The Underdogs in Title Races to Watch This Season

Wolfsburg/Leverkusen - Bundesliga

Wolfsburg were champions in 2009 and Champions League quarter-finalists in 2016, but then only salvaged their top flight status in both 2017 and 2018 by winning the Bundesliga’s promotion/relegation playoff. After those years of turmoil, they are back among the best in Germany and will compete in the Champions League again this season; a season in which they have started with two wins from two, and are a huge 50/1 to end up as champions.

Wout Weghorst has been a revelation since joining in 2018, scoring 53 league goals in his three seasons at the club, and his physical ability and eye for goal could have Wolfsburg aiming even higher than their fourth-place finish last season. Koen Casteels is one of the best goalkeepers in the league and the athletic attacking duo on the right, Kevin Mbabu, and Ridle Baku can cause problems if they are able to get service to Weghorst.

Bayer Leverkusen are another one of the sides hoping to end years of underachievement. Despite selling Kai Havertz last summer, his heir apparent has already broken into the side in the form of 18-year-old Florian Wirtz, partnering Euro 2020 sensation Patrik Schick in attack.

A 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach has got neutrals to sit up and take notice by this exciting youthful-looking side, which also includes Moussa Diaby, Paulinho, Jeremie Frimpong and Odilon Koussounou, all in their early-20s who could have breakout seasons.

Leverkusen are 40/1 to be Bundesliga winners.

Sevilla - La Liga

Champions Real Madrid have called Carlo Ancelotti back half a decade after sacking him, but after losing the title to city rivals Atletico last season, they have not really made any notable improvements apart from David Alaba, as they still aim to complete a marquee signing despite alleged having no money available to do so.

Barcelona, on the other hand, are without the great Lionel Messi now, and could even struggle to get the top two without his appearance.

Sevilla proved last season that they are capable of challenging at the summit. Only in mid-May did their title challenge eventually fizzle out, but they ran the top three very close, finishing in fourth with an extraordinary 77 points. Julen Lopetegui has added quality to his team too as well as retaining much of the side from last season.

Rafa Mir has joined from Wolverhampton Wanderers after scoring 13 for relegated Huesca on loan last season, while Erik Lamela has arrived and he has the potential to thrive in a league like La Liga, proven by his brilliant start to the season which has produced three goals in two games, including a stoppage-time winner against Getafe. With hot prospect Jules Kounde still at the club, and Ivan Rakitic and Alejandro Gomez playmaking in midfield, Sevilla look a solid outfit, and they are 12/1 to win the title.

Atalanta - Serie A

Inter Milan will defend their title without the three most important facets of that Scudetto success, with Antonio Conte moving on and Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi being sold, so that leaves the door open for another contender to join the race.

No other side looks more equipped to challenge for Serie A than the most likable, well-run, and overachieving football club in Italy at the moment, Atalanta. Under Gian Piero Gasperini they have built a perfectly well-oiled attacking machine that has been taking the Italian top flight by storm, going from a mid-table side to Champions League regulars.

Many of their talented squad have impressed over the course of the summer too at the European Championships, with Joakim Maehle, Robin Gosens, Marten de Roon and Ruslan Malinovksiy showcasing their ability, while Aleksei Miranchuk and Mario Pasalic also popped up with eye-catching goals.

Scoring 265 goals across the last three seasons has seen them finish as the top scorers in each campaign, and the additions of highly-rated duo Juan Musso in goal and Merih Demiral at the back to go with their endless list of attacking threats suggests Atalanta could be in with a big shout of winning the title this season.

Sky Bet price them at 11/2 to win a maiden Scudetto.

Trabzonspor - Super Lig

The Turkish Super Lig has been a very curious league to keep an eye on in recent years.

Trabzonspor have often been seen as the biggest club outside that trio of Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. Their six titles between 1976 and 1984 help towards that, but they have not won one since, however, they have been regulars at finishing second and third.

Some signings have caught the eye this summer though, as the club have brought in Marek Hamsik, Gervinho, Bruno Peres and Andreas Cornelius who have all starred in Serie A in recent years and are playing above their level in this division.

Basaksehir showed in 2019 that signing veterans can lead to glory when their side which contained Martin Skrtel, Gael Clichy, Demba Ba, Robinho, Gokhan Inler, and Eljero Elia won the title. Trabzonspor have their fair share of over-30s and if they can click, they can reign above the inconsistent heavyweights in Turkey.

Trabzonspor are fourth favourites at 4/1 to win the title.


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