Where Does the Soccer World Stand as of Postponement?

While the sports world has been shocked and currently in question of continuing, we take a look at the top 5 soccer leagues in the world, along with the illustrious Champions League. When it comes to Champions League qualifications and even advancing into the later stages of the tournament, the financial implications are massive for a football club. Every team covets the beautiful Champions League trophy and anything can happen in the wonderful year-long competition. This season we can have underdog teams win the title and even see the largest point differential ever. If/When soccer continues, we have a lot to look forward to. UEFA has officially postponed the Euro 2020 tournament and all summer tournaments; this gives all nations all the time to make up the remaining games.

Premier League (England) — Top 4 qualify for Champions League and 5th place qualifies for Europa League

Premier League football logo

Current Table (Games Played):

  1. Liverpool (29): 82
  2. Manchester City (28): 57
  3. Leicester City (29): 53
  4. Chelsea (29): 48
  5. Manchester United (29): 45
  6. Wolverhampton (29): 43
  7. Sheffield United (28): 43
  8. Tottenham Hotspur (29): 41
  9. Arsenal (28): 40

Arguably the most competitive League in soccer resides in England, but this season Liverpool have run away with the title. Whether the season continues or concludes when the games came to a sudden halt. Liverpool (29 games played) have a 25-point advantage over 2nd place Manchester City (28 games played). 38 games totaling a full season leaves a large enough cushion for the defending Champions League winners. Liverpool just needs one more win to clinch the title and return glory to the legendary club. Manchester City, on the other hand, has a bigger issue on their hands.

The recent Financial Fair Play penalty has the reigning Premier League Champions on the ropes. UEFA has given Manchester City a 2-year Champions League ban and a $30 million fine, although the club has appealed the initial punishments, no final decisions have been made. City is one leg into their matchup with Spanish giants Real Madrid in the current competition, but more on this later. The immediate impact on the Premier League allows the 5th and 6th place teams into Europe’s top competitions.

The Race for European Play:

Currently, Leicester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United are set to make it to the Champions League next season. Sheffield United have been the surprise of the Premier League this season and with a game in hand had the opportunity to jump Manchester United to enter the prolific Champions League, and dropping the Red Devils to the Europa League. The financial gain for a club like Sheffield earning a draw into the League is far more beneficial than a club like United and can set them up for years of success. Based on the 2018-2019 Champions League payout, participating in the tournament will give each club $15.7 million, with the potential to earn more during each of the 6 group stage games.

Wolverhampton, Tottenham, and Arsenal although each have an opportunity to advance, currently are looking at the Europa League tournament as a more likely destination. There are many games left to play, but the uncertainty of if and when these games will be played have left us all wondering whether these teams will be participating in Europe.

La Liga (Spain) — Top 4 qualify for Champions League, 5th place qualifies for Europa League and 6th place Europa League Qualifying

LaLiga logo

  1. Barcelona: 58
  2. Real Madrid: 56
  3. Sevilla: 47
  4. Real Sociedad: 46
  5. Getafe: 46
  6. Athletico Madrid: 45
  7. Valencia: 42

*All teams have played 27 games

This has been a rocky season, to say the least for the two giants in Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid. La Liga is no stranger to a close title race between the bitter rivals, and until the most recent weekend of games, Real Madrid sat at the top of the table, before they dropped points to Real Betis in a 2-1 defeat.

The Race for European Play:

Athletico Madrid have heavily struggled this season and are holding on to their Europa League qualifications by a string but on a positive note they are only 1 point behind a Champions League spot. The final qualifying spots are separated by 4 points and is there for the taking with 11 games left to be decided. The Spanish representatives are in for an interesting home stretch once play resumes.

Bundesliga (Germany) — Top 4 qualify for Champions League, 5th place qualifies for Europa League and 6th place Europa League Qualifying

Bundesliga logo

  1. Bayern Munich: 55
  2. Borussia Dortmund: 51
  3. RB Leipzig: 50
  4. Borussia Monchengladbach: 49
  5. Bayern Leverkusen: 47
  6. Schalke 04: 37
  7. VFL Wolfsburg: 36
  8. SC Freiburg: 36
  9. TSG Hoffenheim: 35

*Top 9 teams have each played 25 games

Defending Champions Bayern Munich struggled early this season, but are now slowly breaking away with another Bundesliga title. Young star and winter transfer, Erling Haaland, has been a massive spark for second place Dortmund and they are hoping he can carry them to the title with 11 matchdays left. Leipzig has its own goal-scoring threat in Timo Werner, second in goals with 21, and are only 1 point behind Dortmund. It is likely Bayern closes out another title this season, but being in unprecedented times leaves anything possible in the exciting three team race.

The Race for European Play:

The race for the final German representative in the Champions League is a two-team race, between Monchengladbach and Leverkusen. Leipzig is not by any means guaranteed to beat out both teams for qualifications, but given their talented roster, they should be a lock to make it into the top 4. The 6th seed and final European tournament spot is as close of a race as you can get with four teams within 2 points. Although this slot will only put the 6th seed to participate in a qualification playoff for the Europa League, it is the first step taken to play on the big stage.

Serie A (Italy) — Top 4 in Champions League, 5th Europa League and 6th Europa League Qualifying

Serie A logo

  1. Juventus (26): 63
  2. Lazio (26): 62
  3. Internazionale (25): 54
  4. Atalanta (25): 48
  5. Roma (26): 45
  6. Napoli (26): 39
  7. AC Milan (26): 36

With Italy being one of the most affected countries in the world by the Covid-19 virus, we hope they can return normalcy along with the rest of the world. Juventus and Lazio have been neck and neck all season. Striker Ciro Immobile from Lazio is leading the charge with a stunning 27 goals in 26 games and 7 assists, fourth in Italy, and teammate Luis Alberto leading the country with 12 assists. Lazio have had a dream season and it would be an underdog story if they could steal the title from the Italian super team Juventus with 12 games in both of their seasons left. Juventus carry star power that would top any league in the world, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, and arguably the best young center-back in the world Matthijs De Ligt. Recently it has been uncommon to see any Italian team even come close to winning the title, with the last winner not named Juventus being AC Milan in 2010-2011.

The Race for European Play:

Both Atalanta and Inter Milan are in the driver’s seat for Champions League play, with a game in hand. Iconic club AC Milan are looking to return to European football and climb back to not only one of Italy’s best teams, but the worlds. In need of a veteran striker to add to their young attack core, they signed their former star striker, the great Zlatan Ibrahimovic this past winter. His first big task is to bring his beloved Milan back to European soccer, with qualifying for the Europa League.

Ligue 1 (France) — Top 2 Champions League, 3rd Qualifying for Champions League, and 4th Europa League

Ligue 1 logo

  1. Paris Saint-Germain (27): 68
  2. Marseille: 56
  3. Stade Rennes: 50
  4. Lille: 49

*Teams 2-4 have played 28 games this season

France has the clearest table in the top 5 leagues at the moment, with PSG running away with the title, and no other team threatening the four teams heading to a European tournament next season. PSG has an 8-point lead and a game in hand on second-place Marseille led by the deadly strike force, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Jr., and Angel Di Maria.

The Race for European Play:

Stade Rennes are holding off Lille for the opportunity to qualify for Champions League play with the lower seed ending up in the Europa League. The two teams are almost identical across the board, with one draw separating them. Both teams have ten games left, and the financial implications are enough reason to make it a great fight until the end.

Possible group of death for Inter in Champions League — FedeNerazzurra

Champions League:

Currently the Round of 16 is in an awkward spot, four matchups have been completed and four second leg games are left to be played. Presently Atalanta advanced on an 8-4 aggregate against Valencia, RB Leipzig 4-0 against Tottenham, PSG 3-2 against Borussia Dortmund, and Athletico Madrid 4-2 against Liverpool.

Liverpool couldn’t have had a worse time to play their worst football of the season. After losing 1-0 in the first leg, Liverpool was able to send the game into extra time on their home soil and even took a 2-1 aggregate lead 4 minutes in. But Athletico Madrid shocked the defending Champions League champions, putting in 3 goals between the 97th and 120th minute, and eliminating their hopes of winning two major titles this season.

PSG took a 2-1 deficit into the second leg and turned it around to a 3-2 aggregate win, playing their home game in an empty stadium.

Atalanta dominated Valencia 4-1 in the first leg and a much more entertaining second leg ended 4-3. Atalanta was on the verge of elimination during the group stage but shocked the Spanish team from the initial kick-off.

RB Leipzig closed out defending finalists Tottenham 3-0 in the second leg at home. Tottenham has struggled massively since the signing of managing legend Jose Mourinho. Leipzig took advantage of the beaten-down English team and continued their great run this season.

After the first leg, Bayern is ahead 3-0 against Chelsea, Napoli and Barcelona are at a deadlock at 1-1, Manchester City shocked Real Madrid with two late goals taking a 2-1 victory, and Lyon upset Italian giants Juventus 1-0. Bayern have all but secured advancement into the next round, and Manchester City broke Real Madrid’s hearts the first leg, and it doesn’t look like they can recover on the road. Barcelona will look to break the tie at home, while Juventus have an uphill battle at Juventus Stadium down 1-0.

Written by Edward Shamirian

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