Five Football Teams to Watch This Season
The new Premier League season kicked off last weekend with a bang as newly promoted Brentford made light work of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. Surprising as the Bees’ 2-0 victory may have been to many, it actually wasn’t all too surprising according to the pre-match betting odds.
Thomas Frank’s side are tipped to do well this season with their exciting brand of football, full-blooded passion and innovative recruitment strategy. Aside from the Premier League’s 50th club, who else should you be keeping an eye on this season? Read on to find out.
The Entertainers: Leeds United
The Premier League is fast becoming a farce with 7 of the last 10 Premier League titles being won by either oil rich Chelsea or Manchester City. One of last year’s Champions League finalists will lift the title once again this season after both spent over £100 million to bolster their already incredibly talented squads.
So, if you’re looking for excitement in the Premier League you would be better served casting your eye further down the division – away from the monotony of the Gazprom, Saudi Aramco title race.
Elland Road in West Yorkshire is where you’re likely to find the most entertainment this season with goals flying in at either end of the pitch. Leeds’ who were revived under legendary Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa go into every game looking to outwork, outpress and outscore their opponents.
More often than not last season it was a tactic that fared the Yorkshire club well, but there were occasions in which their attacking intent backfired, notably at Old Trafford where they lost 6-2.
That chastening experience didn’t stop Bielsa from going gung-ho on his next visit to Stretford where his side lost 5-1 just last week. If you want fast-paced football and goals galore, Leeds United are the team to watch this season.
The Exploding Clown Car: Barcelona
The glory days of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi are nothing more than a memory for Barcelona fans. The two Spanish maestros have long-since retired and Messi, their talisman for so many years has left to join PSG.
Messi’s departure came as a result of the Catalan club’s financial difficulties which last week saw Gerard Pique take a substantial pay cut to allow for the registration of Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Rey Manaj.
“I did all I could to stay” said Messi a few days before, perhaps not quite…
Regardless, Barcelona are now significantly worse off than they were last season which is likely to result in a topsy-turvy campaign for the Catalans. If you’re fond of schadenfreude this is the year to catch as many Barcelona games as possible.
The Evil Empire: PSG
Do you ever watch Star Wars and find yourself identifying with Darth Vader or share ideological principles with Marvel baddies? If you do, French club Paris Saint-Germain are the team that you should be watching this season.
Affronted by the audacity of Lille in winning Ligue 1 last season, PSG’s recruitment team have gone into overdrive to ensure they never suffer the ignominy of not winning the French league title ever again.
Achraf Hakimi, Danilo Pereira, Lionel Messi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma have all been brought in to give manager Mauricio Pochettino the tools he needs to win every competition his side enters.
It might be worth watching Ligue 1 whilst you still can as more and more clubs stand on the verge of bankruptcy in their ill-fated bids to keep up with the unfettered spending of PSG.
The Merchants of Disaster: Inter Miami
If PSG do actually get their act together and win the Champions League this season we’ll all need another high-profile club to laugh at and fortunately, David Beckham and Phil Neville have us covered with Inter Miami.
Despite bringing in some of the best players in the division – Gonzalo Higuain to name but one – Inter Miami find themselves languishing at the lower reaches of the Eastern Conference.
Watching the side find new and novel ways to self-destruct each week is genuinely impressive, almost as impressive as Phil Neville’s cringe worthy post-match press conferences in which he tells reporters what it means to represent a brand new club with no history or traditions…
The Hipsters Choice: Sporting CP
If you haven’t noticed already, we’re growing pretty tired with the current top level of European football. We feel that money shouldn’t be the be all and end all of modern football and that clubs who run themselves sensibly should reap the rewards for that prudence.
One club that have done that better than most is Portuguese side Sporting CP who have a proven track record of selling their best players to European super powers and reinvesting that cash into their youth system.
This season as Sporting look to defend their crown it is 23-year-old attacking midfielder Pote who will be leading the charge. With 25 goals in 33 Primeira Liga games the former Wolves man is attracting big interest from around the continent.
Tune in to watch him and Sporting this season for football at its purest.