Mon 20 May by Mark Gleeson
For TAB soccer customers, this week marks the transition from the traditional European winter leagues to those played inside one calendar year.The curtain is coming down on the top championships in Europe, but those in Scandinavia, Ireland and further afield in Brazil and the USA now begin to get some traction.Midweek marks the penultimate round of the Swiss league season, in which Young Boys have a 23-point lead and were long ago crowned champs. FC Basel with be the other Swiss club heading to next season’s Champions League.The French and Italian leagues come to an end this weekend and the curtain also comes down in Germany and Spain, where the cup final is the last encounter of the campaign in both countries.In Sweden, Malmo and Hacken have jumped into an early lead in the Allsvenskan, the country’s premier league. Malmo were champions in 2016 and 2017 and overall have won the championship a record 23 times, 10 more than their nearest challenger.Hacken have been in the top flight of Swedish football for 19 seasons, but are yet to win the league, coming closest seven years ago when they were runners-up.Brazil’s Serie A season only kicked off last weekend and is among the more competitive leagues. Of this year’s 20 protagonists, 14 have won the league title previously in what is a clear indication of how tough it can be for TAB soccer pools’ players to find winners.But simultaneously the sheer competitiveness of the Serie A and B leagues in Brazil often makes for big payouts.Defending champions Palmeiras are the early Serie A leaders with perennial challengers Atletico Mineiro in second. But there are always many twists and turns through what is a long season.Major League Soccer in the USA kicked off in March and is rapidly moving to the halfway mark.But it is again another league in which dominant clubs are rare and Soccer 6 and 10 punters can always find some decent payouts in pools with these matches. Los Anglers FC, led by former US men’s team coach Bob Bradley, are four points clear at the top of the Western Conference, but it is a lot tighter in the east with Philadelphia and Wayne Rooney’s DC United the early leaders.
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