As we start to get close to the tail-end of all the major European leagues, we here at the Center Circle feel that it is time to prep you and give you a rundown on what the final months will hold. Considering that we are all insanely busy people, knowing which leagues are already over or which teams are still battling for European competition would help us decide which matches merit our time and which matches/leagues are worth only checking an occasional table update. For us at The Center Circle, we tend to focus on the four major European leagues (Bundesliga, EPL, La Liga, and Serie A) with an occasional look towards the growing power of France…so, let’s go around Europe and see what is happening at the top of their leagues!
With Serie A, we see another team walking away with the title. Juventus will win this season handily and will probably be able to spend the last few weeks fielding any combination of players in order to prep for the summer. The only issue with this will be that continued Serie A success will put more pressure on Juventus to succeed in the Champions League. Despite only being allocated three CL spots, the Italian success in Europe’s premier competition leaves you wondering if three might be too many. Because of only having those three allocation, the only true thing left to be decided at the top of Serie A will be whether Roma or Napoli finishes second. While there would be a lot of intrigue as the 4th through 8th spots are only a few points off each other, the only prize these teams are battling for will be Europa League football. However, this AC Milan train wreck has me unable to look away and completely amazed at how quickly and how far the mighty have fallen.
For the Premier League, a Manchester City stumble against lowly Wigan does not bode well for them taking all of their points in their “games-in-hand” situation. If the Citizens do not put the pressure back on Chelsea, the London Blues seem the most likely to march on to the title. If a team is capable of winning a title without a fully functioning striker, I shudder to think of what they would be capable of with a strong striker leading the front line (i.e. Falcao). While City and Chelsea feel the most likely to go one-two, the truly interesting stuff is happening just below. While Liverpool seem very likely to somehow pull of a minor miracle and stay in the top four, Arsenal need to quickly turn their fortunes around before they have to start worrying about being pipped by a club currently outside the top-four. Considering the most likely candidate is massive Arsenal rival Tottenham (who are having their own struggles right now), it would be a massive story if this is what it all comes down to. Like in Serie A, the rest of the teams seem bound for Europa league…but the issues facing Manchester United are worth tuning in for those issues alone…
Europe always tends to provide the perfect dose of fantastic football to help me through the weekend, but it feels odd how the leagues have separated themselves at this point. Considering how massive the top four battle in the EPL was last season, perhaps it spoiled us to the set-up for this season’s curtain call. Do you foresee any massive changes in the European leagues as they come to a close? For us, we see the biggest story as some of the old guard falling off the top of the heap…Milan, United, and Barcelona (to a much lesser extent) are all way off of the teams that we knew around the change of the decade. Which one seems to most likely to bounce back? Or, have they each experienced irreparable damage?
Check out Part 1 on the Bundesliga and La Liga.