The most popular soccer leagues in Europe have frequently failed to deliver the much-desired drama over the past several years. The likes of Juventus, Bayern Munich, PSG, Barcelona/Real Madrid, and Liverpool/Manchester City have been way too dominant in their respective countries. No other team has lately managed to challenge the mentioned heavyweights in the battle for domestic supremacy.
Nevertheless, the 2020/21 season may finally bring us the highly-anticipated drama flavour in at least three of these five leagues. Bayern Munich and PSG will likely cruise past all rivals towards their new trophies in Bundesliga and Ligue 1 respectively, but Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A could be much more exciting than we think.
The start to the new season has brought some surprising results across the continent. The subpar performances from some of the aforementioned giants, combined with a sudden growth of some other outfits, have affected a somewhat surprising (not to say shocking) look at the standings after 10 gameweeks in these leagues. With the help of the experts at BettingTips4You.com let’s see where we stand after 7-10 weeks of football in the elite European leagues.
La Liga – Real Madrid and Barcelona outside the top three
Both Los Blancos and Blaugrana got off to poor starts to the new campaign. Barcelona only won three of the opening seven La Liga fixtures. Ronald Koeman tends to mix up his starting line-up so much and it’s nowhere near bringing the wanted results. Lionel Messi seems to have lost the will to compete after an unsuccessful transfer attempt during the summer. Antoine Griezmann is still miles away from his best shape, while Ansu Fati, the only man (or should we say boy) who contributed to the rare Catalans’ successes, suffered an injury that will keep him away for at least several months.
We all remember Los Galacticos. The current Real Madrid squad is a textbook example of an antonym for the star-studded lineup. The team’s key player is Karim Benzema. Do not get us wrong, but when you had the likes of Ronaldo (the Brazilian one), Kaka, Zidane (in the role of a player), Raul, Cristiano Ronaldo, and now you have Benzema as the main star, something must be wrong. Madrid are four points shy of the table-toppers and have a game in hand on them. Not a catastrophic start, but we don’t quite see them as clear favourites for the title either.
In such circumstances, the likes of Real Sociedad, Villarreal, and Atletico Madrid occupy the top three spots in the league ladder. The Basques, who have the competition’s top scorer (Mikel Oyarzabal – 6 goals) in their ranks, are at sky-high 25/1 to win the league. Atletico Madrid (3/12 favourites) can also well benefit from the mentioned situation in Barcelona and Real Madrid, especially now when their strong attacking line has been additionally boosted up with the arrival of Luis Suarez.
Serie A – Juve struggling under Pirlo
Milan sit atop the Serie A ladder after seven rounds. Can you believe it? Rossoneri have been nowhere near the top of the standings in the last several years, but they are topping the charts at the moment. An amazing Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is by far the main catalyst to their success. The veteran forward (39-year-old!!!) has bagged eight goals in seven outings and is the competition’s top scorer.
Napoli and Roma are three points shy of Milan apiece, while the reigning champions Juventus are four behind. Bianconeri missed their star man Cristiano Ronaldo in a couple of fixtures at the start of the season, but that is little of a justification for Andrea Pirlo whose squad won no more than three of seven matches thus far. Inter and Atalanta are also within a one-point reach of Juventus. Bianconeri will have to step up significantly if they are to avoid further struggles going forward.
Premier League – A wide-open race
English Premier League will probably bring the biggest drama in the months to come. Both Liverpool and Manchester City, who have represented the dominant force in the past couple of seasons, are struggling to perform at the start of the new campaign. Both sides, especially Liverpool, are crippled with injuries. It will be very interesting to see if Jurgen Klopp’s attacking line will be able to compensate for the team’s defensive woes (16 goals conceded in 8 matches).
Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur hold the top two positions in such circumstances. Chelsea have significantly strengthened their squad with the arrivals of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, and Edouard Mendy. We see Frank Lampard’s men as genuine candidates for the crown.
Bundesliga and Ligue 1 – Still all about Bayern Munich and PSG
Unfortunately, we won’t see any drama in these two leagues. Despite some unexpected slip-ups inside the opening seven/ten rounds, neither Bayern Munich nor PSG seem to have genuine competition in their respective leagues. Les Parisiens are already five points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 standings after ten rounds, while the Bavarians took the leading spot in the German top-flight after a 2-3 win over biggest rivals Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker.