Europe's Biggest Under-Achieving Clubs Featuring AC Milan, Dinamo Kyiv, Schalke
Welcome back to the latest instalment of Europe's biggest under-achieving clubs, where we take a look at the teams in the top leagues on the continent who are currently occupying a domestic league position far below their expected level.
Read on for the latest rankings, while you can check last week's standings here.
This time, we've got just one new entrant. Feyenoord Rotterdam's form is enough to see them depart from these standings (likely for good), but a new team from a new league will be entering the mix in their place.
8. Dynamo Kyiv
For some teams, being fifth in the table might represent a fairly good start. Certainly, if the likes of Real Betis, Swansea City, Montpellier or Lazio were fifth, they'd likely be relatively happy.
When you play for Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukraine Premier League, though, you might as well talk in the same tones as if you were in the relegation spots.
Dynamo Kyiv have never finished a season outside the top three, aside from last year, since the reformation of the Ukraine top flight in the early 1990s. Prior to that, it was a case of winning the league or finishing second. Usually, a close second.
Right now though, Dynamo are struggling to even remotely keep pace with the likes of Metalist Kharkiv and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk at the top of the table, and they are currently 11 points off the top after 11 games.
Their latest result, a 2-2 draw against Vorskla Poltava, was nearly a defeat, but thanks to a 90th-minute Lukman Haruna goal, Dynamo pulled off the equaliser. Kyiv have won one from their last four, and they are under pressure to quickly improve.
7. AC Milan
It really could have been worse for AC Milan, but they rose two places in our standings this week after taking four points from two games.
A 3-1 defeat last Wednesday night was somehow turned around to a 3-3 draw in the final stages of the game against Bologna, with Robinho and Ignazio Abate both scoring in the 90th minute to salvage a point.
At the weekend, a narrow 1-0 win over bottom-three side Sampdoria was Milan's first win in four, and it lifted them into the top half of the table. Even so, they're already 10 points off pace-setters AS Roma. It looks like a long way back to the top three at this point.
Then again, their ability to take points late in games has been key this season, and they'll hope that their resilience pays off in a big way to turn their form around.
Sevilla are our biggest movers of the week, rising from the bottom spot up to sixth, thanks to a huge—and hugely important—4-1 win over Rayo Vallecano.
Ivan Rakitic was the main man, striking twice for Sevilla (along with a late Carlos Bacca goal), to seal Sevilla's first win of their La Liga season, leaving Rayo at the bottom of the league table in their place.
Unai Emery's men followed that result up with a 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad after giving away an early lead and ending up with 10 men.
Sevilla are up to 14th and will hope that these two results are a catalyst for improving their season after such a dreadful beginning to the campaign. They face Almeria next, who are the last remaining side in Spain's top flight without a win.
Schalke just cannot seem to get their Bundesliga season up and running with any sort of consistency right now.
Wins against Leverkusen and Mainz were followed up by a 4-0 thumping by Bayern Munich. They've been unable to get back into a winning form after drawing 3-3 with Hoffenheim most recently, despite leading twice by two goals before halftime.
Kevin-Prince Boateng, Joel Matip and Marco Hoger all found the net before the break last weekend, but Schalke's defence, the fifth-most porous in the league, still didn't find it enough to secure an away win.
It's just two wins from seven now for S04, who are two places outside of the relegation playoff spot. They face eighth-place Augsburg at home at the weekend.
Another game, another draw for Bordeaux, who now have three ties in a row and haven't won for seven matches in all competitions, six in Ligue 1.
A disappointing 1-1 stalemate against Evian made for uninspiring fare, and Bordeaux now sit in 17th place, one above the drop zone, having won just once all season long.
In a comparatively low-scoring league, they have conceded the joint-fourth highest number of goals so far and are scoring at a rate of less than one goal per game, which is not exactly an ideal combination.
They face a must-win game against 19th-place Sochaux-Montbeliard on Sunday, who picked up their first win of the season last time out.
3. Hamburger SV
It's another one-place drop for Hamburger SV this time out, following another week of action without picking up three points.
Most recently, Hamburg needed a late equaliser from Marcell Jansen to rescue a point away to Eintracht Frankfurt, with the 2-2 draw leaving HSV inside the bottom three places, occupying the relegation playoff place.
Just one league victory from their seven Bundesliga games has been an exceptionally poor return, but the draw brought an end to a run of three defeats in four games.
A battle at the bottom takes place on Sunday, as Nurnberg host HSV. The home team are one place above HSV in 15th, but they have not actually won this season. Nurnberg have drawn five games and lost two—keeping ahead of Hamburg on goal difference—thus proving the costly effect of Hamburg having the league's worst defensive record.
2. Anzhi Makhachkala
We finish up with our usual bottom two and the only outstanding question: Which team occupies the bottom spot and which avoids that rather dubious honour?
This time, it's Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala who come in in second place, thanks to an unbeaten week since our last ranking.
They are, however, still winless for the season after 11 matches. Anzhi are the only club in Russia to be in this position after Tom Tomsk picked up an overdue win recently.
Anzhi somehow managed a 0-0 draw away to CSKA Moscow, missing key forwards Alan Dzagoev and Seydou Doumbia through injury, and followed that up with a 2-2 home draw against Amkar Perm.
An 88th-minute goal for the away side looked to have consigned Anzhi to their sixth defeat of the season, but a 90th-minute equaliser from 20-year-old Pavel Solomatin quickly turned that into a sixth draw instead.
Two points from two games for Anzhi, who have now lost just once in their last five, but their inability to win games still leaves them rooted to the foot of the Russian Premier League.
Samuel Eto'o, Roberto Carlos and all those flights from Moscow to Dagestan seem a long, long time ago now.
And so that leaves us with Sunderland at the bottom of our standings after another home defeat, plus and a change of manager.
Paolo Di Canio has been replaced, at least for now, by Kevin Ball, but the caretaker boss couldn't help prevent a 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool.
Sunderland certainly started with plenty of energy and enthusiasm, but they were ultimately undone by a superior strike force. That leaves the Black Cats at the bottom of the Premier League with just one point from six matches. They have the worst goals-conceded tally in the league by some distance, and they've also got four defeats.
It's OK since things are about to get easier, as their next fixture is just the small matter of Manchester United at home.