Italy and France set to crown

The majority of English Premier League training grounds have been empty this week with most players already on holiday, and most minds in Spain and Germany are focused on the summer too. Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have been crowned there, leaving Serie A and Ligue 1 to dominate the headlines this weekend. Defending champions Inter Milan and Lyon currently occupy the driving seat going into the final round, but Roma and Bordeaux can still pip them at the post. previews the best of the action from the top four European leagues still underway, with plenty also to be decided in the contests for European places and the battles to avoid the drop.

Serie A: Three in a row or disaster for Inter
Inter have been playing with fire of late, slumping to defeat in the Milan derby before being held 2-2 by Siena. Now, with their third straight title increasingly in doubt, they can not afford to slip up in their final outing of the campaign. Victory at 18th-placed Parma would hand Roberto Mancini's troops the Scudetto, but their opponents need all three points to stay up and ought to deliver a supreme effort. A draw - or even a defeat - could still prove sufficient for Inter, though, as challengers Roma travel to 17th-placed Catania, where relegation fears will also feed the locals' motivation.

In the quest to take fourth place and a UEFA Champions League qualifying berth, Fiorentina will be desperate for a victory at Torino that would keep fifth-placed Milan at bay. With one eye on that match, the reigning FIFA Club World Cup champions host seventh-placed Udinese and will be anxious to bid a fond farewell to their fans, although the visitors have ambitions of their own. Indeed, the Stadio Friuli outfit hope to take sixth spot and access to the UEFA Cup away from Sampdoria, who host third-placed Juventus in Saturday's only fixture.

The question: Can Inter seal their third consecutive Italian crown, or will Roma collect their fourth overall?
The big match: Parma-Inter, Sunday 18 May, 15:00
The quote: "Roma will win the title. Psychologically, it's difficult for the Inter players. We're the more relaxed." Cicinho, Roma defender.

Ligue 1: Suspense at both extremes
France has waited since 2002 for championship honours to remain up for grabs on the final day. Lyon leapfrogged Lens on that occasion, and six years later the Rhone outfit are still competing for glory. Two points clear, Alain Perrin's men lead the way ahead of their trip to 15th-placed Auxerre on Saturday, but they will be wary of the pressure still exerted by Bordeaux in second. A draw would be enough to see Lyon win their seventh consecutive title, unless Laurent Blanc's pursuers either triumph by more than eight goals at 18th-placed Lens or complete an eight-goal win and score at least nine more than Lyon on the day.

The situation is similar in the tussle for the last remaining Champions League place, with Nancy in third and hosting Rennes, who lie seventh and still have designs on UEFA Cup participation. A point behind Nancy, Marseille welcome already-relegated Strasbourg. Basement-side Metz are gone too, and one of the biggest names in French football is destined to join them, with 16th-placed Paris Saint-Germain away to Sochaux, who are safe, while 17th-placed Toulouse and Lens entertain Valenciennes and Bordeaux respectively. Given Bordeaux's title ambitions, the picture looks bleak for Les Sang et Or.

The question: Will Lyon be able to keep Bordeaux in the rear-view mirror and claim a seventh straight title?
The big match: Lens-Bordeaux, Saturday 17 May, 20:45
The quote: "We mustn't lie to ourselves if, ten minutes before the end, it's 0-0 and Bordeaux are winning at Lens. We'll be careful and stop taking risks to make sure we get the draw." Jean-Alain Boumsong, Lyon defender.

Bundesliga: Hopes and fears
Bayern may have ended all suspense at the Bundesliga summit, but events in Germany are sure to be fascinating right up until the end of the season this Saturday. Attentions will be directed at two areas of intrigue in particular, with second place and a ticket to the Champions League still on offer, and 16th spot waiting to act as a trapdoor to the division below.

In the competition to finish as runners-up, current incumbents Werder Bremen hold a two-point advantage over Schalke in third, but Thomas Schaaf's charges face a tricky journey to 16th-placed Nuremberg, who are locked in a battle with Bielefeld to stave off relegation. For their part, Schalke visit fourth-placed Leverkusen, where the desire to return to the UEFA Cup remains strong. And if that ought to be a testing encounter, then Bielefeld face one of their own away to Stuttgart. The hosts lie seventh and also have their eyes on the UEFA Cup, as do Hamburg and Wolfsburg, with all three, plus Leverkusen, boasting 51 points each.

The question: Will Bayern set a new defensive record in their match against Hertha Berlin? The German champions have conceded a mere 20 goals so far this term, two fewer than Bremen did in the 1987/88 season.
The big match: Leverkusen-Bremen, Saturday 17 May, 15:30
The quote: "We have to keep up the pressure; we can't afford to relax. We can't wait for the match in Leverkusen and we're totally focused." Thomas Schaaf, Werder coach.

La Liga: Zaragoza on the precipice
With Real Madrid champions and Villarreal assured of second place, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will compete for third on Sunday. Both teams possess 64 points as things stand, but the Catalans look favourites as they visit Murcia, down in 19th, while Los Colchoneros travel to take on 12th-placed Valencia, a side desperate to end a nightmare campaign on a high.

Meanwhile, sixth-placed Real Santander and Mallorca, in seventh, both hope to sign off in sixth spot and earn UEFA Cup football next term. Their attempts to do so will have serious ramifications on the relegation equation, too, with 17th-placed Osasuna scheduled to appear in Santander and 18th-placed Zaragoza expected in Mallorca. The two away sides need wins if they are to condemn either Valladolid or Recreativo Huelva to the last remaining ticket to the second tier. Positioned 15th and 16th respectively, those sides meet in what is destined to be a nervy showdown in Valladolid.

The question: Who will join Levante and Murcia in the Segunda Division: Valladolid, Osasuna, Recreativo or Zaragoza?
The big match: Racing Santander-Zaragoza, Sunday 18 May, 18:00
The quote: "I'm at a moment in my life where I need a change. I have to take the decision that's best for me. The most important thing is to be happy and enjoy myself on the pitch, no matter where I'm playing." Samuel Eto'o, Barcelona striker.

With barely enough time to digest their UEFA Cup final defeat, Rangers will need to be focused for their return to the domestic scene this Saturday. Walter Smith's men lie four points behind leaders Celtic, but will attempt to close that gap during the first of their two games in hand, away to Motherwell.