The six teams across Europe that are defying all the odds in 2019/20

Borussia Mönchengladbach are currently top of the Bundesliga

In the present day, money does most of the talking in football.

The biggest clubs across the world flex their financial muscle on a regular basis in order to maintain their positions at the top of their respective trees.

With smaller clubs unable to bring in similar levels of revenue, it's rare that the status of the elite is challenged.

However, in 2019/20, there are a handful of smaller clubs that are posing a serious threat to those with far superior resources.

So we've decided to name six of them and just for flavour, they have also been ranked in order of their accomplishments so far this season.

6. Leicester City

Leicester celebrate

Back in 2015/16, the Foxes pulled off one of football's greatest ever achievements.

After narrowly avoiding relegation the previous campaign, Leicester won the Premier League title under the astute leadership of Claudio Ranieri.

Ever since that season, the Foxes have struggled for consistency, but after years of smart recruitment and with the knowledge of Brendan Rodgers, they are posing a serious threat to the English elite.

The Foxes are currently third in the Premier League and they beat Southampton 9-0 last Friday evening, with Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez both scoring hat-tricks.

Few clubs in England are in better shape right now and the likes of Youri Tielemens, Harvey Barnes and Ben Chilwell are only going to get better.

The only reason they're not higher up on this list is the fact that their brilliance in 2019/20 was far more expected than the following five teams.

5. Nantes

Nantes celebrate

Paris Saint-Germain may be eight points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table, but don't let that distract you from Nantes' fine start to the campaign.

The team from the west of France sit in second and amazingly, they have done so by scoring just nine goals in their opening 11 league fixtures.

Nantes have only managed to score twice in one Ligue 1 game in 2019/20 and that came back in September, when they beat Amiens 2-1 away from home.

Their five victories since have all been by 1-0 wins, with Kalifa Coulibaly (3), Moses Simon (2) and Abdoulaye Toure (2) the only players to find the back of the net for Nantes this season.

Own goal (2) is genuinely their joint-second top scorer, making their achievements so far in 2019/20 even more remarkable.

Nantes further emphasising the point that a solid defence - marshalled expertly by 32-year-old Nicolas Pallois - is far more important than a goal hungry attack.

4. Real Sociedad

Sociedad celebrate

Many of us will remember Sociedad's famous La Liga title challenge back in 2002/03, when Nihat, Darko Kovacevic and Xabi Alonso took Spanish football by storm.

This time around, they may not end up challenging for the title, but Sociedad are certainly turning heads across Spain.

Mikel Oyarzabal, Martin Odegaard, Willian Jose, Mikel Merino and many more talented players have the Basque side sitting pretty in third ahead of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

September's 2-0 win over Atletico was the pinnacle of their season so far and they're showing no signs of slowing down.

Oyarzabal in particular has been one of the standout performers in Europe and it's no surprise that the likes of Manchester City are being linked with the Spanish winger.

It's a great time to be a Sociedad supporter!

3. Freiburg

Freiburg celebrate

Freiburg are usually a team you associate with the lower echelons of the Bundesliga table.

But so far in 2019/20, they are sitting pretty in third above the likes of Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke.

With supremely talented youngster Gian-Luca Waldschmidt and Bundesliga stalwart Nils Petersen up top grabbing the goals, Freiburg are sending shockwaves throughout Germany.

On the weekend, Freiburg defeated Julien Nagelsmann's RB Leipzig side 2-1 to continue their rich vein of form.

They also held Dortmund to a 2-2 draw back at the start of October, proving they can mix it with the very best in the division.

Manager Christian Streich is going to be a wanted man across the continent!

2. Borussia Monchengladbach

Monchengladbach celebrate

The Bundesliga is incredibly close right now, but it's Monchengladbach - not Bayern Munich - who are currently leading the way.

After nine rounds of games, Marco Rose's side are on 19 points and they're earned those points by playing some scintillating attacking football.

Alassane Plea, Marcus Thuram, Breel Embolo and Patrick Herrman are tearing opposing defences to shreds going forward, while Denis Zakaria holds the team together in midfield.

Then at the back, the imperious Swiss duo of centre-back Nico Elvedi and goalkeeper Yann Sommer are frustrating strikers up and down the Bundesliga.

It's safe to say one of Germany's sleeping giants have been awoken and the way they're going, Monchengladbach will be challenging for the league title come May.

What a story!

1. Granada

Granada celebrate

The undisputed winner of our underdog award.

Competing with the likes of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, Granada still sit atop the La Liga table, despite only just being promoted.

It's not like they've had a serious influx of cash either, they're simply just defying the odds with a group of players giving their all for the badge.

The headline names in their squad are former Spurs striker Roberto Soldado, ex-Roma midfielder Maxime Gonalons and Adrian Ramos - who previously played at Borussia Dortmund.

Attacking midfielder Antonio Puertas has arguably been the standout player for Granada, scoring three times already in La Liga this season.

If they are still at the summit of the table come May, it will be a footballing fairytale to savour.

Soldado in action

So there you have it, the days of the underdog are far from over in modern football.

But can all six maintain their form up until May? It's a long shot, but stranger things have happened in the beautiful game...

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