Football, News, Sport

Europe’s Top Five Leagues: TITLE RACE


We’re past the midway point in the season for the top five leagues in Europe and while the title is almost in the bag in France and Italy, the race is just intensifying everywhere else.

While it’s highly unlikely that PSG will blow a ten point lead at the top of Ligue 1(with two matches outstanding!) or that unbeaten Juventus will throw away a nine point lead over Napoli; the real question is, can the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Barcelona hold on to their lead to clinch the title at the end of the season?? Roll with us…

Ligue 1

Team GP GD Pts

Paris SG 21 +54 56

Lille OSC 23 +18 46

Lyon 23 +12 43

Let’s all take a moment to laugh first. Ha ha.

Ever wonder why they call this league the farmer’s league?? Well, this is it. We might as well just give PSG the league trophy now and let them focus on the UEFA Champions League for the rest of the season. FiveThirtyEight’s forecasting model says PSG have a better than 99 percent chance of winning their league.

Serie A

Team GP GD Pts

Juventus 22 +31 60

Napoli 22 +24 51

Inter Milan 22 +15 40

That’s what it looks like at the top of the Serie A with Juventus the only team unbeaten in Europe’s top five leagues. Since it’s highly unlikely that Juve would drop 10 points, or even that Napoli could pick them up if said points were dropped, FiveThirtyEight estimates a 92 percent likelihood Juve wins the title again.

Bundesliga

Team GP GD Pts

Borussia Dortmund 20 +31 49

Bayern Munich 20 +23 42

Mönchengladbach 20 +21 42

RB Leipzig 20 +20 37

Bayern Munich’s season hasn’t quite gone according to plan for new coach Niko Kovac, although they have now climbed back to within six points of league leaders Borussia Dortmund.

The big matchup between the two clubs is April 6 at Bayern’s Allianz Arena, and Bayern has won two of three matches between the pair this season.

The pressure on BVB will be immense as the season moves toward May, and it remains to be seen whether they can hold onto their lead to lift the Meisterschale (Bundesliga trophy) at the end of the season. Incredibly, FiveThirtyEight has Bayern with a 65 percent chance to win the league.

La Liga

Team GP GD Pts

Barcelona 22 +37 50

Atlético Madrid 22 +18 44

Real Madrid 22 +11 42

Sevilla 22 +13 36

This one is really tricky. It looks like Barcelona has everything in hand, and although they are unlikely to let go of their six point lead at the top, really, though, the title could be sorted in a one-week stretch in late February and early March. After a Champions League first leg at Lyon, Barca goes to Sevilla and Real Madrid on back-to-back league weekends. If they win both, then they can call it a season. It’s 86 percent for Barcelona, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Premier League

Team GP GD Pts

Liverpool 25 +41 62

Manchester City 25 +46 59

Tottenham Hotspur 25 +27 57

Chelsea 25 +22 50

Manchester United 25 +14 48

Arsenal 25 +15 47

Yes, we saved the best for last (sorry Bayern and BVB).

Pep Guardiola declaring yesterday that Man United and Chelsea are still in the race and the title could go to anyone blew the entire race wide open. Although, it’s not very realistic that either of Chelsea, United or Arsenal could overcome a 12+ points deficit ( or that Liverpool would drop that many points), the top three of Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham are still very much in the race.

February and the early part of March will be quite tricky with many big games coming up and the results of those games could very well determine who comes out on top. Barring a prolonged injury issue — Liverpool losing a hold of their first PL title would be an even worse choke than Steven Gerard’s slip in 2014. FiveThirtyEight estimates the chances of a Reds trophy at 73 percent.

One thing is for sure though, nobody is letting up and we might get to see a repeat of 2011 where the last game of the season decided the trophy winners. However it goes, football fans all over the world are on the edge of their seats watching and waiting.

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