European soccer preview

How the top four leagues will break down

Graphic by Jen Goertzen.

The beautiful game is set to return to countries all over Europe this winter, and it should be thrilling as always. With the season looming, the Manitoban decided to give fans a look into what the four big leagues across Europe should look like come the end of the season.



Barcelona is coming off another historic treble, winning La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and the coveted Champions League title. They don’t look like they’ll be slowing down, either. With the attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar, Barcelona will be terrorizing Spain, and the rest of Europe, with their attacking might.

Real Madrid, however, will be standing in Barcelona’s way. With Rafael Benítez as their new coach, and the dynamic Cristiano Ronaldo, they will be contending for the title this year as well.

Atlético Madrid has an outside shot at grabbing the league title, but I think this will be a two horse race. Atlético lost its main striker in Mario Mandžukić, but bought Jackson Martínez and added many pieces to their defense, so they have the potential to raise a few eyebrows.



The Barclays Premier League is always wildly entertaining, but last year we saw Chelsea dominate the top of the table for much of the season. Of course, they are the favourite to do it again. This season Manchester United, Arsenal, and Manchester City all look poised to take a run at the title as well.

United has brought in a wealth of new signings, including German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger and young Dutch phenom Memphis Depay. They look like they have the best chance of nabbing the title this year.

Arsenal also has a very good squad, but injuries really hit them last season. Manager Arsène Wenger brought in Petr Čech, formerly of Chelsea, to guard the net and shore up a very good defense and excellent midfield. Attack remains the only question mark.

Manchester City has added Raheem Sterling to their attack and they will be looking to take back their 2014 crown. The team can count on a very good attack, but their spotty defense might be costly, and Joe Hart can only do so much in goal.



Juventus went through a massive overhaul this summer, losing Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez, and Arturo Vidal.

The “Old Lady” still looks like the team to beat in Italy, though. The team from Turin has worn the Scudetto on their shirts for the past four seasons and could possibly do it for a fifth time this year. Led by Paul Pogba in midfield, the Italian giants don’t look as if they will falter.

Inter Milan, AC Milan, Lazio, and Roma will all most likely fall under Juventus, but in what position?

Roma has brought in Wojciech Szczęsny on loan from Arsenal, so that should help them out in goal. With Mohamed Salah in attack, this Roma team might give Juve a bit of a scare.

AC Milan has spent some money this transfer window, bringing in Andrea Bertolacci from Roma. The Italian midfielder will be a big boost for the Milan side as they hope to regain their former glory. They might fight for a spot in Europe with their other Milan rival, Inter.



Powerhouse Bayern Munich has dominated the German Bundesliga for the last three seasons, with the Bavarian club taking home the title in each of those three. It doesn’t look like that trend will be changing, either.

The Munich club has let go of their longtime leader, Schweinsteiger, and brought in Arturo Vidal, a significant upgrade. They also added Brazilian Douglas Costa to provide depth on the wings.

Wolfsburg seems to be Bayern’s biggest threat at the moment. The Wolves took home their first ever DFB-Pokal in 2015 and will be hungry for more trophies. With Belgian superstar Kevin De Bruyne and newly signed Max Kruse in attack, Wolfsburg could take the title away.

Leverkusen, Dortmund, and Borussia Mönchengladbach are all outside bets to win the Bundesliga but will most likely duke it out for one of the top four places.