The Big Mid-Season European Round-Up

Published on 12 December 2023 at 13:00

Strap in for the round-up you've all been waiting for, as we take an insight into Europe's top league's uncovering everything there is to know from the leaders and strugglers to the top scorers and ones to watch. This is the big one so put your feet up get comfy and delve in to an engrossing read which will give you all the knowledge you need for the Christmas pub quiz.


The Story so far: A final day Borussia Dortmund capitulation handed Bayern Munich their eleventh consecutive Bundesliga title last season, but reiterated that the German giants dominance was deteriorating. Bayer Leverkusen have continued where they left off under Xabi Alonso this season, undefeated in their fourteen games this campaign with a four point advantage over Thomas Tuchel's reigning champions. Sebastian Hoeness has transformed free-scoring VFL Stuttgart while Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund make up the chasing pack. Borussia Monchengladbach's recent decline has continued this season under Swiss manager Gerardo Seoane, while Bundesliga debutants FC Heidenheim the Luton Town of Germany are in thirteenth, four points above the relegation zone. The relegation zone is made up of FC Koln, Mainz and SV Darmstadt,  meanwhile Champions League outfit Union Berlin hover above the drop zone on goal difference.

Top Scorer: Harry KaneThe all-time England top goal scorer has transitioned to life in Munich, following his £100m summer transfer, effortlessly scoring on his Bundesliga debut where he has not looked back since. The 30 year old has eighteen goals in only thirteen league games so far, averaging 1.42 goals per game.

Surprise Team: VFL StuttgartLast season Stuttgart faced Hamburg in a play-off to stay in the Bundesliga after finishing in the relegation zone. Under Sebastian Hoeness they have already done the double over Borussia Dortmund and collected a point against league leader Leverkusen, where they are on course to qualify for a Champions League spot.

Struggling Team: Union BerlinThe German fairy-tale team over the last three seasons rising from the second division to qualifying for the Champions League, but this season their bubble has finally burst. They suffered twelve consecutive defeats between September and November and have only three wins in the league.

One to Watch: Benjamin Sesko - The former Salzburg talisman, joined Leipzig this summer and while its been a slow start at the Red Bull Arena he looks a clinical traditional number nine.


La Liga - 

The Story so far: The Real Madrid and Barcelona duopoly has been gate-crashed by Spanish minnows Girona; the Catalan outfit lead after 16 games and have registered the most points in Europe's top five leagues. Title defending Barcelona have looked disjointed and lacklustre this season under Xavi, on the other hand Diego Simeone's Atletico have built momentum in recent weeks and could still be title contenders. Former Europa League champions Villarreal have appointed former Valencia manager Marcelino to resurrected their underwhelming season and Champions League outfit Sevilla are also undergoing a torrid campaign sitting just four points above the drop zone. Celta Vigo, Granada and Almeria make up the bottom three as newly promoted duo Deportivo Alaves and Las Palmas enjoy life midtable in La Liga.

Top Scorer: Jude Bellingham - The midfielder has defied the odds since his blockbuster £100m summer arrival at Real Madrid, scoring twelve goals in his opening fourteen games this season. He's already a Los Blancos legend after his El Clasico brace against Barcelona.

Surprise Team: Las Palmas - Garcia Pimienta's side have six wins in their last ten La Liga matches including wins against Atletico Madrid and Villarreal. The newly promoted outfit sit four points off of a European place in their first top flight season since 2017/18.

Struggling Team: Sevilla - The Andalusian outfit sacked Luis Mendilibar only five months after he guided them to their seventh Europa League trophy after just two wins in their opening seven games. Even the long-awaited return of Sergio Ramos has not salvaged their underwhelming season.

Ones to Watch: Lamine Yamal - The 16 year old is the shining light of Barcelona this season, he has made seven La Liga starts and became the youngest ever scorer in La Liga with his goal against Granada.

Serie A

The Story so far: The Scudetto appears to be a two horse race this season with Inter Milan and a re-juvenated Juventus leading Serie A by seven points. The race for Champions League football is hotter than ever as AC Milan, AS Roma, Bologna, Napoli, Fiorentina and Atalanta all within six points of each other. Monza are building on last season's survival with another impressive campaign, while Mauricio Sarri's Lazio are lifeless without anchor-man Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who joined Al Hilal in the summer. Cagliari's Serie A struggles are continuing after promotion last season, alongside Salernitana and Hellas Verona.

Top Scorer: Lautaro Martinez - The Argentine has developed into the Nerazurri's talisman this season, scoring fourteen Serie A goals in fifteen league games. He has scored 37% of Inter Milan's goals in the league this season!

Surprise Team: Bologna - Thiago Motta has excelled in his third managerial job breaching the top eight to put Bologna in contention for a European place. The Serie A outfit are on course for the highest finish in over twenty years, as they continue to disrupt the pecking order.

Struggling Team: Napoli - The reigning Scudetto champions lost title winning manager Luciano Spalletti and defensive stalwart Kim-Min Jae during the summer. Rudi Garcia endured a turbulent seven month tenure, before ex-Watford manager Walter Mazzarri returned to the club to lose three games in their last four games.

One to Watch: Samuele Ricci - The 22 year old midfielder has excelled for Torino this season, and is attracting interest from the Serie A heavyweights further up the food chain.

Ligue 1

Story So Far: Paris Saint Germain have overcome their early season teething problems to reclaim a firm grasp on the title, but Nice and Monaco are keeping up. Nice look to have discovered the perfect formula under 34 year old manager Francesco Farioli having lost once in fifteen games. Last season's surprise package Lens have struggled with the addition of midweek European football while Will Still's Reims look to be progressing on from last season's remarkable top half finish currently sitting in eighth. The bottom four consist of all of the newly promoted sides: Auxerre, Ajaccio, Troyes and Angers. 

Top Scorer: Kylian Mbappe - The Parisian is on fire once again this season, after all of the drama during the summer he has fifteen goals in fourteen games and is once again PSG's talisman.

Surprise Team: Brest - Eric Roy's team have took the league by storm this season, and currently are unbeaten in their last four games to put them in a Europa Conference League place. 

Struggling TeamRennes - In recent years the Ligue 1 club have dominated the European qualification spots, but they find themselves only three points from safety. Juggling Europa League football with an injury plagued squad has dented their season so far this year.

One to Watch: Warren Zaire-Emery - The 17 year old has been a key player for Luis Enrique this season and pivotal in replacing club icon Marco Verratti who departed for Al Duhail this summer.


Written by - Lewis Eadie

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