The end of the football season is rapidly approaching, which can only mean one thing. Divisions and competitions all over Europe are entering their climax, with everything still to play for in four of the five main leagues across the continent.
After the latest round of fixtures, here are the latest updates surrounding the title-chasers, European contenders and relegation-threatened teams from Italy, Spain, Germany and France.
We shall begin in Italy, the only nation in this list where the champions have already been crowned. Second-placed Atalanta were held to a 1-1 draw against Sassuolo on Sunday, meaning Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan now have an unassailable lead at the top of the table. They sit 13 points clear with just 12 left to play for so have been confirmed as champions, ending Juventus’ run of nine consecutive Scudetto wins.
Elsewhere, the race for finishing in the top four is far from over. Atalanta, Juventus and AC Milan, who occupy 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively, all sit on 69 points with Napoli and Lazio below them on 67 and 64 points. Both of those teams will hope to apply pressure on the teams above them and strive for a Champions League place.
At the bottom, a relegation dogfight is in full swing. With just one space left in the bottom three, six teams are all in danger of dropping into Serie B. Benevento are currently 18th and have won just two of their last 20 games, however, they are a single point behind Cagliari in 17th, and three behind Spezia and Torino in 16th and 15th respectively.
Our next trip is to Spain, where currently one of the most enthralling title races in recent years is gripping La Liga. The top four teams are separated by just six points, with some huge fixtures in the last four games of the season that could prove pivotal at the end of the season.
Atletico Madrid currently lead the way on 76 points with Real Madrid and Barcelona below them, both tied on 74 points. Sevilla are in fourth with the faintest chance of snatching the title, sitting on 70 points.
The coming weekend will see the top four all play against each other, in a monumental weekend in the title race. Atletico welcome Barcelona to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and Real Madrid host Sevilla. Whoever comes out on top this weekend could prove decisive in how the final league table will shape up.
With no relegations confirmed as of yet in the Spanish top-flight, the fate of plenty of the lower sides is still unknown. Currently, Eibar are at the foot of the table sitting five points adrift of safety, with Elche and SD Huesca above them on 30 points. Real Valladolid and Deportivo Alaves occupy the two spaces outside the bottom three both on 31 points, with 15th-placed Getafe and 14th placed Valencia by no means safe on 34 and 36 points respectively. The final four games of the season are crucial at both ends of the table with champions still to be crowned, and three teams set to drop into the Segunda Division.
This year’s Bundesliga has been slightly less predictable than recent seasons, with several teams under-performing and playing at a level much lower than was previously thought.
Most noticeably, Schalke, who have become an esteemed outfit on the European stage in recent years, have had a dreadful campaign and sit rock bottom of the Bundesliga, just the seventeen points from safety. Their relegation was confirmed two weeks ago, with supporters responding angrily.
Borussia Dortmund are another side that have been underwhelming in the division. At one stage it looked unlikely that they’d finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League, despite owning some of the hottest young talents in Europe. The futures of Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham and Erling Haaland will undoubtedly be questioned if they fail to finish in the top-four, but Dortmund have recovered from their rut and are now fifth, just a point behind Frankfurt in fourth.
It’s become almost a tradition for Bayern Munich to run away with the title, and this season is no different. They are on the brink of yet another league crown and currently hold a seven-point lead over second-placed RB Leipzig, with nine left to play for from the last three games.
Aside from Schalke, the other relegation spot is yet to be decided. Hertha Berlin, FC Koln, Arminia Bielefeld and Werder Bremen are the four sides in most danger of filling it, with the final games of the season monumental for each of them.
Like Spain, Ligue 1 is enjoying a close title race as well, which has come largely to the surprise of football fans across the globe. Financial superpower Paris Saint-Germain have developed a reputation of buying players for incredibly inflated prices, in a bid to try and compete more on the European stage.
But this season, it is LOSC Lille that lead the way with three games remaining. They hold a one-point advantage of PSG, as they look to win their first Ligue 1 title since 2011. AS Monaco occupy third place and their narrow 3-2 defeat at home to Lyon meant they were unable to keep pace with the top two, dashing their hopes of finishing the season on top.
At the bottom, Dijon’s relegation has been confirmed with Nimes perilously close to joining them in Ligue 2 next season. They are six points from safety with just nine available, so a defeat in their next game will confirm their fate. 18th-placed Nantes are four points behind 17th-placed Lorient, who share the same points as Strasbourg above them. The only side that looks capable of surviving is Nantes, however, they will need to provide a great escape if they are to secure their status in the French top-flight.