Comfortably above the battle to avoid relegation and just beneath the title fight, competitiveness in the Premier League is being highlighted this season by three clubs, each of which could genuinely be in with a shot of qualifying for Europe.
Surprises in football are undoubtedly what makes the game so exciting, whether they be singularly exceptional victories or sustained levels of performance, as clubs appear to punch above their weight. Such occurrences are what also makes football so engaging, especially amongst fans who enjoy wagering on the outcome of matches and competitions.
As we reach the midway point of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign, bookmakers are keen to fuel that sense of enthusiasm. But delving beyond the hype and the headlines, professional betting experts at SBO provides insights that make a genuine difference, reviewing sites in detail to highlight the best options available.
Fans of the Premier League worldwide may be amazed by the competition this season, and particularly given where certain teams are positioned in the table. But who are these three clubs and how did they get there?
Winning promotion to the Premier League is one thing, surviving amongst the English elite is another matter entirely. Somewhat of a yo-yo club in recent seasons, Fulham has risen twice from the Championship, but struggled to compete in the top tier and endure subsequent relegations. However, they seemed much better prepared heading into the 2022-23 campaign.
Despite their own internal confidence about doing better this time around, based upon previous performances in the Premier League, bookmakers quickly listed Fulham as one of the favourites to be relegated. Nevertheless, the Cottagers have discreetly gone about their business admirably, putting together positive results to keep themselves afloat.
This has included a fine string of EPL performances, putting together a winning streak that lasted four games, before that run was eventually ended by Newcastle United. Otherwise, the team led by head coach Marco Silva remains in the hunt European qualification, which this modest London club hasn’t achieved for more than a decade.
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Brighton & Hove Albion
Prior to their most recent success, Brighton & Hove Albion had spent most of their history in the lower divisions, aside from just four top flight campaigns during the early 1980s. Chris Hughton changed all that, guiding the team to promotion from the Championship in 2016-17, before being replaced by Graham Potter in May 2019, when the team was battling to avoid relegation.
Following that managerial appointment, Brighton slowly but surely improved, as Potter eventually led the Seagulls to an impressive 9th position finish last season. However, when Chelsea lured their head coach away in September, there were serious fears that all their plans would be thrown into disarray, although Roberto De Zerbi seems to have kept momentum going.
The Italian coach arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk, having led them admirably through difficult circumstances in Ukraine, albeit with no prior managerial experience in England. But remarkably, his first win came against none other than Chelsea and Potter, overcoming a difficult start to his tenure. Since then, Brighton have played superbly, overcoming the odds to remain within touching distance of the top six.
Similarly to the other components of this impressive trio, Brentford had spent most of their history in the lower leagues, briefly gracing the top tier during the late 1930s. After many decades of economic struggles, fans took control of the club, sparking what became a remarkable BFC revival, culminating in the construction of a new stadium and promotion to the Premier League.
Making their Premier League bow last season, Brentford certainly struggled for much of the campaign, although the club kept faith in manager Thomas Frank. Their patience and confidence was fully repaid as the Bees comfortably avoided relegation, impressively winning seven of their last eleven games of the 2021-22 season.
Building on strong squad foundations, Frank was given the funds to strengthen the side in the summer, which resulted in astute signings that didn’t break the bank. Brentford has also become one of the toughest sides to beat, losing just four matches during the 2022-23 campaign, jostling for position above powerful rivals including Liverpool and Chelsea.
All three of these teams have performed admirably so far, seemingly punching above their weight in the Premier League, much to the surprise of expert pundits and bookies alike. Whether this trio can keep the momentum going, this will be their greatest challenge, particularly with much bigger clubs just behind them in the table.