We are entering the business end of the European football season and several of the world’s top leagues have a clear frontrunner, but others look set to go right down to the wire. Here we run through each of the top leagues and offer predictions on who will seize glory:
This looks like one of the most keenly fought league’s after Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the weekend. The result left Luis Enrique’s men just one point below Real Madrid, although Real have a game in hand. Real Madrid were stunned by Valencia when lost 2-1 and looked tired after their Champions League exploits, but bounced back to win 3-2 away at Villarreal and hold the position they have occupied at the summit of the table all season. Bookmakers have Real Madrid as the favourites. Betting activity on outright league winners ramps up at this time of year and sportsbooks like betdsi have odds review them before making a decision as that can give you an indication of what the experts think. Betdsi has Real Madrid as overhwleming favourites to win their next game against Granada, and then to beat Eibar away, and they should still be top by mid-March. They are 1/2 favourites with the bookmakers to win La Liga, with Barcelona out at 15/8, and Real should be good for it thanks to their defensive solidity and ability on the counter-attack. But at 15/8 champions Barcelona look an intriguing option and might just sneak it if, as expected, they are dumped out of the UCL and Real go through to the quarters.
Chelsea have run away with this one and are a remarkable 13 points clear at the top, with just 12 games to play. They are just 1/7 to win it, and that looks like money in the bank, although the odds are so low it may not be worth bothering with. It is more interesting to predict who will finish second. Man City are 11/8 favourites but they may be distracted by Europe and have question marks over their goalkeeper and defence. Tottenham look a great option at 3/1 as they are solid defensively and consistent, although they are poor on the road. If Arsenal can sort out their defensive problems, they may get another second place finish. They did it last year and always seem to kick on when the pressure is off and winning the title is impossible, so the 17/2 on them looks good.
Juventus are running away with this one too and are just 1/12, so guessing second place becomes more fun. Napoli have had a resurgence but a 2-0 defeat last time out at Atalanta does not inspire much confidence. Roma have looked the second best team all season as they are great going forwards, and have tightened up considerably at the back, so they look the best option.
Bayern Munich have wobbled a bit, and young upstarts RB Leipzig have been hot on their heels all season, but ultimately Bayern Munich should join Chelsea and Juventus in storming to an easy victory this season in the league. The five-point cushion isn’t huge, but the 1/25 the bookmakers are offering on them shows how confident they are in the ability of Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Borussia Dortmund are drawing far too many games and dropping points all over the place, so the 5/11 on RB Leipzig to finish second looks good.
We have a ferocious battle in Ligue 1, where Monaco are three points ahead of perennial champions PSG with 11 games to go. PSG are on fire at present though, buoyed by that phenomenal 4-0 victory against Barcelona in the Champions League, and are soaring domestically. They have cut Monaco’s lead in recent weeks and should be able to overhaul them between now and the end of the season, as they have the experience and the strength in depth, while Monaco’s defensive frailties were exposed by their 5-3 defeat against Man City. PSG are 5/6 and that looks great.