Genoa certain to return to Division 1? What about the rest
Genoa are by rights a mid table D1 side and while nothing is guaranteed they lead every important stat except defence.
There are then maybe 4 other teams in for a good shout at the remaining 2 automatic places. Anderlecht have huge depth and if Genoa falter are the only team who could challenge them. Villa potent up top and in midfield but lacking depth. Ajax , surely a keeper away from a great team and Valencia who again maybe a little weak in defence but are more than solid elsewhere.
Then doing the maths that leaves 2 free playoff spots. Everton , Leverkeusen, Liverpool and Tottenham should be favoured teams. Everton weaker at the back, Leverkeusen maybe need a star forward. Liverpool will they get enough possession and Spurs a good all rounder team.
The cut off to survive division 1 is around 224, so realistically it would probably be unwise for any other team to push for promotion without drastically improving first.
At the lower end it was pretty much set in stone 219.5 or less last season meant a massive risk of relegation. Only 3 teams sit close to that Dnipro, the galant over performers will be out classed in all departments, River Plate surely an 87 keeper will not be enough without the back up of possession or a scoring force. Monaco seem to be a rating or more below 17th spot.
That high cut off now could drag Santos or Schalke into the mix with even Man Utd, PSG, Southampton and Sporting needed to keep an eye on what is going on should they slip into danger.
As for a cup run Anderlecht would have a chance, as could PSG or Schalke.
Division 2 is substantially stronger than last season and will be a tough challenge for all concerned.
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