As we enter the final weeks of the season, let’s take a look at the races throughout the big 5 leagues and who is going to finish where.
England – Premier League
Title – Leicester City are champions! That is right. Leicester City is the champion of England. Not a club from Manchester or London, but Leicester. The King Power Stadium will be rocking next weekend, as Leicester will take the field as champions of England for the first time ever!
Champions League – Leicester and Tottenham have qualified for the Champions League next season. Arsenal is 3 points away from qualification for the Champions League. Manchester City, Manchester United, and West Ham United are in competition for the fourth spot. City has a 4 point lead over United and a 5 point lead over West Ham United. Both United and West Ham have played one less game, so they could cut into that lead.
Europa League – Manchester United, West Ham United, Southampton, and Liverpool are all in competition for the two Europa League positions. The third Europa League position comes from the FA Cup final, which is between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. If United wins, then three of the four mentioned above will qualify for the Europa League.
Relegation – Aston Villa is relegated to the Championship for next season. The final two spots come down to Norwich, Sunderland, and Newcastle. Norwich is 2 points behind Newcastle. Sunderland is 1 point behind Newcastle. With 2 games to go, Newcastle going to Aston Villa could go a long way towards survival.
Germany – Bundesliga
Title – Bayern Munich will win their 4th title in a row this season if they get 2 points from the remaining 2 games, or if Borussia Dortmund drops any points. The title race stayed alive thanks to Bayern’s 1-1 draw with Monchengladbach.
Champions League – Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Bayer Leverkusen have all clinched their spots in the group stage of the Champions League. The fourth and final spot is still up for grabs with 2 games to go. Monchengladbach is currently in 4th place with 49 points. Hertha Berlin is in 5th behind Monchengladbach by only goal differential. Schalke 04 is a point behind them and Mainz still has an outside chance since they are only 3 points back.
Europa League – Hertha Berlin and Schalke 04 are guaranteed a spot in the Europa League. Koln can catch Mainz for the third and final spot, but if Mainz wins 1 of their last 2 games then they will be in the Europa League next season.
Relegation – Hannover are the first team relegated from the Bundesliga. They will finish bottom of the table. The other team to join them in relegation is still up for grabs. The other spot in the relegation zone will go down to the wire. Stuttgart is currently in the final spot thanks to goal difference, as they are level on points with Frankfurt on 33 points. Frankfurt is in the relegation playoff spot. Werder Bremen is one point clear of the playoff spot. The number of teams that could still mathematically get relegated is quite large. Wolfsburg (39 points), Hamburger (38), Augsburg (37), and Hoffenheim (37) are all still in the running but would need to really struggle over the last two weeks. Darmstadt is 2 points clear of Frankfurt and could be in trouble as they face the top four contenders the last two weeks.
Spain – La Liga
Title – The title race is going down to the wire in Spain. Currently Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are level on points at the top with 85 points. Real Madrid is one point behind them. They all have two games left to play and the title is really anyone’s guess. Barcelona has the edge, as they have the better head to head record against Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Barcelona’s final two games are home against Espanyol and away to Granada. Atletico Madrid’s final two games are at Levante and home against Celta de Vigo. Real Madrid has a home game against Valencia and then travels to Deportivo La Coruna on the final weekend.
Champions League – The four Champions League places are decided in Spain. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Real Madrid are in the group stage. Villarreal will be in the Champions League qualifying rounds.
Europa League – The three Europa League spots that are given to Spain are also clinched. Athletic Bilbao, Celta Vigo, and Sevilla are going to play in the Europa League. Sevilla will either qualify for the Europa League by winning the Copa del Rey final or by their league position. They could qualify for the Champions League if they win the Europa League, which would mean that Bilbao and Celta would be the only two in the Europa League.
Relegation – Levante is in big trouble. They are mathematically still alive, but if Vallecano, Sporting, or Getafe get 1 point then they are relegated. Those 3 teams are all level on 35 points. Granada is one point above them on 36 points. Mathematically Deportivo, Espanyol, and Betis are all still in the mix to get relegated. However 3 of the 4 teams below them would need to win both games.
Italy – Serie A
Title – Juventus has won their 5th Serie A title in a row this season after starting the year off poorly. They have been one of the best teams in the world lately as they are unbeaten in their last 26 games.
Champions League – Juventus, Napoli, and Roma are going to play in the Champions League next season. Juventus will be in the group stage, but the second spot in the group stage will go down to the wire. Napoli has a 2-point lead on Roma with 2 games to go.
Europa League – Inter Milan will play in the Europa League next season. The second spot is up for grabs. Fiorentina is 4 points behind Inter. Sassuolo is chasing Fiorentina but will need some help. They are currently 5 points back. Sassuolo will play in the Europa League if they finish above Milan and Juventus wins the Coppa Italia. If Milan wins the Coppa Italia, they will get the third and final spot. They are currently 1 point behind Sassuolo. Lazio is still alive in the race but needs some help.
Relegation – Verona is relegated to the Serie B. The other two spots are still in contention with 2 games to go. The final two spots will come from Carpi, Palermo, Frosinone. Carpi and Palermo are level on points with 35. Frosinone is in 19th place and 4 points behind Palermo. They need some help as Carpi and Palermo can make it a 2 horse race for 1 spot with 3 points next weekend.
France – Ligue 1
Title – PSG are champions again of Ligue 1 and have been for what feels like 3 months.
Champions League – PSG will be in the Champions League next season. The other two spots in the Champions League are up for grabs still. Lyon and Monaco are 3 points away from clinching the final two spots. They are both level on points at 62 and play each other next weekend. Saint Etienne, Nice and Lille could still qualify, but they will need one of the two teams above them to collapse.
Europa League – France is allocated 3 spots in the Europa League. Since PSG won the Coupe de la Ligue, 2 spots are already given to the league. If PSG defeat Marseille in the Coupe de France, then a third spot will be given to the league table. If Marseille wins then they will play in the Europa League. Currently, St. Etienne and Nice are in the Europa League places on 58 and 57 points respectively. Lille is just behind them on 56 points. Rennes could still catch Nice, but they will need some help. Angers is alive if PSG wins the Coupe de France as they are 6 points behind Lille.
Relegation – Troyes has been relegated for some time now but who will join them? The final two spots come down to Toulouse, 34 points, Reims, 36 points, and GFC Ajaccio, 37 points. This looks set to go down to the final weekend in two weeks.
Goal of the Weekend
I am going to go with Wes Morgan’s goal that gave Leicester the point that would go on to give them the title. Leicester City are CHAMPIONS OF ENGLAND!!!
Champions League Preview
Bayern Munchen vs. Atletico Madrid, Allianz Arena, Munich – Can Bayern Munich return to the final or will they be doomed by the goal they conceded in Madrid? The first leg ended 1-0 in favor of Atletico. If the Madrid side can find an away goal then Bayern will need to score 3 goals. I think Atletico advances thanks to away goals when they lose this leg 2-1.
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid – This game will hopefully be better than the first leg. The first leg ended with a 0-0 draw and means that it is all to play for in Madrid. Manchester City kept the vital clean sheet at home and will hope that they can score in Madrid. Ronaldo is hopeful to play and if he does, he can make the difference in this game. I think Real Madrid advances thanks to a 2-1 win.
Europa League Preview
Liverpool vs. Villarreal, Anfield, Liverpool – The Spanish side brings their narrow 1-0 lead to England in hopes that they will be able to make it to the final of the Europa League. Liverpool has been very strong at Anfield, but their defense has been shaky and they have a ton of injuries. I think a road goal does in Liverpool as they win 2-1, but do not advance due to away goals.
Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk, Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla – Sevilla looks set to return to their third Europa League final after they scored 2 away goals. The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw in Ukraine. If Sevilla is able to get a positive result, then they should advance. They have been really strong at home and should set up an all-Spanish final in the Europa League with a 2-0 win in the second leg.