The football season restarts after the international break – and here’s Cricket Soccer’s predictions on the shake up and shake down of Europe’s Big Five

Premier League

Title race – It has been over for a while now, with Pep Guardiola ready to be crowned a Premier League winner with Manchester City. It’s a matter of when rather than who.

Prediction Manchester City champions

Champions League race  Manchester United are currently safely in second place with Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea looking to grab the remaining two spots. Chelsea play Tottenham this weekend, then Spurs host Man City in two weeks time. Chelsea v Liverpool on the second last day of the season could be vital.

Prediction – Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea

Relegation battle – Crystal Palace are out of trouble for now, West Ham are heading straight into it. Brighton, Newcastle, Swansea and Huddersfield need to be very careful, as Stoke City and Southampton will fight until the very end. Almost impossible for West Bromwich Albion.

Prediction – West Ham, Stoke City, West Brom

La Liga

Title race  There are 11 points separating Barcelona and Atletico Madrid: safe to say that the trophy will return to Catalunya this season after a trip to Madrid last year.

Prediction – Barcelona champions

Champions League race  Valencia, who currently sit in fourth, are 12 points ahead of Villarreal. The Spanish teams in next year’s edition of the Champions League are pretty much set in stone.

Prediction Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia

Relegation battle  Malaga are bottom with just 14 points, Deportivo have 20, Las Palmas 21. And six points separate the latter from Levante. Difficult to see anything changing here, but Levante, Alaves and Real Sociedad need to be careful.

Prediction – Las Palmas, Deportivo, Malaga


Title race – Bayern Munich are champions. We’re just all waiting for it to be official.

Prediction – Bayern Munich

Champions League race – Six teams are within six points of each other and battling it out for the remaining three places for next year’s Champions League. Schalke are inevitably favourites, as they are top of this group with Borussia Dortmund, but RB Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen are all in a huge battle for the final spot.

Prediction – Schalke, Dortmund, Eintracht

Relegation battle  Hamburg and Köln will struggle to stay up, then the fight is on to avoid the play-off. Wolfsburg and Mainz are currently both on 25, Freiburg more safely on 30.

Prediction – Wolfsburg, Köln, Hamburg

Serie A

Title race – Easily the most exciting race in Europe, with just two points separating Juventus from Napoli. The Scudetto is in the hands of either team at the moment: whoever wins them al their gamesl will be crowned champions. Crucial, of course, to see who comes out on top after the clash at the Allianz Stadium on 22 April.

Prediction – Juventus champions

Champions League race  Very difficult to tell who will make the two remaining spots: Roma are now ahead, Inter and Lazio are also battling it out with AC Milan hoping to catch up. A lot of direct clashes to come, including the Milan derby, the Rome derby and Lazio-Inter on 20th May.

Prediction – Napoli, Roma, Lazio

Relegation battle  Benevento are out of the picture – putting miracles aside – but there are seven teams within eight points, from Hellas Verona on 22 to Genoa on 30. Everyone needs to be very careful.

Prediction – Crotone, Hellas Verona, Benevento

Ligue 1

Title race  Paris Saint-Germain 83 points, Monaco 66. The title returns to the Parisians after a season in Monaco.

Prediction – Paris Saint-Germain

Champions League race  Monaco should have already locked down the second spot, but the battle for third is as open as ever after Lyon beat Marseille recently. Two points separate the two Ligue 1 giants to get that last spot for next year’s Champions League.

Prediction – Monaco, Marseille, Lyon

Relegation battle  Metz already seem in Ligue 2, then it is mayhem. Eight teams are crammed within seven points, from Lille in 19th on 28, to Angers, Caen and Guingamp, on 35. The bottom two go straight down, the third last has to go for a two-legged play off with the third from Ligue 2.

Prediction – Strasbourg, Lille, Metz

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