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Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Juventus, Liverpool and More

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterSeptember 3, 2013

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Juventus, Liverpool and More

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    Welcome to our weekly edition of European club power rankings here at Bleacher Report.

    With every club on the continent playing a minimum of two games, the rankings are truly starting to take shape as we decipher who has enjoyed the best of starts.

    We've got five new entries, a new first-place team and a host of changes in between. Where does your club rank? Read on to find out!

Honourable Mentions

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    Internazionale

    Started strong under Walter Mazzarri but there's work to do.

     

    Roma

    Weak opposition has played a part in their blistering start.

     

    Tottenham Hotspur

    The derby day loss just knocks them out of the top 20.

     

    Sporting

    The goals dried up, but a draw with Benfica is respectable.

     

    PSV Eindhoven

    Form has faltered slightly after a great start.

     

    Athletic Bilbao

    There's no shame in losing at the Bernabeu, but it was enough to see them fall.

20. Porto

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    Movement: New Entry

    Porto saw off a close encounter with Pacos de Ferreira this weekend, ensuring they maintained their 100 percent record in the Primeira Liga for the season.

    Jackson Martinez is back in form, scoring in each of the three league fixtures so far. Despite losing Rolando on loan again, they've conceded just a single goal.

    They taken Sporting's place in our power rankings as the competition heats up.

19. Arsenal

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    Movement: New Entry

    Arsenal's great results against Fulham and Fenerbahce had them pushing the lower reaches of our rankings last week, but their 1-0 win over Tottenham has officially tipped them into the big leagues.

    The North London derby is one of the toughest games in football right now, and for Arsene Wenger's troops to win it despite Jack Wilshere exiting early was astonishing.

    Defensive solidarity and teamwork laid the foundations for the win, but cutting attacks did their fair share of damage at the other end. Olivier Giroud looks unstoppable.

18. Fiorentina

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    Movement: New Entry

    There were concerns for Fiorentina after losing key personnel this summer, but they've looked nothing short of excellent so far in Serie A.

    Their latest victory—a 5-2 thrashing of a very serviceable Genoa side—saw both Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez net a double and the other goal from the rejuvenated Alberto Aquilani.

    Manuel Pasqual also had an excellent game in balancing a new-look formation from Vincenzo Montella, and this is starting to look a side that will be a force in any game.

17. Liverpool

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    Movement: New Entry

    Liverpool fans worldwide are screenshotting the Premier League table, for their beloved side currently sit top with nine points from nine.

    Simon Mignolet has kept a clean sheet, Martin Skrtel showed up for once, and Daniel Sturridge has the Midas touch—Brendan Rodgers is enjoying a truly blessed start to the season.

    They earned their fantastic start, and the pressure is on to maintain it. Can the troops respond?

16. Marseille

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    Movement: Down Three

    Losing at home to Monaco was disappointing—particularly given the start of the season Marseille were enjoying—but three wins and a loss still represents an excellent start to proceedings.

    Elie Baup's side strengthened well over the summer and a late assault on the window on Monday produced a thrilling capture in Florian Thauvin.

    French football aficionados are looking at L'OM's home clash with Paris Saint-Germain on October 6 to determine exactly how close they are to challenging for the Ligue 1 title.

15. Paris Saint-Germain

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    Movement: New Entry

    Finally, Laurent Blanc's troops are clicking into place.

    They're unbeaten in four games but only just started churning out victories, and even then they're close.

    Back-to-back victories over Nantes and Guingamp, though, have settled the ship and Les Parisiens have moved into fourth place in the Ligue 1 table.

    With Bordeaux, Monaco and Marseille on the calendar in the near future, we'll see what this side is really made of soon enough.

14. Bayer Leverkusen

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    Movement: Down Two

    Bayer Leverkusen's fantastic start came undone at the Veltins-Arena, falling 2-0 to Schalke in a fantastic battle.

    Marco Hoeger netted midway through the first half to give the Gelsenkirchen side the lead, then Jefferson Farfan rounded off a fine individual display with a penalty to seal three points.

    Sami Hyypia's young side are bound to have off days as they find their feet, and losing to a previously winless Koenigsblauen definitely counts as one.

13. Real Sociedad

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    Movement: Down Two

    The loss to Atletico Madrid was tough to take this weekend, as the team battled hard, missed good chances and were only denied a point by the superlative Thibaut Courtois.

    They comfortably dispensed with Lyon in the UEFA Champions League to earn a group-stage berth the week before, though, and were rewarded with a mouth-watering tie to Old Trafford before the turn of the year.

    Jagoba Arraste will be quietly pleased with the season so far, even if they haven't pick up the full haul of points many would have hoped for.

12. Shakhtar Donetsk

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    Movement: Down Two

    The previously infallible Shakhtar Donetsk are slipping a little.

    They still haven't eased Bernard and Fernando into the side as of yet and are struggling in the absence of Fernandinho, now a Manchester City player.

    Last week's loss to Dnipro has been followed up with a draw to (a very respectable) Metalist Kharkiv side, dropping the Hirnyky a little further down our rankings once again.

    This is probably as tough as it's gotten in four years for Mircea Lucescu.

11. Napoli

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    Movement: Up Five

    Napoli are looking like title contenders, and despite the millions spent to improve the team in the wake of Edinson Cavani's departure, it's incumbent Marek Hamsik that's stepping up with the goods.

    Gonzalo Higuain bagged his first Partenopei goal late in the away win against Chievo, easing pressure on the €35 million man as he settles into life in Naples.

    With tough games against a much-improved Genoa and Milan to come, Rafa Benitez's credentials are about to be truly tested.

10. Monaco

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    Movement: Up Four

    Hands up: Who had Monaco moving to the top of Ligue 1 this quickly, even with the crazy investments made in the summer?

    An impressive start to the season, crowned by a marvelous victory away to title contenders Marseille at the weekend, makes them the de facto top team in France right now.

    They're blending ahead of time, and Geoffrey Kondogbia hasn't even seen the pitch yet.

9. Manchester United

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    Movement: Down Three

    David Moyes suffered his first loss as Manchester United manager on Sunday as his personal doom-and-gloom record at Anfield continued.

    They were largely outplayed in the first half, but after bucking up, their ideas dominated the second. Only superb performances from the Reds' key defenders allowed Simon Mignolet to collect his third clean sheet of the season, and while the loss is disappointing, it's simply a road bump at this stage.

    Marouane Fellaini is in—overpriced, yes, but in—and United's midfield is certain to improve.

8. Manchester City

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    Movement: Up One

    Manchester City made a vital recovery from their shock loss to Cardiff City, overcoming a stubborn Hull City side 2-0.

    It took Alvaro Negredo's impressive cameo to break the deadlock, and Yaya Toure's sublime free-kick will have sent relief washing through Manuel Pellegrini's system.

    Early jitters, sure, but the important thing is they've bounced back.

7. Chelsea

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    Movement: None

    Chelsea didn't play a Premier League game this weekend due to their involvement in the UEFA Super Cup on Friday evening and did a decent job holding out against Bayern Munich.

    Fernando Torres' goal was beautiful, and in full counterattacking flow Jose Mourinho's troops looked unstoppable, tormenting Bayern's holding midfield and flanks.

    They played a long stretch with 10 men and Romelu Lukaku missed the vital penalty. Funnily enough, the Belgian has now been shipped out on loan.

6. Real Madrid

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    Movement: Up Two

    Athletic Bilbao may have been weakened by the benching of Ander Herrera, but they still presented a strong test for Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid.

    Los Blancos dispatched Los Leones 3-1, with Isco grabbing a delightful brace either side of a Cristiano Ronaldo strike.

    It's three wins from three and Gareth Bale has yet to feature—promising signs for Madridistas.

5. Borussia Dortmund

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    Movement: None

    Borussia Dortmund moved to the top of the Bundesliga table after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

    It's four in a row for Juergen Klopp's side, but perhaps most pleasing at this stage is the ability to grind out wins—wins that would have been draws last season.

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan has two goals, Jakub Blaszczykowski is as brilliant as ever, and Nuri Sahin is providing ample cover for Ilkay Gundogan.

4. Atletico Madrid

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    Movement: None

    Atletico Madrid continued their imperious start to the season, coming out on top against Real Sociedad in a narrow, even encounter.

    They had to rely on some magnificent saves from Thibaut Courtois in the final 10 minutes to seal the victory, but held on long enough to ensure they stayed second in La Liga.

    Diego Costa took a backseat from brilliance for a change, allowing Koke to step into the limelight and remind everyone of his incredible potential.

    An away win at Valladolid after the international break could well see Atleti break into our top three.

3. Bayern Munich

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    Movement: Down Two

    Bayern Munich dropped their first points of the season away to Nurnberg, and the same issue that arose in the Freiburg game reared its ugly head.

    Despite dominating possession (74 percent), they were unable to score more than a single Xherdan Shaqiri goal and paid the price for fluffing chances late.

    Nicolas Hoefler's 86th-minute equaliser put the first draw in Pep Guardiola's Bayern column, but the fans are surprisingly calm—they started slowly under Jupp Heynckes after all.

     

2. Juventus

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    Movement: Up One

    One of the deepest squads in world football continued its convincing start to the season with a 4-1 beating of Lazio.

    The two met in the Supercoppa only for the Biancocelesti to lose 4-0, and while they managed to grab a goal this time, they had key man Hernanes sent off in the second half.

    Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez are in fine early form, and Angelo Ogbonna provides excellent insurance for Andrea Barzagli.

1. Barcelona

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    Movement: Up One

    Barcelona played out one of the most thrilling games in recent La Liga history at the Mestalla on Sunday, beating Valencia 3-2 courtesy of a Lionel Messi hat-trick.

    In truth the Argentine could have had six, while he could have also slotted Neymar in for his own hat-trick too. It was attacking football at its very finest with Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings, but defensively eyebrows were rising.

    Helder Postiga scored two first-half goals to pile the pressure on, with his second coming from a near-post corner. Who was marking the Portuguese? None other than Andres Iniesta; it's clear this side needs some height.

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