These teams might stumble in the new season.
In recent years the competition around the top European divisions has become cutthroat. The margin for errors is minimal, with each team having limited opportunities to falter.
Within the initial weeks, one can speculate if a particular team would fare well or if they would suffer from a lack of consistency. The transfers, expectations and the overall performances- everything culminates in the first kickoff.
Some teams are surprisingly struggling to find their regular footing this year. They are more likely to endure the effects of a poor start throughout this season.
5. Leicester City
In their latest campaign, numerous off-putting injuries to starters resulted in the lack of another charge for a top-six challenge for the Foxes. After an eighth-placed finish during the final matchdays, Brendan Rodgers promised the fans an immediate refreshing of the squad.
However, since the opening of the transfer window, Leicester City have remained the only outfit in the top five European leagues to make no outfield additions for the longest time. The departure of club captain Kasper Schmeichel only shrank their quality.
Instrumental players like Wesley Fofana and Youri Tielemans are on the verge of moving out, if their prospective buyers agree to a negotiable fee. With most transfer targets already gone, the Foxes are unlikely to invest that money into adequate replacements. They already had a poor defensive record, which they have retained once more by conceding six goals in two matches.
4. Bayer Leverkusen
A humiliating start to the season has forecast the impending struggles that Bayer Leverkusen could face. They remain at the bottom of the table after suffering two back-to-back losses in their Bundesliga campaign. Now, Gerardo Seoane is tasked with somehow salvaging the season, with dire hopes of any redemption.
Some starters have suffered several ailments preventing them from trying to help the squad. In recent years, Leverkusen has sold their most valuable assets in recent seasons. The likes of Florian Wirtz, Moussa Diaby and Patrik Schick need to step up in order to make a quick turnaround this season.
The Gli Azzurri had a remarkable season last year, having challenged the Serie A title contenders for months. However, it would be really difficult for them to replicate last year’s finish, as ending at third is a daunting task that demands a lot of quality. While Luciano Spalletti has lost three vital players during the window, which includes club captain Lorenzo Insigne followed by Kalidou Koulibaly and Dries Mertens. With their quality amiss, the fatigue of constant demand will soon catch up to exasperate the outfit.
Other teams like Juventus, Roma, Inter and AC Milan have reinforced their squads to reclaim their dominance. All those factors are enough to derail expectations in Naples.
The effort to get results has not been effective for Jürgen Klopp’s side. The Reds have quality on-paper, but they have struggled to transition that onto the field during matches.
With a few fresh faces joining the lineup, the long-standing guards have different roles this year. Some crises in the midfield department with persistent injuries have raised the possibility of more signings.
The two critical factors that have gathered concerns are the decreased regular contributions from Mohamed Salah, who was exceptional during the first half of last season. The second reason is the speculated after-effects of losing another potent threat like Sadio Mané, who scored 23 goals and provided five assists.
Liverpool stand 12th after securing two draws in two games against opponents, comparing a tier or two below them. While Jurgen Klopp has the attributes to turn things around but the situation could go south very quickly.
1. Manchester United
Erik ten Hag has already faced scrutiny for having the worst start of any season since 1992. The new manager has struggled to reflect his philosophy at Old Trafford, resulting in a lackluster display from a unit that has constantly been blamed for its lack of camaraderie.
Within the first two games, it’s evident that the side will most likely suffer as the season progresses further. A visible intent or passion was hard to come by in their first two games of the new season. To add insult to injury, their main attacking option, Cristiano Ronaldo, is still unsure if he wants to leave or keep his head down and play.
Some might attribute the problems on the field as a direct consequence of several issues behind the curtains at Old Trafford. The owners don’t see eye-to-eye with the stakeholders of the outfit, let alone the fans. The club have no Director of Football to watch over their strategies. Thus, an inconvenient transfer strategy and ignoring fragile areas has ultimately contributed to a horrendous start for Manchester United.