Football News

10 stories you might have missed from world football this weekend

By Andrew Francis

Published: 17:50, 25 April 2022 | Updated: 2:28, 29 November 2022

The end of the season is drawing near and you’ll have heard all about the happenings in the EPL, La Liga and Serie A but there’s been plenty of action happening outside of the ‘big five’ leagues.

Let’s take a look at the most interesting stories emerging away from Europe’s elite.

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Peterborough and Barnsley fail to beat the drop

The Championship relegation picture is now clear with Barnsley and Peterborough both falling to defeat this weekend and, as a result, both will be playing League One football next season. Both sides were beaten by playoff hopefuls, with Huddersfield defeating Barnsley 2-1 on Friday evening before Peterborough were downed by Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The playoff picture is looking a little more clear following the weekend’s action and it looks like it will be four teams from six to compete for the prize of Premier League football next season. Huddersfield and Forest are almost assured of their places in the end of season competition but Luton’s draw with Blackpool on Saturday has left some doubts over whether The Hatters will make it. Sheffield United hold the advantage in the race for the final playoff spot but Millwall and Middlesbrough are waiting to strike.

Nottingham Forest to be promoted from the Skybet Championship this season @13/8

Still all to play for in League One

No one seems to want to secure promotion in League One with Wigan, Rotherham and MK Dons dropping points in recent games. This weekend it was Wigan who were guilty of not taking their chances, securing just a point against Plymouth. That result leaves just three points between the three clubs heading into the final week of the season.

The playoffs aren’t much clearer with just a point between the four clubs vying for the final three spots and one team will be bitterly disappointed this time next week.

In keeping with the rest of the league, the relegation zone could still change in the final game, with five teams still fighting for their lives to avoid joining Crewe in dropping to League Two next season.

MK Dons to be promoted from Skybet League One this season @15/8

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History makers in League Two

History was made at both ends of the League Two table this weekend with Forest Green securing promotion to the third tier of English football for the first time, whilst Oldham became the first club to have played in the Premier League and later be relegated to the non league.

The playoffs remain wide open with seven sides still capable of taking the four spots available, although it would take something special for Northampton or Port Vale to drop out of the running.

The relegation picture is finalised with Oldham joining Scunthorpe in playing National League football next season.

Swindon Town to finish in the top seven in Skybet League Two this season @ 6/4

Thriller in NYC

New York City and Toronto met at Citi Field on Sunday in what looked to be a good, albeit standard, MLS game. What unfolded was a fantastic display of the attacking talent available to both sides.

Toronto raced into a two goal lead within 30 minutes but that seemed to unleash a fury within the NYCFC players who scored four goals in twenty minutes to take a 4-2 lead into the final half an hour of the match. They added a fifth 15 minutes from time to, seemingly, assure themselves of the win but two late goals for Toronto, coupled with a red card for Alfredo Morales in the New York defence, led to some nervy moments for the hosts.

New York City were able to hold on for a 5-4 win but the game is already being spoken about as one of the all time classics in MLS history.

MLS Winner Odds 2022: Outright Betting Odds for Major League Soccer

RB Salzburg edge closer to near perfect season

RB Salzburg have already been crowned champions in Austria and they are now just one game away from going the entire season with just one loss. It’s been an incredible year for the Austrian side, where they’ve scored 70 goals and conceded just 16, and they’ll be keen to end their season with another victory.

Schalke’s immediate return hits the rocks

Schalke’s bid to return to Bundesliga at the first time of asking hit a snag on Saturday when they were beaten 4-1 by their nearest rivals, Werder Bremen. The win took Bremen above Schalke at the top of the table and Die Knappen now have three games remaining to stave off the challenges of Darmstadt and St Pauli, who they play in two weeks time.

Celtic take Scottish Premiership advantage

Both Celtic and Rangers picked up victories this weekend, meaning The Bhoys maintain their six point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership. The two sides meet on Sunday, where a win for Celtic could all but assure them of their first title since 2020.

Trabzonspor close in on Turkish title

Trabzonspor have had a great season in Turkey, leading the way for much of the year and losing just twice in 34 games. Their win over Adana Demirspor at the weekend means they need just one more victory to secure their first Super Lig title in 38 years.

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Lecce given huge Serie B boost

Lecce were the big winners of the weekend in Serie B in Italy, the side picking up a 2-0 win over promotion rivals, Pisa. They were handed a further advantage though when both sides directly below them, Cremonese and Monza were beaten. That gives Lecce a four point leader over Monza, who currently sit in third and, with just two games left, Lecce need just one more win to be assured of a return to Serie A after two years.

And finally…

This one involves a La Liga club and breaks the rules a bit but concerns the Copa del Rey final at the weekend so can we let it slide?

Real Betis manager, Manuel Pellegrini might need to rethink his social media approach after a screenshot featuring his personal phone number was sent from his official account following their historic cup win. Naturally, he was inundated by messages and calls from jubilant Betis supporters, all of whom were blocked as Pellegrini received their messages.

The ingenuity of the fanbase shone through though with fans using a Spanish banking app, which only needs the recipients phone number, to send the 68 year old small sums of money and attaching messages to the transactions to thank him for leading to the side to just their third ever major trophy.

And some people claim money is ruining football…