Ten Darkhorse Football Teams to Keep an Eye on This Season

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Months became weeks and now it is just days until the return of the beautiful game. Whether it be off the back of promotion or relegation, or teams competing in the European competitions, there is as much on the line as ever. Here are ten European teams that you need to keep an eye on for various reasons.

Ten European Teams Worth Watching This Season

Tottenham Hotspur

Kicking things off in the Premier League and beyond the big two, it is anyone’s guess what will take place in the top half. An argument can be made for four or five teams to fill the final two Champions League spots. One side with the strongest accreditation is Tottenham Hotspur, largely due to their manager.

Antonio Conte turned around their fortunes last term and has strengthened very well this summer. Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur impressed on loan from Juventus and those with those in the mix along with the likes of Djed Spence and Richarlison, just how high is this team’s ceiling?

AFC Bournemouth

After a short stint away from the top tier, Bournemouth are back amongst the big boys. Whilst Fulham and Nottingham Forest have gone about adding to their ranks though, the Cherries have had a quiet summer.

Only Joe Rothwell and Ryan Fredericks have come through the door, the pair joining on frees from Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United respectively. As a result, they find themselves in uncertain territory. Scott Parker’s men are certainly one of the top 10 European teams to watch this season but not for the right reasons.

Coventry City

Dropping down to the Championship, a league Bournemouth are happy to see the back of, we have Coventry City. They may not have the financial backing of some of the big teams yet have still been able to mix it with them in recent years.

Holding onto key players such as Viktor Gyokeres and Callum O’Hare is the key for Mark Robins and he has done just that so far. Meanwhile, young defenders Jonathan Panzo and Callum Doyle arriving on loan from top-flight teams makes a lot of sense.

Read MoreTop 10 European Football Managers to Watch This Season

Real Betis

Moving abroad for the top 10 European teams to keep an eye on and it begins in Spain. Beyond the battle of the big three, it is the fight for Seville glory that is most captivating. Sevilla finished five points ahead of Real Betis last term but it was still an impressive attempt from the latter.

Manuel Pellegrini is a well-loved name on Spanish shores and the Chilean led Betis to Copa del Rey glory in 2022. If the rumours are true and Houssem Aouar makes the same move that Nabil Fekir made from Lyon not long ago, then Los Verdiblancos will be even more intriguing.

Atalanta

Atalanta have long since been a second team for the lovers of European football. This golden generation under Gian Piero Gasperini could soon be coming to an end though. Rafael Toloi, Marten de Roon, Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel are all past 30 with a number of others nearing this age.

Their business has always been second-to-none and this will have to be replicated if La Dea are to remain as formidable as they currently are. The loan move of Matteo Pessina to newly promoted Monza is a great one and makes them another team to watch out for.

Sassuolo

Remaining in Italy for the 10 European teams to follow and Sassuolo themselves have to contend with strenuous turnover. Manuel Locatelli moving on to Juventus was quite the loss and this summer could make things worse.

Domenico Berardi has long since been the subject of transfer rumours whilst Gianluca Scamacca, Davide Frattesi and Giacomo Raspadori also being targeted by other clubs. It will be fascinating to see how Sassuolo deal with these potential departures.

RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig’s 2021/22 season can reasonably be split into two parts. These are pre-Domenico Tedesco and post-Domenico Tedesco. The German’s arrival turned their fortunes around and eventually put together a very competent campaign. They come up just short in the Europa League and were able to secure a top-four spot.

There hasn’t been a whole lot of business besides Xavier Schlager from Wolfsburg whilst Tyler Adams is the major sale. Christopher Nkunku went to a different level last year and was one of the continent’s finest performers. They now have a full season to push Bayern Munich for the title!

Union Berlin

When it comes to Union Berlin, there is one big topic of conversation that makes them one of the top 10 European teams to watch this year. Former Liverpool man Taiwo Awoniyi and his goalscoring form was key to their shock fifth-placed finish.

The Nigerian has now been snapped up by Nottingham Forest though and so the issue of replacing him arises. USMNT striker Jordan Siebatcheu has been brought in for just over £5 million. He himself enjoyed a rich vein of form in front of goal, even making a name for himself in the Champions League for Swiss side Young Boys.

Nice

Penultimately then in France and Nice themselves have a major departure. The poaching of Christophe Galtier from Lille following their monumental title win was quite something. There isn’t much to talk about on the field but Galtier, having brought in a number of players twelve months ago, upon his arrival, has moved on once again.

When Paris Saint-Germain came calling, it was hardly as if the manager could say no. Lucien Favre has big shoes to fill and will need the likes of Calvin Stengs and Andy Delort to step up.

Lille

The final of the 10 European teams to watch is another of Galtier’s former employers, Lille. Their fall from grace after winning that league title was somewhat inevitable. If their squad hadn’t already been picked apart, this summer has seen to that. Jonathan David and Renato Sanches are amongst those still standing but they aren’t without potential suitors elsewhere. Sven Botman and Zeki Celik are the latest stars to lead and with no major arrivals, new boss Paulo Fonseca, similarly to Favre, has a lot of pressure on his shoulders.