Football Manager 2019: 15 teams to manage in the game ahead of release date

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New season, new Football Manager and boy are we ready.

You can’t beat booting up a new save and beginning a career, whether at an elite level or with a small club in a tiny league as you look to build your reputation.

Football Manager 2019 is set to thrill fans from November 2.

Football Manager 2019 is set to thrill fans from November 2.

It’s tough to pick your first team though, with many intriguing challenges around the world to sink your teeth into.

So who should you pick to play as on Football Manager 2019? Here are 15 of our favourite clubs so far ahead of its 2 November release date.

1. Real Madrid (LaLiga)

Hardly original, we know, but can you cope against Barcelona when you’ve just sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus? You do have a plethora of talent with the likes of Isco, Gareth Bale, and Marco Asensio. Can you get them scoring and winning?

2. Hamburg (2. Bundesliga)

The German league is newly licensed in this year’s game, so there will be plenty of fun to be had. If you’re looking to awaken a sleeping giant then plumping for Die Dino isn’t a bad shout. They have a 67,000-seat stadium, a wonderkid in Jann-Fiete Arp, and the potential to be one of the best in Europe if you can fix their shortcomings.

Jann-Fiete Arp

Jann-Fiete Arp

3. Sporting Lisbon (Primeira Liga)

A troubling summer saw several top stars, including Gelson Martins and Rui Patricio leave, so you have some rebuilding to do. You’ve got Europa League football to help you out and give you extra trophy-winning potential, while a decent academy has talents in it ready for you to groom. Beating rivals Porto and Benfica to the title must be the main aim though.

4. Rangers (Scottish Premiership)

Celtic and Brendan Rodgers need to be knocked off their perch. For too long now the Bhoys have been allowed to reign in Scotland and this is your chance to end the tyranny. Steven Gerrard has been doing okay this season but can you, with some help from Alfredo Morelos, win the title? Talented youngster Ross McCrorie could also be of use.

Morelos reportedly attracted the interest of Ligue 1 giants Lyon

Morelos reportedly attracted the interest of Ligue 1 giants Lyon

5. Sunderland (League One)

We hate to be Captain Obvious but given the Black Cats’ slump into the third tier they’re ripe to rebuild on FM19. The team already has some talents on it, plus really good infrastructure, which should help you grow quickly as you rise through the divisions.

6. Parma (Serie A)

We all get pangs of nostalgia and if you have a Golazzo feeling in your gut then Parma are the club for you. No longer can they call on the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Juan Sebastian Veron, or Hernan Crespo but can you turn them into a top club on the European stage following promotion back to Serie A.

Parma won their second UEFA Cup in 1999, four years after first winning the trophy

Parma won their second UEFA Cup in 1999, four years after first winning the trophy

7. Fulham (Premier League)

If you’re planning to start in the English top flight then Craven Cottage might just be the place for you. Forget the money and contacts at Wolves, or a trip to Wales with Cardiff, the west Londoners could be the perfect job. A talented goalkeeping crop and an English wonderkid in Ryan Sessegnon supplement good players like Jean Michael Seri, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Tom Cairney, and Andre Schurrle.

8. Ajax (Eredivise)

If you’re in it for the long-term, you’re likely to have to watch your top talents cherry picked and then rebuild in Amsterdam. This challenge is all about getting the right deals and putting time and effort into scouting. Make the most of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek, and Hakim Ziyech while you can.

Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur are keen on De Ligt

Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur are keen on De Ligt

9. Lyon (Ligue 1)

Just like the challenge of managing Rangers, you’ll need to topple a legendary side if you pick Lyon in France. Paris Saint-Germain’s outrageous frontline is sweeping all aside at the moment but you could put a stop to that with a young a fearless squad. The likes of Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir, Tanguy Ndombele, Houssem Aouar, and Moussa Dembele will wet your whistle before wonderkids like Amine Gouiri fully draw you in to a long-term save.

10. Dukla Prague (Czech Liga)

Remember you wanted their away kit that one Christmas? Well, now they need you to guide them back to their former glory. Currently in the Czech top flight, they’re not technically the same team as before, but the colours have been adopted. Managing this will be a test of your tactics and bargain hunting.

15. Legacy of Dukla Prague's kit lives on

Dukla Prague don’t even exist anymore, having gone under in the 1990s, but the legacy of this Czech club lives on through their famous 1960 kit worn by the likes of Josef Masopust. Around this time Dukla Prague reached the European Cup semi-final, losing to Celtic and their legend was later captured forever in a song by rock band Half Man Half Biscuit.

11. Orlando City (Major League Soccer)

Your next campaign with the MLS side will be the franchise’s four and they have still never qualified for the play-offs. Even when they could call upon Kaka they failed to trouble the top dogs stateside and now they have one of the worst defensive records ever seen in the American league. You might see some familiar names in Dom Dwyer, Scott Sutter, Lamine Sane, and Jonathan Spector but you’ve got a big job on your hands. Brazilian star, PC could help your reboot, too.

12. Santos (Brazilian First Division)

Without a title win since 2004, they can definitely be termed a sleeping giant, especially given their ties to Pele and Neymar. Gabigol, on loan from Inter Milan, and top talent Rodrygo will be handy, along with former Fulham star Bryan Ruiz and on loan Dynamo Kyiv star Derlis Gonzalez.

Gabriel Barbosa in action for Santos.

Gabriel Barbosa in action for Santos.

13. Guangzhou R&F (Chinese Super League)
With FM19 having the licence for the CSL this year you can have a more in depth adventure there and we recommend this lot. You’ll be following in the footsteps of Sven-Goran Eriksson and can call on the prolific Eran Zahavi to bang in the goals. But can you win them their first title?

14. Shamrock Rovers (League of Ireland)

A jaunt to Ireland is always fun on Football Manager so why not try to out Rovers? They haven’t won a title since 2011 but have potential and, for the time being, wonderkid goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu. When he leaves you’ll get a huge cash windfall and from there you can build a top team. Ex-Leeds United star Stephen McPhail will be your director of football.

Shamrock Rovers’ fans sing their hearts out at White Hart Lane

Shamrock Rovers’ fans sing their hearts out at White Hart Lane

15. Dagenham & Redbridge (National League)

To finish up, a top challenge is always one in the English non-league. Forget Salford City or Leyton Orient, though, get yourself over to Essex. They have been a landing spot for ex-Chelsea starlet Alex Davey, former Tottenham youngster Alexander McQueen, and ex-QPR winger Angelo Balanta. Sure, they’re struggling in real life but can you return them to the Football League?

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