Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Tue 19 December 2006

European League Round-Up

Have you ever watched Champions League matches and wondered how well those teams were doing in their own domestic competitions? Well wonder no more. Here's a round up of what's going on in the major leagues around Europe.

Italy: Serie A
Without a doubt the top team in Italy at the moment are Inter who are still unbeaten after sixteen games, thirteen of them being wins. They continued their fine form on Sunday by beating Empoli 2-0, while second-placed Roma, who trail by seven points, were beating third-placed Palermo 4-0.

Elsewhere, Catania - Serie C specialists in recent times - find themselves in fourth place after a 1-0 weekend win over Udinese. Completing the top 5 are Lazio whose 15 goals in the last five games see them making a strong push for a UEFA Cup place next year.

At the other end of the table, Sampdoria and Milan have recently hauled themselves out of danger but Parma and Fiorentina are still languishing dangerously amongst the minnows. Fiorentina started the season with points deducted after this summer's betting scandal, but their form of late suggests that they, too, should soon be well clear of the relegation dogfight.

View Serie A Table


Germany: Bundesliga
There’s a definite air of revenge about the German title race at the moment with all of the Bundesliga runners-up from the past four seasons occupying the top four spots. Last season’s runners-up and 2004 champions, Werder Bremen, are currently ahead only on goal difference from Schalke, who just missed out on the title in 2005.

Last season’s champions, Bayern Munich, have moved up to third while 2003 runners-up Stuttgart swap places with them to occupy fourth, a further point behind.

At the foot of the Bundesliga, SV Hamburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach are the surprise strugglers – the former still looking for their first home win of the season and the latter still looking for one away from home. At the very bottom, though, it’s Mainz who look like they’ll be sitting on the trapdoor at the season’s end having picked up only 11 points so far from a possible fifty-one.

View Bundesliga Table


Spain: Primera Liga
The title race in Spain’s hotting up nicely with just two points covering the top three. Barcelona’s early lead has now been ended by UEFA Cup champions Seville who top the league with only one defeat in fifteen matches and seven wins out of seven at home.

Ironically, second-placed Barcelona are the only team to have beaten Seville in the league this season, but the World Club runners-up dropped points to lowly Levante at the beginning of December and now need to win their game in hand if they’re to return to the top spot.

Real Madrid are still susceptible to the occasional defeat but are nevertheless closing the gap on the top two.

At the bottom, somewhat predictably, are Gimnastic who were last season’s Segunda Division runners-up, and above them are three under-achievers from the last campaign - Real Sociedad, Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis - of which Betis and Sociedad are still yet to win a match away from home in the league this season.

View Primera Liga Table


France: Ligue 1
Lyon are the runaway leaders in France at the moment with a seventeen point lead ahead of Lens. Lyon have won 16 out of 18 so far, practically ending the title race before it ever began. Leading the charge for second with Lens, however, are Saint Etienne, Lille, Sochaux and Nancy.

Saint Etienne are still searching for a return to their halcyon days of the early 1980's when they boasted Michel Platini among their ranks, while the others have all enjoyed limited success in European competition in recent seasons.

The shock near the bottom of the table is Nantes, who are 19th out of twenty thanks to a measely two wins all season. The 2001 league champions last picked up three points back in October and will be hoping to follow the example of Monaco who were also languishing up until a few weeks ago but have since fought their way to safety.

View Ligue 1 Table

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