Hitting the Ground Running: 6 Unlikely Teams Who Sat Top of the Premier League After a Strong Start

The Premier League is back underway with a bang, after its long awaited return! With one of the most highly-anticipated seasons getting underway, many believe this could be one of the most competitive title challenges in recent history. However, in the early stages it's not always the teams who are expected to be top of the tree who find themselves there. Here's a look at six unlikely teams who found themselves top of the Premier League after a surprisingly heady start. While many are...

Charlton Athletic (2005)

Chelsea were the reigning champions heading into the 2005/06 Premier League season. 


However, despite winning their opening game of the new season, they couldn't better Charlton's result. The Addicks travelled to Sunderland for their opening game and won 3-1 thanks to Darren Bent's double and Danny Murphy getting on the score sheet, leaving them top of the league after the first gameweek. 


Although their stint at the top of the league didn't stretch beyond the opening week, they actually went on to win their first four games of the season. Despite their fast start, Charlton would eventually go on to finish 13th in the league.

Portsmouth (2006)

Heading into the 2006/07 season, Chelsea were favourites for the title again. However they weren't the early pace-setters.


Manchester United won their first four games and sat top of the tree, although surprise package Portsmouth were also challenging for top spot after taking 10 points from a possible 12 to start the season. Then, after United suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal in game week five, Portsmouth took full advantage after beating Charlton 1-0 to overtake the Red Devils.


Whilst their time at the top of the league lasted no longer than a week, they still found themselves third in the league after 15 games, and didn't fall out of the top seven until the 28th fixture. 

Blackpool (2010)

Blackpool were making their first appearance in England's top division since 1971, and with a lack of funds along with lack of Premier League experience within their side, many tipped Ian Holloway and his men for a return straight back to the Championship.


However, they turned a few heads on the opening day by travelling to Wigan and winning 4-0.


Thanks to two goals from Marlon Harewood as well and Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Alex Baptiste also getting on the score sheet, Blackpool found themselves top of the league...for two hours. 


Although they remained an entertaining side to watch, Blackpool's season ended in relegation after losing 4-2 away to eventual champions Manchester United on the final day of the season.

Bolton Wanderers (2011)

Manchester United headed into the 2011/12 season as reigning champions, but it was another northern club who stole the show on the opening day.


Bolton Wanderers travelled to newly promoted Queens Park Rangers on the opening day of the season, and produced a memorable performance. Bolton won 4-0 thanks to goals from Gary Cahill, Ivan Klasnic, Fabrice Muamba and Danny Gabbidon putting the ball into his own net.


Remarkably, not only did Bolton's stint at the top not last beyond the first week, by game week six they found themselves bottom of the Premier League after losing their next five games.


The Trotters were relegated on the final day of the season after a 2-2 draw against Stoke after needing a win, and haven't returned to the Premier League since.

Fulham (2012)

After finishing ninth the previous season, Fulham fans had high hopes for the club to continue improving during the 2012/13 season, and they couldn't have hoped for a better start. 


The faced Norwich at Craven Cottage on the opening day and ran out 5-0 winners thanks to goals from Damien Duff, Alexander Kacaniklic, Steve Sidwell and a double for Mladen Petric.


Their time as league leaders lasted just one week, and spent the majority of the season hovering around mid table.

Huddersfield Town (2017)

While many are predicting Huddersfield Town to struggle this season, the Terriers' opening day result may have given fans reason to think otherwise.


In their first game back in the big time, David Wagner's side travelled to Crystal Palace in what looked to be an easy start to the season for Palace.


Huddersfield ran out 3-0 winners thanks to a double from their new signing Steve Mounie and an own goal from Joel Ward.


It was the perfect start to the season which saw Huddersfield top of the Premier League in their first season back. However fans were only able to enjoy the sight for one day, as Manchester United thrashed West Ham 4-0 on Sunday to take over top spot.

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