- Leicester City – The foxes have qualified for the Champions League next season with 5 games to go. That is an absolute shock to the world of football, and only the first major shock that Leicester will send as they are destined to win the Premier League this season. They are 7 points clear at the top and need to get just 9 points out of the last 5. We will have a new surprising champion in England and it will be Leicester City!
- Atletico Madrid – They are the big winners because they made up some significant ground on Barcelona this weekend. They defeated Espanyol 3-1 and are now just 3 points behind the leaders, Barcelona. There are still 6 games to play in Spain and they have a chance. Now they will hope that they can overturn their 2-1 deficit in the Champions League this week.
- Hoffenheim & Augsburg – The bottom of the German table is where I focused this weekend. Hoffenheim and Augsburg got vital victories this weekend to give themselves some breathing room at the bottom. Augsburg jumped out of the relegation zone and is now 2 points clear of the relegation play off, and 3 points clear of the relegation zone. Hoffenheim is a point above Augsburg. They both are now in a good position to survive and remain in the Bundesliga.
- Inter – Mauro Icardi gave Inter a 1-0 lead and the victory which sent Inter up to 4th place in the table. They are 5 points from the Champions League, but Roma plays later today and a win for Roma would make it 8 points. They look set to now return to Europe in the Europa League but have also given themselves a shot at the Champions League.
- Nice – They came out the winners for the battle between 4th and 5th in France and are now just two points behind Monaco and Lyon for the two remaining Champions League spots. This could be a very interesting race to watch as the season progresses.
- Barcelona – One point in the last 3 weeks has seen their 10 point lead evaporate in the table. They are now just 3 points ahead of Atletico and 4 ahead of Real Madrid. This is probably the worst time to have a poor run of form, but a good result Wednesday is all that matters now. They also have the head to head advantages on both Atletico and Real. This means that if they end level on points, Barcelona will retain the title.
- Manchester United – Their top four hopes took a big hit this weekend as they were defeated 3-0 at Tottenham Hotspur. United is now 4 points behind City and will need to earn at least 4 more points than City over the next 6 games to qualify for the Champions League. It is looking less and less likely that they will qualify. What will that mean for Louis van Gaal?
- Borussia Monchengladbach – Coming into the weekend, Gladbach was in 4th place. After the weekend, they are three points behind Leverkusen looking up at the rest of the table. The race for the fourth and final Champions League spot is really heating up. Leverkusen jumped into that spot but has just a three point lead on Gladbach, Mainz, and Schalke. Any time one of those four teams drop points it will be a big deal.
- AC Milan – Milan suffered defeat this weekend at the hands of Juventus. They remain in 6th place and look set to miss out on any European competition for the second straight season. They are now 7 points behind Fiorentina and will need a lot of help if they wish to qualify.
- Troyes – With their 23rd loss of the season, this French side is now going to finish on the bottom of the table for sure and will be headed to Ligue 2 next season. They have won just 2 games all season and only drawn 8 times. It has been a very disappointing season for them.
Goal of the Weekend
I am going with James Rodriquez’s goal vs. Eibar. Maybe he should take all the free kicks for Real Madrid?
Champions League Preview
Manchester City vs. Paris Saint-Germain – Eithad Stadium, Manchester: The second leg of this tie should be fantastic. The first leg ended 2-2 in Paris. City has two vital road goals but has struggled to keep clean sheets in the Premier League. Either way one of these two will be advancing to unknown territory in the semifinals. PSG has just a bit more qualified and pulls off another big win in England, 2-1 to PSG.
Real Madrid vs. Wolfsburg, Santiago Bernabeau, Madrid: The first twenty minutes will tell you everything. Wolfsburg will be looking to hold on to their 2-0 lead following the match in Germany. Real Madrid will have to come out guns blazing and go for it all. Should be interesting to see if Real can overturn the poor first leg. Real has advanced to 5 straight semifinals and will hope they can make it 6. Real Madrid should win easily and will overturn the results, 4-1 to Real Madrid.
Benfica vs. Bayern Munich – Estadio da Luz, Benfica: This one was one of the two that you thought would be done and dusted before this game but it is not. Bayern Munich was only able to manage a 1-0 win at home. They did not concede a road goal and that should help them as they look to advance to the semifinals for the fifth straight year. I think Bayern will advance with another 1-0 win.
Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona – Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid: This final quarterfinal match is the all Spanish affair. The first leg ended 2-1 to Barcelona with a vital road goal from Fernando Torres before he was sent off. That road goal, coupled with Barcelona’s poor form could lead to Atletico Madrid advancing to the semifinals. Suarez will be back for Barcelona. This will be a tough game for both sides. I am going with a 1-1 draw.