Long Shots: A Season with the Struggling Clubs of Europe’s Big-Five Leagues

I’m spending the 2020/2021 season following the five teams that were favourites to be relegated on the opening day of the season in England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy, and writing about their journey.

The below are the distant observer’s week-by-week take on a footballing year that was meant to go wrong for FC Metz (1/6 on to be relegated), Fulham (evens), Spezia Calcio (1/4 on), Elche (8/15 on). Will any of the supposedly doomed underdogs survive?

An introduction

Week 1: Unlucky FC Metz lose to Monaco.

Week 2: Adding Fulham, Spezia Calcio and Elche to the plan

Week 3: First win, first points

Week 4: win, win, win!

Week 5: Metz hit form

Week 6: Battling Points

Week 7: Top half Challengers

Week 8: a Fulham win, finally!

Week 9: a mixed bag before the break.

Week 10: A dull-ish week

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