The final flourish: Real Madrid on cusp of ending title drought, Arsenal eye fourth spot; Monaco script history

As the football season reaches climax this weekend, here is how the teams are placed in the top European leagues.

By: AP | Updated: May 20, 2017 10:35:12 am
Real Madrid look to end their La Liga title drought, while Arsenal eye fourth spot for Champions League next season.

As the football season reaches climax this weekend, here is how the teams are placed in the top European leagues:

Spain: A Real chance

The final round is spread over the weekend, culminating in the title deciders on Sunday evening. Real Madrid needs only a draw to secure its first league title since 2012, but it faces a Malaga team in strong form at home.

Sitting 11th in the standings, Malaga has won four in a row at Rosaleda Stadium, beating Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, and Celta Vigo. Barcelona’s hopes of a third straight title depend on it beating mid-table Eibar and Madrid losing.

The next two Champions League places have been filled by Atletico and Sevilla. Qualification for the Europa League will be settled on Sunday afternoon. Granada, Osasuna and Sporting Gijon have already been relegated.

Italy: Champagne on ice for Juve

Juventus could win the title without even stepping on the pitch for its penultimate game. Anything but wins for Roma and Napoli on Saturday would hand Juventus an unprecedented sixth successive Serie A title before its match against Crotone the following day.

It would be Juve’s second trophy in less than a week, after it beat Lazio in the Italian Cup final on Wednesday. Massimiliano Allegri’s side remains in contention for a treble, with the Champions League final against Real Madrid coming up on June 3.

Second-place Roma visits Chievo Verona and third-place Napoli hosts Fiorentina. Victory for Roma would increase the pressure on Juventus as it would cut the gap to just one point before the Bianconeri face a Crotone side fighting against relegation.

England: Fight for fourth

All that’s left to settle on Sunday is which of the Premier League super coaches will fail to qualify their team for the Champions League. Arsene Wenger is in the most danger, with Arsenal entering the final round against Everton out of the top four and with sections of fans wanting the manager to leave after 21 years.

Manchester City and Liverpool have their journeys to the Champions League in their own hands. Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are a point above Arsenal heading into the Anfield finale against relegated Middlesbrough. Manchester City plays Watford.

If the teams can’t be separated by goal difference or goals scored, there could be an additional fixture to determine who gets the third automatic CL qualification place.

Germany: Fight for Europe

n The last automatic Champions League qualification place, Europa League spots, and the relegation playoff participants will be decided on Saturday. Bayern Munich won the title with three games to spare. Darmstadt and Ingolstadt are already relegated, and Stuttgart and Hannover are all but certain to take their place from the second division.
n Dortmund and Hoffenheim are vying automatically qualifying for the Champions League. The fourth-place team would have to go through a playoff. Level on points, Dortmund hosts Werder Bremen, while Hoffenheim welcomes Augsburg. Bremen could sneak into the Europa League with a win at Dortmund if Freiburg loses and Cologne can’t beat Mainz.

France: Relegation battle

The main suspense is at the bottom. Five teams — Nancy, Bastia, Lorient, Caen, and Dijon — go into the final day still unsure of their future in the topflight.

There is still a glimmer of hope even for last-place Nancy, which needs to win against Saint-Etienne and other results playing in its favor to clinch the relegation playoffs spot pitting the 18th-place side and the team finishing third in the second division. The playoffs are new this season replacing the previous system of three down, three up.

There’s a new champion as well. Paris Saint-Germain was deposed by Monaco, which sealed its first title since 2000 on Wednesday.

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