With the international breaks providing some welcome respite from club football, it’s a nice opportunity to take a look at how things are shaping up across the major European leagues. There has been plenty of footballing drama across the continent this season, so let’s waste no time and get straight into it!
It’s fair to say that few expected Real Sociedad to be leading the way in La Liga at this stage of the season, but the Basque side find themselves sitting pretty in first place. The caveat is that both second-place Real Madrid and third-place Sevilla have a game in hand over the league leaders, which would see them overtake Real Sociedad should they get the win.
We’re set for a cracking title race, with a number of teams still in contention. Defending champions Atlético Madrid are currently fourth, five points off top spot, and you would expect Diego Simeone’s side to put up an almighty fight to retain their title. Even Barcelona, revitalised after the arrival of new manager Xavi, could yet have a say.
At the bottom end of the standings, Getafe are propping up the rest of the table with six points. Levante are a place above them on goal difference, but are yet to record their first win this season. Elche currently occupy 18th place, whilst Granada, Cadíz and Celta Viga are all nervously looking over their shoulders. There is a long way to go, though!
An exciting title race is developing in Italy too, with Napoli and AC Milan both locked on 32 points heading into the international break. Inter Milan are a little way back in third on 25 points, while Juventus are struggling further down the table in Max Allegri’s second spell in Turin, already 14 points adrift of the league leaders.
Impressively, both Napoli and AC Milan have posted unbeaten records in Serie A so far this season, with an identical record of 10 wins and two draws. That kind of form suggests this is a race that could go right down to the wire, with the online football odds struggling to separate the two contenders.
Down at the bottom, Cagliari, Salernitana and Sampdoria occupy the relegation places, the latter clearly struggling after the departure of Claudio Ranieri. Also under threat are Genoa, who have been ever-present in Serie A since 2007, but there is still plenty of time to correct their course.
It’s no surprise that Bayern Munich are leading the way in the Bundesliga. The Bavarian giants have won the German title for nine successive seasons, and are aiming to make it a perfect 10 this term. Heading into the international break, Bayern are four points clear of second-place Borussia Dortmund, with surprise package SC Freiburg two points further back in third.
There have been signs of vulnerability from Bayern though, not least in their 5-0 demolition at the hands of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Dortmund will be seeking to expose some of those weaknesses when they host the league leaders on December 4th, in what could be a crucial game in the title race.
Meanwhile, it’s been a miserable campaign for Greuther Fürth, who have lost all but one of their ten league games thus far. They’ve conceded 29 goals in the process, and it looks like they’ll be heading straight back down to the second tier. Stuttgart, Augsburg and Arminia are also staring nervously at the muddy waters of relegation.
Predictably, Paris Saint-Germain are in a strong position at the top of the French Ligue 1 — ten points clear of second-place Lens, who have surprised many with their fine form. Nice and Marseille make up the rest of the top four at this stage of the campaign.
PSG have not always been at their inspired best so far this season, but with so many stars to call on, Mauricio Pochettino’s side always find a way to win — they’ve dropped points in just two matches so far.
At the other end of the table, things are a bit more interesting. Metz are currently propping up the division in 20th place, but above them, St. Étienne and Bordeaux appear to be in big trouble. Both are big clubs who have been mainstays in Ligue 1 for many years. Can they turn things around?