Sunday, April 5, 2020

Corona: Europe’s Leagues – With these scenarios, the season can end

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Dhe impact of the corona crisis is forcing German professional football to its knees for now. The Presidium of the German Football League has agreed to extend game operations in the First and Second League at least until April 30th. The 36 professional clubs are to make a corresponding recommendation at the general meeting on March 31. Games 26 and 27 had already been canceled due to the corona virus pandemic.

In all likelihood, this will lead to a muddle, of which Frankfurt manager Fredi Bobic said in the “Bild” program “Reif ist live”, if necessary “just played every day”.

According to the “BILD”, the DFL is hoping for a resumption of play in mid-May. The last Bundesliga matchday of this season was actually scheduled for May 16. The season should then be ended with ghost games by June 30. Then a large number of employment contracts of the professionals end. As things stand, there are 109 players in the Bundesliga alone who have only had one contract with their club until then.

The Bundesliga is in a comparatively comfortable situation after the relocation of the European Championship to next year. At least with a view of the remaining top leagues in Europe.

Italy is particularly hard hit by the Corona pandemic

Because nowhere else do fewer games (81) need to be whipped than in this country. The number of match days, namely nine, is also relatively moderate compared to Italy’s Serie A (twelve match days), the Spanish league (eleven) or the French (ten).

The Premier League also only has nine games to complete. However, there have to be two catch-up games in the schedule, only one in the Bundesliga: Werder Bremen versus Eintracht Frankfurt.

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The Italian league is particularly troubled on this point, as not only do most of the duels have to be completed as planned (120, Bundesliga: 81), but also have four games to catch up on.

Italy is particularly badly hit by the Corona pandemic. The number of people who tested positive for the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen rose to more than 69,000 by Tuesday. In total, almost 6,900 people have died in Italy as a result of infection with the corona virus. That is more than in any other country – in just one month.

Even if you add the relegation that is common in Germany with its two games, Italy does the worst: The league must somehow still play a total of 124 games (Spain: 110 / no relegation, France 103 / including relegation, England 92 / none Relegation, Germany 84 / including relegation). Given the seriousness of the pandemic, this is hardly imaginable.

Statistics experts from the Opta soccer industry service have designed scenarios for how the season could still be handled in the European leagues. WELT introduces them.

Bundesliga

Assuming the scenario that the game will be played again on May 1st (Friday), there were still 61 days until the official end of the season, or 60 days, since no games will be played on May 1st.

Exactly nine weekends remained in the Bundesliga to get the season across – theoretically without weekdays during the week.

But: Two Saturdays (May 23 and 30) are normally reserved for the final in the DFB Cup or in the Champions League. In addition, the relegation (planned: first leg: May 20 or May 21, second leg May 25 or May 27) can only be played after the end of the last day of the game.

The semi-finals in the DFB Cup would be on 21/22. April and should be postponed to May. This would mean another game for FC Bayern, Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt (and Saarbrücken).

Dortmund retired from the Champions League, Leipzig is already in the quarter-finals, which is probably the one Bavaria will achieve. In the Europa League, Leverkusen has good chances of progressing, and Frankfurt and Wolfsburg will be in a tight spot. Should Frankfurt still move into the quarter-finals, the catch-up game against Bremen would not be without problems.

Premier League

Similar to the Bundesliga, everyday life in the league (excluding catch-up games) would only be possible at the weekends in order to end the season between May 1st and June 30th.

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While the final of the English League Cup was played on March 1st, the FA Cup has only reached the quarter-finals. H. there are still seven games left. The final would normally be played on the same day as the DFB Cup final.

Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp must fear that his club will be denied the first championship in 30 years - despite a 25 point lead

Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp must fear that his club will be denied the first championship in 30 years – despite a 25 point lead

Source: Action Images via Reuters

The English football league would not be so inconvenienced that Liverpool and Tottenham are two clubs that have already left the Champions League and Chelsea probably another one will be added. Manchester City (2-1 Real) have a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals. In the Europa League, Manchester United (5-0 at Linz ASK) are as good as next, while Wolverhampton (1-1 in Piraeus) is still questionable.

La Liga

The Spanish league would have to schedule two league games a week for eleven match days, provided the season is scheduled to run between May 1st and June 30th. A small advantage is that – as of now – you would not have to plan any catch-up games.

In the national cup, only the final (Bilbao against San Sebastian) is still outstanding, which was originally scheduled for a Saturday (April 18).

In the European Cup, Atlético Madrid, reached the quarterfinals during the second leg of Barcelona and Real Madrid are still pending (Valencia has dropped out). Seville are still in the Europa League and Represent Getafe, who still have to play the second leg in the round of 16.

Ligue 1

The French league would have to schedule two league games a week for ten match days, provided the season is to be completed between May 1 and June 30. There is also a catch-up game between PSG and Strasbourg.

There are still two finals in the national cup (League Cup and Coupe de France) – both originally scheduled for Saturdays in April. Paris Saint-Germain has qualified for both finals.

In France there is also a relegation that, like in the Bundesliga, must also be planned.

The European Cup includes Paris (already qualified for the quarter-finals) and Lyon (Round of 16 second leg still pending) two clubs in the Champions League in competition.

Series A

In addition to nine match days on the weekend, Serie A would have to accommodate three more during the week and four catch-up games to get through the season between May 1 and June 30.

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Source: WELT / Maximilian Seib

But during the week it gets really tight: The only national cup competition (Coppa Italia) has reached the semi-finals, in which, however, the two second legs still have to be played. The final is also scheduled during the week.

There are still five teams in the European Cup: Atalanta Bergamo has already qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals while Juventus and Naples still have to play their second leg in the round of 16. Inter and Roma are in the Europa League even before their first leg of the round of 16.

European Cup of Influence for all leagues

Teams from four of the top 5 leagues are still represented in the Europa League, only the French have no team in the Europa League.

In the premier class, all top 5 leagues are even represented with at least one team.

Of course, this also has an additional impact on the future schedule of the national leagues: Because the Champions League final is scheduled for Saturday, May 30th and the Europa League final for Wednesday, May 27th, so that the above-mentioned business games are of course also dependent on these dates and can therefore be postponed.

These two dates would not be available to the national leagues, or only to a limited extent, provided that teams from the respective leagues made it to the finals and if these finals could even take place on the planned date. It is not yet certain that the rounds have ended before then and that the participants in the finals have been determined.

Do not know how to proceed

Seville coach Julen Lopetegui is also concerned about the corona crisis. He does not want to have to decide whether the season should be ended or canceled at a later date.

Inter Milan would still have 22 games to play in the Europa League and Coppa Italia finals and with the catch-up game in Serie A. In England, if successful, Manchester City would have to complete the largest remaining program (22 games), in France Tuchel’s team Paris Saint-Germain (18), in Spain Sevilla and Getafe (18 each) and in Germany Eintracht Frankfurt (also 18).

The only team that has not yet been eliminated in the European Cup, but is still missing from the list of the 20 most demanded clubs, is RB Leipzig, for whose team there would be a maximum of 14 games.

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