Europe's Biggest Under-Achieving Clubs Featuring Anzhi, Newcastle, Sevilla

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2013

Europe's Biggest Under-Achieving Clubs Featuring Anzhi, Newcastle, Sevilla

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    Welcome to another updated rundown of Europe's most underachieving football clubs.

    Due to the international break, it's been a couple of weeks since our last roundup, but the sides have played only one league game since then.

    Positive results for Inter Milan, Schalke, Newcastle United and Malaga see all four depart this list, but there are still plenty of familiar names who need to work on bettering their seasons.

    We've got three new entrants who have suffered at the start of this campaign, including one from La Liga and a new entrant from the Bundesliga.

8. Olympique Lyonnais

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    Opening day of the Champions League group phase offers a strong reminder of what Lyon's poor start to the season has cost them.

    They failed to progress past the playoffs, while also suffering a slow start to their Ligue 1 campaign. They have gone three games without victory after winning their first two and are marooned in mid-table, already four points off the pace of the top three and six points behind leaders Monaco.

    Their latest result was a slight improvement, but a 0-0 home draw to Rennes was less than they would have hoped for.

7. Sevilla

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    A new entrant on the underachievers list, Sevilla's slide down the table in recent seasons shows no sign of abating. They must to improve quickly just to get themselves back to their mid-table status of last term.

    A tough start to the new campaign has seen them drop to 19th place, one off the bottom.

    Bad luck perhaps played a part in their most recent defeat, as they clawed back from two goals down against Barcelona to equalise 2-2 in the last 10 minutes—before an injury-time winner for the Catalan side saw Sevilla lose again. They are winless this season.

6. Hamburger SV

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    Into Germany and the Bundesliga, which places a new entry on our list, Hamburger SV.

    Finishing seventh last season, they would have hoped for improvement this term to get back into Europe. But they've won just once from five games to kick off their new campaign.

    Four points leaves them one place above the relegation playoff zone. Their 6-2 drubbing by Borussia Dortmund at the weekend doesn't exactly speak of better things to come.

    Hamburg have conceded 15 goals in their five matches, the worst defensive record in the top flight.

5. Dynamo Kyiv

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    Over the past few years there have been four major players in the Ukraine top flight: Dnipro, Shakhtar, Metalist and national giants Dynamo Kyiv.

    Considering that last season's third-place finish was their lowest since the reformation of the Ukrainian league in 1992, even that could have been considered an subpar performance. But their start to 2013-14 has been entirely underwhelming.

    Nine games in and Kyiv have won fewer than half of their matches. Their most recent fixture was a 3-0 defeat against league-leaders Metalist. The smart money is on a rebound during the course of the season, but Dynamo have been undoubtedly underperforming so far this year.

4. Feyenoord

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    Feyenoord picked up a point in their most recent game, but it was neither a totally satisfactory point nor enough to take them off this list.

    They needed a 90th-minute equaliser from Bruno Martins Indi to snatch a 3-3 draw against NEC, who are bottom of the table and winless so far this season. That would have otherwise meant a fourth defeat in six for Feyenoord, who currently lie 12th in the Eredivisie.

    Next up they face Utrecht, who sit just one point and one place above them in the table. Feyenoord must seize the opportunity get their season back on track.

3. Valencia

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    Valencia faced some tough fixtures to start their season. The results are showcased in their measly points haul of only three in four La Liga games.

    So far they have managed just one win, leaving them a point above the bottom. They have suffered three consecutive defeats.

    The latest loss came at Real Betis, where Los Che found themselves three goals down in the opening half an hour. They pulled one back late on, but it has been far from a happy start this season for Valencia.

    They face 19th-place Sevilla on Sunday in what is already a pressure match, with both teams struggling.

2. Sunderland

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    One of just two winless teams in the Premier League, Sunderland had another bad day at home last time out. They were soundly beaten 1-3 by Arsenal and saw manager Paolo Di Canio sent to the stands.

    Despite overhauling the squad this summer, Sunderland have picked up only one point from four games and face a difficult run of home fixtures. That makes their away form even more important, but they managed only four wins away from the Stadium of Light all of last season.

    In another big three-pointer, they face the other winless side, West Brom, at the weekend.

1. Anzhi Makhachkala

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    Anzhi Makhachkala's imploded season continues to look doomed to failure, as they only managed a 2-2 draw with previously pointless Tom Tomsk last weekend.

    Anzhi needed a second-half turnaround to secure even that point, after they fell two goals behind.

    Their fourth draw in eight games was enough, however, to see them move above Terek Grozny and out of the early relegation places.

    Anzhi are now without a win in eight league games this season.

    They face a trip to Volga in their next attempt, but for now Anzhi Makhachkala remain Europe's biggest under-achieving side.