Who Will End Up as the Surprise Team in the Premier League This Year?
Leicester City’s improbable run to the Premier League title last season was without a doubt one of the most miraculous things to ever happen in the world of sports. Picked by many experts to finish in the relegation zone, the Foxes shocked the world by losing only three matches en route to the most improbable championship ever.
At the halfway point of the current season, the usual cast of big dogs occupies the top of the table. Another cinderella run like Leicester City’s is not likely to happen again this year, but Everton has emerged as the underdog club that can rise in the table and claim a spot in Champions League.
Currently sitting in 7th place with 36 points, Everton is still 19 points away from catching up to first place Chelsea. They will have a hard time overtaking a nearly unbeatable Chelsea squad, but Liverpool is only nine points ahead, sitting in the 4th and final Champions League spot.
Everton is the surprise team that can rise in the table and claim a spot in Champions League
Everton may not be as much of a surprise as the Foxes, but they haven’t won a top flight title since 1987 when the Premier League was known as the First Division. In addition to a title drought, Everton is also forced to live in the shadow of their more well-known neighbors, Liverpool. Overtaking them in the table would give Everton bragging rights in the ongoing Merseyside rivalry.
Star forward Romelu Lukaku will be instrumental in Everton’s quest to regain elite respectability. He currently leads the team with 12 goals and four assists in Premier League contests and is the unquestioned offensive focus of the Toffees. Behind the prolific sharpshooter and spark provided by youngster Tom Davies, Everton has won five of their last seven Premier League matches, steadily climbing the table week by week.
Among the victories were a thrilling 2-1 defeat of Arsenal with late game heroics by Ashley Williams and a 4-0 thrashing of powerhouse Manchester City in which Everton scored on all four shots attempted.
In the next 30 days, the Toffees will face a cluster of beatable opponents including 12th place Bournemouth, 16th place Middlesbrough, and last-place Sunderland in between 9th place Stoke City and mighty 3rd place Tottenham. If they can manage three wins and two draws in this stretch, Everton can find themselves right in the thick of the battle.
Chelsea appears primed to stay at the top of the food chain, but if Everton remains in the fine form it has been in as of late, the other guys from Liverpool could end up stealing the local headlines. There’s still a long way to go, but Everton looks set to surprise everybody.