Latest Champions League Power Rankings After the Opening Matches

Mikhail TurnerContributor IIISeptember 19, 2013

Latest Champions League Power Rankings After the Opening Matches

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    Matchday 1 is now over, and we're bringing you the latest rankings for all the Champions League participants.

    There were some great matchups and great matches in this first round, and they give us an idea about who is in the best form early in the competition. Rankings will be based on a variety of factors.

    The club's recent history in the competition and overall quality play a role in how it would be ranked heading into the competition.

    The likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid would be at the top of the rankings, considering their status as favourites. The German side would lead the pack thanks to its status as reigning champion.

    Likewise, Viktoria Plzen and Steaua Bucharest would be among those at the bottom of the rankings when looking at similar factors.

    What changes the rankings from the opening matches are the results. Strength of the opposition, the group and whether the team is home or away are underlying factors, but, ultimately the result dictates who stands where in the rankings. 

    For example, Juventus' first ranking will take a hit given their draw to FC Copenhagen, while the Danish club will get a boost.

    There's still a long way to go for some of these teams to change their position, but here's the latest Champions League Power Rankings after the opening matches.

32-29: Bottom of the Barrel

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    Surprisingly, none of these teams suffered major defeats in Round 1, but that possibility is still there.

    Austria Wien gave Porto a tough fight at home, and Viktoria Plzen certainly had all those involved at Manchester City on pins and needles until the second half.

    Anderlecht's position is interesting, as they are the most likely club to make it to the Europa League out of this quartet.

    32. Steaua Bucharest

    31. Austria Wien

    30. Viktoria Plzen

    29. Anderlecht

28-25: Abysmal Performance from Galatasaray

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    Real Sociedad gave a decent account of themselves, but inexperience was a factor in the loss to Shakhtar Donetsk. Olympiacos couldn't have done much against Paris Saint-Germain, but they can improve.

    CSKA Moscow are a side with some solid talent, and they were expected to make things somewhat difficult for Manchester City and Bayern Munich. Playing away against Bayern in the first game wasn't an easy task, so things may get better.

    Galatasaray's performance against Real Madrid was shocking, but the experience in the side, as well as with the coach, Fatih Terim, means the Turkish club won't be down in the dumps for long.

    28. Real Sociedad

    27. Olympiacos

    26. CSKA Moscow

    25. Galatasaray

24-21: The More Accomplished Losers of the Day

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    There's plenty of talent in this group of teams, all who suffered losses in somewhat, except for Ajax, winnable games.

    Celtic will be the most disgruntled and made the best account of themselves, but the other three teams faced no easy task. Bayer Leverkusen could still make it out of Group A, while Zenit and Ajax have enough talent to trouble teams in their respective groups.

    24. Ajax

    23. Zenit St. Petersburg

    22. Bayer Leverkusen

    21. Celtic

20-17: FC Basel's Big Win Gives Them a Boost

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    Marseille still have a chance to turn things around in Group F, but things will only get tougher. FC Copenhagen proved to be sturdy opposition for Juventus and may do the same to Galatasaray, though its unlikely they will trouble Real Madrid.

    Schalke did as expected, making Group E interesting to start with. FC Basel's big win, away from home no less, vaults them into 17th.

    20. Marseille

    19. FC Copenhagen

    18. FC Schalke

    17. FC Basel

16-11: Some Big Names Missing Out on Top 10

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    Despite their losses, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund have plenty of quality and could easily jump back into the top 10 with positive results.

    Atletico Madrid beat a Zenit side full of talent and Champions League experience, while AC Milan and Porto are old-timers in the competition at this point. 

    Juventus head this group despite the surprising draw because they were away from home and the club has plenty of quality.

    16. Chelsea

    15. Borussia Dortmund

    14. Atletico Madrid

    13. AC Milan

    12. Porto

    11. Juventus

10. Benfica

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    Benfica's performance in Europe has been pretty good in the past few seasons. Anderlecht weren't expected to be a huge challenge, and that thought was proven correct with a 2-0 win at home.

    The Portuguese side has enough quality in the ranks to trouble plenty of big teams this season, as it has in the past.

9. Shakhtar Donetsk

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    Shakhtar Donetsk have become almost a regular in the knockout rounds, and the Ukrainian side showed its Champions League pedigree with its win over Real Sociedad.

    Shakhtar defeated some solid opposition away from home and will look to dent Manchester United's confidence in their next game at home.

8. Paris Saint-Germain

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    Olympiacos are no easy team to play away from home, and Paris Saint-Germain will be understandably happy with a solid performance in Greece.

    With Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani up top and Thiago Silva at the back, this team is a scary proposition for many. The expected group winners have gotten off to a good start.

7. Manchester City

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    It took until the second half, but Manchester City players and fans were finally able to experience something positive in the Champions League.

    A 3-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen is a much-needed confidence boost for City and should bode well for the club as the competition progresses.

6. Manchester United

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    A first Champions League victory for David Moyes came in good fashion, with Wayne Rooney making his mark.

    A 4-2 scoreline doesn't tell the whole story, as the Red Devils were most certainly the better team in this game. Bayer Leverkusen are tough opposition, but United took care of the German club quite easily.

5. Napoli

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    Right behind Arsenal in the group of death is Napoli, and they take up that position in the rankings as well.

    The Italian side beat a woeful Borussia Dortmund outfit, making Group F even more interesting than it was before the competition began.

    Rafa Benitez's side has a lot to do moving forward, but it couldn't have gotten off to a better start.

4. Arsenal

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    Surprised?

    Arsenal's tough away win against Marseille—in the toughest group in the competition—gives the club a great start to its Champions League season.

    The fact that the club expected to lead the group, Borussia Dortmund, suffered a loss makes things even better for the Gunners. 

    Arsenal's history of progression to the knockout rounds is an added bonus when considering this result.

3. Barcelona

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    A home win was expected—and duly delivered—by Barcelona in match between clubs with plenty of connections.

    Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick as the Spanish club waltzed its way to the top of Group H. Barcelona's recent history and performance in the competition means they will remain strong favourites unless something disastrous happens.

2. Bayern Munich

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    The reigning champions will expect to finish top of their group. They've gotten off to a good start with an efficient, dominant win over CSKA Moscow.

    The Russian side could have given Bayern a little bit of trouble, but it was essentially swatted aside by the Germans.

    Were it not for Real Madrid's masterclass, Bayern would remain No. 1 atop the rankings.

1. Real Madrid

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    Real Madrid had the toughest task on paper among all the favourites. An away trip to Galatasaray, arguably the hardest team to play away in the Champions League, was not expected to be easy.

    When you add in the fact that Galatasaray won 3-2 when they played in the quarter-finals last year and with quality such as Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder in the side, the eventual end result was not to be expected.

    A 6-1 demolishing of the Turkish side was a statement game for Madrid and makes the Spanish side the clear No. 1 team after the opening round of games.