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5 unexpected teams that might play in the top European leagues next season

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2.65K   //    29 Nov 2017, 16:12 IST

US Citta di Palermo v Cittadella - Serie B
Cittadella players celebrating a goal in a recent 3-0 win over Palermo

Benevento are having in their first season in the Serie A, Amiens are enjoying their first year in Ligue 1 and Huddersfield Town have been a wonderful story in their first Premier League campaign. A lot of surprising teams made it into the top European leagues this season and the same could transpire next season.

With a good chunk of the European football season played, the leagues are starting to take shape. We can see who all are gunning for the title and which teams are chasing a spot in European competitions next season.

We can also see who are chasing promotion and it that regard there's an intriguing situation in a lot of countries. Quite a few minnows could find themselves in dreamland in 2018.

#5 A.S. Cittadella

Cittadella are a relatively young club in Italy. They were founded in 1973 after a merger between U.S. Cittadellense and A.S. Olympia. It's been a slow climb to the top as they have spent the majority of the time in various lower leagues, mostly as an amateur side.

It took Cittadella nearly 30 years to reach Serie B for the first time and it was a brief spell that lasted only two seasons in 2000-2002. They lost half of their 38 games in the final year, winning just nine matches and conceding 63 goals.

The club from the northern part of the country then went back to obscurity before returning to the second tier in 2008/09. They have been a solid Serie B side ever since, though suffered relegation again as recently as 2016. But that makes their current rise even more remarkable now.

The side that plays at Stadio Pier Cesare Tombolato, which holds less than 8000 spectators, already was on the cusp of getting into the top flight last season as they made the promotion playoffs, but fell at the first hurdle there, losing 2-1 to Carpi.

This season, Cittadella is again chasing a playoff spot. After 16 rounds, they are 7th on 24 points. The best two make it to Serie A automatically with the rest of the Top 8 participating in the playoffs. Cittadella actually isn't even far away from the automatic promotion places with Palermo currently holding the last one with 28 points.

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