Ranking the Top Ten in-Form European Clubs

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterFebruary 4, 2013

Ranking the Top Ten in-Form European Clubs

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    Current form for any club is the ideal indicator for bookmakers, punters, statisticians and supporters throughout Europe.

    But who are the leading teams across the continent in recent weeks? Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Lyon, Manchester City and other high-profile clubs would expect to be among the list, but not on current results.

    The quality of competition is obviously a variable, but here we look at the top 10 clubs across the leading European leagues based purely on their results over the last six league matches.

10. Bayern Munich

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    Bayern Munich are unsurprisingly the leading candidate from the Bundesliga based on current form.

    Jupp Heynckes' team have won four of their last six matches, drawing twice in the same period against Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund

    Bayern currently hold a 12-point lead at the summit of the German top flight after a run of three successive wins in the Bundesliga, including the 3-0 win at Mainz on Saturday.

9. Olympiacos

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    Olympiacos  would have featured higher in this list but for a 3-2 home defeat by fourth-placed Atromitos on Sunday.

    However, the Greek giants still have a formidable 13-point lead over Asteras Tripoli at the top of the Greek Super League after winning five successive matches before the weekend.

    Olympiacos' current form comes during a period in which coach Leonardo Jardim was relieved of his duties after just six months in charge of the club, as reported by Uefa.com, despite the team being 10 points clear when he was axed on Jan. 19.

    Jardim's assistant, Antonios Nikopolidis, remains in temporary charge of the team.

     

8. Celtic

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    Celtic have endured a strange and inconsistent season so far. The team has progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League after a stunning win over Barcelona and holds a 15-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

    However, Neil Lennon's side were defeated at the semifinal stage of the League Cup by St Mirren and have also lost at home to the likes of Inverness and Kilmarnock so far this season.

    But their current league form has seen Celtic take 15 points from their last six matches with only a defeat at Hibernian upsetting their recent sequence of results.

7. SV Zulte Waregem

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    SV Zulte Waregem have kept up the chase on Belgian league leaders Anderlecht with their current run of five wins and one draw from their last six matches.

    The second-placed Jupiler League club currently stand six points behind the Belgian giants after a run which includes Saturday's 2-1 win at Cercle Bruges.

    Waregem striker Mbaye Leye has also been in form recently with four goals from his last seven appearances for the club.

6. Manchester United

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    Manchester United hold a nine-point lead at the top of the Premier League after a run of five wins and one draw from their last six matches.

    Their recent form mirrors Waregem but United edge into sixth place on this list with a superior goal difference of +9 from their last six league games compared to the Belgian club's +6.

    This is not a vintage United team but the presence of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, who scored the only goal of the game at Fulham on Saturday, has ensured they remain the top team in England in recent weeks.

5. Paris Saint-Germain

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    Paris Saint-Germain were in the headlines last week after the signing of David Beckham on a five-month deal, but the French club have also played consistently well in recent weeks.

    Indeed, the Ligue 1 side are the only club in this ranking list not to have conceded a goal over the last six league games.

    However, the fact we are only considering the last six league games disguises a run of seven wins from eight domestic outings for Carlo Ancelotti's side, who are three points clear of Olympique Lyonnais at the top of the table.

    The financial muscle of PSG owners the Qatari Investment Authority is clearly paying dividends with big summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring three times in his last five matches for the club.

    However, while the PSG defence can congratulate themselves for their run of clean sheets, the team's 10 goals from the last six games leaves them at fifth in this ranking.

4. Napoli

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    Napoli have produced a stunning return to form to move into fourth place on this listing.

    The Serie A side ended a four-match losing sequence, including a Coppa Italia defeat to Bologna, when they won 2-0 at Siena on Dec. 22.

    Since then, however, Walter Mazzari's side have won five of their last six Serie A matches and conceded only three times and scored 14 goals.

    Napoli are now three points behind league leaders Juventus with the two clubs set to meet in Naples on Mar. 3.

3. Benfica

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    Benfica have been in excellent form since the end of October with a run of 12 wins from their last 14 matches at home and abroad.

    The Portuguese giants have not been beaten in the league this season, dropping points in just three matches.

    However, even that run of results has not been enough to put Jorge Jesus' team at the top of the Portuguese table this season.

    Benfica have the same +11 goal difference and points total as Napoli in this ranking, but a greater number of goals scored (16) in the last six league matches edges them above the Italian club.

2. Anderlecht

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    Anderlecht were only denied top spot in this ranking by a 2-2 draw with Standard Liege on Sunday.

    The Belgian club currently hold a six-point lead at the top of the Jupiler League after a run of five wins and one draw from their last six matches.

    However, the home draw at the weekend ended a sequence 11 successive wins in the Belgian top flight for John van dem Brom's team.

1. FC Porto

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    FC Porto are currently the form team in Europe's major leagues with a run of five wins and one draw from their last six league matches and a +14 goal difference during that period.

    A 2-2 draw against Benfica interrupted a run of four successive league wins on Jan. 13, but Porto have not conceded a goal since then and have scored 14 times in their last four league matches.

    Striker Jackson Martinez has scored seven goals over the last five games to help Porto's impressive recent record.

    The Portuguese club only top their own table by goal difference from Benfica, though, and the two sides will meet on May 12 in the penultimate game of the season.

    Porto will also face Malaga in the Champions League last 16 with a quarterfinal place a genuine possibility for the 2004 winners of the tournament.