Europe’s domestic soccer leagues are in full swing. Some, like Germany’s Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga are playing out as expected; Bayern Munich basically has the Bundesliga wrapped up already, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are on top in Spain.
The English Premier League and Italy’s Serie A, on the other hand, have seen a shift at the top. In the EPL, defending champions Chelsea are inexplicably crumpling into a disheveled heap of footy sadness. Meanwhile, Juventus, who have won four straight Serie A titles, find themselves nine points off the early pace set by Fiorentina and Inter Milan.
The Champions League and Europa league are also well underway, with many of the same clubs who are dominating domestically also cruising on Europe’s biggest stage.
On this side of the pond, it’s playoff time for the MLS, which has seen an influx of top European talent of late – well, an influx of what used to be top European talent. (Signing a 36-year-old Andrea Pirlo is not the same as signing a 26-year-old Andrea Pirlo, unfortunately.)
As the European leagues ramp up and the MLS climaxes (ooh, saucy word choice), it’s time to set the odds on who will be hoisting championship banners at year’s end, along with which young (or not-so-young) men will be the next to head west. (Odds for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup can also be found below because pageviews!)
Odds to win the 2015-16 EPL title:
- Manchester City (25 pts): 10/9
- Arsenal (25 pts): 4/3
- Manchester United (21 pts): 10/1
- Liverpool (17 pts): 45/1
- Tottenham (20 pts): 75/1
- Chelsea (11 pts): 80/1
Odds to win the 2015-16 Bundesliga title:
- Bayern Munich (31 pts): 1/15
- Dortmund (26 pts): 25/1
- Wolfsburg (21 pts): 75/1
- Schalke 04 (20 pts): 150/1
- Mönchengladbach (11 pts): 250/1
Odds to win the 2015-16 La Liga title:
- Barcelona (24 pts): 4/3
- Real Madrid (24 pts): 4/3
- Atletico Madrid (20 pts): 12/1
- Celta Vigo (21 pts): 100/1
- Villarreal (20 pts): 100/1
Odds to win the 2015-16 Seria A title:
- AS Roma (23 pts): 5/2
- Napoli (22 pts): 13/4
- Inter Milan (24 pts): 6/1
- Fiorentina (24 pts): 8/1
- Juventus (15 pts): 9/1
Odds to win the 2015-16 Ligue 1 (France) title:
- Paris-St. Germaine (32 pts): 1/15
- Lyon (22 pts): 40/1
- Monaco (20 pts): 45/1
Odds to win the 2015-16 Champions League title:
- Bayern Munich: 4/1
- Barcelona: 9/2
- Real Madrid: 5/1
- Manchester City: 12/1
- Paris-St. Germaine: 18/1
Odds to win the 2015-16 Europa League title:
- Napoli: 12/1
- Lazio: 14/1
- Liverpool: 20/1
- Athletic Bilbao: 25/1
- Schalke 04: 25/1
Odds to win Euro 2016:
- Germany: 4/1
- France: 5/1
- Spain: 8/1
- Belgium: 12/1
- England: 15/1
Odds to win the 2018 World Cup:
- Germany: 7/1
- Argentina: 10/1
- Brazil: 11/1
- Spain: 12/1
- Belgium: 15/1
- France: 15/1
- Russia (hosts): 35/1
Odds to win the 2015 MLS Cup:
- NY Red Bulls: 2/1
- Seattle Sounders: 5/1
- Vancouver Whitecaps: 8/1
- Montreal Impact: 8/1
- FC Dallas: 12/1
Odds on which European star will be the next to transfer to the MLS:
- Arjen Robben: 5/1
- Robben is an interesting choice. He is still at the top of his game – and one of the best players on the best clubs (Bayern Munich) – but he has been around for so long, it might be time to move on. He even said the following about the MLS: “I think MLS is showing very good development and becoming more interesting for players in Europe.”
- John Terry:5/1:
- The 34-year-old Terry will likely hang up his Chelsea jersey when he turns 35. Like Robben, he acknowledged the possibility of heading to the MLS thereafter. “[M]aybe there is a time when I look to go to play in America, or whatever might be best for my family,” Terry told TalkSPORT back in May.
- Wayne Rooney 8/1:
- Rooney is only 30 but started his career way back in 2002. David Beckham, who is already part of the MLS operation, said he talked with Wayne about moving to Miami.
- Iniesta: 10/1
- Iniesta is close friends with New York City FC’s David Villa. He’ll be 34 when his current contract expires and said only, “We’ll see what happens” regarding a possible move to the United States
- Robin Van Persie: 10/1
- RVP is miserable in Turkey playing with Fenerbahçe. His body language shows it. However, he has admitted he might like to try the Middle East before the MLS. Money talks.
- Olivier Giroud: 15/1
- The French striker is just 29 and there’s no indication that he’s sick of the European scene and wants to move Stateside.
- Cristiano Ronaldo: 15/1:
- It’s hard to think Ronaldo’s days in Europe are over. The Real Madrid striker still has at least four to five seasons at the highest level.
- Luis Suarez 15/1:
- Suarez has had his share of controversies and the lower-key American scene might be just the recipe. After a visit to San Francisco, he told ESPNdeportes back in July, “I didn’t dislike it, there’s no pressure at all. I walked three blocks in San Francisco, and the people didn’t recognize me, because football is not the country’s first sport, and they left me alone. It’s a good option.” But he’s still a young man, as well.
- Diego Costa: 20/1
- Brazilian/Spanish striker Diego Costa looks like he has played forever, but he’s actually only 27. Costa has said the MLS in on his radar, but isn’t looking to move right now.
- Lionel Messi: 20/1
- If Ronaldo isn’t ready for the switch, Lio Messi is ever farther away.
- Manuel Neuer: 20/1
- Goalies can play until 39 or 40 years old. Neuer is the best keeper in the world right now; he’s not moving to the MLS anytime soon.
- Eden Hazard: 30/1
- Despite having a poor season with Chelsea, Hazard is not moving to another club in the next few seasons. Chelsea is trying to build around his skills.
- Neymar: 30/1
- Neymar, just 23, signed with Barcelona two seasons ago. He figures to have about a decade left in Europe unless the MLS turns into a top league before then. And Brazilians tend to go back to home before heading to North America.
- Field: 3/1
(Photo credit: db photoshoot [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)