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Niko Kovac Sacked by Bayern and Other Important European Soccer News

| November 5, 2019 3:11 am PDT
Top European Soccer Leagues Recap

Bayern Munich has been struggling in the German Bundesliga, and their issues culminated in a humiliating 5-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt last week. It was enough for the board to sack Niko Kovac.

This will be the main topic of my weekly recap of the top European soccer leagues, but I will also talk about other important news from all over the continent. This post won’t include the English Premier League, as I have a separate piece that’s focused on that competition.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what happened in the best European leagues last weekend.

German Bundesliga Recap: Niko Kovac Is Gone, and the Title Race Is Wide Open

The logical place to start is the German Bundesliga. Bayern Munich is always the major favorite there, but the Bavarians have struggled since the start of the season.

Things went from bad to worse this weekend when Jerome Boateng received an early red card in an away game against Eintracht Frankfurt. The opposition took full advantage by beating Bayern by 5-1. It was another bad chapter in the career of Niko Kovac as a head coach, as well as the final one.

The board decided to part ways with Kovac and appoint his assistant Hansi Flick as a caretaker. The expectations are that Bayern will appoint a new head coach during the next international break in the middle of November.

The rumors suggest that the likes of Jose Mourinho, Erik ten Hag, Mauricio Pochettino, and Massimiliano Allegri are on the list of potential candidates. There is no clear indication right now, but I suspect we might see a star coach like Jose or Pochettino following the failed Kovac experiment.

Under the circumstances, there might be a different champion in the German Bundesliga. The title race is wide open, with Borussia Monchengladbach leading the way with 22 points. There are eight teams that are within five points of the top spot, so the battle for the German crown will be bloody.

The best soccer betting sites online still have Bayern as the big favorites, but the likes of Dortmund and Gladbach are certainly in it.

Spanish La Liga Recap: Will Valverde or Zidane Follow Kovac Soon?

If you are looking for the next big names in European soccer to get the sack, I think that the Spanish La Liga is the place to explore. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have been struggling since the start of the season.

The reigning champions registered their third defeat of the campaign, losing 3-1 to Levante. It was a lackluster display that puts enormous pressure on Ernesto Valverde.

Valverde has said he is not considering resigning, but the board might make a decision soon. The fans are not happy with the coach, and if the results don’t improve, we might see him gone.

The same can be said about Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman and his men had a great chance to climb to the top of the table after Barca’s defeat but instead failed to beat Real Betis at home.

Real Madrid had more than 20 shots, and yet, the game somehow finished 0-0. That leaves Los Blancos in the second position in Primera Division, on the same points tally as Barcelona but with a worse goal difference.

Zidane will need more from his forwards, especially Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale. If the team doesn’t start firing soon, we might see the Frenchman gone. This was the main issue last season as well. The board invested a lot to back Zidane, but he has failed to deliver so far.

On the bright side, it’s still early in the campaign, and Real Madrid is level with Barcelona, so there is time for the legend to turn it around.

Italian Serie A Recap: Inter Milan Still in the Hunt

Unlike other big clubs across Europe, Juventus is doing just fine in the Italian Serie A. The reigning champions won the derby of Turin thanks to a goal by De Ligt and are sitting on the top of the competition with 29 points from 11 games.

This would usually mean a huge gap to the second place, but that’s not the case this season. Inter Milan is stubbornly chasing the leaders. The team was one goal behind in the visit of Bologna, but a late brace by Romelu Lukaku was enough for an impressive comeback.

The big question here is if Inter will somehow manage to keep the same tempo for the duration of the season. I don’t think that’s possible, but the team has the strongest attack in Serie A so far, and the supporters believe a miracle could happen.

The other important piece of news from the last weekend is related to racism, unfortunately. Mario Balotelli suffered abuse in the match between his Brescia and Verona. The striker was targeted by monkey chants and was on the brink of leaving the pitch.

The other players stopped him, but the game was paused for four minutes. The problem with racism in Italy is real. Let’s hope that the authorities find a way to fix it soon.

French Ligue One Recap: PSG Stunned by Last-Placed Dijon

The biggest surprise in the top European soccer leagues happened in France. Everyone expected the Ligue 1 dominant force PSG to destroy the struggling Dijon, but the side that sits in the last place actually beat the leaders by 2-1.

It’s an extraordinary result that’s hard to explain, but it doesn’t change much for PSG. The team is still in the lead with 27 points, and the second-placed Angers has 20. That shows you how big the gap in French soccer is right now. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the reigning champions will retain their crown.

In the meantime, it seems impossible to predict what will happen with the rest of the table. After 12 games, the other 19 teams are all within 8 points. The UEFA Champions League and Europa League places are wide open, as well as the relegation battle.

Final Words

If you liked this European soccer recap, you will be happy to know that I will be writing a similar one almost every week. I will go through the latest events in the top leagues across the continent, covering the hot news and sharing my opinion. Naturally, I will try to provide a betting tip or two whenever possible.

To share any comments on the events from last week, don’t be afraid to use the comments feature below.

Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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