Now that the calendar has turned to May, the finish line is in sight. There are trophies, promotions, and 2022-23 European tournament spots are on the line across Continent. Arguably, the 2 greatest clubs in the world at this very moment are Manchester City and Liverpool and their destinies are tied to each other.

As we approach the 2nd leg of their Champions League Semi-Final matchups, both Liverpool and Manchester City appear destined to meet in the final. These clubs are both eying multiple trophies, with Liverpool alive for a potential quadruple. The Reds already possess the Carabao Cup. In addition to that, they are pursuing the Champions League, Premier League and have a date in Wembley Stadium with Chelsea in the FA Cup Final. A 10 month campaign across 3-4 tournaments is a marathon itself, so to be positioned this strategically is tremendous. On the other side, Pep has Man City playing at an exquisite level; focused on winning back to back Premier League crowns. They control their own destiny as they march to the one trophy that eludes them, the Champions League.

For anyone new to the global club soccer scene, we’ll provide an easy breakdown of the demographics and leagues. The standings are called the Table and games are referred to as Fixtures or Matches. The governing body of European soccer is UEFA, which stands for United European Futbol Association. They are the hierarchy for the clubs in Europe and national teams involved in World Cup qualifying campaigns in that same global landscape. The governing body for the United States, Mexico, Canada and Central America is CONCACAF as a comparison. These regional governing bodies align under FIFA.

Professional clubs play in a domestic league and if they finish in the top designated spots, they would qualify for the UEFA Champions League or Europa League Tournament the next year. These tournaments are played in addition to the normal domestic schedules. Every nation also has tiers of leagues. For example, if you have watched Ted Lasso, then you know the Top Flight in England is the Premier League and the 2nd Division is the Championship. If you finish in the bottom 2-4 spots of a league, you can be relegated down to the lower league. In turn, just like the Shad Khan owned Fulham Football Club did this year, if you win or finish in the top spots, you get to move up.

The elite European domestic leagues are listed below and we’ll take a look at where they stand as of May 3rd.


As it stands today, through 34 matches, Manchester City is at the top of the Table with 83 points, while Liverpool remains in striking distance with 82. The journey to a title is being orchestrated by 2 extraordinary managers in Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. It will be played out by world class players like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil Van Djik, Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden among others.

The top 4 qualify for the 2022-23 Champions League. 2 additional spots for Europa League action are open for the 5th and 6th place finisher. There appears to be 5 teams competing for the 4 remaining tournament spots. These clubs are the who’s who of English Football in the form of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham. Only 6 points separate the 6th place Red Devils of ManU from West Ham. This should be quite the sprint to the final match day on Sunday, May 22nd.

Clubs on Relegation Alert:

Norwich (Relegated), Watford, Everton, Leeds and Burnley.


As it has been for the previous 9 campaigns, the Bundesliga Champion of the 2021-22 season is Bayern Munich. This machine of a club has turned the Allianz Arena into a modern Bavarian fortress. They have been guided by arguably the greatest striker in the world and his name is Robert Lewandowski. The only club to truly challenge them has been Borussia Dortmand and they are comfortably in 2nd. Dortmund is led by young phenom Erling Haaland, but for how much longer? The remaining clubs vying for a coveted top 4 finish are Bayer Leverkusen, SC Freiburg, RB Leipzig and FC Cologne.

Clubs on Relegation Alert:

Greuther Furth, Arminia Bielefeld, VFB Stuttgart, and Hertha Berlin

SERIE A (Italy)

The beautiful game is worshipped in Italy, second only to the Pope. The title race is still a 3 club race on paper. In reality, it’s a battle between AC Milan (77 pts) and defending champion Inter Milan (75 pts). The man simply known as Zlatan is ferocious monster on the pitch and determined to do whatever it takes or keeps him in the spotlight. Perennial powers Napoli and Juventus have the 2 remaining Champions League bids wrapped up. There is a 4 team race for the Europa League bid and Europa Conference qualifying spot. Lazio and AS Roma each have 59 points, followed by Atalanta and Fiorentina with 56 points. That race over the final 3 match days should be spicy.

Clubs on Relegation Alert:

Venezia, Genoa, Salernitana and Cagliari.

LA LIGA (Spain)

This league has been owned by global super powers Real Madrid and Barcelona. Both have been dealing with tight financials the past few years, resulting in stars like Messi and Ronaldo departing for opportunities elsewhere in Europe. As time passes, some things remain the same and that is Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top. Through 34 matches, Real Madrid has a 15 point buffer, all but securing the title. Athletico Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis, and Real Sociedad are all battling for the precious remaining allotments. Real Madrid also has a slight chance to reach the Champions League final if they can defeat Man City and make up the goal differential on May 4th.

Clubs on Relegation Alert:

Levante, Alaves, Granada, Cadiz and Mallorca.

LIGUE 1 (France)

This league should be dominated by Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) every year. They have Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Gigi Wijnaldum, Angel Di Maria and others. Unfortunately, they failed to win the Champions League once again in 2022. They are going to win Ligue 1 this year, but with that roster, it feels kind of empty if that’s the only piece of silver. Unlike other leagues, only the top 2 are guaranteed a Champions League spot. The third place finisher is awarded a qualifying tournament spot in the Champions League. There are 2 Europa bids for the 4th and 5th place finishers. Marseille is the best bet to finish 2nd. They are followed by Stade Rennais, AC Monaco and Nice.

Clubs on Relegation Alert:

Metz, Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne, and Clermont Foot.


Tuesday, May 3rd: Villarreal vs Liverpool.

Liverpool won the 1st match on April 27th 2-0. The Semi-Finals are played in 2 legs, in essence, each club hosts a match. Total goal differential is a very significant deciding factor in who advances. Jurgen Klopp knows his squad enters with a 2 goal cushion but crazy things happen when desperation sets in. Villarreal is a very defensive minded club, so they will have to break out of their shell and try to score.

Prediction: Liverpool advances to the Final

Wednesday, May 4th: Real Madrid vs Manchester City

Man City defeated Real Madrid 4-3 in the first match and clinging to a 1 goal buffer. The Champions League title has eluded Man City, so the pressure to advance is present. Can Real use home field advantage to survive and advance?

Prediction: Manchester City survives and marches to meet their peers in the form of Liverpool

Champions League Final: Saturday May 28th Clubs: TBD

This club season has been tremendous. The global stars have consistently displayed their expertise. This summer would normally be the World Cup, but since the host us Qatar, the player will have a nice break. The only catch is that the 2022-23 campaign will commence earlier to accommodate the World Cup break in November. In lieu of a World Cup this summer, the transfer market will be electric as global stars look to increase their financial standings. Where will Haaland go? Will Salah remain at Liverpool? Will Mbappe depart PSG?


Host of The Irrational Confidence Podcast and Contributor to Spinnable Sports #CollegeFootball #NFL #MLB #NBA #NHL #EPL #UCL On Twitter @SS_2FRESH

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