Second Division Leaders

Portugal’s Gil Vicente take the court case route to the Primeira Liga

As the 2018-2019 season comes to a close the picture is almost clear as to which teams will join the top division in Europe’s major leagues. A few new names and a few more bigger names are headed to the top for 2019-2020.

Starting in England‘s Championship Norwich and Sheffield United won the automatic promotion spots. The latter were last in the top level in 2007. The playoff featured a faltering Leed United. The Marcelo Bielsa team led the league for a long while but collapsed late in the season and now have been eliminated in the promotion playoffs by Derby County. The finalists in the promotion playoffs are the aforementioned Derby and Aston Villa.

Italy‘s Serie B is volatile and irregular. Brescia and Lecce are promoted but the playoff places were thrown into turmoil after Palermo were demoted due to financial issues. Palermo were third at season’s end but now 9th placed Perugia climb to eighth and join the six teams vying for the third promotion spot. Benevento, Pescara, Verona, Spezia, Cittadella are the other teams fighting for that final spot.

In Spain Osasuna and Granada lead the second division with four games to go. Albacete, once wealthy Malaga, once mighty Deportivo La Coruna, Mallorca and Cadiz are not far behind in the top two and promotion playoff races.

Germany‘s 2nd Bundesliga is led by FC Koln with one game remaining. Paderborn, Union Berlin and Hamburg will know their fate for the second automatic spot and playoffs on May 19th.

France‘s Ligue 2 also has one game remaining but the top two spots are set and occupied by Metz and Brest. Troyes, Paris FC, once mighty Lens and Lorient will battle it out for the third promotion spot this month.

Holland‘s Eerste Divisie has had a runaway leader, Twente have won the division somewhat easily. PSV second team, Jong PSV is in third place but can not be promoted. De Graafschap and Excelsior from the top league are locked in the playoffs with second division’s Sparta Rotterdam, Den Bosch, Go Ahead Eagles and TOP Oss. The latter have never played in the top league.

Portugal‘s Segunda Liga is a curious case this season. Normally two teams are relegated and two are promoted. This year three are relegated while the top two from the second division win promotion. The third team is already decided to be Gil Vicente. The Northern Braga district based team won a court case against their forced relegation…in 2006! In that season they were accused of fielding an eligible players, Mateus Galiano da Costa. An obviously lengthy court battle has won them promotion alongside Pacos de Ferreira and Famalicao. Feirense and Nacional are heading down alongside one of Tondela and Chaves (to be determined on the final weekend of the season).

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