The Euro Preview: Juve on verge of another title, Barca look to stay unbeaten

Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus controls the ball during the serie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli on April 22, 2018 in Turin, Italy.(Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus controls the ball during the serie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli on April 22, 2018 in Turin, Italy.(Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Juventus have the bubbly on ice as they face Roma with the Serie A title assured, while Barcelona look to stay unbeaten.

Serie A

The assigning of the league title has come down to a mathematical technicality in Serie A. After a long season that saw Juventus and Napoli trade places for the top spot, it’s the Bianconeri who are all but assured of the scudetto this Sunday when they take on Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. The game comes just days after Juventus captured the Coppa Italia with a 4-0 trashing of AC Milan.

At the same time, Napoli, who are six points behind Juve with two matchdays left in the season, travel to Genoa to take on Sampdoria.

While the head-to-head tiebreaker remains level (after Juventus and Napoli traded 1-0 results this season), the second involves goal differential. Juventus currently have a significantly better goal difference.

“Perhaps this has been my most beautiful Serie A campaign because it’s been the most fought: winning like this, after going head-to-head for the whole season, gives you more satisfaction,” Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado told Italy’s Premium Sport. “We’re happy, but we still have to remain calm because we’re still a point away. We must give our best until the end and always try to win.”

In other big games this weekend that affect both ends of the table, Lazio play away at Crotone on Sunday, while Fiorentina host Cagliari the same day.

La Liga

Barcelona, following last Sunday’s hard-fought 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in El Clasico and 5-1 home win against Villarreal on Wednesday, look to stay unbeaten with two matchdays left on the schedule.

Barcelona play Sunday away at Levante aiming to keep that record intact to become the first club in history to ever finish a Liga season without a defeat. Levante, who are currently in 16th place, are safe from the relegation zone and have nothing to play for.

Lionel Messi made history the last time the sides met in January. Messi’s goal in that 3-0 win drew him level with Gerd Muller as the most prolific player for a single club in Europe’s top five leagues. It marked his 365th league goal on his 400th appearance in the Spanish top flight.

There are a few teams, meanwhile, who do have some things to play for. With the top four already set (just the order can change at this point), look for third-place Real Madrid to go for the win Saturday at home against Celta Vigo in an effort to get past Atletico Madrid, who also play that day away at eighth-place Getafe.

At the bottom of the table, Spain’s top flight has been the anomaly with three clubs, Deportivo La Coruna, Las Palmas and Malaga, already relegated after falling behind the rest of the table.

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The season comes to a close on Saturday — with lots still to play for near the top and at the bottom of the table after Bayern Munich was recently crowned champions. The final matchday is loaded with a series of scenarios when it comes to qualifying for next season’s Champions League and avoiding relegation.

With Schalke locking up second place, there is still a fight for third, currently occupied by Borussia Dortmund. Three points behind them is fourth-place Hoffenheim and fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen.

BVB could drop to fourth, but all four top-four finishers qualify for the Champions League group stage. As a result, the games to keep an eye on include BVB playing away at Hoffenheim, while Bayer host 13th-place Hannover.

In the battle to avoid relegation, FC Koln have already dropped to 2.Bundesliga with the two other spots still in the balance. Hamburg, the Bundesliga’s only ever-present club, can finish no higher than in 16th place, meaning they would need to play the third-place team in the second division (Holstein Kiel) in the relegation playoff.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, are currently in 16th place, just two points ahead of Hamburger SV.

Games to watch: Hamburg will host ninth-place Borussia Monchengladbach, while Wolfsburg are also at home against Koln, who have nothing to play for.