European Club Power Rankings After December 1-3 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 4, 2017

NAPLES, ITALY - DECEMBER 01:  Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus celebrates after scoring the 0-1 goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Juventus at Stadio San Paolo on December 1, 2017 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Last week was a blockbuster in footballing terms. Double gameweeks in France and England, cup and league action in Spain and three unbeaten streaks curtailed means there is plenty to devour in this edition of the European Club Power Rankings.

The rankings are a season-long measurement of clubs, tracking teams throughout 2017/18 and taking into account results from all competitions.

Sides that have lost the fewest games naturally rank higher—though the strength of opposition met in a loss is consideredand both UEFA Champions League form and presence are used as tiebreakers for those with similar records. Teams that gather big wins against strong opposition get a natural boost. 


                 

20. Schalke 04 (Stay)

Schalke failed to beat the Bundesliga's bottom team, Cologne, drawing 2-2 on Saturday. But they hang on to 20th spot in the rankings because the team that has been threatening to usurp them of late, Borussia Monchengladbach, lost 3-0 to VfL Wolfsburg.

       

19. Lyon (-3)

Olympique Lyonnais went one-for-two in their double gameweek, losing to Lille in midweek but overcoming SM Caen on Sunday. The results brought an end to their run of clean sheets and dropped them three spots in our rankings but didn't hurt them in real terms, as AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain both produced the same win-loss combo.

           

Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino reacts on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Tottenham Hotspur at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London on December 2, 2017. / AFP P
OLLY GREENWOOD/Getty Images

18. Tottenham Hotspur (-4)

It hardly seemed fair that Tottenham Hotspur were dealt two away trips in the space of four daysparticularly given Leicester City and Watford were the teams to playbut they weren't the only ones dealt such a blow by the fixture computer. You've got one choice: Get on with it.

Spurs' haul of a loss to Leicester and a draw with Watford was poor. They have dropped to sixth in the Premier League table, and their recent performances are evoking concern.

            

17. Arsenal (Stay)

Arsenal laid siege to both Huddersfield Town and Manchester United's goals last week; unfortunately for the Gunners, David De Gea plays for one of those teams, so only one win was procured.

They created enough chances to score 14 goals over the two fixtures, and although losing to a top-six rival is frustrating, there was little more they could have done.

         

16. Sevilla (+3)

Sevilla aren't attracting too much attention, but continue to motor along in consistent fashion. Two clean-sheet victories last week kept them progressing both in the cup and in La Liga.

                

15. Liverpool (+3)

The counter-attack kings?

Liverpool's two away games yielded eight goals scored, most from blistering moves on the break involving Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Stoke City felt the Reds' wrath first, and then Brighton & Hove Albion suffered on their own patch in the same fashion on Saturday.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Liverpool player Mohamed Salah celebrates his second goal with Alberto Moreno (l) during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool at Bet365 Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (P
Stu Forster/Getty Images

                  

14. Atletico Madrid (+1)

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia all slipped up this weekend, so Atletico Madrid profited. A hard-fought win over Real Sociedad took them into third place in La Liga, and midweek saw them dismiss Elche to advance in the Copa del Rey. It's now four wins in a row for Diego Simeone's men.

              

13. Chelsea (Stay)

Wins are wins, but Chelsea made tougher work of home fixtures against Swansea City and Newcastle United than expected. Antonio Rudiger came to the rescue against the former, while the Blues went behind against the latter.

As good a fight as both sides put up, though, Chelsea's quality shone through. In particular, Eden Hazard was in fine fettle and looked unstoppable against the Magpies.

                   

12. Lazio (Stay)

Lazio were the last of Serie A's premium teams to play on Sunday, and in beating a strong Sampdoria side away from home, they sent a message: "Don't forget about us."

Juventus beating Napoli and Inter Milan moving top took a lot much of the Serie A focus this week, but it's important to remember the Biancocelesti are still rumbling on nicely.

           

11. Real Madrid (-3)

Real Madrid's puzzling season continues.

The fact they drew with Fuenlabrada on Tuesday didn't matter because they had an aggregate lead, but the nature of the performance is still concerning. Following that up with a 0-0 draw against a poor Athletic Bilbao side only makes things worse.

Barcelona opened the door for Los Blancos to close in on them for a second straight week, but this time, they failed to take advantage.

                 

10. Roma (Stay)

There's been a red card in each of Roma's past three games in all competitions, but at least this time, against SPAL, it was awarded to one of the opposition players.

That paved the way for a 3-1 victory, with the goals scored by Edin Dzeko, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Kevin Strootman, as the Giallorossi peppered Alfred Gomis' goal with 37 shots.

             

9. Manchester United (+2)

United's week was tough, make no mistake. Away games in quick succession against Watford and Arsenal represent a gruelling slate.

But Jose Mourinho's men thoroughly impressed in dispatching them both. Jesse Lingard scored one of the finest goals you will see this season against Watford and then struck twice against Arsenal as De Gea did the rest at the other end.

A big week.

           

8. Valencia (-2)

Three unbeaten league runs ended this weekend, and Valencia's was one of them. They fell to a 1-0 defeat to 10-man Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Sundaya feisty affair in which only four of the hosts' starting players didn't see either a yellow or a red card.

It's the first time this season Los Che have struggled against deep-set teams that pack men behind the ball. They will be hoping it's just a blip, as they will face plenty more. Key man Goncalo Guedes, injured last week, is already being missed.

            

7. Bayern Munich (Stay)

Are Bayern Munich on the verge of getting their best defensive line back together?

David Alaba's late cameo against Hannover 96 on Saturday restored the Joshua Kimmich-Jerome Boateng-Mats Hummels-Alaba set that Bayern's managerno matter who it israrely gets to utilise.

If they are all fit and ready to go, it's a huge boost. Next up is Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, and they need to win by four goals if they want to finish first in the group.

           

Juventus' forward from Argentina Gonzalo Higuain (L) celebrates with teammates Juventus' forward from Argentina Paulo Dybala (2ndL), Juventus' midfielder from France Blaise Matuidi and Juventus' midfielder from Germany Sami Khedira (R) during the Italian
TIZIANA FABI/Getty Images

6. Juventus (+3)

Juventus' superb performance against Napoli on Friday shook up Serie A's top order, closing the margins between the top four sides once again.

Max Allegri utilised a 4-3-2-1 formation to the surprise of everyone, but despite the changes, it was an old combinationPaulo Dybala to Gonzalo Higuainthat made the difference on the scoresheet.

Many have been guilty of writing the Old Lady off early; perhaps this will force some reconsideration.

             

5. Napoli (-1)

The one thing the Stadio San Paolo feared happened on Friday. Higuain returned in Juventus colours and scored the winning goal, changing the complexion of the Serie A table.

The result paved the way for another side to leap ahead of them at the top, but they can't dwell on it. Instead, they will need to turn their attention to their flagging Champions League campaign; they need to beat Feyenoord in Rotterdam and hope Manchester City beat Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine in order to progress.

             

4. Inter Milan (+1)

Top of the league, and that's where they are staying for at least a week. Inter destroyed Chievo on Sunday afternoon to take advantage of Napoli's loss.

It's perhaps fitting that Milan Skriniar, Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardithree of their best performers this seasonscored the goals in the win that took them to Serie A's summit.

         

3. Paris Saint-Germain (-1)

Of the small collection of teams you would expect to be able to beat PSG in Ligue 1 this season, Strasbourg—promoted from second tier this year—most certainly were not one of them.

Unai Emery rotated his side, true. But instead of Edinson Cavani, Marco Verratti and Thiago Silva, we saw Kylian Mbappe, Javier Pastore and Presnel Kimpembe play. That should be enough.

It wasn't.

        

2. Barcelona (+1)

Celta Vigo always bring the footballing best out of Barcelona, it seems. And while their game on Saturday didn't go as planned, finishing 2-2, results around the league meant the dropped points didn't matter so much.

What will concern Ernesto Valverde most is Samuel Umtiti's pulled hamstring, which will keep him out of December's Clasico and beyond. Celta's equalising goal came in the same move as the injury, with Umtiti pulling up in chase of Iago Aspas; seconds later, the ball was in the net.

              

1. Manchester City (Stay)

Manchester City endured a rather uncomfortable week, and although they did procure two wins to keep their Premier League title procession rolling, neither came easily.

Southampton held them for 95 minutes and fell only because of a moment of genius from Raheem Sterling. West Ham United put on a stubborn front and looked likely to get something for 82 surprising minutes.

Winning tough is a characteristic elite teams have, and City feel like one. In the context of these rankings, though, they are fortunate the likes of PSG and Barcelona messed up this week, otherwise they might have been overtaken.

           

Facebook.com/SamTigheBR

All statistics via WhoScored.com

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