Europe’s top soccer leagues: Title fights, Europe, relegation


Champions League (4): Real Madrid, Girona (75, 35) and Barcelona (73, 34) have secured their places.

Europa League (2): Athletic won the Copa del Rey and are almost certain to finish in the top six, which means the place for the cup moves over to the league — fifth and sixth will enter the UEL.

Either Atlético or Athletic will take one of the places, with Real Sociedad (54, 34) sitting in sixth. La Real are away to Barcelona on Monday and are being chased by Real Betis (52, 34) and, as outsiders, Valencia (47, 34).

Real Sociedad also have to play both Valencia and Betis in their final three fixtures — it’s all to play for. Betis host rock-bottom Almería on Sunday.

Europa Conference League (1): This will go to seventh in the league, between Real Sociedad, Real Betis and Valencia, while Villarreal (45, 34) require a miracle from here.

Relegation (3): Almería (17, 34), with two victories all season, have been relegated. Granada (21, 34) are all but down and it will be confirmed if Mallorca win at home to Las Palmas on Saturday lunchtime, or if Granada fail to beat Real Madrid later that day.

That effectively leaves one relegation spot to be decided, with Cádiz (26, 34) having a lot to do to catch Mallorca (32, 34).

Bundesliga – two rounds to go

Title: Bayer Leverkusen (84, 32) are still unbeaten and have already secured the first championship in their history.

Stream all Bundesliga games live on ESPN+ (US only)

Champions League (5): The Bundesliga has sealed an extra place through the European Performance Spot, which sends the team in fifth to the UCL too.

We already know who will fill the top five positions. Joining Leverkusen will be Bayern Munich (69, 32), VfB Stuttgart (70,33), RB Leipzig (63, 32) and Borussia Dortmund (60, 32).

Dortmund are through to the UCL final: if they win it and finish fifth then sixth in the Bundesliga will also be in the UCL. Eintracht Frankfurt (45, 32) are in a healthy position to benefit with a four-point cushion and two games to go.

Europa League (2): There are a few complicating factors to the UEL places, which right now go to sixth in the league and the winners of the DFB Pokal.

The final of the DFB Pokal on May 25 (stream live on ESPN+, U.S. only) sees Leverkusen take on Kaiserslautern who, incredibly, could win the cup and be relegated to the third division, as they sit four points above the 2. Bundesliga relegation zone. If Kaiserslautern pull off an almighty shock and do what no other team has done all season (beat Leverkusen), the league slots will be unaltered: sixth into the UEL and seventh into the UECL. If Leverkusen win the final, sixth and seventh will get a place in the UEL.

But right now only sixth place is certain of a UEL place. That’s held by Frankfurt, who are chased by SC Freiburg (41, 32) and TSG Hoffenheim (40, 32). If seventh gets a UEL spot, then you have to factor in ninth-placed FC Augsburg (39, 33), plus Heidenheim (38, 32), Werder Bremen (38, 32) and even VfL Wolfsburg (37, 32), though they are away to Bayern on Sunday, in 12th could yet make a late run for seventh.

This weekend, Freiburg host Heidenheim in a battle for Europe.

If Dortmund win the UCL and finish fifth, Germany would surrender the place in the UEL earned by Dortmund in the league. So, Dortmund would qualify as UCL titleholders in fifth, with sixth getting the European Performance position. The only way seventh can get a UEL place is if Leverkusen win the cup.

Europa Conference League (1): At present, Freiburg hold the UECL place in seventh, but depending on the cup winners it could be eighth that takes it — and the same teams are fighting it out to finish in a European place,

Relegation (2+1): Two teams are relegated, and third-bottom takes on third place in the 2. Bundesliga in a playoff for the right to play in the top flight.

The relegation of SV Darmstadt 98 (17, 32) has been confirmed.

FC Cologne (24, 32) are second-bottom and must now win their final two games to have any chance of getting out of it, though realistically the very best they can hope for is the relegation playoff — and even that’s a stretch with a five-point gap and two games remaining. Cologne host Union Berlin on Saturday.

That seems to leave four clubs trying to avoid the playoff place: Mainz (29, 32) are in it right now and host Dortmund on Saturday, then it’s Union Berlin (30, 32), VfL Bochum (33, 32), who are at home to Leverkusen on Sunday, and Borussia Monchengladbach (33, 32).

Serie A – three rounds to go

Title: Internazionale (92, 36) wrapped up the Scudetto last month as runaway champions.

Champions League (5): Like Germany, Italy has secured an extra place in next year’s competition through its clubs’ performance in Europe this season, meaning at least five clubs will qualify.

Inter will definitely be joined by AC Milan (71, 35), while Juventus (66, 35) and Bologna (64, 35), third and fourth respectively, are well placed with a six-point gap to sixth.

So it looks like there’s one place up for grabs, which is held by Atalanta (60, 34) in fifth and they have a game in hand so are in a strong position. That game in hand is against Fiorentina and both teams are in European finals. It means the only possible date to play the game is Sunday, June 2 — a week after the final round of Serie A games is played.

Atalanta and Fiorentina will therefore go into the “extra” game in full knowledge of the final position a result will earn.

AS Roma (60, 35) cannot be ruled out but will have to win at Atalanta on Sunday. Lazio (56, 35) in seventh are an outside bet.

It’s likely these three clubs are battling out for the extra UCL slot though Lazio are rank outsiders.

If Atalanta win the UEL this season (they face Leverkusen in the final on May 22) and finish outside the top four then Italy will have six clubs in the UCL — the top four, the UEL titleholders and the European Performance Spot. So, finishing in sixth might yet be enough for UCL football.

Europa League (2): Atalanta face Juventus in the final of the Coppa Italia, which means it’s almost certain that sixth and seventh will qualify for the UEL (subject to Atalanta winning the UEL).

Roma, Atalanta and Lazio are the main contenders, but there’s still hope for eighth-placed Napoli (51, 35) and especially Fiorentina (50, 34) with that game in hand.

If Atalanta win the UEL to qualify for the UCL and finish sixth or seventh, Italy will surrender that place in the UEL for the league.

Europa Conference League (1): Eighth place will almost certainly enter the UECL, which is currently held by Napoli but could be filled by Atalanta, Lazio, Napoli or Torino (47, 35)

If Atalanta win the UEL to qualify for the UCL and finish eighth, Italy will surrender its place in the UECL.

If Fiorentina win the UECL to qualify for the UEL and finish eighth, Italy will surrender its place in the UECL.

Relegation (3): Salernitana (15, 35) are relegated.

Sassuolo (29, 35) in second-bottom are back into contention. Udinese (30, 35) are third bottom, with Empoli (32, 35), Frosinone (32, 36), Cagliari (33, 35) and Hellas Verona (34, 35) just above the drop zone.

Cagliari are at AC Milan on Saturday.

Ligue 1 – two rounds to go

Title: Paris Saint-Germain (70, 31) have already secured the title.

Champions League (3+1): France gets three automatic places, with fourth place entering the UCL in the third qualifying round. PSG have already booked one place.

There’s a fierce battle for the two other guaranteed places but AS Monaco (61, 32) have almost claimed one of the and will make sure of it with just a point from their final two matches — they are away at Montpellier on Sunday.

Brest (58, 33), Lille (55, 32) and Nice (54, 32) are battling it out for third — though Nice’s game in hand is at home to PSG.

Europa League (2): Nice sit in fifth, a UEL place, are well placed to take one if they don’t make the top four.

In sixth (as it stands a UECL place) and hoping to catch Nice are Lens (49, 32), though they have played a game more.

PSG take on Lyon in the final of the Coupe de France on May 25, and a victory for Les Parisiens will send sixth place into the UEL too.

Lyon (47, 32) are hard pressed to make up four points on Nice at this stage but are in contention to catch Lens in sixth if PSG do win the cup.

Europa Conference League (1): Much will depend on who wins the Coupe de France. If it’s Lyon then sixth may still be the UECL place — but that will depend upon where Lyon finish in the table.

If PSG win the cup, or Lyon do so and finish sixth, then seventh gets the UECL place. Lens, Lyon, Stade Rennais in eighth (45, 32) and Marseille in ninth (44, 31) could all finish in seventh and be waiting on the cup final.

Relegation (2+1): Two teams are relegated, with third-bottom facing a playoff with a team from the second division to remain in Ligue 1.

Clermont Foot (25, 32) are bottom and can only make the relegation playoff at best. They will be relegated if they lose at home to Lyon on Sunday.

The second automatic relegation place is between Lorient (26, 32) and Metz (29, 32).

Le Havre AC (32, 33) and Nantes (33, 32) could still be overtaken by Metz and dumped into the relegation playoff.


Source link

Leave a Comment