With Manchester United clearly winning the Premier League, and the same goes for Barcelona in Spain, Bayern Munich in Germany and Juventus in Italy, it’s official – 2012-2013 is one of the more boring seasons in memory, at least when it comes to the local leagues, with the drama this time saved for the Champions League and the Europa League.
Sometimes it happens, when every major league in Europe has one dominant team, much more than the rest. In Spain, Barcelona have been crowned champions from before the winter break, and Bayern Munich closed the deal shortly after coming off theirs. Everyone picked Juventus to win the title in Italy this season and although they do have their f^%& ups here and there, no one has the depth and consistency they do.
English Premier League, Manchester United, 12 Points
With 10 matches to go, Manchester United have a 12 point lead over Manchester City in England. While many will claim this is one of the weakest team’s United have fielded for quite some time, there has been enough consistency in results, not in matches, to put them ahead with not too much between them and securing the title officially, including winning all of their big matches except against Tottenham, which still wasn’t enough to slow them down.
FC Barcelona, Spanish La Liga, 13 Points
Don’t let the losses in the Cup and Champions League fool you – this is one of the more dominant seasons in the history of the Spanish La Liga, which isn’t even a ground for two giants brawling this season, with one of them not really looking up for the challenge most of the way. Barcelona have 71 points of a possible 81, with 11 matches still to go. Their home record is nearly perfect with 12 wins in 13 matches, but when you win 11 of 14 away it’s hard not to win a title.
Juventus FC, Italian Serie A, 9 Points
It hasn’t been the smoothest of sailing for Juventus, especially in the second half of the season. Their undefeated run ended with a loss to Inter, followed by defeats against Milan, Roma and Sampdoria. Still, no one in Italy made the right kind of additions in the summer like they did, and none of the chasing pack has that kind of across-the-field quality, including on the bench, pulling them out of tough spots when the initial selections don’t do enough, like in the 1-0 win over Catania.
Bayern Munich, German Bundesliga, 20 points
Things have gone pretty easily in recent years for whoever leads the table in Germany, and after two Dortmund seasons, the title is going back to where it usually belongs. The additions of Javi Martinez and Dante have turned Bayern into an impregnable fort, conceding only 10 goals in 25 league matches this season, while Mario Mandzukic made sure Mario Gomez wasn’t missed during his long recovery from injury after the Euro.
Where it is closer
In Holland, we’re used to seeing title races going down to the wire, usually with more than two teams involved. Ajax have been chasing PSV and Twente all season, and have finally taken the top spot away from PSV, currently holding a one point lead over them and Feyenoord, with 8 matches to go. Vitesse with 51 points are in the thick of the race as well.
Portugal is where the most interesting race is taking place, and the match between Porto and Benfica on May 12 will probably be the one that decided the title. Last week, after an entire season of both teams matching the other’s result and the only difference being goal difference, Benfica took advantage of Porto drawing against Sporting to open a two point lead, with 8 matches left in the race.
France saw a dramatic finish last season, but PSG and it’s money and stars are making it slightly easier this season. It’s still far from over; PSG have a four point lead over Lyon with 10 matches left to play, including a match at Lyon on May 11, but thanks to Marseille, who have dropped out of the race (7 points behind first), and their 0-0 draw at Lyon, the road seems a lot easier for PSG to win their first league title since 1994.