race for the last Champions League spot. Metz and Lens seem set to be relegated but Toulouse, Lorient, Evian, Stade Reims, and Caen will all fight for the right to stay up. Monaco hosted St. Etienne today. The result was a 1-1 draw. Marseille host PSG this weekend in what is the first of a string of games that will decided the title. Lyon travel to Guingamp this weekend.
In Italy, Juventus are set to win their fourth title in a row and 31st overall. Roma, Lazio, Sampdoria, and Napoli, and Fiorentina will all battle for the final two Champions League places. Parma is certain to be playing in Serie B next year. Cesena and Cagliari are in the other two relegation spots and will need points in a hurry to catch Atalanta. In what is the first of many games between the five teams in the race for the Champions League places, Roma hosts Napoli and Fiorentina host Sampdoria. It should be a great run-in for the last two places in the Champions League.
In Spain, Barcelona are on top of the table. They will look to hold off Real Madrid for the La Liga title. Valencia have been on a remarkable run of form and are now in 3rd place. Atletico Madrid is in fourth. Cordoba, Granada, and Levante are currently in the relegation zone, but Almeria, Deportivo, Elche, and Eibar are not far from safety. This weekend features Valencia against Villarreal, Real Madrid hosting Granada, and Celta Vigo hosts Barcelona. It will be a good run-in since the big two will most likely win most of their remaining games so each win is vital.
In England, Chelsea look set to win their first title since Jose Mourinho’s return and their fifth English top flight title. Manchester City and Arsenal look set to qualify for the Champions League. The race for fourth looks to be less exciting after the last round when Manchester United beat Liverpool. Can Liverpool, Southampton, or Tottenham catch United? Leicester City, QPR, and Burnley are in the relegation zone but Sunderland, Aston Villa, and Hull City are not safe just yet. This weekend sees Arsenal host Liverpool as the big matchup. Everton hosts Southampton as well. Manchester United meanwhile will host Aston Villa.
EPL Pick Em.
Last round Buzz and I both got 8 points so the score is now 207 to 195.
Buzz’s Picks – Liverpool 2-2, Saints 1-1, WHU 2-1, Man U 2-0, WBA 1-0, Swans 2-0, Chelsea 3-1, spurs 2-1, Newcastle 2-1, City 3-1
My Picks – Arsenal 2-1, Swans 1-1, WHU 2-1, Man U 3-1, WBA 2-1, Saints 1-0, Chelsea 2-1, Spurs 1-1, Toon 2-2, City 2-0