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The Superbru Herald - Superbru News

The run-in: How are the title races looking in Europe's top 5 leagues?

Once the March international break that we are currently in comes to an end in a few days, it's officially the beginning of the end of the European club seasons which means we are set for the 'run-in' where clubs throw everything they have at the most important stage of the campaign.

Though the final stages of the Champions League and Europa League will provide some of the highest quality, most significant matches, the focus of this piece is how things are looking in each of the 'top 5' domestic leagues in Europe - the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

When making your Superbru predictions for the remainder of the season, league table context is everything as clubs battle it out for either the title, European places or survival. Keep in mind that 'upsets' from lower table sides become much more likely in these closing weeks, especially when up against mid-table teams with less to play for.

Here's a brief run-through of the current situation in each league as enter the final stretch. Let us know in the comments how you think things will play out!

Premier League

Let's start with the Premier League, not just because it's the most popular tournament on Superbru Football, but because it's set for the most exciting title race by far. Just a single point separates Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, and Arsenal travel to face City this Sunday. Premier League Top 7 [Mon 25 March]

Though Arsenal currently lead the way, their remaining away fixtures (starting with the toughest of all this weekend) arguably make them underdogs in what is set to be quite a scrap for the title. City remain narrow favourites in the eyes of most as they look to become the first ever Premier League team to win four in a row, but don't underestimate the power of 'narrative' as Jurgen Klopp looks to walk away from Liverpool with the Reds at the top of the tree.

Behind those three, you'll notice the battle for European football is also set to be exciting. As things stand, due to the expansion and change in format of next season's UEFA competitions (we'll do a detailed article on that nearer the time), there's a very high chance that five Premier League teams will qualify for next season's Champions League rather than the usual four. With Europa League and UEFA Conference League qualification places then dropping down a place too, lots of teams remain in the hunt for European football.

At the bottom of the Premier League table, there's a fairly unusual and frustrating situation for fans this season as the relegation battle could yet be decided off the field rather than on it.

Premier League Bottom 7 [Mon 25 March]

When making your predictions, you have to consider not only the current standings but also the potential standings based on further points deductions that could yet be handed out to clubs that have breached Profit and Sustainability rules. So far in this campaign, Everton have been docked 6 points and Nottingham Forest have recently been docked 4 points, which is why Forest are currently beneath Luton Town and in the relegation zone.

Everton currently have another potential charge hanging over them, and the process of deciding upon their punishment (and any potential appeal) is not guaranteed to be decided before the final round of the season, meaning the Toffees will want to make sure that they are not just above the relegation zone, but several points above it.

The newly promoted teams remain the most likely to go down, but Luton are currently in the best position to capitalise on the points deductions that have been handed out. Burnley also can't yet be totally written off - the Clarets have picked up 4 points in their last two games and still have fixtures against Sheffield United, Everton and Forest to come.

LaLiga

Real Madrid look well on course for the LaLiga title this season, and Carlo Ancelotti deserves a lot of credit for it currently looking so comfortable when considering the wider context. At the start of the season, it looked a big ask for Real Madrid to topple defending champions Barcelona considering Karim Benzema's departure and the lack of a world class replacement at centre forward, plus the fact that Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao and David Alaba have all been sidelined throughout this entire season so far with injury. LaLiga Top 7 [Mon 25 March]

Instead, we've seen Madrid excel with Jude Bellingham enjoying an incredible debut season playing in an advanced midfield role, often behind Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo who have played as wide split strikers. Barcelona have also had a number of injuries in fairness, but their underwhelming campaign has meant manager Xavi has already announced that he'll be leaving in the summer, while Atletico Madrid have failed to mount a title challenge due to terrible away form.

Surprisingly, it's been Girona that have gone closest to challenging Real Madrid for much of the season, but they too are now falling away having lost four consecutive away league games. Michel's team look more likely to be fighting Atleti and Athletic Club for their place in next season's Champions League than they are to get themselves back towards the top.

Atleti are under real pressure to make the top four now because of that aforementioned poor away form. The Metropolitano continues to be a fortress (except that one recent match against Barca!) but Diego Simeone's team also have the latter stages of the Champions League to focus on while attempting to get back ahead of a very strong Athletic Club team.

At the wrong end of the table, Granada and Almeria are in huge trouble, but there's a massive fixture for Granada on Friday night when they travel to Cadiz. Cadiz also look likely to be relegated, but if they can pick up a win on Friday, it will all but confirm Granada's relegation while going some way to bridging the 5-point gap between themselves and safety.

LaLiga Bottom 7 [Mon 25 March]

Even with a victory on Friday, survival looks like an uphill battle for Cadiz with two very experienced LaLiga clubs - Sevilla and Celta - the teams closest to them.

Serie A

Inter have been absolutely superb this season, and will almost certainly take the Scudetto back from Napoli as a result, but their dominance has resulted in an intriguing mix of teams competing for a top four finish including Bologna who are having a fantastic season with Thiago Motta proving himself to be one of the most promising young managers in the game. Serie A Top 9 [Mon 25 March]

AS Roma are also right back in the mix after seeing their form drastically improve following the decision to hire club legend Daniele De Rossi in place of Jose Mourinho, so holders Napoli find themselves all the way down in 7th. The fact that so many capable teams are grouped around the European places means we have a couple of standout fixtures in every remaining round, such as Napoli vs. Atalanta and Lazio vs. Juventus this weekend.

The relegation battle is set to be equally thrilling, with Salernitana the only club well off the pace. Just 5 points separate 13th and 19th in Italy, meaning it's very tough to call who will be dropping down to Serie B next season.

Serie A Bottom 8 [Mon 25 March]

It's far from impossible that all three newly promoted teams manage to stay in Serie A, as Genoa already look safe in 12th, Cagliari keep pulling out big results when they need to under Claudio Ranieri, and Frosinone are only a point from safety.

Bundesliga

One of the stories of this season continues to be Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen who are *still* unbeaten at the top of the Bundesliga. At the start of the campaign, it was unthinkable that anyone would be able to top Bayern who had just signed Harry Kane to help them aim for a 12th successive league win, but Leverkusen are a whopping 10 points clear with 8 games to go. Dortmund really should have ended Bayern's winning streak last season, but surely Leverkusen will get over the line from here? Bundesliga Top 7 [Mon 25 March]

The top four battle looks like it will consist of only five teams, as RB Leipzig who are currently just a point behind 4th-placed Dortmund are the only realistic challenger to Stuttgart and BVB in those Champions League spots, while Eintracht Frankfurt look well placed to hang on to 6th.

The relegation fight in Germany is also looking free of much drama as things stand in comparison to these other leagues, with Koln and Mainz currently a little way off dragging anyone else in to the battle that they are set to share for 16th place which results in a relegation playoff rather than straight relegation like 17th and 18th.

Bundesliga Bottom 5 [Mon 25 March]

Ligue 1

Finally, you won't be surprised to hear that PSG are on track for the title in France, but you might be surprised to see that Brest are in 2nd behind them. A bit like Girona in Spain and Bologna in Italy, Brest's shock emergence towards the top of the table means the battle for Champions League places has considerable added jeopardy, with Lens, Marseille and Rennes all currently outside of the top five let alone the top four. Ligue 1 Top 9 [Mon 25 March]

Lyon have recovered from a truly terrible start to the season where it looked like they might be in genuine danger of relegation but it would still be a big ask for them to get anywhere close to the top six. The way the table is, they happen to be the one team not on either screenshot as they currently sit 10th on 34 points so away from both European contention and relegation danger!

At the bottom, Clermont's recent win over Le Havre means things are pretty open and we seem nicely placed for some chaos in the final weeks. As in Germany, 16th results in a relegation playoff, and everybody from 11th downwards on the Ligue 1 ladder will feel vulnerable. Le Havre vs. Montpellier on Sunday is a big game.

Ligue 1 Bottom 8 [Mon 25 March]

Each week, we'll be continuing the focus on the season run-in through both articles and the graphics area that is exclusive to the Superbru Football app so make sure you're using that new platform if you aren't already.

Club football returns on Friday. Though not touched upon in this article, the Championship is also set for a thrilling title race with Leeds, Leicester and Ipswich all putting up an incredible number of points as they tussle for automatic promotion to the Premier League, and the Championship will be the first European league to return on Superbru this Friday.

For those of you playing that Predictor tournament, keep in mind that there are two rounds over the Easter weekend, with a full round of matches taking place on both Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Predictor rounds will now be coming thick and fast in whichever football tournaments you are playing, with every single midweek between now and the end of the season consisting of either UEFA or league fixtures in addition to the weekends.
92,981 caps
Some clubs still to make a move........
25 Mar 17:07
47,893 caps
International friendly breaks have come at exactly the wrong time...
25 Mar 19:51
32,647 caps
"Brest's shock emergence towards the top of the table" reminded me of a dinner date I had when Dolly Parton had a 'wardrobe malfunction'. (Sorry Jack but that really was an Open Goal - schoolboy joke-wise!)
26 Mar 02:13
335 caps
Liverpool winning the league
27 Mar 21:14