The unique timing of theWorld Cupmeans that there isnt much of a break between the end of the tournament and the resumption of league soccer across the world.
Some leagues even began play before the World Cup was over. The English League Championship resumed last week and the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup began on Tuesday.
With the Premier League the first of the five major European leagues to resume play on Monday, we figured a refresher course on where things stand in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain was necessary after we all watched a month of international soccer. Heres a brief refresher ahead of club soccers return.
League leaders Arsenal will be without star striker Gabriel Jesus for some time because of a right knee injury he sustained in Brazils game against Cameroon. Jesus had surgery earlier in the month. Manchester City striker Erling Haaland will be well-rested since Norway wasnt in the World Cup. Newcastle may be active in the January transfer market after its hot start as it chases Champions League soccer. Manchester United, meanwhile, ranked only second to Manchester City in the number of minutes its players played at the World Cup. Both of those teams could heavily rotate their teams over the upcoming weeks.
Arsenal sits on top of the table, but are the league favorite heading into the second half of the season. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
It seems likely that PSG will play a game or two without Kylian Mbapp and Lionel Messi after their epic World Cup runs. That would give the keys to the attack to Neymar. Only Mbappe (12) has scored more than Neymars 11 league goals in 14 games. Lens hasnt lost a single home game this season in its attempt to keep up with PSG so far and the two teams tied 1-1 earlier this season. Stade Rennais has the second-best goal difference in the league behind PSG.
It may be a while until we see these three on the field together again following their deep runs at the World Cup. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have lost just once in their first 14 games. The only difference between them is that Real Madrid has two ties to Barcelonas one. Karim Benzema should return soon for Real Madrid after missing the entirety of the World Cup and manager Carlo Ancelotti said this week that hes staying at Real Madrid until the expiration of his contract in June of 2024 after he was linked to the Brazil job. Robert Lewandowski has scored 13 goals in Barcelonas 14 games while Ousmane Dembl looks to keep his strong World Cup form.
09 Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona talkiing with 08 Pedri of FC Barcelona during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and UD Almeria at Spotify Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain, on November 05th, 2022. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Napoli is eight points ahead of second thanks to 13 wins and two draws in 15 games. Victor Osimhen has nine goals in 11 games while 21-year-old Georgian Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has six goals and five assists in 12 appearances. Juventus has allowed a league-low seven goals in 15 games but is 10 points back because its scored just 24 goals 13 fewer than Napoli and the fewest of any team in the top five. Just 6 points separate AC Milan from seventh-place Roma. With the top four teams making the Champions League, it could be a fascinating 2023 even if Napoli runs away with the title.
Victor Osimhen of SSC Napoli looks on during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Naples, Italy on 12 November 2022. (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
As you can see, oddsmakers are bullish on another Bayern Munich league title. If Bayern wins again, itll do so without GK Manuel Neuer. He suffered a broken leg while skiing after the World Cup and is out for the rest of the season. Bayerns goal difference is +36. Freiburgs is +8. Dortmund has the third-best odds to win the league despite sitting in seventh and five points out of second. Dortmund could be enticed to sell Jude Bellingham in January after his strong World Cup performance or it could try to hold out for a strong offer during the summer transfer window.
Leroy Sane of Bayern Munich controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Mnchen and Sport-Club Freiburg at Allianz Arena on October 15, 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
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