A look at the top-four race and relegation battle in Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A
Just a few more rounds of matches are left to be played in Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A. Here's a look at the top four and relegation situation in all the three leagues.
Remember all the hullabaloo when European football leagues were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic? It was indeed a right decision then but there was a grave uncertainty whether the leagues would be able to complete the season. After 100 odd days, the big leagues restarted with one – Bundesliga – finishing the remaining matches while three other top leagues are on the verge of completing all the games.
Just a few more rounds of matches are left to be played in Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A. While the Premier League has found its champions in Liverpool, the race is on in the other two leagues, each having their own clear favourites. Apart from the title race, Champions League, Europa League spots are also on the line while clubs are also fighting to avoid relegation.
Here's a look at the top four and relegation situation in all the three big leagues:
Liverpool, the current Premier League champions and Manchester City, ranked second on the table with 72 points have secured their Champions League spots. There will be no changes to their respective positions till the end of the season. On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport had overturned Manchester City's two-year ban, so they are free to play in next season's Champions League.
With three more matches to play, the battle for the remaining two Champions League spots is getting more interesting.
Chelsea are currently sitting at third with 60 points, followed by Leicester City and Manchester United – both on 59 points but the Foxes are ahead on goal difference. It could've been a completely different table if either of the three teams had won their respective matches in this gameweek. Impressive Wolves (55 points) and gritty Sheffield United (54 points) occupy sixth and seventh spots and are also in running (looks very tough though) for Champions League football next season.
All the five clubs have really tricky final three fixtures so it's safe to say that no club can be considered as a favourite. The inconsistent Chelsea next face Norwich but their last two matches are against Liverpool and Wolves. Manchester United, who are much better in terms of form, will face Crystal Palace and West Ham United but their final match is against Leicester City. Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers' side have been woeful in their performance since restart, winning just one match. They have the toughest of fixtures, with games against Sheffield, Tottenham and Manchester United.
Wolves can aim for Champions League football by winning the Europa League this season. Nuno Espirito Santo's team is a solid, well trained unit and therefore, if they go on to clinch then Europa trophy, then it shouldn't come as a surprise.
Tottenham and Arsenal's hopes of Champions League football are done but they can feature in Europa League next season.
In the relegation zone, Norwich are at the bottom and done but Aston Villa (19th, 30 points), Bournemouth (18th, 31 points) can still avoid the drop. Watford (17th, 34 points), West Ham United (16th, 34 points) and Brighton (15th, 36 points) are also in danger of going down.
Unlike the scenario in Premier League, LaLiga's top four has been finalised. Real Madrid (83 points), Barcelona (79 points), Atletico Madrid (66 points) and Sevilla (66 points) have sealed Champions League positions. Villarreal's 2-1 defeat against Real Sociedad on Monday dashed their top four hopes. They are now fifth in the standings with two games left on 57 points after 36 matches.
Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid just need one more win to clinch the title. Since the restart of the league, Real Madrid have not dropped points at all, winning nine consecutive matches at a stretch. It will be a hard loss for Lionel Messi and Barcelona, who were on top when the league resumed.
Getafe (54 points) occupy the sixth spot in the league standings, but they can aim for Champions League football if they go on to win Europa League trophy later this season. Real Sociedad (54 points) and Athletic Bilbao (51 points) are also in race for Europa League football.
In the relegation fight, Espanyol's fate has been sealed. They currently occupy the last spot with just 24 points from 36 league games. Mallorca (19th, 32 points), Leganes (18th, 32 points), Alaves (17th, 36 points) and Celta Vigo (16th, 36 points) have to find important wins in their final two matches.
All the teams in the Serie A have to play six more matches, so there's plenty to look forward to in this league. Juventus are favourites to clinch the title for the ninth consecutive time as they currently sit on top with 76 points. The other three Champions League spots are occupied by Inter Milan (2nd, 68 points), Lazio (3rd, 68 points) and Atalanta (4th, 67 points). The order might change but all four teams will more or less finish in the top four. The gap between the fourth and fifth is a whopping 13 points.
Napoli (6th, 52 points) have already qualified for the Europa League next season after winning the Coppa Italia trophy. Roma (5th, 54 points) and AC Milan (7th, 50 points) will look to seal the other two spots available for Europa League.
SPAL's (20th, 19 points) form has been awful and it looks like they will play in Serie B next season while Brescia (19th, 21 points) are also running out of matches to ensure their safety. Lecce (18th, 29 points), Genoa (17th, 30 points) and Torino (16th, 34 points) also face tough battles to stay in Serie A.
In repeat of 2019, there could be all-English finals in Champions League and Europa League competitions.
The trio risks being banned from the Champions League as UEFA pursues a disciplinary process against them for not disavowing the Super League and being reintegrated into the existing system.
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