5 Biggest Overachieving Clubs Across Europe This Season

James Budgen

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Royale Union Saint Gilloise

In their first season back in the Belgian first division in 48 years, USG have had one of the best seasons in Europe this season, finishing a likely second place, almost winning the Belgian First Division despite spending little to nothing on their squad.

Owned by Brighton & Hove Albion owner Tony Bloom, USG have made great strides on a very small budget, outsmarting the likes of Anderlecht with clever recruitment and data-backed signings which will see them in the Champions League next season.

In the regular season of the Belgian league, USG scored the most goals, 24 from top scorer Deniz Undav, who is joining Brighton in July, and conceded the least goals, only 27 in 34 games.

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FC Zurich

After finishing just five points above the relegation zone in the Swiss Super League last season, FC Zurich have shocked everyone this season, blowing away their oppositions to win the league title with several games to go.

Their last league title win was in the 2008/09 season, and this league title has broken the duopoly of Basel and Young Boys who have won the last 13 league titles between them.

Zurich were actually relegated from the first division in the 2015/16 season, making this extra special for the fans of one of Switzerland’s biggest clubs, with their fans reaping the rewards of standing by their club after the hard times this club has been through over the past decade.

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Trabzonspor

After coming close many times in recent years, Trabzonspor won the Turkish Super Lig for the first time in 38 years, and the game that sealed the title, a 2-2 draw with Antalyaspor, created wild scenes not just inside the stadium, but across the city.

Going into this season, Trabzonspor were not considered for the league title, they usually finish near the top of the table, having finished in the top four in the previous three seasons, but the title was never in consideration even by their own fans.

But their form this season has been exceptional, only losing twice this whole season in the league, scoring the joint-most goals with 68, and conceding the least amount of goals, only 33 in 37 games so far, and their success got the attention of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who took to Twitter to congratulate the newly crowned champions.

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SC Cambuur

In their first season back in the Eredivisie since getting relegated in the 2015/16 season, SC Cambuur have exceeded all expectations this season, finishing in ninth place, despite having some struggles in the second half of the season.

Cambuur won nine of their first sixteen games, which saw them in and around European qualification, but a run of two wins in their last 18 games to end the season saw their fairytale story derail a bit, but a ninth-placed finish for a newly promoted team is seriously impressive.

Cambuur were the sixth highest-scoring team in the league this season, despite their top scorer, Roberts Uldrikis, only scoring seven goals, showing the team effort that was put in to exceed their expectations this season.

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Strasbourg

In just their fifth season back in Ligue 1, Strasbourg have a good chance to secure a place in the Champions League, with just one game left in the season, despite finishing just two points above the relegation zone last season.

Only three losses in their last twenty-six games has seen them as one of the most in-form teams in Europe in 2022, despite having a fraction of the budget compared to the teams around them, only spending £4 million this season, and losing their star centre-back Mohamed Simakan to Leipzig in the summer.

Striker Ludovic Ajorque will get a lot of their plaudits this season, scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists, but their defence has been outstanding in the second half of the season, conceding only 15 goals in their last 19 games, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process.

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