Dark Horse Chronicles – Manchester City

The darkhorse for this week seems like a crazy name to include because of how they are performing so far in this season. As well as the fact that they ended last season as Champions. They set a new points record with 100 points in the Premier League, so how can they be a darkhorse? … Read moreDark Horse Chronicles – Manchester City

Dark Horse Chronicles – AFC Bournemouth

Darkhorse Chronicles – AFC Bournemouth This weeks Darkhorse is an AFC Bournemouth team that has been flying a little under the radar this season and deserves to be covered. One of the other writers has been asking me not to write them up so I don’t change their fortunes. If you don’t know who I’m … Read moreDark Horse Chronicles – AFC Bournemouth

Dark Horse Chronicles – Real Madrid

This weeks Darkhorse Chronicles features an unusual name. This club is almost never a Darkhorse in anything, but that is where we are right now. Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in his blockbuster trade this summer, discussion has been rampant about their chances. Although they have fallen out of the top of La … Read moreDark Horse Chronicles – Real Madrid

Dark Horse Chronicles – Birmingham City

This week’s Darkhorse Chronicles takes us back to the EFL Championship where we take a look at Birmingham City, a club that’s shown substantial improvement over last season. They finished last season in 19th place and so far they’ve made a substantial improvement this season where they reside in 10th.

Birmingham City’s last outing in the Premier League was in 2007-2008 although they were unable to stave off relegation. They were 1 point short of staying up, had they managed 1 more point it would have been Fulham sent down instead of them. Their goal difference was 6 better than Fulham, and stayed up on a 1-0 win over Portsmouth on the final Matchday.

If Birmingham are able to keep up this pace they’d finish with just over 66 points on the season, which would have had them in 11th place last season. This would be a nice change for the Blues, who have finish consecutive seasons in 19th place. This would also have them on pace for 57 goals and 49 concessions, finishing the season +8 on goal differential. If their end result is anywhere near our projections it’s a dramatic improvement. In 2016-2017, Birmingham scored 45 and conceded 64 for a goal differential of -19 which while not ideal by any means, was the better of the years. 2017-2018 had the scoring only 38 and conceding 68 for a goal differential of -30. They’ve done pretty well against the top teams in the league so far, with only a loss to Leeds United.

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Dark Horse Chronicles – Borussia Mönchengladbach

After a brief visit to the Premier League, we’re going to take another trip back across the English Channel, this time to Germany. Our Darkhorse of the week is Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach (Gladbach for short), who get this honor based on their performance this year over last year.

Gladbach is one of the most storied German programs of all time, and during the 1970s Gladbach won 5 Bundesliga titles and finished runner up twice more. During this span they also won the UEFA Cup for the 1974-1975 and 1978-1979 seasons, finishing as runners up two more times. They’ve also had two European Player of the Year selections in Igor Belanov (1986) and Allan Simonsen (1977). They’ve also had players selected as the nationality player of the year (i.e. Kasey Keller, USA Player of the year 1997, 1999, and 2005) on numerous occasions.

More recently, they were relegated from the Bundesliga in 2006-2007, although they won promotion the following season. They’ve stayed in the Bundesliga since and under the Lucien Favre years 2011-2015 (now the Dortmund head coach/manager) the Foals had success until the last portion of his tenure where after a string of successive losses, Favre resigned. Favre’s replacement, Schubert, got the Foals back to the Champions League, however, he too would resign the following season after struggling mightily. Dieter Hecking was appointed as Gladbach’s newest manager in January 2017.

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Dark Horse Chronicles – Chelsea

After a two-week hiatus we make our way back to the Premier League. This week’s Darkhorse is Chelsea, who I’m sure will have many of you perplexed. However, I would like to remind you that Chelsea’s recent form has been less than stellar. In the 2017-2018 series they finished 5th placed almost 30 points beneath eventual-winners Manchester City. In the 2015-2016 Chelsea barely made the top half finishing in 10th place finishing 31 points below Leicester City’s win. Chelsea has made it a habit of seemingly coming from nowhere and taking the win, as they showed with their 10th to 1st place 2016-2017 before falling again. Chelsea’s recent form has indicated that every 4-5 years they manage a title, so we are getting close to their return to form.

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