They say defending a title is harder than winning, and that is proving to be the case in the top leagues of Europe this year. In the seven highest-ranked leagues of Europe, only two of the previous seasons' champions look like they are being crowned again. The Kindred Group Sportsbook team share their insights and some updated odds.
Manchester City was propelled to the title.
In England, Manchester City, who started the season as 1.67 odds-on favourites, secured their third Premier League in a row; the last time this happened was Sir Alex Ferguson's all conquering Manchester United team between 2006 - 2009. They were propelled to the title by the goalscoring exploits of Erling Haaland, the Norwegian who broke the Premier League season record and has bagged over 50 goals in all competitions. Haaland paid 5.0 to top the charts before a ball was even kicked. Mikel Arteta's young Arsenal side, 41.0 at the jump for the title, led the league for a staggering 248 days but was chased down after a poor run in April.
Across the channel
Across the channel in France, PSG needs just a point to defend their crown and see off the surprise challenge from Lens. This will be the Parisian's ninth Ligue 1 title in the last 11 years.
Drama in Germany
However, it's all changed in the other European leagues, perhaps most dramatically in Germany. Bavarian giants Bayern Munich looked on course to win their 11th successive Bundesliga, but last weekend's slip at home to RB Leipzig has thrown the door open for Borussia Dortmund, who started the season at odds of 10.0. A win at home on Saturday against mid-table Mainz will give Edin Terzić's Dortmund side their first meisterschale since 2012.
Bayern Munich 6.0
Napoli had an even longer wait between championships. Their last Scudetto was back in 1990 with Maradona at the helm. The "Partonopei" were paying 14.0 at the start of the season but won the league with an incredible five games to spare. As a result, Italy has now seen four different champions in the last four years. Napoli's Victor Osimhen, rated at odds of 16.0 to top the goalscoring charts, is three clear of Lautaro Martinez going into the final two rounds.
Change of guards in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has also seen a change of guard. Arne Slot's Feyenoord side won their first Eredivisie since 2017 and just their second this century. The Rotterdam side, rated at 9.0 shots at the start of the season, has only been defeated once in the Eredivisie all season and has stormed home strongly, winning their last 13 matches. They had gone into the season as third favourites but were not expected to mount a serious challenge after losing several key players.
Barcelona and Benfica – Top Tier
Two former European champions have regained the top spot on the Iberian Peninsula. Barcelona claimed their first La Liga title in four years, whilst in Portugal, Benfica just needs to beat Santa Clara in their final home game to secure their first Primeira Liga since 2019.