August is always a cause of celebration. A chance to celebrate the beginning of eating breakfast, sitting in pajamas, and watching games on Saturday morning. A chance to celebrate having your heart won over by multiple victories and triumphs, or the chance to be piled with misery from horrific losses. A chance to celebrate the beginning of the European soccer season. ISH takes a look at the top European league predictions for the coming season.
*Editor’s note: ISH’s Noah Ziegler took a look at predictions for the British Premier League here. The BPL will not be featured in this article.
Barcelona completely dominated the world last year through counter attacks, beautiful combination play, and Lionel Messi. With the same starting lineup returning and the addition of Arda Turan later in the season, Barcelona might not lose more than 3 games in the Spanish Primera.
2. Atlético Madrid:
No, not Real Madrid. Atletico greatly improved over the summer transfer window. The additions of Jackson Martinez and Filipe Luis will strengthen the defense and create more chances to score goals.
3. Real Madrid:
Real Madrid might come in third, but they will lose second by merely a point or two. Christiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema are a definite powerful attack; however, their defense will be the issue this year. With questions around the goalkeeper and Sergio Ramos, they are going to end up giving up a lot of points to top teams in the league, and it will cost them second place.
4. Valencia C.F:
An extremely strong team with a great backline and fabulous attack. Nicolas Otamendi’s future does bring some concern but the attack will able to perform well enough for the team to scratch out good wins.
The departures of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, and Carlos Tevez will hurt the quality of the squad, but the additions of several young players including Paulo Dybala and Simone Zaza will be able to keep Juventus on top. Remember, Buffon is still in goal.
Even though Lazio might not bring in the best players around the world, they are still able to play well together and finish the season well. Antonio Candreva and Miroslav Klose are the forces that keep this team intact and winning. Even with Roma, Inter, and Napoli improved, I do not think Lazio gives up second.
3. A.S. Roma:
The Edin Dzeko-Francesco Totti combination will be difficult to stop this year, but there is still several questions with health and defense. Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman’s inability to stay healthy will make it hard for this team to climb higher.
Napoli possess great talent and that always gets them close to Champions League but every year they seem to lose that cohesiveness to get into the top 3 in Serie A. With Benitez gone, who knows how this Napoli side will adapt.
1. Paris Saint-Germain:
PSG is easily the most dominant team in the French league. Zlatan Ibrahimović, Edinson Cavani, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Veratti, David Luiz, and Angel Di Maria? No team in the league can match that. They’ll win it again.
2. Olympique Lyon:
Alexandre Lacazette and now Mathieu Valbuena added into the picture for Lyon will stand strong in the league. A surprise finish from this club last year and they should finish high in the league again.
3. A.S. Monaco:
With a couple big departures, they still were able to bring in some talent to keep this team on top of the French League. A team with great discipline and the ability to buy into the system will still compete high in the French league once again.
4. A.S. Saint-Etienne:
A team that was able to dominate at home and pick up points from Lyon, Marseille, and Monaco at home is on a good course for next year. Marseille does not look as strong as them this year giving St. Etienne the advantage for fourth place.
1. Bayern Munich:
Arguably the best team in the world won the Bundesliga pretty easily without Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery for most of the year. The addition of Arturo Vidal will definitely pick up the tempo of the offense. It also helps having one of the best players in the world right now: Thomas Muller.
2. VFL Wolfsburg:
With the return of Kevin De Bruyne, Bas Dost, Andre Schurrle, and Ivan Perišić, Wolfsburg will continue to remain in second place in the Bundesliga. If one of those players decide to bolt, they will may be in trouble, but for now, they look set on second place.
3. Borussia Monchengladbach:
In 34 games played, Borussia Monhcengladbach allowed more than one goal only five times. An extraordinary defense with enough skill up top means this squad has the potential for a top three finish once again.
4. Borussia Dortmund:
Last year was a bit unfortunate in the beginning of the season in the Bundesliga. They were a disappointing offense, and it remains to be seen what kind of season they will put together this year.