There is a fascinating scene unfolding on the European football fields. All teams are pushing hard in the race to be in next season’s Champions League. Currently, there are a couple of clubs in the lead of their leagues. This is no surprise, and then there are a few which are a refreshing change. Below we list the teams that are looking to win the Premier League and all other European Soccer Leagues.
The Winning Teams
Real Madrid Leading La Liga – They had a bumpy start and then shot out to the top. Currently standing at eight games undefeated.
Liverpool Heading in Premier League – They are keeping their advance from the rest at quite a distance.
Borussia Mönchengladbach in Bundesliga – Refreshing replacement of Bayern Munich at the top for a change. Holding on to the first place will be tough.
Juventus Number 1 in Serie A – Currently in a battle with Inter to keep their position. Thus far, it hasn’t been easy for them.
Paris Saint Germain Fighting in Ligue 1 – They aren’t dominating and will have to work hard to get a third consecutive title.
Lokomotiv Moscow Heading the Premier Liga – They are adamant about getting it one step further than the previous season when they didn’t make it.
Famalicão at the top of Liga NOS – Newly promoted and fired up. A beautiful story filled with inspiration.
Club Brugge – The club had a high season thus far with a no defeat start to the season.
Ajax Shooting Out in Eredivisie – A healthy competition between the current number one and PSV Eindhoven.
Shakhtar Donetsk in Premier Liga – Dominating the Ukraine scene and as it seems now, their current position isn’t likely to change.
Alanyaspor for Süper Lig – Currently, the first place is still up for grabs as there are no dominant leaders that can be identified thus far.
Red Bull Salzburg Leading Austrian Bundesliga – Erling Håland is having a ball of a time with scoring goals, and thus the new edition is attracting a lot of attention.
Slavia Prague Leading Fortuna Liga – After a dry-spell, Slavia was back in the game with the trophy in hand at the end of last season, and this year they are defending it with all their might.
Midtjylland Number 1 in Superliga – They have been the runners-up for two seasons and are set to change that this season. Ten games and no defeat indicates that they are ready to do this.
Olympiacos Heading the Super League – 2018 brought an end to seven consecutive wins, this year they are ready to get back on track with their record.
Anorthosis Famagusta First in First Division – This team is making Cyprus proud, clawing their way up to the top from a position of being locked in previously.
Red Star Belgrade First in Serbian SuperLiga – Being the runaway winners in two previous seasons, they are set to do it a third time.
Hajduk Split for the HNL – In a leading position but not secure at all yet.
Rangers First in Scottish Premiership – This team is fighting it out with Celtic for this acclaimed position.
Basel Leading Swiss Super League – Looking for revenge after defeat in the previous season against Young Boys.
World Rugby is caught in a moment of embarrassment not due to the super typhoon on its way to hit Tokyo but much rather due to their lack of having a contingency plan in place. In addition to that, the question has also been asked about why was the tournament schedule during typhoon season in this country. This is not an out of the ordinary event, and Japan is often experiencing this kind of weather but plans to have venues available on short notice to be able to proceed with games haven’t been put in place.
The games affected by the super typhoon heading to Japan are France who would have taken on England in Pool C and New Zealand and Italy would have taken on each other in Pool B. These games won’t be rescheduled and according to World Rugby rules, both teams will receive two points for the game which couldn’t be played. France was hoping to defeat England this weekend to rise to the top of Pool C. Now the chances of that happening has vanished, and this is creating a scenario where the integrity of the tournament is now being questioned.
The Italians were already at a point of elimination and their only chance of making the playoffs would have been if mathematically they could have managed to succeed by gaining enough points during their match against the All Blacks and preventing the New Zealanders from scoring another bonus point. Thus the cancellation of their game isn’t that detrimental since in 14 attempts Italy has never been able to defeat the current world champions.
Typhoon Hagibis is making landfall on Saturday and thus effecting both of Saturday’s games. Currently, the games set for Sunday is still set to continue since by then the typhoon would have passed Tokyo, but it can’t be said with certainty that there won’t be any structural damage which might prevent the matches to continue. Thus Sunday’s games might still also be cancelled.
This year is the first time in 32 years in which some of the matches have to be cancelled in the tournament. This is bringing a tremendous financial implication to World Rugby. The fact that around 200 000 tickets for these matches need to be refunded is only partial to the economic impact of the storm. Broadcasters have committed to broadcasting these games, and they might request compensation form World Rugby for this income loss. The expected number of viewers for the match between Japan and Scotland would have been one of the highest in history, and thus if the game has to be cancelled, the financial impact is tremendous.
Also in terms of the teams in the tournament, the outcome can be detrimental with at least three of the teams in the quarter-finals not being able to complete all their pool games. In the end, World Rugby couldn’t plan the weather, but they could have made better plans surrounding the tournament.
Kevin Na was on an emotional brink when he secured his playoff victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open which were played in his hometown, Las Vegas. Shortly after his success, he delivered an emotional speech in his mother tongue to his native fans in Korea, thanking them for their support and that they always believed in him.
Kevin Na moved to the United States from Seoul where he was born, when he was a young boy of eight years old. He played on the Asian Tour, and in 2002 he won the Volvo Masters of Asia. Na was also playing in the European Tour and the PGA Tour during 2004. During the next couple of years, his successes weren’t great. He landed the third position in the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, fourth in the Honda Classic and 2005 he came in second place at the world-renowned FBR Open and Chrysler Classic of Tucson.
His career was somewhat held back due to first a hand injury and then a back injury. In 2011 he won his first PGA Tour after attempting it 211 times. He earned $792 000 in prize money after being on tour for eight days. After this victory, the 36-year-old Korean had almost seven years with no great success. Then last summer he had won at The Greenbrier and during early this year, he was victorious once again at Colonial. He was thus making this victory the third in a relatively short period for him.
The Open in Las Vegas
It was an exciting series of events as Na’s position wasn’t so great after losing his three-shot lead during the back nine. Then he made up with a clutch par putt when playing the 17th hole and ended up winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
At the 10th hole, Na made a triple bogey and then on the 16th he hit the waterhole on a par five and that made him lose his lead for the first time during the day when he hit a bogey. On the 17th hole, he managed a 25-foot par putt again which brought him back into a tie position with Cantlay whose ball landed in the water. On the 18th hole, he matched a birdie putt from Cantlay.
This day was a day riddled with mistakes, but the worse was made by Cantlay delivering three-putt from 45 feet and another one from inside 6 feet territory. Na closed 1-under 70, and when his four-foot par rolled in, he lifted his arms victoriously. Na’s victory made Cantlay the runner-up for the second time in a row in Las Vegas. Even though Cantlay reaped the benefits from mistakes that Na made, he made too many himself and Na gained the victory. Cantlay finished with a deficit of three shots, and he closed on 68 in the Open which was his first PGA victory three years ago.
Every single time over the past eight Rugby World Cup Tournaments, there have been specific teams which were without a doubt the favourites to win the Webb Ellis trophy. They are considered the leading organizations, and whether it is with love or hate, the globe acknowledges their greatness on the field. There have been many surprises over time too. Once again Japan reminded us that sometimes the underdog could surprise us when they defeated the much more favoured Ireland. Reflecting on five of these unexpected events, it is clear that some teams need more recognition than what they get.
Japan Beating Ireland – Hosting country, Japan managed to take the world by surprise when they defeated Ireland, currently second-ranked in the world. By half-time, Ireland was in the lead, only slightly and with far less of an advantage as that viewers have expected, but during the second half the sunset on Ireland and Japan roared to victory. For especially South African supporters, this was a déjà vu moment. Only this time around the green jerseys didn’t reflect the Springbok emblem.
Japan Defeats the Springboks – This was by far the biggest World Cup shock in 2015. More than that it was probably also the biggest stir in Test union rugby history. The Cherry Blossoms was under the guidance of Eddie Jones, and they didn’t bend their knee before the mighty Springboks, leaving the Boks defeated and embarrassed.
Fiji defeats Wales – Wales was kicked out of the tournament by none other than the underdogs from Fiji. This was the third time that Wales had to endure embarrassment from the South Sea Islands. During 1991 and 1999 it was the Samoans who forced the Welsh to bend their knees before their rugby superiority. During half-time already, the strong Welsh team were on their knees with a 25-10 score on the board. Then they fought back and were convinced of a win, but Graham Dewes, prop to the Fiji team muscled up for a last-minute score and Fiji went to the quarter-finals.
Western Samoa Crushing Wales – This legendary moment meant that for the first time in World Cup history, one of the leading nations in the world of rugby was defeated by a rank outsider. The Samoan team included names which later on became very familiar like that of Pat Lam, Brian Lima and Frank Bunce and they demolished the already bruised Welsh squad in front of a packed audience at Cardiff Arms Park.
France Defeating the All Blacks – Whether you want to call this a spectacular moment or some French flair, this game is serving until today as a reference to what can happen. The All Blacks were ahead with 24-10 by half-time, but the second half became an epic battle for the French when they started raking in some great tries.