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Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Roma & Arsenal Soar, Real Madrid Sink

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterOctober 1, 2013

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Roma & Arsenal Soar, Real Madrid Sink

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Welcome to the latest edition of our European club power rankings.

    Upsets aplenty in the Premier League have seen a seismic shift in English clubs' positions, while the Italian teams continue to extend their good run of form.

    The less said about Real Madrid the better, but their neighbours have a lot to be smiling about. Where does your favourite team rank heading into Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League?

Honourable Mentions

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Marseille

    Marseille have put together a nice little run of form and looked very handy against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League.

     

    Athletic Club

    Ernesto Valverde is a measure of consistency away from possessing a wondeful side. 

     

    Sporting Club

    Sporting may have endured a tough summer, but they're a force to be reckoned with in the Liga Sagres—beating Braga on their own turf proves as much.

     

    Everton

    Roberto Martinez has crafted an unbeaten machine out of the Toffees, using wise acquisitions and home-grown talent in equal measures.

20. Chelsea

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Last Week: Unranked

    Movement: New Entry

    Chelsea sneak back into our top 20 after a hard-fought 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane—a better result than the vast majority of teams will achieve this season.

    The Blues look weak in holding midfield and have question marks up front, but take nothing away from their impressive advanced trio, with the return of Juan Mata truly galvanising the troops.

    Jose Mourinho will be hard-pressed to bench the Spaniard again now.

19. Manchester United

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Last Week: 16

    Movement: -3

    Manchester United are now clinging to the very bottom of our power rankings due to some horrendous early-season form.

    They've lost three of their last five games if you exclude the Capital One Cup fixture, and this weekend's defeat to West Bromwich Albion—at Old Trafford—caused more than a few fans' heads to spin.

    It doesn't get much easier with a trip to Eastern Europe in the UEFA Champions League either.

18. Fiorentina

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    Last Week: 17

    Movement: -1

    After a bright start, Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina have hit an early road bump.

    The loss at San Siro midweek was disappointing due to the fact that they took the lead and put in a rather accomplished performance, and being held at Parma on Monday night left fans with an uneasy feeling.

    The defence doesn't look great, and the Viola will struggle if they can't iron out the issues.

17. Porto

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Last Week: 19

    Movement: +2

    A slim 1-0 win over Vitoria Guimaraes keeps Porto afloat at the top of the Liga Sagres standings, and you get the feeling they're only in first gear.

    Their UEFA Champions League win over Austria Wien was sloppy to say the least, and the team haven't really come to form just yet.

    This weekend marked the first league game this season that Jackson Martinez did not score for the Dragoes.

16. Manchester City

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Last Week: 14

    Movement: -2

    What on earth happened at Villa Park on Saturday?

    It's difficult to blame Manchester City for losing, as they played superbly and fell victim to the unpredictable, sometimes crazy nature of football.

    At halftime, with the Citizens 1-0 up, you'd have been mad to predict the eventual 2-3 scoreline in favour of Aston Villa—hardly the perfect preparation for Bayern Munich at home.

15. Bayer Leverkusen

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Last Week: 15

    Movement: None

    Bayer Leverkusen secured a convincing 2-0 win over high-flying Hannover at the weekend to continue their strong Bundesliga start.

    Simon Rolfes and Sidney Sam did the damage in the first half, with the Werkself again looking extremely dangerous in counterattacks and quick transitions.

    Sami Hyypia's side will now gear up for a vital home UEFA Champions League tie with Real Sociedad.

14. Liverpool

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Last Week: 18

    Movement: +4

    Luis Suarez returned to Premier League action this weekend, and despite looking a little rusty, bagged two goals in an important win at the Stadium of Light.

    The tussle with Sunderland had the makings of a banana skin, with the Reds falling at home to Southampton the week before and the Black Cats rejuvenated under (temporary) new management.

    But Suarez and Daniel Sturridge ensured their side rode out periods of pressure with three killer goals, and Brendan Rodgers' side are back up to second in the table.

     

13. Real Madrid

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Last Week: 8

    Movement: -5

    A derby-day defeat can really sting, and for Real Madrid it caps off a poor week in terms of performances, if not overall results.

    Their 2-1 win over Elche midweek was...sketchy to say the least, and los Colcherones were the better side in the Madrid derby on Saturday night.

    Carlo Ancelotti will be looking to revive his side's form and in the UEFA Champions League this week, and a performance like the one in Istanbul two weeks ago would be quite welcome right now.

12. Internazionale

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    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Last Week: 12 

    Movement: None

    Internazionale overcame a defiant Fiorentina side midweek to secure an impressive 2-1 victory.

    Man of the Match Jonathan scored the late winner after Esteban Cambiasso's slick finish had levelled the scores, but the Nerazzurri failed to follow up their big win with a three-point haul against an off-colour Cagliari.

    Walter Mazzarri will be extremely content with the season so far given Inter's toils last year, though.

11. Tottenham Hotspur

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Last Week: 13 

    Movement: +2

    Tottenham Hotspur proved they can tussle with the best in the Premier League on Saturday, drawing 1-1 with Jose Mourinho's stubborn Chelsea and creating enough chances to win the game.

    They're third in the table with four wins from six games and tucked a convincing drubbing of Aston Villa on the Capital One Cup under their belts midweek. Anyone believing they'd flop without Gareth Bale is having to rethink their estimations of this side.

10. Paris Saint-Germain

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Last Week: 11

    Movement: +1

    Although it was by no means a vintage performance, Paris Saint-Germain's victory over Toulouse allowed them to move level on points with title rivals Monaco at the top of Ligue 1.

    Laurent Blanc's side have overcome their slow start to the season and are now two points better off than they were at the same stage last year. This week will be pivotal for the defending champions though; they host Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday before travelling to face bitter rivals Marseille in Le Classique on Sunday.

9. Monaco

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Last Week: 9

    Movement: None

    Despite stumbling for the first time in a 1-1 draw at Stade de Reims on Sunday, Monaco remain ahead of title rivals Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1.

    The Reims result showed Les Monegasques are far from infallible, but like PSG, they are also able to avoid defeat where other sides succumb and lose vital points.

    A valuable trait, it must be said.

8. Napoli

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Last Week: 6

    Movement: -2

    Woops! After starting the season in blistering domestic form and beating Borussia Dortmund in Europe, Napoli slipped at home...to Sassuolo!

    The newly-promoted side, fresh from a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Internazionale, held fast at the Stadio San Paolo to claim a priceless 1-1 draw and frustrate the hosts.

    The Partenopei have bounced back with a strong away win at Genoa and now prepare for a daunting trip to the Emirates Stadium.

7. Roma

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Last Week: 10 

    Movement: +3

    So...Roma. Who saw that coming?

    Played six, won six, 17 scored and just a single goal conceded—what an unbelievable start from Rudi Garcia and his troops.

    It's tough to gauge them since they haven't got European football on the calendar and are yet to play any Serie A side of genuine, title-contending strength, but the post-Erik Lamela and Marquinhos era is off to a flyer.

     

6. Arsenal

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Last Week: 7

    Movement: +1

    It's not always flashy from Arsenal, but boy are they effective.

    Simply put, Arsene Wenger's men are winning games, and every time they step onto the pitch, they return with a three-point haul.

    Olivier Giroud has cooled off a little, but Aaron Ramsey is raising eyebrows and Serge Gnabry has stepped in superbly for the injured Theo Walcott. Squad depth issues? Wenger disagrees!

5. Juventus

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Last Week: 5

    Movement: None

    It won't grab everyone's attention, but Juventus' Derby della Molle win over Torino—at the Olimpico—was a seriously impressive result.

    Local derbies are hard, and the occasion tends to shrink the gulf in quality between teams involved. The Bianconeri battled well, Carlos Tevez was superb and Il Toro were severely limited in attack.

    Their midweek game saw them claim another away win at Chievo, allowing Antonio Conte's troops to keep pace at the top of Serie A.

4. Barcelona

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3

    Movement: -1

    Barcelona can't stop winning, and their dismantling of Real Sociedad midweek was one of their finest performances to date under Gerardo Martino.

    They're top of La Liga after seven wins from seven, but with Lionel Messi out for the next few weeks, we'll get a measure of what this side is really made of.

    Wasn't Neymar bought for occasions such as this? Scrutiny awaits.

3. Borussia Dortmund

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4

    Movement: +1

    After slipping to a 1-1 draw with Nurnberg last week, Borussia Dortmund provided the perfect response in the form of a devastating 5-0 victory over Freiburg.

    The usual customers got themselves on the scoresheet, and while a Fallou Diagne red card certainly aided the big scoreline, this very much remains the side who finished runners-up in the UEFA Champions League last year—in body and in spirit.

2. Bayern Munich

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2

    Movement: None

    Bayern Munich rolled on this week with a 1-0 home win over Wolfsburg, but Pep Guardiola needs to be demanding more goals from his side.

    Die Bayern have accrued a higher average possession statistic than anyone else in Europe—WhoScored? measure it at 70.1 percent—and while that controls (limits) the amount of chances your opponent has, they've already been made to pay once by Freiburg.

    Nevertheless, wins are wins, three points are three points, and Bayern will feel confident going into the game at the Etihad Stadium.

1. Atletico Madrid

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Last Week: 1

    Movement: None

    Despite Borussia Dortmund's crushing win over Freiburg, Atletico Madrid retain first place in our power rankings thanks to a rather excellent result of their own.

    Few teams walk into the Santiago Bernabeu and pull out a win, but to claim victory as the better side and keep a clean sheet? Bravo, Diego Simeone.

    Perhaps it's too soon to say Atleti are the best team in Madrid, but they're certainly the form side of the capital.

     

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