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European Weekend Preview: Relegation battles in England, Germany, Spain, and more

MichaelDawsonHullCity1-Liverpool2015 (Getty)

By AYDIN REYHAN

Domestic action comes to a halt for the 2014-2015 season in England, Spain, Germany and France this weekend, signaling the final stand for those teams in danger of relegation.

In the English Premier League, with the top of the table already determined, the focus moves to action at the bottom of the table, with Hull City and Newcastle both in danger of relegation. Hull City hosts Manchester United and Newcastle hosts West Ham United, both on Sunday.

La Liga will see another battle of who stays in the top flight as Eibar and Almeria are both just two points behind Granada and Deportivo in the relegation battle. Eibar hosts bottom-team Cordoba while Almeria hosts Valencia, who could use a result to hold off Sevilla for a Champions League spot.

Finally in Germany, the battle for second place and the battle for relegation are the two main courses of this weekend’s action, with six teams all battling to stay out of relegation and Borussia Mönchengladbach fighting to hold onto second place.

Here is what is happening in Europe’s top five leagues this weekend:

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Hull City needs a win to remain in the top flight. Two points behind Newcastle, Hull City will need to defeat Manchester United, while hoping for a Newcastle loss or draw to West Ham.

Tottenham and Liverpool are still battling for fifth place, and a Europa League berth, as Tottenham visits Everton while Liverpool travels to the Britannia to take on at Stoke City.

Southampton visits Man City in a game with second place guaranteed for the hosts. As for the visitors, they have 60 points and a chance to jump into fifth or sixth place ahead of Liverpool and Tottenham for a place in next season’s Europa League.

Here are the fixtures in the final week of play this season in the EPL:

Arsenal-West Brom

Villa-Burnley

Chelsea-Sunderland

Palace-Swansea

Everton-Tottenham

Hull-Man United

Leicester-QPR

Man City-Southampton

Newcastle-West Ham

Stoke-Liverpool

LA LIGA

In the La Liga goalscoring race, Cristiano Ronaldo has 45 goals opposed to Lionel Messi’s 41. Being four ahead and having a final match at home against Getafe, CR7 should comfortably win the Pichichi, given to the league’s top scorer. The award will prove to be the biggest honor given to Real Madrid, given the club’s trophy-less campaign.

While both Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have locked up Champions League spots, Valencia will look to do the same with a result against Almeria. Up a point on Sevilla while maintaining the head-to-head tiebreaker, a victory will lock up the spot, while a draw or loss opens the door for Sevilla to jump into the top four.

Here are the closing fixtures in La Liga this season:

Levante-Elche

Almeria-Valencia

Bilbao-Villarreal

Barcelona-Deportivo

Celta Vigo-Espanyol

Eibar-Cordoba

Granada-Atletico

Malaga-Sevilla

Rayo-Sociedad

Real Madrid-Getafe

BUNDESLIGA

Relegation is the main topic of discussion as 14th to 18th place in the standings are still no guarantee heading into the final weekend. Freiburg and Hannover are in 14th and 15th respectively with 34 points while Stuttgart (33), Hamburg (32) and Paderborn (31) are all behind them in relegation.

Hannover hosts Freiburg while Paderborn welcomes Stuttgart and Hamburg faces a tough test in a home matchup with Schalke.

Wolfsburg (second with 68 points) visits Koln while Moenchengladbach (third with 66) hosts Augsburg, making second  very much up for grabs.

Here is the final list of fixtures as this season’s Bundesliga comes to a close:

Bayern-Mainz

Dortmund-Bremen

Moenchengladbach-Augsburg

Frankfurt-Leverkusen

Koln-Wolfsburg

Hamburg-Schalke

Hannover-Freiburg

Hoffenheim-Hertha Berlin

Paderborn-Stuttgart

SERIE A

Juventus, the Serie A champions, will close the season out at home against Napoli just days after hoisting the Copa Italia trophy against Lazio in a 2-1 victory. Napoli could have overlapped Lazio into third if they had not allowed 13 more goals than the capital-based squad.

 

Sampdoria can still finish in sixth ahead of Genoa which as they look for a Europa League playoff spot. Sampdoria visits Empoli while Genoa hosts Inter Milan.

Lazio will host Roma in what should give us a better idea of who finishes second, as Roma maintains 67 points whereas Lazio sits on 66. The Blue side of the capital just lost on Wednesday against Juve in the Copa Italia finale.

Here are the fixtures for the second-to-last week of Serie A action this season:

Juventus-Napoli

Genoa-Inter

Empoli-Sampdoria

Cesena-Cagliari

Chievo-Atalanta

Palermo-Fiorentina

Parma-Hellas Verona

Udinese-Sassuolo

AC Milan-Torino

Lazio-Roma

LIGUE 1

PSG is already the champion while Lyon is going to finish second. However, anything can still happen in third place, a Champions League playoff spot. Monaco currently sits third with 68 points while Marseille and Saint-Etienne sit fourth and fifth on 66 points.

Marseille hosts Bastia, Saint-Etienne hosts Guingamp and Monaco visits Lorient. The fourth and fifth-placed sides are at home whereas the third-placed occupant is on the road with a tricky assignment.

Here are the final fixtures of the 2014-2015 Ligue 1 season:

Bordeaux-Montpellier

Caen-Evian

Lens-Nantes

Lorient-Monaco

Marseille-Bastia

Metz-Lille

PSG-Reims

Rennes-Lyon

Saint-Etienne-Guingamp

Toulouse-Nice

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