Even though there are plenty of challengers, it wouldn’t be very surprising to see a repeat champion in four of the top five leagues in Europe, with Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus and PSG favorites to claim the title, while Manchester City should be the most likeliest of side in the harder to predict English Premier League.
But if not those teams, there are easy alternatives to pick: United or Chelsea in England, Real Madrid in the Spanish La Liga, Napoli in the Italian Serie A, Dortmund in the German Bundesliga and Monaco or Lyon in the French Ligue 1.
English Premier League – Manchester City
Last season was a glitch. A manager that lasted longer than he should (the championship had nothing to do with him), with bad tactics and not enough new blood in a squad that looked tired, boring and somewhat stale, eventually finishing second in the league. The most important thing City need to understand is not winning the championship isn’t a failure. Not competing for it is, and last season it wasn’t enough of a fight. Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo were brought over to help a squad that hasn’t changed much, but has lost some unnecessary players, making it by far the most talented in the league.
Spanish La Liga – FC Barcelona
In the preseason it’s always too tough to actually separate between the potentials of both Barcelona and Real Madrid, but when you look at last season and the ease in which Barca won it’s title, not to mention not losing any meaningful players while gaining Neymar means that the usual combination of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and the rest should be enough for consistency against 90% of the league, which is usually enough, even if Real Madrid currently have Barca’s number.
Italian Series A – Juventus FC
While Napoli have turned into the biggest spenders in Italy after two years of Juventus ruling that chart, Juventus have been the only team in Italy to not lose any of its key players over their championship reign, lasting two years. Now they’ve added Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente in what they think should be enough to fix their strikers problem. It might not put them in the Champions League semifinal, but their strength in defense and the midfield should provide enough consistency and quality to make it a three-peat for the first time since Milan in the early 1990’s.
German Bundesliga – Bayern Munich
It won’t be a record breaking campaign like in last season, but Bayern Munich have the deepest and best squad in Europe. While Borussia Dortmund have done a good job in keeping Lewandowski and adding stars like Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, once the injuries and suspension begin adding, up, the difference between the two sides and the money spent on building the squads will be quite easy to see.
French Ligue 1 – PSG
While Monaco have been showing they’re willing to break records in their overall spending, PSG haven’t closed the wallet, or lost any of their top players. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still the best player in the league, and the arrival of Edinson Cavani creates what might be the best strike force in Europe aside from Messi & Neymar. Monaco might have a few big names, but after three years of non-stop buying, Paris Saint-Germain have a team, which is the more important thing.