The 2022-23 season has resumed in most of the top leagues across Europe after the World Cup break. We have seen action recommence in the English Premier League, La Liga, and in Ligue 1.
So far, there have been top performances from various clubs in the top five leagues. We have also witnessed outstanding performances from some of the lesser favorite teams in the respective leagues.
These clubs have punched above their weight, giving the top teams a run for their money. Without further ado, we will look at three such clubs this season.
#3 SC Freiburg
The German Bundesliga will resume in a few weeks, and SC Freiburg will be looking to continue their fine form before the break. They were one of the most in-form sides in the German league before the hiatus with four wins from their last five league games.
Freiburg are currently ranked second in the Bundesliga. They have a record of nine wins, three draws, and three losses from 15 matches so far.
Their three defeats have come at the hands of the big teams (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig). However, they have maintained consistency playing other teams in the league.
Freiburg will resume their campaign with an away game at Wolfsburg on January 21.
#2 RC Lens
RC Lens have been the surprise package in the French Ligue 1 this term. The 1997-98 league champions, who returned to the top-flight two seasons ago, have been punching above their weight with a series of terrific performances so far.
Franck Haise's side is currently ranked second in the Ligue 1 table after 17 games. Their record of 12 wins, two draws, and a loss has earned them 40 points -- four points below league leaders Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
Lens have recorded wins over some of the biggest hitters in the league. They recently defeated table-toppers PSG 3-1, inflicting on the Parisians their first loss of the campaign. They also boast other good results like a 1-0 win over Olympique Lyon and Olympique Marseille. Lens also thumped AS Monaco 4-1 earlier in the season.
Les Sang et also have the best defensive record in the league, having conceded the fewest goals (11).
#1 Newcastle United as the top surprise of the season
Newcastle United have been the biggest underdogs in the Premier League this season. The Tyneside club has performed beyond expectations this term and is currently one of the most in-form sides in the English top flight.
Club manager Eddie Howe has assembled a formidable team capable of going toe-to-toe with any team in the league. The Magpies are currently third in the league table.
They are also currently on a 12-match unbeaten run in the league and have suffered only one defeat after 17 league games. Players like Miguel Almiron, Calum Wilson, and Bruno Guimaraes have been standout performers in Howe's setup.
Newcastle's strongest department has been their defense. They currently have the best defensive record in the league, having conceded just 11 goals so far, the least by any club. They have also been decent in attack with 32 goals scored so far.
If they maintain this performance, they might just end the season in the top six, thereby securing a ticket to one of the UEFA club competitions.