Who are the favourites to win their respective leagues in Europe?
With the top five European Leagues set to start soon, there are already some favourites heading into the 2021-22 campaigns. The number of strong teams across every league needs a close look. Let’s take a deep dive into these teams.
Across all the big leagues, the Bundesliga might be the easiest one to predict. Bayern Munich is the biggest favourite to win it all just like what they did over the past decade. It will be hard to dethrone them especially since Bayern just hired Julian Nagelsmann who was the head coach of the 2020-21 season’s runner-up RB Leipzig.
Since they still have most of their core sans David Alaba, it will be hard to bet against Bayern and their capability to win another league title. There will be some contenders with Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund but it will be difficult to ensure. In the meantime, Bayern is the favourite and it’s not even that close.
Atlético Madrid - La Liga
For the first time in a long while, Atlético Madrid is the pre-season favourite to win La Liga. They were a surprise winner last season because both Madrid and Barça underperformed. With Diego Simeone as the head coach, it should not be a surprise that they are the favourites to win it all again since they retained their core squad.
Luis Suárez and João Félix are still the stars of the team and they are untouchable in transfer deals. They were the two players who led the club to their first league title since 2013 which is big. Simeone is pleased with the way they balanced offence and defence last season and you should not expect that to change the next time around.
The 2021-22 season will be difficult with both Madrid and Barça seeking vengeance but they don’t have a strong lineup that can match up well with Atléti. The defending champs have most of their squad back and it looks like they will have new signings too.
If they can find the perfect balance between the new players and the old guard, Atléti will remain a top contender and the favourite to win La Liga for the second year in a row.
Paris SG - Ligue 1
Even though they lost last season to Lille in the title race, Paris SG is the favourite to win the French top-flight’s 2021-22 season. This is mostly due to the excellent offseason they had with the signing of three players who will be key to their title charge.
Gianluigi Donnarumma is a new goalkeeper who was a star for AC Milan for a good number of years. With that experience, he comes in as a young player who is only 22 years of age but he is already a veteran. A similar case is with Achraf Hakimi who is fresh off a Serie A title with Inter Milan. He is the same age as Gigio and they can make a difference.
Despite those two big signings, their most important one has to be the signing of Sergio Ramos from Madrid. He will be one of their leaders and a star centre-back. He comes with a championship pedigree which is important since Paris SG is seeking a Champions League trophy. With these talents pairing up with Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé, this club is nigh unstoppable.
Inter Milan - Serie A
Serie A is the toughest league to cover in Europe because there is no clear cut favourite. Inter won the league last season due to the solid tactics brought by Antonio Conte and his players. They lost some key pieces with the likes of Hakimi and Christian Eriksen to differing circumstances but there’s no loss bigger than Conte’s exit.
Even if they still have the star duo Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez, it is tough to think about how they can keep this title charge up. Luckily for them, their main rivals are also struggling. Across the city, Milan is doing their best to solve its issues but the loss of Gigio will be big.
Juve still has a good team around them but last season was dreadful for them. They still came close to the top spot but it wasn’t enough to kick Inter off their perch. Other clubs can also make a case with the AS Roma side that just hired head coach José Mourinho.
Even if Inter is the favourite, fans should expect a heated title race between all of the teams in Italian football’s top tier.
Manchester City - Premier League
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side is the odds-on favourite to win the 2021-22 Premier League season. They have the same team from their strong campaign last season except for Eric García and club legend Sergio Agüero. Even if those two are big losses on paper, City has enough replacements in place to dampen their exits from Manchester.
City has Pep which is an advantage all in itself. The head coach is one of the smartest minds in football and last season proved that right. The club played most of the season without a true number nine. It worked out because City relied on their midfield to push the ball into the final third and resulted in İlkay Gündoğan’s stellar campaign.
The likes of Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling will continue to be strong players and boost their offensive power. They have a strong frontline and they will surely play well due to Pep’s focus on that end of the pitch.
On the other side, their defence was the key to their title victory last year. If they want to keep winning, they will need to rely on Rúben Dias, John Stones, João Cancelo, Kyle Walker, and Ederson who were all titans on defence for the club. They are the key to success to win over the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, and Liverpool.
These are the favourites for Europe’s top five leagues and will be fun to know if these work out during the 2021-22 season.
Words: Cholo Martin