5 CLUBS FROM THE TOP 5 LEAGUES IN EUROPE THAT ARE FLYING UNDER THE RADAR AND HAVE MADE GREAT PROGRESS THIS SEASON
With the new season well underway the League tables are beginning to take shape, whereas some clubs have had a disappointing start, the others are soaring well above their expectations. Since most of the limelight goes to the popular clubs and their performances, the state of small underrated clubs are often left unnoticed. FootTheBall brings you 5 teams from the top-5 leagues in Europe that have been making great progress under the radar and have a respectable position in their respective league tables.
After 9 games played, Brighton would have never imagined they would be in a Champions League spot especially after looking at the intense competitiveness in the Premier League. Brighton won 4 out of their first 5 games and have only tasted defeat once so far. The club got promoted to the top flight in 2017 and ever since then have managed to avoid relegation despite coming close on a couple of occasions.
The fans expected a similar showing this time around as well but Graham Potter and his men are set to go for glory. Although pundits argue that Brighton haven’t had a game with the title contenders so far, the seagulls have actually defeated formidable opponents. They won against Leicester and have also drawn against Arsenal up till now and their overall game especially at the back has been phenomenal.
They have only conceded 5 goals so far in the tournament and with Tariq Lamptey back from his injury, they are only getting stronger by the day. Brighton are set to play Manchester City this week and a win against the defending champions would send out a strong message to the other clubs in England.
La Liga has been long dominated by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid which makes it a lot harder for the smaller clubs to make a mark in the league. However Osasuna’s flying start in the La Liga this season have made them favourites to bag a spot in Europe.
Osasuna won promotion back to the top division of Spain in 2019 and in their 2 seasons, they have managed to land in a mid-table spot safe from relegation. However, this time around with 10 games played, they are 2nd in the table just 2 points away from the league leaders Real Sociedad. With only 2 losses to their name, Osasuna would be fairly confident heading into their game against Real Madrid and a win against the mighty Los Blancos would do wonders to their camp’s morale.
3) SERIE A: BOLOGNA
Unlike the other teams in the list, Bologna aren’t in the extreme summit of their league but 8th place in a tough league like Serie A is surely a commendable spot. Bologna are currently 8th in the league but are just 3 points shy of a Champions League place. The club have long been surviving in the mid-table and have never had a start as progressive as this season. With 3 wins, 2 drawn and 2 losses Bologna are doing better than most of the clubs below them.
Although their attacking game has been spot on with 13 goals scored so far, they failed to hold their lead and ended up walking away with a draw because of occasional sloppy defending at the back. Since the major clubs in the league aren’t looking like losing their position at the top, Bologna have to be consistent with their progress if they are looking to cause an upset in the long run.
4) BUNDESLIGA: SC FREIBURG
The mighty Bayern Munich and Dortmund stand on top of the table but even they have tasted defeat this season, but the 3rd place SC Freiburg are the only club in the league that remain unbeaten this season. With a win against Dortmund and Wolfsburg and a draw against RB Leipzig, Freiburg have proved that they are worthy of the position they are in right now and their performance deserves to be recognised at the global stage.
Freiburg have a fairly easy set of opponents over the course of the next few weeks which gives them a great opportunity to build upon their momentum and stay in the Bundesliga title by Christmas. A Europa League spot too would be a massive deal for their club but since they are already on course of greater glory, they would probably go all in this season.
5) LIGUE 1: RC LENS
PSG’s long-running dominance in Ligue 1 was shattered by Lille last season which has opened the gates for other underdogs and have given them a light of hope that they too can win domestic silverware. Lens got promoted to the French top tier last season itself and had a wonderful promotional season after finishing 7th in the league.
Right now Lens are 2nd in the table and although they are still to catch up with league leaders PSG, a Champions League spot is still well on the cards. Lens have won against defending champions Lille, Monaco and Marseille already and their prowl is looking stronger by the day. If Lens manage to make it to Europe this season, their story would go down in history as one of the most iconic football stories in modern-day football.