Is this the year where the Bundesliga gains a fourth spot? It could well be. Below is a table of the current UEFA Coefficient compared to how it stands if the season were to end today. At the end of the season, 2004-2005 will be removed from the books. In that season, Italy had 2.5 more points than Germany. It was the year Milan lost to Liverpool in the finals of the Champions League. Italy had 5 full points on Germany the following year, followed by another 1.5 point lead in 06-07. Since then Germany has been trending higher the last two campaigns (07-08 being a bit of a mare for Italy and last year being boosted by the Bundesliga’s UEFA Cup success). It was enough to offset the disaster of 05-06. With the 2.5 from five years ago going off the books, it will be replaced by this years results.
At the moment, there is a 1 point lead for Germany. A 2.8 point lead is necessary. So with the two competitions getting to the end, what are the chances?
For the Bundesliga, Stuttgart are holding on by a thread with a return leg at the holders in 3 weeks. Werder, Hamburg and the Wolves are all through to the final 16 in the Europa.
For Italy, Juve are still in the Europa; meanwhile, Inter take a lead to Stamford Bridge. Milan are effectively out.
That leaves Bayern and Fiorentina, who face off in two weeks in Florence. Bayern must overcome the Viola’s away goal, which leaves them in a strong position, despite Tom Henning Øvrebø. Bayern need to draw at least. A loss of 3-2 which would see them through to the next round would allow Fiorentina to offset the bonus point from progressing with 2 points for a victory.
If Bayern can make it through, it will leave Germany with four clubs to accumulate points compared with a possible 2 for Italy, although we should all be pulling for Chelsea to be safe.
With .33 points for a win, .167 for a draw and another .167 for each round progression, the Bundesliga needs five more victories to get close to the 2.8 difference. But with Europa being in Hamburg this year, the incentive for 3 northern clubs to see the final could be all we need to get a fourth spot by 2011.
|Italy||14.00||15.36||11.93||10.25||11.38||13.00||62.91 -> 61.91|
|Germany||10.57||10.44||9.50||13.50||12.69||14.08||56.70 -> 60.21|