The English football has a long history of winners and losers, and it is known as one of the most competitive leagues in the world.
From the Premier League, all the way down to National, you can see teams fighting hard and surprising everyone with their stunning performances. I mean, just think about what Leicester did 2 seasons ago! Many argue that it was the most memorable moment in the history of sport.
This uncertainty that thrives in the English leagues makes it challenging for bookmakers to come up with predictions and offers. This may refer to impressive performances or often times, a drop of morale and a long string of terrible results.
Let’s find out which squads are crushing this year, and which can’t wait for the season to come to an end.
Liverpool are really impressive this year with top performances in domestic and continental competitions. But before the season started, they were predicted to fight for UEFA Europa League. Looks like bookmakers couldn’t predict the amazing Mohamed Salah, and his 28 goals and 9 assists in 31 league matches! The reds were smart to sign him up with a no release clause contract.
Currently placed third, and with only 7 games remaining, Liverpool’s direct placement in the UEFA Champions League groups is pretty much guaranteed at this stage.
Brighton made its Premier League debut in style! They were the top nominees for relegation before the season started. But with only 3 lost in 15 games total at home, Brighton is hoping to reserve its spot for another year in the elite. They are currently placed around mid-table, but the difference between the 12th and 18th place is only 8 points – so you never know which team can fall under. A very impressive year for them never the less!
Bournemouth is also another team that was supposed to fight to avoid relegation, and now are slowly but safely securing a mid-table finish.
The team’s most difficult month was December, when they played against Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and City – in that order! Back then, a fight for keeping above the red line seemed like a reasonable goal. That quickly changed though, when teams like West Ham, Stoke, WBA and Southampton continued with their terrible form.
The Lions made a true comeback to the Championship, after being relegated from the competition in the 2014-2015 season. A stable mid-table finish with one of the best defenses in the league impressed everyone, especially bookmakers that estimated Millwall to fight for avoiding relegation.
Millwall has 1 draw and 6 wins in the last 7 games, and only 1 defeat in 2018 against Norwich on 1st of January. This shows that the Lions know what they’re doing, and we should expect even more success and ambition next season.
Another pleasant surprise in the Championship this season is the currently 3rd placed Fulham. The Whites have a rich history, as they played 13 consecutive seasons in the Premier League in the period of 2002-2013. This season’s performance only indicates that Fulham is finally on its way back to playing among the best.
If some team plays absolutely bellow their expectations this season in the Premier League, it is Southampton. With only 28 points in 30 matches, and a number of really hard games to be played, the Saints will need a miracle to survive.
Well, that’s what happens when a team goes 2 whole months without a win in a crucial part of the season. 7 games to go, and Southampton are visiting Arsenal at the Emirates, and hosting Chelsea and City. A tough battle ahead!
7. Stoke City
Stoke is another team that let everyone down – especially the bookmakers, that predicted a stable middle table position for the Potters. A long string of disappointing losses and draws throughout the season made Stoke in a position to get relegated, as they are currently placed 19th on the table. With 58 goals conceded in 30 matches, the Potters have the worst defense in the Premier League so far.
8. West Ham
Looks like West Ham isn’t the same since Dimitri Payet left the club last season. It’s all ben downwards from there. The squad had one of the worst starts in the Premier League with only 1 win in 6 matches and 13 goals conceived. Hammer’s coach Slaven Bilic struggled to keep the team afloat in the first half of the season and was replaced by David Moyes – who didn’t seem to recover the team from the bad start.
Giving that the difference between the safe zone and relegation is only few points, it will be interesting to see which team survives, and which will say goodbye to the Premier League for at least a year.
Leeds was predicted to fight for the playoffs this year, but they are nearing towards a mid-table finish. Not a great season for the Peacocks, as their ambition did not match up the performance the players showed.
Leeds came really close last season to playing in the playoffs, when they finished 7th. A club with rich Premier League history and a UEFA Champions League semi-final back in 2001. After this year’s performances, guess they have a long way towards getting there again.
When talking about under-performing and unmet season expectations, we have to mention Birmingham. The club was estimated to finish somewhere mid-table this season. No one saw the bad form coming, as the Blues lost 23 out of 38 games so far. Along with Barnsley, Reading and Bolton, they will fight to survive this very rough Championship season.
So, there you have it, 10 teams that bookmakers and many others under-or-over estimated. But hey, remember what they say: there’s always next season! Nothing to do, but to wait and see. Did we missed to mention someone? Let us know in the comment box bellow.