Titles, Champions League and relegation: State of play as Europe’s top divisions head to season run-in



With the final international break of the campaign over and done with, it’s all systems go from here until season’s end, with trophies and vital points to play for as teams desperately try to land titles, places in Europe for 2022/23 or merely remain in the same division.

Here’s the state of play around the continent as we head into the final two months or so.

The league

Title race: Unless Real Madrid produces one almighty collapse, they should win the league with ease even after defeat in El Clasico. They lead Sevilla by nine points with nine games to play.

Champions League spots: It might now stay ‘as you are’. Barcelona’s resurgence can see them go level on points with Sevilla if they win their game in hand, while reigning champions Atletico Madrid are fourth.

They hold a four-point lead over nearest challengers Real Betis, while Real Sociedad have fallen off the pace. Villarreal are outsiders but should land a Europa spot.

relegation fight: Levante and Alaves look doomed, then it’s one from at least four for the final place going down. Mallorca are currently there and have lost six in a row but only three points separate them from Cadiz, Granada and Getafe. At the weekend it’s Getafe vs. Mallorca; on the final day it’s Alves vs Cadiz. Lots of change around potential here still.

A series

Title race: The best in Europe. AC Milan are three points clear and looking to end an 11-year wait for the championship, with Napoli second and Inter able to join them with a game in hand. Juventus are outsiders but have been in great form and play Inter on Sunday night. Stefano Pioli’s league leaders don’t have anybody left to play higher than sixth in the table.

Champions League spots: The four in the title fight will be the four in Europe’s elite competition unless one suffers a major fall-away in form and Jose Mourinho’s Roma make up a lot of ground. They are eight off the pace as it stands, with eight games to play. Atalanta could also come into play but again, need a near-perfect finish.

relegation fight: Salernitana will go down – they are nine from safety. Venezia and Genoa are in the bottom three right now but Cagliari are only three points above them both. Genoa, ridiculously, are unbeaten in eight – yet only have two wins all season. Yes, they draw a lot. Sampdoria and Spezia are the other sides who could get dragged in. Venice and Cagliari meet on the final day.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Bundesliga

Title race: It looks like 10 in a row for Bayern Munich. Even not at their relentless best they have a six-point lead and with seven games to play, it’s theirs to win again.

Champions League spots: Borussia Dortmund are all but there in second, nine ahead of third-place Bayer Leverkusen despite losing to them in February. Third and fourth is a real fight though: Leverkusen, Leipzig, Freiburg and Hoffenheim are separated by only four points and Freiburg have the league’s second-best defence. The next few gameweeks might sort a lot: it’s Dortmund hosting Leipzig on Saturday evening after Freiburg face Bayern, while next week Leipzig host Hoffenheim before traveling to Leverkusen seven days later. Leverkusen also play Freiburg on the final day.

relegation fight: Greuther Furth are bottom by a mile. 17th is also a relegation spot, then 16th is a play-off place against the third-place side from the 2.Bundesliga. Right now it’s Arminia Bielefeld, Hertha Berlin, Augsburg and Stuttgart, all separated by a point. Almost all still have to face each other.

Ligue 1

Title race: Very funny. PSG are 12 points clear despite losing three of their last five.

Champions League spots: Only one additional place for the French top flight now and at the moment, Marseille have it – but they’re only one point above Rennes with Nice also in the hunt. Second to mid-table has been really close-fought this term but it’s just starting to stretch out; even so, second to eighth is still only nine points with nine to play. Rennes vs. Marseille is on the penultimate weekend of the campaign.

relegation fight: Bordeaux and Metz are quickly looking like being cut adrift and it’s five and four points to almost-safety respectively. 18th is a play-off place and Saint-Etienne are there now, but three other sides – Troyes, Lorient, Clermont – are within two points. Bordeaux-Metz is in just over a week and a must-win for both.


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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