Permutations in Europe: What's still at stake in final weeks of season?

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Four of Europe’s top leagues have already crowned their champions with plenty of time to spare, but there’s still much to play for as we head into the final weeks of the domestic seasons. With the continent’s top tiers all barreling toward a conclusion this month, here’s what’s left to be decided across the biggest leagues.

Note: This story will be updated weekly until the end of the season.

Premier League ?gbeng

Stuart MacFarlane / Arsenal FC / Getty

Title race

This is the only actual race remaining in Europe’s top five leagues. What was once a three-team battle has effectively been whittled down to two, as Liverpool’s untimely slump has left Arsenal and Manchester City in a straight scrap. The Reds are still mathematically alive but will almost certainly finish third. The Gunners are seeking their first league title in 20 years, while Pep Guardiola’s side is chasing an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League crown.

Club GP GD Points
1. Arsenal 36 +60 83
2. Man City 35 +54 82
3. Liverpool 36 +43 78

European qualification

The Premier League was unable to net an additional Champions League place for next season, so only the top four will qualify. Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool are already in.

Aston Villa are on the verge of securing fourth place. Tottenham Hotspur were in a very strong position just a couple of weeks ago, but they’ve cratered at the worst time, losing four consecutive matches. Even with a game in hand on Unai Emery’s men, Tottenham’s top-four hopes are hanging by a thread.

Club GP GD Points
4. Aston Villa 36 +20 67
5. Tottenham 35 +11 60

Villa are assured of at least fifth place and a spot in the Europa League should they miss out on the top four. Spurs, despite their rotten run, are still the favorites to finish fifth. Their margin for error is shrinking, though, with Newcastle United, Chelsea, and Manchester United in the hunt.

The remaining European places are dependent on the outcome of the FA Cup final. If Manchester United win the trophy, they automatically go to the Europa League. If Manchester City beat their rivals in a second consecutive final and retain the silverware, that Europa League spot transfers to the sixth-placed finisher in the league, which could end up being … Manchester United.

Club GP GD Points
6. Newcastle 35 +22 56
7. Chelsea 35 +11 54
8. Manchester United 34 +1 54

The aforementioned FA Cup outcome will also play a role in deciding the Europa Conference League (UECL) representative. If Man City are victorious, the UECL berth will go to the team that finishes seventh in the table; the same is true if Man United win the FA Cup and also finish sixth.

Relegation and promotion

Sheffield United, with just three wins from 36 games so far this season – and a whopping 100 goals conceded – have already been relegated. That leaves Burnley, Luton Town, and Nottingham Forest in a dogfight to avoid the drop. Only one from that trio will survive, with Burnley needing a minor miracle. Forest are still awaiting the result of an appeal over their four-point deduction for breaching the league’s profit and sustainability rules, which could have an enormous impact on the final table.

Club GP GD Points
17. Nottingham Forest 36 -18 29
18. Luton 36 -29 26
19. Burnley 36 -35 24
20. Sheffield United 36 -65 16

Leicester City and Ipswich Town grabbed the two automatic promotion places from the Championship; the Foxes are making an immediate return, while the Tractor Boys are going back to the top flight after a 22-year absence. The always thrilling promotion playoffs will decide the last team to make the jump, with Leeds United, Southampton, West Bromwich Albion, and Norwich City taking part. The playoff final is slated for May 26.

La Liga ??

Florencia Tan Jun / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Title race

Real Madrid were crowned Spanish champions for a record-extending 36th time this past weekend.

European qualification

Real Madrid and Barcelona are assured of Champions League spots. They’ll be joined, incredibly, by Girona, whose Cinderella season will yield a first-ever berth in the competition. Michel’s team clinched the spot by defeating Barca. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are in pole position to finish fourth.

Club GP GD Points
4. Atletico Madrid 34 +24 67
5. Athletic Club 34 +22 61
6. Real Sociedad 34 +13 54
7. Real Betis 34 +4 52
8. Valencia 34 -2 47

Athletic’s Copa del Rey triumph, combined with the fact that they’re likely to finish in the top six, means La Liga’s Europa League places should go to the fifth- and sixth-placed finishers in the table. The team that finishes seventh will head to the Conference League.

Relegation and promotion

Almeria picked up just their second win of the season this past weekend. They’ve already been relegated. Granada will almost certainly join them, especially with games against Real Madrid and Girona still on their calendar. Several other teams are still in danger of going down, too, with Cadiz in the most precarious spot of that bunch.

Club GP GD Points
15. Celta Vigo 34 -12 34
16. Rayo Vallecano 34 -16 34
17. Mallorca 34 -13 32
18. Cadiz 34 -26 26
19. Granada 34 -28 21
20. Almeria 34 -34 17

Nobody has secured promotion from the second tier as of yet, but Leganes, Valladolid, and Eibar are in pole position with four games left.

Bundesliga ??

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Title race

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen, still unbeaten in all competitions this season, have already clinched their first-ever Bundesliga title.

European qualification

The Bundesliga earned an extra Champions League spot for next season, meaning five teams will compete in the 2024-25 event. Those places have already been determined; Leverkusen, whose unbeaten run now stands at 48 games, will be joined by Bayern Munich, Stuttgart, RB Leipzig, and Borussia Dortmund. The latter’s win over PSG in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal sealed the additional berth for Germany’s top flight.

There’s still intrigue here, though. If Dortmund finish fifth and win the Champions League this season, the sixth-placed finisher in the Bundesliga will also head to the tournament next year.

The identity of Germany’s two Europa League entrants will be dictated, in part, by the DFB-Pokal final on May 25, where Leverkusen will take on a Kaiserslautern side that’s mired in a relegation battle … in the second tier. Should they pull off the stunning upset, they’ll earn one of Germany’s Europa League berths, while the other will go to the Bundesliga’s sixth-placed finisher. If Leverkusen win, the Europa places go to the sixth- and seventh-placed finishers.

Club GP GD Points
6. Eintracht Frankfurt 32 +1 45
7. Freiburg 32 -12 41
8. Hoffenheim 32 -8 40
9. Augsburg 32 -8 39
10. Heidenheim 32 -8 38
11. Werder Bremen 32 -9 38
12. Wolfsburg 32 -11 37

At present, the seventh-placed team will make the Conference League, but the DFB-Pokal final result could bump that berth down to the eighth-placed squad.

Each of the clubs listed in the table above will be Leverkusen fans on May 25.

Relegation and promotion

The bottom two in the 18-team Bundesliga are relegated automatically, while the squad that finishes 16th enters a playoff against the third-placed finisher from the 2. Bundesliga. Darmstadt have already been sent packing, FC Koln appear likely to join them, and as many as four teams are fighting to avoid finishing in the playoff spot, including Union Berlin, who participated in the Champions League group stage this season. How quickly fortunes change.

Club GP GD Points
13. Monchengladbach 32 -7 33
14. Bochum 32 -24 33
15. Union Berlin 32 -25 30
16. Mainz 32 -17 29
17. Koln 32 -30 24
18. Darmstadt 32 -46 17

Nothing has been decided as of yet in the second tier, where Holstein Kiel and St. Pauli currently occupy the top two spots.

Serie A ??

Francesco Scaccianoce / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Title race

Inter Milan, the dominant force in Italy this year, clinched their 20th Scudetto with last month’s win over city rivals AC Milan.

European qualification

Just like Germany, Italy also earned an extra Champions League place for next season, so at least five teams will qualify. Both Milanese clubs have punched their tickets. Despite a horrible run in 2024, Juventus need just one win to qualify. Bologna’s fairytale campaign also looks set to culminate with a Champions League place.

That likely leaves Roma, Atalanta, and Lazio to battle for fifth place. Serie A could yet send six teams to the Champions League if Roma or Atalanta, both currently in the semifinals of the Europa League, win that competition. Atalanta are tied 1-1 going into the second leg of their duel with Marseille, while Roma fell 2-0 to Leverkusen in the first leg of their clash.

In that scenario, it’s possible that finishing sixth in the league could be enough to reach the Champions League.

Club GP GD Points
3. Juventus 35 +21 66
4. Bologna 35 +22 64
5. Roma 35 +20 60
6. Atalanta 33 +24 57
7. Lazio 35 +8 56
8. Fiorentina 34 +12 50
9. Napoli 34 +9 50

Only eight clubs in total from any one country can qualify for Europe in a given season, so if Italy was to have six Champions League participants, it would have to forfeit a European place elsewhere, either one of its two Europa League spots or its Conference League berth. Those are currently slated to go to the teams that finish sixth through eighth in the table, but the Europa League exploits of Roma and Atalanta could alter that.

Relegation and promotion

The bottom three sides go down to Serie B. Salernitana, who have just two wins all season, have been relegated. Two Serie A mainstays could join them. Sassuolo, despite beating Inter twice this season, are in serious danger of seeing their 11-year run in the top flight come to an end. Meanwhile, Udinese, who have been in the top division since 1995 and have made several appearances in Europe in that time, are on their third manager of the campaign as they look to avoid a shocking relegation. With matches against fellow relegation battlers Empoli and Frosinone to close out the year, Udinese, now coached by Fabio Cannavaro, control their fate.

Club GP GD Points
14. Verona 35 -13 34
15. Cagliari 35 -23 33
16. Frosinone 35 -20 32
17. Empoli 35 -24 32
18. Udinese 34 -19 29
19. Sassuolo 35 -29 29
20. Salernitana 34 -47 15

Iconic Italian outfit Parma have already secured promotion back to Serie A. Como, the ambitious club from the picturesque city that counts Thierry Henry among its minority shareholders and employs Cesc Fabregas as an assistant coach, are on the verge of joining them. A playoff will determine the third and final promotion place.

Ligue 1 ??


Title race

Paris Saint-Germain were crowned Ligue 1 champions for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons, claiming a record-extending 12th French title in the process.

European qualification

Ligue 1, unlike its peers on this list, only gets three automatic Champions League places, while the fourth-placed finisher goes into the qualifying stage of the tournament. Four teams are duking it out to grab the final two automatic spots and join PSG at Europe’s top table.

Club GP GD Points
2. Monaco 32 +20 61
3. Brest 32 +16 57
4. Lille 31 +18 55
5. Nice 31 +11 51
6. Lens 32 +8 49
7. Rennes 32 +8 45
8. Marseille 31 +9 44
9. Lyon 31 -9 44

France could have five teams in the Champions League if Marseille, locked in a 1-1 draw with Atalanta heading into the second leg of their Europa League semifinal, go on to win that competition.

Currently, fifth place in Ligue 1 will go to the Europa League, while finishing sixth will be rewarded with a Conference League spot. That could change if PSG win the Coupe de France, though; they’re in the final against Lyon on May 25, and victory for the capital-based outfit will see the league’s sixth-place finisher jump into the Europa League.

That cup final will also have a direct impact on France’s Conference League spot, which could yet go to the seventh-place finisher.

Relegation and promotion

The bottom two finishers in Ligue 1 are relegated automatically, while the team that ends in 16th place heads to a promotion/relegation playoff.

Clermont Foot are still alive, barely, with two games remaining, but the best they can hope for is the playoff place.

Club GP GD Points
14. Nantes 32 -20 33
15. Le Havre 32 -9 32
16. Metz 32 -20 29
17. Lorient 32 -26 26
18. Clermont Foot 32 -28 25

In the second tier, Auxerre, Saint-Etienne, and Angers are all assured of at least a place in the promotion/relegation playoff. Auxerre, though, have all but sealed automatic promotion, as they sit six points clear of their two foes with only two games remaining.

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