Mike Makaab’s League Previews 2018/2019
With almost one-third of the new football season behind us, it is interesting to look at the current standings in the “big five” leagues in Europe and predict how we think it will finish in each competition:
ENGLAND - Our pre-season prediction of a “straight shootout” between current champions, Manchester City and Liverpool seems to be taking shape, with both teams in scintillating form and heading the standings on 26 points, two ahead of a very competent Chelsea team. I am still adamant that the title will be won by either City or Liverpool. Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and slow-starting Manchester United are likely to fight it out for a place in Europe.
SPAIN - Historically it is either Barcelona or Real Madrid who are fancied to win the La Liga, but our prediction at the beginning of the season was Barcelona to win the title with Atletico Madrid being their main competitor. This season’s league results have been abnormal, with only 3 points separating the top 5 teams, Barca leading the table on 21 and Espanyol in 5th on 18. Atletico are nicely poised on 19 points, but Real Madrid are languishing in 9th place, and have fired their coach after this past weekend’s 5-1 defeat in the El Clasico. I’m confident that Barca will win the title and still fancy Atletico as the likely runner-up.
GERMANY - Multiple Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich are not having it all their own way this season, and find themselves 2 points adrift, in 2nd place, behind Borussia Dortmund. I remain with my original picks – Bayern to win and Dortmund to finish second.
FRANCE - With 11 wins in as many outings in the top tier in France, PSG look certain to win the championship, with my runner- up tip, Lyon, in 4th spot at the moment. Again, I stay with my early selections.
ITALY - A Juventus-Napoli one/two finish was my prediction and so far, so good. Juve, with Cristiano Ronaldo starting to find the form that made him the most exciting footballer on the planet, are in a class of their own, with the likely challenge for Serie A honours coming from a rejuvenated Inter Milan or Napoli, who are both 6 points off the leader.