Now that the biggest leagues across the continent are taking a Christmas break, it provides us the perfect opportunity to assess what is currently going on across Europe and although Bayern Munich are winning the Bundesliga at a canter, there is still plenty to play for in Germany’s top division.
Dortmund in Champions League Qualification Battle
None more so than the battle for Champions League qualification and with Borussia Dortmund currently the best of the rest, manager Marco Rose will be hoping his players can find another gear in 2022.
With the Black and Yellow outfit already nine points behind Bayern at the top of Bundesliga, the title race is already all but run and with Marco Rose’s men travelling to Eintracht Frankfurt in just over a fortnight’s time, the result could have ramifications in the battle for European places.
Proud of our guy ? pic.twitter.com/Goj1so7vSo— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) December 20, 2021
Going into the festive hiatus, Eintracht Frankfurt find themselves lying sixth in the Bundesliga table and if they are to fulfil their dream of Champions League qualification, they will need to find an extra level of performance in the second half of this season.
A level that they may struggle to find against Borussia Dortmund and with the visitors priced at Evens with bet365 to pick up maximum points in this encounter, it could mean an ideal return for the perennial bridesmaid of the Bundesliga.
PSG Well Ahead in France
Meanwhile in France, it is not a case of if PSG will win this season’s edition of Ligue 1, it is more a case of when and with Mauricio Pochettino’s all-star squad running roughshod over their domestic opposition, it is the battle to finish second which is now most important.
A battle that will likely have three candidates and with second in the table also paying out the only other automatic Champions League qualification berth, the race to be runner-up will certainly intensify after Christmas.
Looking at the current odds, the bookmakers have Marseille as favourites to finish second this season and with them currently priced at 3/1 with Paddy Power in the without PSG outright market, they will look to fend off the likes of Lyon and Monaco below.
Have Things Ever Been This Easy for Real Madrid?
In Spain, there is the feeling that LaLiga is not quite the same anymore and with Barcelona in something of a post-Messi vacuum and Atletico Madrid offering a rather limp defence of last season’s league crown, Real Madrid have never had it so easy.
With Carlo Ancelotti returning to the Santiago Bernabeu, his Real Madrid charges are currently 1/8 with bet365 to win this season’s edition of LaLiga and although that is something of a foregone conclusion, things are far more interesting elsewhere.
? King Karim. pic.twitter.com/3jZ5F5ylUy— Real Madrid C.F. ???? (@realmadriden) December 22, 2021
Primarily because there is a new school of clubs competing for the top four and although Sevilla’s appearance in second under Julen Lopetegui is not the biggest surprise, Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano’s current top-four standing is.
These two clubs have certainly been a refreshing sight in LaLiga as of late and with the latter visiting Atletico Madrid in their first post-Christmas outing, Radamel Falcao will look to get one over his former employers.
If you think one of Spain’s lesser outfits can surprise the defending LaLiga champions, you can back Rayo Vallecano to win at the Wanda Metropolitano at odds of 7/1 with Unibet.
Inter to Continue Dominance Under Inzaghi?
While in Italy, it is Inter Milan who will go into the festive break lying top of the table and with Simeone Inzaghi picking up the managerial reins from Antonio Conte, it is fair to say that he is picking up from where his predecessor left off.
Unsurprisingly, it is Inter Milan who are currently priced as favourites to win this season’s Serie A and at the current time of writing, the bookmakers have them priced at 3/10 to win back-to-back Scudetto.
With the black and blue half of the city being top of the Italian shop, they will look to pick up from where they left off on January 6th and with a trip to mid-table Bologna acting as their first piece of 2022 business, all signs point to a comfortable away win.