European recap: How the top football leagues are shaping up ahead of the season run-in
With the first signs of spring beginning to blossom, it can only mean that the football season is approaching its final throes. For those analysing online sports betting, it’s an exciting time as things can change in the blink of an eye as teams come under pressure to maintain their title challenge, or conversely, avoid slipping into the dreaded relegation zone.
The excitement of both the title race and relegation scrap in the Premier League has been widely documented, but what about Europe’s other top divisions? Here, we’ve had a look at how things are shaping up across the continent’s biggest leagues.
Starting with the Spanish top flight, it’s looking increasingly likely that Real Madrid will be celebrating the return of the La Liga title to the Santiago Bernabéu, after their city rivals Atlético Madrid won it last season. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have a comfortable lead at the top, with their closest challengers Sevilla some 10 points behind.
At the other end of the table, it’s not looking good for Levante, Alavéz and Cádiz, who currently make up the bottom three. However, Getafe, Granada and Mallorca will be looking nervously over their shoulders.
The Italian top division looks set for a thrilling title race, with AC Milan, Inter Milan, Napoli and Juventus all battling it out at the top. At the time of writing, it’s AC who hold the aces with a three-point gap between them and second-place Napoli, but with plenty of matches still to play, it’s anyone’s to win.
Salernitana have endured a difficult return to Serie A and are currently propping up the division, with Genoa also looking likely for the drop. Venezia occupy 18th position, but there’s every chance they could still catch Cagliari and Sampdoria ahead of them.
The Bundesliga ‘title race’ is exactly as you’d expect — Bayern Munich hold a strong lead at the summit of the table and even the best betting tips won’t go against them. They are seven points clear of second-place Borussia Dortmund at the time of writing, although the challengers do hold a game in hand over Bayern. If they could win that, then the German champions might begin to feel the pinch.
Meanwhile, Greuther Fürth are well and truly cut adrift at the foot of the table, with Hertha Berlin, Stuttgart, Arminia and Augsburg battling it out to avoid slipping into the second-tier next season.
As for the French top tier, Paris Saint-Germain are well on track to restore their pride and regain the Ligue 1 title, having been pipped by Lille last season. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are a massive 15 points clear of second-place Marseille, and it will take a miracle for the Parisians not to walk away with the league title.
The relegation scrap is significantly more interesting and competitive, with seven teams still in danger of sliding into Ligue 2. At the time of writing, Saint-Étienne, Metz and Bordeaux make up the bottom three, but that could all change by the end of the season.