Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Atletico & Liverpool Rise, Chelsea Fall

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterApril 1, 2014

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Atletico & Liverpool Rise, Chelsea Fall

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    Marco Vasini

    Welcome to the latest edition of our European power rankings, where we rank the top 20 clubs on the continent based on form, results and performances.

    Bayern Munich continue as our No. 1 despite drawing 3-3 with Hoffenheim but how have the others fared? Real Madrid's thumping win makes them a contender to move up, while Juventus sustained a shock loss at the hands of Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo.

    Read on to see our order, and if you don't agree pop yours in the comments below!

Honourable Mentions

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    Peter Steffen

    PSV Eindhoven

    PSV's winning run came to a halt due to a surprise 3-2 loss at home to Groningen.



    Sevilla lost away to Celta Vigo this weekend, which essentially ruins all the hard work done to beat Real Madrid in the game before.



    Wolfsburg have crept into contention for a Champions League finish on the back of some very impressive results.



    PSV's run caught many people's attention, but Ajax are top-dogs in the Eredivisie still.

20. Lille

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    Lionel Cironneau

    Last Week: New!

    Differential: New!

    Lille beat Guingamp by a single goal to nil, as is their specialty, thanks to a last-gasp Salomon Kalou effort.

    With Monaco losing, the gap between second and third in Ligue 1 has now been cut to six points and with Paris Saint-Germain out of reach, LOSC will be hoping their richer rivals take their foot off the gas.

19. Athletic Bilbao

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    Alvaro Barrientos

    Last Week: 17

    Differential: -2

    Athletic Bilbao lost just their second La Liga home game this season, falling 2-1 to Atletico Madrid.

    Iker Muniain gave the Leones an early lead but they were eventually pegged back, and fortunately for Ernesto Valverde, Sevilla, in fifth place, lost to Celta Vigo.

    They're still six points clear in fourth.

18. Sporting Lisbon

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    Francisco Seco

    Last Week: 18

    Differential: None

    Sporting made it seven games unbeaten with a 1-0 win over Vitoria Guimaraes this weekend, but they just can't progress in the league unless Benfica slip up.

    The Lions have second all sewn up in the Liga Sagres—a very impressive finish, no doubt about it—but the young pack are hungry for more.

17. Schalke

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    Martin Meissner

    Last Week: 15

    Differential: -2

    Schalke recorded yet another victory, this time at home to Hertha Berlin, to keep up the pressure on Borussia Dortmund in second place in the Bundesliga.

    Chinedu Obasi's revival continued with a Man of the Match showing good for one goal and an assist and although BVB remain ahead after beating Stuttgart, the Royal Blues don't have the Champions League to worry about this week.

    They move down in our rankings due to the form of those around them. Unfortunate.

16. Monaco

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    Lionel Cironneau

    Last Week: 13

    Differential: -3

    As usual, we cross the channel and source B/R expert Jonathan Johnson's opinion on AS Monaco:

    AS Monaco's surprise 1-0 defeat to Evian Thonon Gaillard on Saturday allowed Paris Saint-Germain to move 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1. Even with seven games left to play, it now looks like an insurmountable gap. 
    Claudio Ranieri's men have fought to keep their title hopes alive for this long but now they only have second place to play for and it looks like they have that sewn up.
    Les Monegasques must now focus on the Coupe de France after reaching the semi-finals thanks to last week's 6-0 win over RC Lens. One domestic cup and a second place finish in the league is not bad at all for a side that was playing Ligue 2 football this time last year.

15. Everton

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Last Week: 19

    Differential: +4

    Everton have quietly put together five wins in a row and are now in red-hot pursuit of a Champions League spot.

    If the Toffees beat Arsenal at home next weekend and win their game in-hand (home to Crystal Palace), they will leapfrog the Gunners and land in fourth place.

    Some story that would be.

14. Benfica

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    Paulo Duarte

    Last Week: 14

    Differential: None

    Benfica saw off the challenge of Braga on Sunday thanks to a goal from striker Lima.

    The result, in accompaniment with FC Porto's 2-1 loss to Nacional, affirms the fact that the race for the Liga Sagres title is now between only two horses.

    Sporting are seven points adrift with five games to play; surely the Super Eagles can't mess it up this time? 

13. Napoli

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    Salvatore Laporta

    Last Week: 16

    Differential: +3

    The gap between Napoli and Juventus became 17 points on Sunday night as the Partenopei wiped the floor with their northern rivals.

    Jose Callejon reliably netted the opener after Rafa Benitez's side dominated the opening stages and a moment of magic from Dries Mertens in the second half sealed the game.

    A real feather in the cap for the southern powerhouse.

12. Arsenal

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth

    Last Week: 11

    Differential: -1

    Despite securing an impressive 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City on Saturday, Arsenal are looking over their shoulders.

    Their poor recent form—totaling two wins from six games—has seen them slip out of the title race completely and into a battle for fourth place.

    They remain the favourites to secure it thanks to their pedigree, but Arsene Wenger must demand a better end to the season from his men.

11. Roma

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    Marco Vasini

    Last Week: 12

    Differential: +1

    Roma overcame a stern test on Sunday, beating Sassuolo 2-0 to tighten their grip on second place in Serie A.

    Mattia Destro reliably popped up with yet another goal and Radja Nainggolan excelled once again. The Giallorossi are too far adrift of Juventus to trouble them, but if they beat Parma this week they can all but end Napoli's slim hopes of challenging them.

10. Borussia Dortmund

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    Bernd Weissbrod

    Last Week: 10

    Differential: None

    Borussia Dortmund weren't able to take the same luxuries as Bayern Munich this week, as key players were needed to overcome a tough Stuttgart challenge.

    Lukasz Piszczek did at least get a rest (he hasn't looked right recently), but Marco Reus had to come to the rescue with a mightily impressive hat-trick.

    BVB sit second in the Bundesliga table but only by a point.

9. Chelsea

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    Steve Bardens/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4

    Differential: -5

    Chelsea were dealt a devastating blow in their chase for the Premier League trophy on Saturday, losing 1-0 to Crystal Palace.

    After slipping at Villa Park, every remaining game became a must-win final. With their latest set-back, London tubes were littered with papers plastered with "Jose Mourinho: our title race is over."

    While that's still clearly a mind-game, the Blues can't afford a third mishap.

8. Juventus

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    Salvatore Laporta

    Last Week: 5

    Differential: -3

    Juventus' unbeaten run in Serie A came to a screeching halt on Sunday night as Napoli floored them at the Stadio San Paolo.

    The Bianconeri were woefully unimpressive from start to finish, and Antonio Conte's substitutions suggested he was more worried about the Europa League coming up than the game against Rafa Benitez's men.

    Carlos Tevez was dearly missed.

7. Manchester City

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Last Week: 7

    Differential: None

    Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Saturday evening, missing a big chance in the first half to kill the game off and ramp up the pressure on their title rivals.

    David Silva was excellent throughout as the Citizens tested Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen from every angle, but their intensity died off in the second period.

    Still, they're in a prime position with six games to play.

6. Paris Saint-Germain

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    Lionel Cironneau

    Last Week: 6

    Differential: None

    As usual, we cross the channel and source B/R expert Jonathan Johnson's opinion on Paris Saint-Germain:

    Paris Saint-Germain stretched their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 13 points with a narrow 1-0 win over OGC Nice last Friday. Coupled with AS Monaco's 1-0 loss at Evian Thonon Gaillard, the only side in the French top flight to have beaten le Championnat's top two, Laurent Blanc's men now look certain to defend their title.
    It will be the first time in the capital club's history that they have managed to win consecutive league titles.
    More importantly for now though, it enables PSG to prioritise the UEFA Champions League with a quarter-final double-header against Chelsea rapidly approaching. Blanc will almost certainly rotate his side heavily for the visit of Stade de Reims on Saturday, knowing that his team can afford to take their eye off of Ligue 1 momentarily with hopes of a treble still intact.

5. Liverpool

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Last Week: 9

    Differential: +4

    Liverpool sit atop the Premier League table for the first time in months—and, critically, have hit red-hot form at the right time.

    Their eight-game winning streak is the longest of any club in Europe and if they win all of their remaining matches the trophy is theirs.

    Brendan Rodgers, your adulation awaits.

4. Atletico Madrid

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Last Week: 8

    Differential: +4

    Atletico Madrid ground out a tough victory at the new San Mames, becoming just the second side to do so in the league this season.

    They were also able to come out on top against the Leones earlier this season in the Copa del Rey, signaling that Diego Simeone may just have Ernesto Valverde's number.

    Los Colchoneros remain top of La Liga with seven games to go.

3. Real Madrid

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2

    Differential: -1

    Real Madrid don't look like they're missing Jese one bit, rolling on and smashing Rayo Vallecano 5-0 to return to winning ways in style.

    Their stock dropped when they lost back-to-back games against Barcelona and Sevilla over the last few weeks, but they have now righted themselves in time for an epic clash with Borussia Dortmund.

2. Barcelona

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3

    Differential: +1

    Barcelona have put together a very impressive winning run, with the Clasico victory sparking a strong run of form that's culminated in winning the all-important Catalonian derby.

    The game against Espanyol this weekend was far from pretty and decided by a penalty but in this title race winning is all that matters.

1. Bayern Munich

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    Matthias Schrader

    Last Week: 1

    Differential: None

    For the first time in months, Bayern Munich failed to win a Bundesliga game.

    Fair enough, Pep Guardiola clearly had one eye on Manchester United by playing a half-reserve side and withdrawing Franck Ribery and Mario Goetze early, but you still expect them to beat Hoffenheim.

    Despite the slip, they remain kings of Europe and top of our rankings.