The Touchline

Five More Minutes of Football
— Every Tuesday and Thursday

Join The Touchline - a free, twice weekly newsletter with analysis, stories and interviews from the world of football.

Five Teams Are Still UNBEATEN In The League

4 minute read Published November 30, 2023

In most leagues we’ve played around a third of the season. There have been some unexpected developments around the leagues, both good and bad. The Eredivisie probably has the biggest surprise of all where Ajax have had an atrocious start. But there’s one team that’s even more sensational in the Dutch league.

We’ve discussed a few of the poor starts, Lyon, Everton and Ajax, but what about the great starts? Even though we’re already a third of the way through the season, some teams remain unbeaten and have a chance at an invincible season, a feat only accomplished by a few clubs in the top leagues in the 20th century.

Season Country Club
2003–04 England Arsenal
2010–11 Portugal Porto*
2011–12 Italy Juventus
2012–13 Portugal Porto*
2016–17 Scotland Celtic
2018–19 Greece PAOK*
2020–21 Scotland Rangers

One team still haven’t even drawn

Let’s start with the most impressive of them all. Ajax is getting all the attention but PSV have not only gone unbeaten but have a perfect record, no losses, no draws. They themselves have the Eredivisie record of 17 straight wins from the start of the season, maybe they can get there?

Coach for the Eindhoven team is former Dutch national player and Dortmund manager Peter Bosz. The manager has implemented an intense pressing tactic that has let them score 48 goals while only conceding 5. 33 year old Luuk De Jong was brought back to the club after a stint in Spain, at Sevilla and Barcelona, and has been involved in almost 40% of their goals scored.

Two still haven’t lost in the Bundesliga

Bundesliga actually has two unbeaten teams - and yes, they drew each other, 2-2. Pretty much everyone expected the perennial Bundesliga champions from Munich to do well, and they are, but so far this year and despite their perfect record, they’re trailing the other unbeaten team - Bayern Leverkusen. 

Xabi Alonso took the long way to first team management by starting out with the Real Madrid youth setup, continuing at Real Sociedad B. It was only after four years at the lower levels he felt ready to take on a top tier team. And it wasn’t a day too soon. Leverkusen are playing some of the most innovative and exciting football in Europe. Try to catch a game, if you have the chance!

Rodgers is back at Celtic

Up in Scotland Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic have been showing great character to start the season and after 14 games they’re still unbeaten. The Glasgow team is storming towards their third title in a row, although it’s still early in the season. Incredibly, Rodgers and Celtic could be about to achieve a crazy repeat of the unbeaten season in 16/17. However, in the Champions League they haven’t had the same success as they have already been confirmed to finish last.

Ange Postecoclou’s former side have kept winning despite losing their manager from the two league winning previous seasons even though Rodgers’ and Ange’s styles are very different. Rodgers has a lot of respect both with fans and within the club at Celtic and the players have taken on his style of play right away.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Nice are doing well

The last team on the list should be exciting for Manchester United fans as it’s owned by the rumoured new owner - Sir Jim Ratcliffe. The Cote D’Azur club that finished ninth last year have really put in a different gear to start the season. However, despite not losing a single game they still find themselves second behind, you guessed it, PSG.

Since Ratcliffe took over the club has been struggling only getting to Europe once, and then only to the Europa Conference League but it seems like this year it has all come together. PSG will probably win the league again but Nice has a very good chance of winning one of the three Champions League spots as they have a five point cushion down to third and six before they’re out of the qualifying spots.

Summing up

Going unbeaten for an entire season is crazy hard and it’s more likely all these teams fail than that one of them succeeds. However, Celtic and Brendan Rodgers have done it before and PSV look unstoppable so far this season. Celtic are already out, they can’t even get the Europa League spot in their group so they can focus 100% on the league. PSV are absolutely unstoppable in the league and they’re on one of the longest winning streaks in Eredivisie history, keep an eye on them.

Football Stories Like This, Twice a Week

Join thousands of subscribers getting The Touchline - a free, twice weekly newsletter with analysis, stories and interviews from the world of football.