Another Bundesliga campaign kicks off on Friday after a frantic close-season saw Germany's top flight robbed of its two biggest stars.

Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona, while fellow striking sensation Erling Haaland departed Borussia Dortmund as expected for Manchester City.

What do these moves do to shake up the Bundesliga, then? Perhaps not an awful lot...

Stats Perform AI has predicted the outcome of the coming campaign, estimating the likelihood of teams finishing in each position informed by their expected results in each match.

These are calculated using betting odds and Stats Perform's team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances – and have thrown up some interesting results, even if the title race is a little too predictable.

MANE TO MAINTAIN BAYERN DOMINANCE

Lewandowski's exit was offset by the arrival of Sadio Mane at Bayern, and Stats Perform AI expects Julian Nagelsmann's side to again charge clear at the top of the table.

Bayern have won 10 consecutive titles, so perhaps it is no surprise they are given an 84.93 per cent chance of taking the trophy home again in May.

That figure makes Bayern the most likely champions across all of Europe's top five leagues, with nearest contenders Dortmund only in with a 6.01 per cent shot.

RB Leipzig (4.64 per cent), Bayer Leverkusen (3.38 per cent) lead a group of 10 other clubs who are given at least a slim hope of winning the championship.

For six teams – including 2003-04 champions Werder Bremen and 2006-07 victors Stuttgart – their title tilt is over before a ball has even been kicked.

 

SCRAMBLE OUTSIDE THE TOP FOUR

Unfortunately, the top-four tussle appears as predictable as Bayern's coronation.

The champions will of course occupy one Champions League spot – their 99.53 per cent chance again the greatest across the top five leagues – while Dortmund (76.78 per cent), Leipzig (72.2 per cent) and Leverkusen (62.98 per cent) also look secure, forecast second, third and fourth respectively.

That means a return to Europe's elite competition for all of those who have qualified this year, even if Leipzig have leapfrogged Leverkusen.

Stats Perform AI suggests Union Berlin (4.66 per cent) and Freiburg (8.22 per cent) – one and three points outside the top four last term – have missed their shot, with Borussia Monchengladbach (22.94 per cent) and Eintracht Frankfurt (21.5 per cent) the most likely gatecrashers despite last season finishing 10th and 11th.

Eintracht are also in the Champions League this term after winning the Europa League, but they are considered the team most likely to return to the second-tier competition (13.32 per cent).

There could be a real scrap for those final European places, though. All but four teams have at least a 1.0 per cent likelihood of qualifying for the Europa Conference League, with title favourites Bayern one of those four.

 

SCHALKE AND WERDER FACE A FIGHT

Schalke and Werder – two of the great names of German football – have returned to the top flight following successful promotion campaigns in the 2. Bundesliga last season, but they face tricky first seasons back in the big time.

The ceiling for Schalke is a little higher, so Stats Perform AI has them finishing in the relegation play-off place in 16th.

This is despite two teams – Augsburg (14.02 per cent) and Werder (13.9 per cent) – being more likely to qualify for that play-off than Schalke (13.3 per cent).

Werder are ranked 17th, while the outlook for Augsburg is awful; 14th in the Bundesliga in 2021-22, they have a new coach in ex-Dortmund II boss Enrico Maassen and are considered a strong 38.19 per cent shot for relegation.

Bochum (30.84 per cent) are also in a little trouble, with Hertha Berlin (11.62 per cent) backed to pull away and finish 12th after their play-off scare last time out.

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has hit out at "arrogant idiots" in the English media, while praising Bayern Munich in their signing of Sadio Mane.

Bayern confirmed Mane's signing from Liverpool last Wednesday, with Watzke heralding the 30-year-old's transfer as one that improves the quality of the Bundesliga.

With Karim Adeyemi and Adam Hlozek moving to Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen respectively, and with Ryan Gravenberch also set to sign for Bayern, the Bundesliga's top clubs have bolstered with talented youth.

Meanwhile, German World Cup winner Mario Gotze will head for Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of their debut season in the Champions League.

In an interview with Bild, the Dortmund CEO praised the Mane transfer and barked back on the competitiveness of English clubs in response to comments from Dean Saunders on Talksport, claiming Mane will waste his prime playing in "third gear" at a dominant Bayern.

"Sadio Mane is a very good transfer, on which I expressly congratulate Bayern," Watzke said.

"There are always some arrogant idiots like in this case. As a board member of Europe's club association ECA, I know that German football still has a good reputation.

"The English didn't win any of the three European titles last season - even though I would have really given Jürgen Klopp a chance with Liverpool in the Champions League."

Along with his role at BVB, Watzke is also the DFL's supervisory board chairman, overseeing the operation of Germany's professional domestic leagues.

While expressing Dortmund's excitement on the return of fierce rival Schalke to the German top flight with Werder Bremen, he insisted it was important for the overall health of the Bundesliga along with high-profile transfers.

"Not only are we looking forward to the Revierderby but the whole Bundesliga, because it is the mother of all derbies," Watzke said.

"This is important because next year a lot of conditions will already be in place for the resale of the television rights in 2025, and if the Bundesliga booms this season, that will help us a lot with marketing.

"The Bundesliga has to get stars like Mane and Gotze, but also create stars themselves again."

Werder Bremen are back in the top flight after securing promotion from 2. Bundesliga on the final day of the season.

Bremen started the day three points ahead of rivals Hamburg and Darmstadt, and only needing to avoid defeat to clinch second place.

They ultimately enjoyed a relatively simple 2-0 win over Jahn Regensburg 2-0 at Weserstadion to spark joyous scenes.

A first-half opener from Niclas Fullkrug was followed early in the second period by a goal courtesy of Marvin Ducksch, who had set up their first.

It means Bremen have returned to the top flight after just one season out of the Bundesliga, from where they were relegated last season for only the second time in their history.

The last time they went down, they also bounced back at the first time of asking (1980-81).

The four-time Bundesliga champions follow Schalke back to the top division after the latter confirmed promotion with a 3-2 win over St. Pauli last week.

Die Knappen then sealed the title on Sunday with a 2-1 win at Nuremberg. A terrific Rodrigo Zalazar strike from inside his own half gave them the lead, before the league's top scorer Simon Terodde netted his 30th goal from as many games shortly after Lukas Schleimer's equaliser for the hosts.

This is the fourth time Terodde has won the top scorer award in the German second tier, and he becomes the first player since Sven Demandt for Fortuna Dusseldorf (35 goals) 33 years go to score 30 in a campaign.

Ralf Rangnick has described the evolution of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp as "no coincidence" – because his own career has involved developing a number of their key talents.

The Manchester United interim boss, whose future beyond the end of this season appears unclear, can point to a host of Liverpool players and say he had an important role in their careers.

Rangnick, 63, is regarded as one of football's best strategists, and during his various roles with the Red Bull group, which includes RB Leipzig and Salzburg, he helped to bring through the likes of Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino.

Before that, he was coach when Hoffenheim signed Roberto Firmino from Figueirense, albeit leaving within weeks of that deal being agreed, while Rangnick coached Joel Matip at Schalke.

It is remarkable, therefore, that Rangnick has ended up in charge of Liverpool's most fierce rivals, whom United will face at Anfield in the Premier League on Tuesday.

"They are good, they are extremely good. It's no coincidence that they're as good as they are," Rangnick said of Liverpool.

"Jurgen has built that team over the last six and a half years. Six or seven of those players used to be my – or our – players."

Klopp's Liverpool play a similar high-tempo game to the Leipzig and Salzburg teams that Rangnick oversaw, meaning the players acquired have been a natural fit for Klopp's Reds.

"We signed them for our clubs when nobody knew them," said Rangnick, "and again it's no coincidence that this is probably the club with the highest number of players from our former clubs.

"Their approach, their style of football, the way they want to play is pretty similar."

Rangnick's United side beat Norwich City 3-2 on Saturday in the Premier League thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, and it vaulted them to fifth place in the table.

That treble papered over some rather major cracks, however, and Rangnick warned afterwards there would need to be a big improvement against Liverpool.

United were chaotic at times, particularly in defence, and Rangnick said: "Even the reason why the club contacted me in November was the fact we just conceded too many goals too easily.

"We reduced the number of goals conceded, but the way that we defend is still not the standard we need in order to be a top-four club."

Schalke have sacked Dimitrios Grammozis ahead of the run-in to the 2. Bundesliga campaign, with the club citing a loss of confidence in the coach's ability to earn them promotion this term.

Grammozis originally arrived in March last year as the successor to Christian Gross, but he was unable to keep Schalke in the Bundesliga with an 18th-placed finish.

The former Darmstadt coach was tasked with ensuring a swift return to the top flight this season, yet the seven-time German champions slipped six points off the automatic promotion places with Saturday's 4-3 defeat at home to Hansa Rostock.

Nils Froling's 95th-minute winner for Hansa also left Schalke four points behind Werder Bremen, who occupy the play-off place in third and have a game in hand.

Simon Terodde had equalised three times in scoring a hat-trick but could not rescue Schalke from a fourth home league defeat of the season – their most in a single 2. Bundesliga campaign.

"We have come to a point in the season where big decisions need to be made," sporting director Rouven Schroder noted in a statement on Grammozis' dismissal.

"We no longer believed that we would have a high chance of achieving our goal of returning to the Bundesliga with the current set-up.

"We therefore decided that the team needed a fresh impulse for the end of the season."

Grammozis was the fifth different coach to lead Schalke since Domenico Tedesco's departure in 2019.

Schalke have confirmed they have decided to end their partnership with Gazprom, the Russian energy company.

Gazprom have sponsored Schalke since 2007 but on Thursday, the German club – who were relegated to the second tier last season – confirmed they would remove the company's branding from their shirts.

That decision was made following Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, a conflict that has since escalated.

Gazprom is majority state-owned and the country's largest company in terms of revenue.

On Monday, Schalke announced it would be cutting ties with Gazprom altogether.

"The FC Schalke 04 managing board and supervisory board have come to the agreement to end the club's partnership with Gazprom prematurely," a Schalke statement read.

"The club are currently in discussions with representatives of the current sponsor and further information will be released at a later date.

"This decision does not affect the club’s financial capabilities. The club’s leadership are confident of being able to announce a new partner in the near future."

Governments around the world have placed political and financial sanctions on Russia in response, with many sporting bodies following suit.

In football, UEFA has stripped St Petersburg's Gazprom Arena of this season's Champions League final, while the football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic have refused to play Russia in next month's World Cup qualifiers.

The English FA has also promised to boycott any matches against Russia at all levels for the foreseeable future.

On Sunday, FIFA responded by ordering Russia to play under a neutral banner as the Football Union of Russia (RFU), with their home matches to be played at neutral venues behind closed doors, though Poland still insisted they would not play next month's scheduled qualifier.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, meanwhile, said that he is handing over the "stewardship and care" of the club to the trustees of its charitable foundation.

Schalke have removed Gazprom branding from their shirts in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.

The 2.Bundesliga club are sponsored by the Russian energy company, which is majority state-owned and the country's largest company in terms of revenue.

Schalke's move comes after Russia's attack on neighbouring Ukraine attracted widespread international condemnation.

The Gelsenkirchen-based team has not confirmed if it has severed its financial relationship with the company.

"Following recent developments, FC Schalke 04 have decided to remove the logo of main sponsor GAZPROM from the club's shirts," the club said in a statement.

"It will be replaced by lettering reading 'Schalke 04' instead. The association will inform you about further possible steps in due course."

Schalke's actions come amid mounting expectation that Russia will be stripped of hosting the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League final in May.

The competition's showpiece fixture is set to be played in St Petersburg, coincidentally at the Gazprom Arena.

However, Stats Perform understands European football's governing body, UEFA, will announce a change of venue after an emergency executive committee meeting on Friday.

Elsewhere, this year's Formula One Russian Grand Prix appears to be under threat, while serious doubts hang over next month's Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying play-offs, in which both Russia and Ukraine are set to take part.

Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak has joined Norwich City on a season-long loan.

Daniel Farke's men confirmed the deal on Monday, with the newly promoted side retaining the option to buy for a reported £12million (€14m) at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

The 21-year-old becomes another name on Norwich's growing list of acquisitions as they seek to retain their Premier League status.

Kabak spent the second half of the last campaign at Liverpool amid their shortage of centre-backs, appearing 13 times in all competitions.

The Turkey defender, who made the final squad for Euro 2020 in June, ranked third among Jurgen Klopp's defenders to play more than 10 games for passing accuracy, completing 87.5 per cent.

The Schalke loanee also sat third among club charts for blocks (seven) and fourth for tackles (25).

Upon joining Norwich on loan, Kabak told the club's official website: "I'm very happy to be a part of this family. I'm looking forward to playing in front of the fans and getting some points.

"I spoke with the head coach and I’m really impressed by his project and what he said to me. I believe in him and his project.

"I played in the Premier League last year and I really enjoyed it. So, I want to play again and that's why I’m here. I want to play in the Premier League and to give something to the team.

"I'm looking forward to playing in front of the fans with this jersey. We will work hard to get some wins and take some points to make our fans happy."

Where will Lionel Messi land?

Barcelona's shock announcement of his departure set rumours flying.

Will it be Paris, Manchester or somewhere else?

 

TOP STORY - MESSI ON THE MARKET

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are rumoured to be the top suitors for Lionel Messi.

The French giants have already made contact with Messi's representatives, according to Fabrizio Romano, and are seen in many quarters as the favourites to land the Argentine forward.

It remains to be seen wherher PSG can take on Messi after making several major moves during the transfer window, while City may be in a similarly difficult situation after finalising their £100million deal for Jack Grealish on Thursday.

A reunion with Pep Guardiola may still be a possibility, though, especially if Tottenham refuse to engage in talks around a Harry Kane deal.

Major League Soccer could also be a possibility, though Messi is expected to remain in Europe for at least a few more years.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have not given up on a move for Kieran Trippier, though they have not come close to Atletico Madrid's £34million demands for the England international, The Sun says.

- West Ham are in talks with Fiorentina for centre-back Nikola Milenkovic, Fabrizio Romano reports, with the Serie A side eyeing Matija Nastasic of Schalke as a replacement.

- Arsenal have bid £17m for Lazio striker Joaquin Correa, claims Corriere dello Sport.

- Juventus are interested in bringing back Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic on either a loan or a permanent deal, says Calciomercato.

- Roma are lining up a £21m bid for Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, says Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Crystal Palace are among multiple clubs hoping to lure Adam Armstrong from Blackburn, with the Daily Mail saying they are favoured ahead of Norwich City and Southampton.

Manchester City still hope to sign Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane in the coming days.

The Premier League champions appear likely to add his international team-mate first, with Jack Grealish reportedly close to a move to the Etihad Stadium.

Aston Villa have tabled a contract to keep their star man, but City are prepared to spend big to win his signature.

 

TOP STORY - CITY CLOSE ON GREALISH DEAL

Manchester City are set to complete a £100million move for Jack Grealish in the next few days, according to multiple reports

The Mail says the 25-year-old England international will earn more than £200,000 a week upon joining Pep Guardiola's side. 

Though City are expected to cut ties with some veteran players, adding Grealish will have no impact on their longstanding pursuit of Harry Kane, the Sun reports.

 

ROUND-UP

- Saul Niguez is weighing up a move to the Premier League, with the Mirror reporting Manchester United and Liverpool are possibilities for the Atletico Madrid midfielder in a £35-£40m deal. 

- Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are possibilities for Bernardo Silva if he leaves City in the coming weeks, reports the Mail. 

- Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero wants to join Tottenham but the clubs are having difficulty reaching an agreement, reports Fabrizio Romano. 

- Brazilian striker Kaio Jorge is set for a €3m (£2.5m) permanent move to Juventus from Santos and is expected to sign through to 2026, reports Romano. 

- Arsenal and Everton have shown interest in Schalke's Matthew Hoppe after the USA international's strong Gold Cup performance, reports US journalist Grant Wahl.

- Talks between Wolves and Adama Traore have broken down and Leeds could swoop for the winger, reports Goal. 

- Brighton are interested in Benfica striker and Urugay international Darwin Nunez, reports the Mail. 

Bayern Munich will donate over €1million to support victims of this month's flash floods and storms in Germany, with a charity match against Schalke also scheduled.

Parts of Germany and Belgium were heavily hit by floods over the last fortnight. Over 100 people are still missing, with Germany's official death toll standing at 177, while thousands more have been made homeless.

Two of the worst-hit areas have been North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, while storms have also caused disruption in Bavaria.

In response, Bayern have pledged a minimum aid package of €1.1million, with €1m split between the regions in the west, and €100,000 going towards helping to repair damage in the south.

The Bundesliga champions have also arranged to play a friendly against Schalke, who are based in the North Rhine-Westphalia city of Gelsenkirchen.

Schalke were relegated to the second tier last season, though with the date for the charity game at Veltins Arena not yet confirmed, Bayern pledged the financial support immediately.

"The images of the flood disaster shocked us," said Bayern president Herbert Hainer.

"In such a terrible situation, we have to stick together as a society. Football also lives very much from solidarity and social responsibility. We can only guess what the people in the affected regions have gone through and continue to go through.

"We also want to support them with our charity game and the donation ... is on the side of the flood victims.

"I would like to thank FC Schalke 04 very much, Schalke immediately agreed to take part in our initiative. On the occasion of the charity game, together we will also commemorate the people who tragically lost their lives in the storm."

Ozan Kabak has confirmed he will not be remaining at Liverpool beyond his initial loan deal in a heartfelt open letter to the club's supporters.

The Turkey international arrived from Bundesliga strugglers Schalke in January as Jurgen Klopp looked to ease a major injury crisis at centre-back.

He went on to make nine appearances in the Premier League as the Reds turned their season around to clinch a third-placed finish, though he missed the final five games due to fitness issues of his own.

Liverpool had negotiated an £18million option to buy as part of the loan deal with Schalke, but the chances of that being triggered appeared to be dashed by the signing of Ibrahima Konate in early June.

Kabak has now revealed that to be the case, though he made clear that he has no regrets over his short-term stay at Anfield.

He wrote: "Dear Liverpool family, I would like to thank you for the compassion and support you have shown towards me since the day I arrived. 

"I believe the experience I have gathered during my four months stay here has been a very important one. 

"I have learnt a lot from my manager Jurgen Klopp and all my team-mates and I was proud to be part of this special family. 

"I will always remember my days here at Liverpool with great happiness and the special song which you have kindly gifted me."

Kabak is said to be attracting interest from Leicester City and RB Leipzig as he plots an escape from relegated Schalke.

Zinedine Zidane's career as head coach of Real Madrid looks set to come to an end after a trophy-less 2020-21 season.

Madrid finished as runners-up in LaLiga, while they were knocked out in the Champions League semi-finals and exited in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey.

Zidane returned to take charge of Los Blancos in 2019, after a previous stint from 2016 to 2018 where they won Europe's continental crown three times in a row.

 

TOP STORY - ZIDANE STEPS DOWN AT MADRID

Spanish outlets AS and Marca both are reporting Zinedine Zidane will step down as Real Madrid head coach.

The former France international has reportedly informed the club of his final decision following weeks of speculation around his post.

Zidane had requested a few days to consider his options and has now made his final decision and contacted his players individually, the reports say.

 

ROUND-UP

- Het Nieuwsblad reports that Belgium international and Leicester City's FA Cup final hero Youri Tielemans is among Liverpool's targets as they seek to replace Georginio Wijnaldum.

- Liverpool have also reportedly agreed to a five-year deal with RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, according to ESPN.

- The Mirror reports that Leicester City may offer a deal to Schalke defender Ozan Kabak after he spent the second half of the season on loan at Liverpool.

- Kicker reports that Bayer Leverkusen are pondering an off-season swoop for Arsenal defender William Saliba.

- Le10Sport claims that French champions Lille are ready to replace the departed Christophe Galtier with Thiago Motta at the helm.

Harry Kane's reported desire to leave Tottenham has created a race for his signature.

A lack of silverware is believed to be behind Kane's alleged urge to move on, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea the leading suitors.

In the post-COVID world where club finances have been hit hard, some clubs are getting creative.

 

TOP STORY - CHELSEA'S PLAYER-PLUS-CASH SWAP DEAL

Chelsea are launching a player-plus-cash swap deal to land Kane from Tottenham involving goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and forward Tammy Abraham, claims ESPN.

Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris is expected to leave the club, hence the lure of Kepa who has been back-up to Edouard Mendy, while Abraham, who is not a regular starter for the Blues, could help to fill the void left by Kane.

Kane is contracted with Tottenham for another three seasons and Spurs are believed to want a transfer fee of £150 million, so the addition of players would drop that figure down to an affordable level.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Guardian reports that Sergio Aguero has agreed to a two-year deal with Barcelona, with his departure from Manchester City this off-season already confirmed.

- Arsenal's Sead Kolasinac will leave the Gunners, with Schalke 04 and Lazio circling for the Bosnian's signature, reports Football London.

- Fernandinho was set to exit Manchester City, but The Times claims he will renew with the club on a one-year deal.

- The manager merry-go-round is in full swing, with The Mirror claiming that Wolves are looking at ex-Roma boss Paulo Fonseca, while The Sun reports that Tottenham will try to convince Brendan Rodgers to join the club if Leicester City fail to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Europe's top five leagues all conclude this week and there are still plenty of matters to be resolved – not least who will be crowned champions in Spain and France.

Every division has something riding on the final days of the season, whether it be top spot, European qualification, or relegation.

Ahead of what is set to be a dramatic conclusion to the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga campaigns, we look at the state of play in each league.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester City wrapped up the Premier League title with three games to spare, making them the first team in the competition's history to win the title despite being as low as eighth on Christmas Day.

All three relegation places were also decided with three games remaining – a Premier League record – with Fulham joining Sheffield United and West Brom in dropping down a division.

That leaves just the European spots to fight for, and it is shaping up to be an entertaining end to the English top-flight season in that regard. Manchester United are guaranteed a top-four finish, but five other teams – Leicester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham – are in the mix for the two other Champions League berths with two rounds of games to go.

There is also the small matter of the Europa League places for the teams finishing in fifth and sixth, as well as a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League, which goes to the team in seventh, meaning everyone from 10th-placed Leeds United to Leicester in third have something to play for. That includes Arsenal, who have not missed out on European football of some sort in 25 years.

LALIGA 

The Spanish title race appeared to take a dramatic twist on Sunday as Real Madrid leapfrogged Atletico Madrid at the summit for around 20 minutes. However, Atleti scored two late goals to beat Osasuna, meaning they are two points ahead of their city rivals heading into the final round of games.

Atleti, who have led the way at the top for 29 matchdays, now need to match Madrid's result against Villarreal when they travel to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid on the final day of the season. It is worth noting that Los Blancos have the superior head-to-head record, so a draw would not be enough for Atleti if Madrid win.

Barcelona are officially out of the title race, meanwhile, but they are assured of a top-four finish along with Sevilla. Real Sociedad and Real Betis occupy the Europa League spots, while Villarreal are in a Europa Conference League berth, though just one point separates the three teams so that could all yet change.

To complicate matters, Villarreal could still qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League final against Manchester United.

At the bottom end of the division, Eibar are already relegated and they will be joined by two of Valladolid, Elche or Huesca. Valladolid must beat Atletico in their final game to have a chance of staying up, while the onus is on Elche to better Huesca's result as they are level on points but have an inferior head-to-head record.

LIGUE 1

The Ligue 1 title battle is also going right down to the wire in a three-way dogfight. After a thrilling race that has lasted the course of the season, underdogs Lille lead heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain by one point with one matchday left.

Monaco have won seven of their previous eight games and are three points off leaders Lille, though they require both Les Dogues and PSG to slip up on the final day, as well as beating Lens. Should it come down to goal difference, PSG hold a big lead over their two title rivals.

Incredibly, PSG are still not yet technically assured of a Champions League place as Lyon in fourth are only three points worse off, although it would take a defeat for the reigning champions and victory for Lyon, plus a goal swing of 16, for them to miss out.

Monaco's opponents Lens, incidentally, also have plenty to play for at the weekend as they are sixth – enough for Europa Conference League qualification – but can still be caught by Rennes in seventh, while they could yet overtake Marseille in fifth if results go their way.

At the opposite end of the table, there may only be one spot left to be settled in the bottom three – Dijon and Nimes are both already down – but six teams are still very much in danger of the drop. Nantes occupy the relegation play-off spot, with Lorient, Brest and Strasbourg just a point better off, and Bordeaux and Reims only two points clear.

SERIE A

With Inter being crowned Scudetto winners for the first time in 11 years at the start of the month, the biggest storyline in Serie A regards Juventus' top-four fate. The dethroned champions, who had finished top nine years running before this season, are currently down in fifth.

Juve are one point behind Napoli and Milan in the two spots directly above them, while Atalanta are three points better off in second and have the better head-to-head record against the Bianconeri.

Andrea Pirlo's side are therefore in need of favours on the final day in what is poised to be a nail-biting finale in terms of those Champions League places. Lazio will finish sixth, so they are assured of Europa League football next term, while Roma hold a two-point advantage over Sassuolo in the Europa Conference League position.

Parma and Crotone are both down already and one of Benevento or Torino will join them, the latter currently three points outside of the relegation zone and with a game in hand to play on Benevento.

BUNDESLIGA

RB Leipzig provided Bayern Munich with some stern competition for a while, but the Bavarian giants' quality eventually told and they are Bundesliga champions for a ninth year running.

It's not only the title race that's done and dusted in Germany, in fact, as RB Leipzig are certain of second place, and both Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg will join them in the Champions League next season.

Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, will finish in fifth and sixth respectively regardless of events later this week.

However, Union Berlin have work to do if they are to finish seventh for a place in the Europa Conference League play-offs as Borussia Monchengladbach are a point further back, while Stuttgart and Freiburg are two behind with a game to go.

Seven-time German champions Schalke will be competing in the second tier of German football next season, but Cologne and Werder Bremen are hanging on in there, sitting two and one point behind Arminia Bielefeld respectively in 15th place.

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