Where Do We Stand…

Ligue 1

This has to be the biggest shock so far. PSG were supposed to run away with another league title.  The first 11 games have not gone as smoothly as they would have hoped.  They have lost 2 games already this season, which is the same as all of last season.  They are now 6 points behind the leaders.  The leaders have come out of nowhere as Nice is now unbeaten after 11 games.  Monaco were also tipped to be in the title race.  They are currently in second place, level on points with PSG.  Guingamp and Rennes are three points behind PSG and Monaco, and they could be in for a Champions League place.  Is this going to be the first year since 2011/12 in which a different team wins the league?

This season in France, Ligue 1 is using the relegation playoff.  This means that the bottom 2 will be relegated and the 18th place team will play the third place team from Ligue 2.  Right now the race is very tight.  Lorient and Nancy are currently in the relegation places with Caen in the relegation playoff spot.  However, Lille, Montpellier, Nantes, and Bastia are all within 4 points of the bottom of the table.  This could be an interesting as both Metz and Dijon are not in the relegation zone.  These two teams were promoted last season.  Nancy seems to be the only newcomer to be struggling.  Will the other two drop back or will a seemingly established Ligue 1 side get relegated?

Primera Division

 This title race seems familiar but feels a little different.  Four different teams have sat on top of the table and 7 different teams have been in the top four.  Right now the top four are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Sevilla.  The top 5 teams are all within 5 points of each other.  Real Madrid are on top of the league and are unbeaten so far 10 games in.  Two points back are Barcelona who have lost 2 games this season but have the highest scoring offense.  The best defense is a point behind Barca and 3 behind Real Madrid.  Sevilla are level on points with Atletico in 4th and Villarreal is 2 points back of Atleti and Sevilla.  Villarreal and Sevilla could have a great battle for the fourth and final spot.  Can Real Madrid end their 4 year title drought?

Granada seems to be in trouble this season.  They have failed to win a game so far and have just 3 points.  They are 6 points from safety right now.  The other two spots are going to be a tight race.  Right now it is Osasuna, 7 points, and Sporting Gijon (9 points).  However, there are teams all within 4 points of Osasuna.  Deportivo is level on points with Sporting.  Leganes, Alaves, and Valencia are a point above safety.  Espanyol and Betis are 2 points above safety.  Malaga should be safe but even they are just 3 points from safety in 11th place.  Can all three of the newly promoted teams (Osasuna, Leganes, and Alaves) survive?

Serie A

 This seems like a broken record but Juventus are on top of the Serie A table.  They have the best defense in the league and the second best attack.  They have lost twice this year but their 9 wins in the first 11 mean they are 4 points clear of Roma.  The gap between first and second is the same as the gap between second and sixth place.  Milan is a point behind Roma and look to be making a comeback.  They have a bright young team lead by 17 year old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.  Lazio is 2 points back of Roma.  Napoli is 3 points back and Atalanta is four points back.  This could make for a fantastic Champions League places race this season.  Can Milan make it back into Europe?

The relegation race seems to be down to four teams that are within 2 points of each other.  Crotone is at the bottom on 5 points.  Palermo is a point above them and then Empoli and Pescara are a point above Palermo.  One interesting piece of business from the bottom half of the table is that Frank de Boer is set to be sacked tomorrow after only 7 wins in 16 matches in charge according to the Gazzetta dello Sport.  Will this move help Inter get back to winning ways or will it hurt them?

Premier League

After a shock last season, the big boys of England seem to be back on.  Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool are all level on 23 points.  Chelsea is a point back.  All four of these teams have looked fantastic at times but also seem to have flaws.  Tottenham is the only unbeaten team left and is 2 points off the top of the table as they have won 5 games and drawn 5.  Everton look a much better team under Ronald Koeman and could push for the top 4.  Manchester United have been disappointing as they are 7 points behind Chelsea.  The big boys seem to be on top and are looking to put some distance between them and the rest of the league.  Which one of these teams can pull away this season?

The bottom of the table is starting to shake out into not as exciting as a race in the past.  Hull are in 18th place.  They are 3 points behind West Ham, West Brom, and Middlesbrough.  If they want to survive this season they are going to need to find ways to win games.  Swansea has a new manager in Bob Bradley but the American has his work cut out for him.  Swansea has 5 points from 10 games and has only won 1 game this season.  In last place is Sunderland and they are on a historically bad run.  They have failed to win in any of their first 10 games.  They have just 2 points so far and are on pace for 7.6 points this season.  That would mean that they are the worst team ever in the Premier League. The record is held by Derby County with 11 points.  Will Sunderland set the record for fewest points ever?

Bundesliga

Bayern Munich is on top. Surprise, Surprise.  They are unbeaten through 9 games and have the best offense and best defense in the league.  They are not the only unbeaten team however.  Leipzig and Hoffenheim are both unbeaten.  Leipzig are newly promoted and just 2 points behind Bayern Munich.  They have won 4 straight and have the joint second best defense.  Hoffenheim is in third place and is 4 points behind Munich.  The race for the other three Champions League spots should be interesting.  The undefeated teams will have to fight off Koln, currently in 4th place, Hertha Berlin, a point behind Koln, and a trio of teams 3 points behind Koln.  Borussia Dortmund is one of those teams and it has to be a disappointment for the club and their fans.  The other two teams are Eintracht Frankfurt and Freiburg.  Can anyone catch up to Bayern?

Bundesliga also has a relegation playoff.  The bottom 2 teams of the 18 teams in the league get relegated and the 16th team place faces the third place team in 2.Bundesliga.  Right now Hamburger and Ingolstadt look to be in some trouble.  They are both winless after 9 games.  They have 2 points so far this season.  Wolfsburg is currently in 16th place.  They are four points clear of Ingolstadt.  It looks like it could be a tight race for that spot as Bremen, 7 points, Darmstadt, 8 points, Augsburg, 8 points, and Schalke 04, 8 points, are all bunched together.  Will we see a big name team in the relegation playoffs?

Score from the Weekend

Me – 82 (10)
Brad – 53 (10)

Team of the Weekend

Goalkeeper
T. Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders
G. Chiellini (Juventus), M. Keane (Burnley), Naldo (Schalke)

Midfielders
S. Fofana (Udinese), I. Gundogan (Manchester City), M. Risse (Koln), W. Cyprien (Nice)

Forwards
A. Robben (Bayern Munich), S. Aguero (Manchester City), C. Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

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