The Great Escape is on…

Is the great escape on? After a total of 140 days on the bottom of the Premier League, Leicester are no longer in the relegation zone.  Nigel Pearson has led this great escape on the back of 4 wins.  This has been a perfect April for them.  They have beaten West Ham, West Brom, Swansea, and this weekend, Burnley.  While there are still 5 games remaining, the fact that they are no longer in the bottom 3 at the moment is an amazing accomplishment.  Following the results of the weekend this might be the only thing left to watch as the season winds down. Nigel Pearson for manager of the year? Maybe if he completes the great escape.

Weekend Review

In the big showdown in England, Jose Mourinho continues his domination over Arsene Wenger as Chelsea inched closer towards the title.  They drew 0-0 at the Emirates.  Chelsea can now win the title next weekend.  Manchester United had a really poor performance this weekend when they lost 3-0 at Goodison Park.  It was probably the performance of Everton’s season. Man City got back into the top 3 beating Aston Villa 3-2 thanks to a late Fernandinho goal.

All of the big boys won in Spain as Barcelona beat their local rivals Espanyol 2-0 thanks to goals from Neymar and Messi.   Real Madrid beat Celta 4-2 thanks to a brace from Javier Hernandez.  Atletico Madrid won 3-0 over Elche and Sevilla beat Rayo 2-0.  Valencia plays today and needs a point to jump back into the top 4.

Bayern Munich are CHAMPIONS.  They are the first team to win a big 5 league title this season thanks to Monchengladbach beating Wolfsburg 1-0.  Bayern beat Hertha 1-0.  This just makes it official what we have know for weeks. Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen clinched their places in the Champions League spots for next year thanks to Schalke losing 2-0 to Mainz.

Juventus will have to wait another couple weeks since they lost 2-1 to their local rivals Torino.  Juventus need 5 more points to clinch the Scudetto.  The match was marred by some violence that erupted in the stands.  Lazio gained a point on the leaders since they drew 1-1 with Chievo.  Roma dropped all three points this weekend when they lost 2-1 at the San Siro.   Napoli took advantage of their rivals dropping points and moved within 2 points of the Champions League when they beat Sampdoria 4-2.

In what continues to be one of the most intriguing title races in recent times, PSG and Lyon both picked up all three points this weekend as PSG put 6 past Lille and Lyon scored 4 against Stade Reims.  A big match takes place this weekend as PSG can jump three points clear if they can beat Metz on Tuesday.  Marseille continue their slide, losing 5-3 against Lorient.  Monaco and St. Etienne will now battle it out for the last spot following their wins this weekend.

Midweek Preview

This week hosts a couple of makeup fixtures in England and France, as well as a full round of fixtures in Spain and Italy.  The semifinals of the Pokal also take place this week.

The first makeup fixture is PSG hosting Metz.  PSG is currently level on points with Lyon sitting second only on goal difference.  A win against second from the bottom Metz would send them 3 points clear at the top with just 4 games remaining.  In England, there are two fixtures this week.  The action will be focused on Leicester City hosting Chelsea.  Leicester has climbed their way out and will look to make it a perfect 5 for 5 in April.  Chelsea will look to go just 3 points from the title.  The other match is Hull City against Liverpool, who desperately need 3 points to even make it a semi race to the finish line for a top 4 place.

In Germany, the DFB-Pokal semi-finals take place.  The headlining match is Bayern Munich hosting Dortmund.  This will be Jurgen Klopp’s last match against Munich with Dortmund.    It should be a fascinating Klassiker.  The other semifinal sees third division Arminia host Wolfsburg.

Italy has a full round of fixtures in which Juventus host Fiorentina.  The big games should focus around Roma traveling to Sassuolo and Napoli traveling to Empoli.  If Roma fails to pick up points, Napoli could jump into the top 3.

Spain also has a full slate of games this weekend.  Barcelona starts the week off when they host Getafe.  Real Madrid host Almeria in the battle for the title.  Valencia travels to Rayo and Sevilla travels to Eibar in the games regarding the top 4.  Atletico Madrid plays in the best matchup of the round when they travel to Villarreal.

EPL Pick Em

Buzz extended his lead this weekend with a 4-2 win.  The score is now 225 to 214.

My Picks: Chelsea 1-1, Liverpool 1-0

Buzz’s Picks: Chelsea 2-0, Pool 2-1

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