We’re now at the midway stage of the 2018/19 football season and after a frenetic first few months, most of Europe’s football league tables are starting to take shape. We've already seen two European heavyweights in Real Madrid and Manchester United make a managerial change whilst Bayern Munich manager, Nico Kovac, is coming under increasing pressure in Germany.
Big-spending Paris Saint Germain got their Ligue 1 campaign off to a record-breaking start and look nailed on to claim a sixth league title in seven years. PSG are already 13 points clear at the league’s summit, with at least one game in hand on most of the chasing pack. However, elsewhere the title race across Europe’s major leagues is an intriguing one. Here at Betting Sites we take a look at Europe’s other major leagues, offering title odds at the midway point courtesy of our betting partner, Paddy Power.
Liverpool are the current Premier League leaders as they hunt a first league title since 1990. The title race was blown wide open yet again after Manchester City’s win against the leaders earlier this month. The Reds arrived at the Etihad Stadium knowing that a win would move them ten points clear at the top of the table and the dream of claiming that elusive first Premier League title would’ve come closer to becoming a reality. City’s 2-1 win means the gap after 21 games is a mere 4 points.
Tottenham Hotspur remain dark horses in the Premier League title race having made their best ever start to a league campaign. Spurs are just six adrift of the leaders but still face daunting trips to Anfield and the Etihad in the coming months.
To win the Premier League
Liverpool - 8/13
Manchester City - 13/10
Tottenham Hotspur - 20/1
This season was always going to be tough for Real Madrid after a summer where they not only lost their manager but their talisman also with Cristiano Ronaldo following Zinedine Zidane’s lead in exiting the Bernabeu. Madrid won three successive UEFA Champions League titles prior to this season but a return of just two league titles in ten years represents failure for a club of Real’s stature.
A difficult start to the current campaign meant manager, Julen Lopetegui, was sacked just three months into his tenure. Although they have improved slightly under new boss, Santiago Solari, Madrid are languishing fifth in La Liga and are already ten points adrift of leaders, Barcelona.
Like Real Madrid, Barcelona are also in the midst of a transitional period, however theirs it would seem is a lot less turbulent than that of their fierce rivals. The new-look, albeit expensively-assembled Barcelona we’ve seen this season look the real deal. The form of Ousmane Dembele, Arthur and Clement Lenglet has meant Barcelona have barely missed Neymar, Iniesta and Mascherano.
Barcelona currently hold a five-point advantage over Atletico Madrid in La Liga with Real Madrid a further five points back. However, the Barcelona hierarchy have made no secret of their desire to conquer Europe once again. Will their efforts to win a sixth European crown derail their title chances?
To win La Liga
Barcelona - 1/12
Atletico Madrid - 12/1
Real Madrid - 18/1
New Bayern Munich boss, Nico Kovac, has come under considerable pressure during the first half of this season, but to suggest Bayern Munich are underachieving would do a huge disservice to the impact of new Borussia Dortmund boss, Lucien Favre.
A shrewd summer transfer window, the emergence of Jadon Sancho and the return to form and fitness of Marco Reus have all contributed to Dortmund’s fine start to the latest Bundesliga campaign. Dortmund have raced into a six-point lead at the Bundesliga summit, thanks to a combined 23 goals from Reus and summer signing, Paco Alcacer.
If you still fancy Bayern to go on and lift a seventh successive Bundelsiga title then now could be the time to back the Bavarians. Dortmund travel to fourth-placed RB Leipzig immediately after their winter break, any slip up there will see Bayern’s title odds slashed further.
Bayern’s fixtures in late February and early March could hold the key to their entire season. The Germans face a two-legged Champions League tie with current English Premier League leaders, Liverpool on February 19th and March 13th. Sandwiched in between are three huge Bundesliga matches against Hertha Berlin (8th), Borussia Monchengladbach (3rd) and Wolfsburg (5th).
To win the Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - 8/11
Bayern Munich - 11/10
At odds of 1/25 it looks highly likely that the Serie A title will remain in Turin for an eighth successive season. Juventus have been the dominant force in Italian football for almost a decade and the summer capture of Cristiano Ronaldo was a superb coup for them.
Juve brought in five-time Ballon D’Or winner, Ronaldo, in effort to secure a first Champions League title since 1996, however, the former Real Madrid star has also moved them onto the next level domestically. Since his arrival in Italy, Ronaldo has bagged 14 goals in 19 league games. He is now just 1/5 to claim the Serie A Golden Boot award.
To win Serie A
Juventus - 1/25
Napoli - 8/1
The best of the rest
Elsewhere in Europe there are some intriguing titles races taking shape, none more so than the fascinating battle unfolding in the Scottish Premiership. Rangers appointed former Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, as manager in the summer in the hope of knocking Old Firm rivals, Celtic, off their perch. Thanks to a first win over their bitter rivals in almost six years, Rangers have a massive chance of winning a first Premiership title since returning to the top flight.
Rangers have been boosted by the January captures of Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis. It is hoped that the duo, signed from Bournemouth and Southampton respectively, can add that extra quality and experience required to maintain a title push. The odds of a first title win since 2011 have been slashed to just 3/1.
The two fierce Old Firm rivals are currently separated by goal difference only but a game in hand and their title-winning know-how make Celtic slight favourites at 1/5 with the bookies. Celtic host Rangers at Parkhead on March 30th, that game may well be a title decider.
One of the tightest title races in Europe’ top leagues is the two-horse race unfolding in the Netherlands. At the Eredivise summit just two points separate holders, PSV and their main rivals, Ajax. The two clubs have pulled ten points clear of the chasing pack after a superb start to their respective seasons. PSV, winners in three of the last four seasons, sit on top of the pile with 16 wins and one loss from their first 17 games. As they search for a first title since 2014, Ajax (W15, D1, L1) sit just two points further behind.
The bookies are struggling to separate the two Dutch giants in the betting market with PSV just edging it at 5/6. Ajax are currently available at 10/11. However, the coming weeks could see some big changes in the betting market. Some of Ajax’s hottest prospects have been linked with moves away from the Amsterdam ArenA. Their title hopes could hinge on their ability to keep Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt until at least the summer. Both players are being courted by Barcelona and Manchester City.
Meanwhile, in Portugal, Porto have seen their odds slashed from 1/4 to 1/7 in little over a week. On the 23rd December there were just four points separating Porto in first and Benfica in fourth. But, whilst all three of Porto’s title rivals; Benfica, Sporting and Braga, dropped points over the Christmas period, the holders stretched their record of consecutive league wins to nine.
Next up for Porto is a trip to Sporting. Whatever the outcome, expect the bookies’ odds to be all change again after that game.
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