5 SURPRISE TEAMS THAT COULD GET EUROPEAN FOOTBALL THIS SEASON
Author: ExWHUEmployee. Published: 9 August 2017 at 9:18pm
Written by Lizzie Brown
Within every new season comes a team who manages to amaze everyone with its performance. In every top-flight league in the world, there are surprise packages. If we take last season’s example, one of the biggest surprises was AS Monaco winning the French Ligue 1 title ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Lyonnais. On the other hand, RB Leipzig stunned everyone by finishing second in the Bundesliga and Atalanta finished fourth in Italian Serie A.
All of these surprise packages were from last season. Let’s go back to the 2015/2016 season. No one can forget the fairy tale rise of Leicester, which defied all odds to win the Premier League. The odds for Leicester to win the title were 5000/1 and the Foxes surprised everyone by winning the league by a comfortable margin. Who will beat the odds this season? I’ve taken a quick look at the BetVictor premier league odds and there are definitely a few teams who have the potential to win the league under great odds.
Considering all of this, we can expect that the upcoming season will produce even more surprise packages. We can already suggest a few names by taking in account the early transfer dealings and current squads.
The Premier League is now the most open and competitive league in the world. Almost six to eight teams are challenging for the title and for securing their spot in European football. Lately, the likes of Tottenham Hotspurs, Everton and West Ham have emerged to give other teams a tough time. In past years, Manchester United missed out on European football after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. This season, Arsenal will not be in the Champions League for the first time in 21 years. Therefore, we should not be surprised to see any team missing out on European spots.
Let’s have a look at the five surprise teams who could get European football in the upcoming season. The predictions are based on last season’s performance, activity in the transfer market and the squads.
We have a feeling that Everton will be challenging for a spot in European football next season. All the big teams in the Premier League and Europe are currently running after big names to strengthen their squads. The only team which has been silent about their business is Ronald Koeman’s, Everton. A few days ago, everyone was discussing the ruthless AC Milan transfer business. Everton has done the same, but only on a smaller scale. Hence, it would not be surprising if Everton ends up as serious contender for the top 4 spots.
Ronald Koeman has changed the fate of Merseyside’s blue team ever since he took over the club on June 14, 2016. It was very much speculated that Barcelona’s first choice was to appoint Koeman for the vacant managerial position. However, if we look at how he has organised the club, Koeman is the best man for Everton right now.
Everton also managed to sign two players in quick succession: Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane. Koeman also has Sandro Ramirez and Davy Klassen at his disposal which has further strengthened the team’s position.
The time everyone started to notice Everton was when the club managed to bring home their boy-wonder, a Manchester United legend and former captain, Wayne Rooney. Many believe that Rooney is past his prime, but even at this age he has a lot to offer with his vast experience. The departure of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United might well give him the chance to play further up the field.
With such a team and a talented manager, we certainly think that Everton has everything it needs to secure a position in the top 5, if not the top 4.
Two seasons ago, West Ham finished seventh in the Premier League table which made them a strong force who could challenge the likes of Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs. In several matches against the top sides, they came out as the winners. In addition, the losses to big clubs turned out to be significant game changers in the race for the title.
Many people thought that the Hammers would continue their positive form as observed in the last season. However, the team failed to maintain its position and managed to finish eleventh on the table. The confidence and team chemistry they had in 2015/2016 could not be seen last season – and this performance was followed by the departure of their star player Dimitri Payet. They are now trying to ready themselves for another year in the Premier League in hopes of securing a position in the top half of the table.
The club has recently signed two Manchester City players, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart who could certainly bring some much-needed experience to the team.
The club is also linked with a move for two unsettled Arsenal players, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott. If West Ham manages to bring in either of these players, Slaven Bilic would be able to make a good combination with his main man upfront, Andy Carroll.
The team has it all – quality players, passion and the determination to win. They only need to bolster some key areas and lift the team morale.
We believe that The Hammers are the team to watch for next season, as they can be one of the surprise packages to get European football in 2018/2019.
One of the most fashionable clubs in Italian Serie A is Sampdoria. The team showed promise last season when they managed to finish at the tenth position on the table. Their star player and main source of goals, Patrik Schick, is set to bid farewell to the club to join Juventus. However, with the signing of Fiorentina’s main man, Josip Illicic and Luis Muriel, the team can certainly become a force to be reckoned with.
The departure of Schick does not mean that the team is left without any options. Many players are waiting for a chance to make Sampdoria’s next season successful. With key players Angelo Palombo in midfield and Fabio Quagliarella up front, the team could have a successful season.
Sampdoria has everything it needs to secure a European spot next season. However, this means that the club should hit the ground running from day one. Sampdoria is worth keeping an eye on during the next season.
Real Sociedad is a team with all the essentials for a top La Liga side. The club has a strong squad with great depth. With athletic goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, talented ball playing centre back Inigo Martinez and midfield sensations in the form of Asier Illaramendi, Esteban Granero, Sergio Canales and Xabi Prieto, the team is very strong. Also, not to forget Carlos Vela who can be a real threat to the opposing team. Another player who has been making waves is the 24-year-old Juanmi who scored 11 times last season for Sociedad.
Apart from this, the Basque are known for playing quality football. Their midfielders are excellent distributors of the ball and each one of them can play the game with very little instruction.
With new additions such as Adnan Januzaj from Manchester United and a high morale, the team can certainly gain a spot in European football in the 2018/2019 season.
Inter Milan players and board of directors have put their trust and faith in Luciano Spalletti. They strongly believe that the club can bring back the Champions League to San Siro. According to the defender Joao Miranda, Luciano is a great coach who has managed to prove his worth at Roma and is now all set to do wonders for Inter Milan. The team and its ambition along with a great coach can help Inter Milan to become the next surprise team in European football next season.