Europe's Biggest Under-Achieving Clubs Featuring Sevilla, AC Milan, Sunderland

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2013

Europe's Biggest Under-Achieving Clubs Featuring Sevilla, AC Milan, Sunderland

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    Welcome back to the latest roundup of our under-achieving clubs throughout Europe, where we have three new entrants for you this time and a new club on the bottom of them all.

    Wins for Dynamo Kviv and Olympique Lyon, amongst others, have seen them depart these rankings for now, but Italian giants AC Milan have had a fairly horrid start to the season—they are one of the new faces.

    Check out last week's rankings here or read on for the latest update.

    A quick mention for two teams who don't feature—yet—but have had better starts to seasons: Galatasaray would have been fourth had their 90th-minute lead at Besiktas stood until the game was abandoned, while last season's third-place team in Portugal, Paços de Ferreira, have managed just one point to date.

    The sacking of Fatih Terim in Turkey and the Portuguese side's rapid demise, where they've already lost as many times this season as they did in all of last term, shows just how quickly football moves these days.

8. Schalke

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    Schalke seemed to have halted their bad start to the season with back-to-back wins, but those points weren't enough to drag them far up the table after losing twice early on.

    A match against treble-winners Bayern Munich, then, was always likely to leave them in a bit of a fix with regards to their league position and so it proved after a thumping 4-0 home defeat.

    That leaves Schalke just two places above the relegation playoff place at present, though they will hope for a return to form with their next game away to Hoffenheim.

7. Bordeaux

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    Bordeaux are a new entrant, having made the rankings after failing to win in their last three matches and dropping into Ligue 1's bottom four.

    A 3-3 draw at Lorient provided exciting viewing last time out, but they'll be disappointed to have lost two points after leading 3-1 at one point. Next up they face Reims as they look to get their season back on track.

    Bordeaux's only win this season so far came at home against Bastia, a little over a month ago.

6. Feyenoord

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    Feyenoord rise two places into sixth following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Utrecht last time out.

    Tonny Vilhena scored his first goal of the league season to seal the win, Feyenoord's third from four games after their awful start to the campaign.

    Keep this up and they'll be out of the under-achieving clubs ranking before long—but for now, they lie in eighth place in the league and are five points off pace-setters PSV at the top.

    ADO Den Haag at home is their next fixture, an almost guaranteed three points.

5. AC Milan

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    After last week's rankings contained no side from Serie A in Italy, AC Milan are the unlucky new entrant from that top flight following the continuation of their poor start to the season.

    Milan dropped to 12th place in the table after claiming just one victory from their opening four matches, with a home defeat to Napoli their latest disappointment.

    A late Mario Balotelli goal wasn't enough to prevent a 2-1 defeat, with the striker also missing a penalty and being shown a red card after the game had finished.

    Milan face two games this week, away to Bologna and home to Sampdoria.

4. Hamburger SV

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    Hamburg have had a difficult start to the campaign and last time out faced a similarly-struggling rival in Werder Bremen—but tasted a surprise defeat at home to leave HSV in the bottom three.

    They have managed to win just once this season so far and have conceded a whopping 17 goals in six games to date, including the two against Bremen in the 2-0 loss.

    HSV travel to Eintracht Frankfurt next and will be desperate to start picking up the points. They dropped two places in our ranking this week.

3. Anzhi Makhachkala

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    Anzhi Makhachkala were afforded the luxury of rising two places off the bottom of the rankings this week, despite tasting defeat once more at the weekend.

    A 2-1 defeat at Volga was sealed with all first-half goals, leaving the Dagestan outfit still searching for a first win of the season after nine games.

    They are outside the automatic relegation places, though, by virtue of a better goal difference than Tom' Tomsk.

    Anzhi's move off the foot of the rankings was simply due to the worse performances by their rivals in this league, rather than their own improvements domestically.

2. Sunderland

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    Sunderland became the first Premier League team to sack their manager this season as they gave Paolo Di Canio the boot after just five matches.

    Despite spending the summer overhauling the squad, Di Canio was unable to get results this season and took just a single point from five games, leaving the team bottom of the league table and already three points adrift of safety.

    They are non-movers in the rankings this week, but the 3-0 defeat at West Brom was poor. Next up they face Liverpool at home.

1. Sevilla

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    The biggest under-performing club in Europe right now is Sevilla, who drop six places to rank bottom in our list this week.

    That follows a huge setback in the shape of a 3-1 defeat at Valencia; not normally anything to be shocked about, but at the home of Unai Emery's former club and with Los Che having only won once beforehand this season themselves, it was a chance to cause an upset.

    The loss sent Sevilla crashing to the foot of La Liga after five matches from which they have taken just two points.

    One positive for the team is that they have two fixtures this week with which to sort themselves out and propel themselves further up the table—or sink further into despair. They face Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday before a weekend trip to Real Sociedad.

    Both teams have only won once this term so far and Sevilla know they need to manage at least one victory themselves from the two games before panic starts to set in.