The Premier League this season has seen 22 rounds of breathtaking action, as the teams have battled for their different ambitions. 586 goals have been scored in the 220 games played so far, with some upsets already recorded.
Some teams have been doing spectacularly – either punching above their weight or occupying positions that at the start of the season seemed nigh impossible – and as the Premier League halts its action this weekend to usher in the most prestigious cup competition in England, the FA Cup, we look back at the season so far to talk about 5 teams that have exceeded expectations in the League.
#5 Newcastle United
The Magpies secured an immediate return to the big stage by clinching the Championship title on 7th May 2017 with a 3-0 victory over Barnsley – after being relegated from the league at the end of the 2015/2016 season.
The optimism for the new season quickly dissipated after an underwhelming summer transfer window, with club owner Mike Ashley claiming at the start of the season that the club is not able to compete financially with the league’s ‘big boys’.
The squad available to manager Rafa Benitez was said to be unsuitable for the league with many pundits claiming the players at the club are not Premier League level players.
A record of 2 consecutive losses at the start of the season did nothing to calm the worries of the fans of the club but Benitez has since steadied the ship and Newcastle United are feeling like a Premier League side again.
Although the crisis behind the scene at the club is still very much unsettled – with Ashley putting the club up for sale in October – the performances on the pitch have steadily improved with the team giving a good account of themselves on many occasions.
Currently 13th on the table many Newcastle United supporters will be fancying their side’s chances of avoiding the drop come May.