European Club Power Rankings After December 26-January 2 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 3, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 30: Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on December 30, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Finding it tough to keep track of the seemingly endless stream of football matches on show? Fear not: We're here to track it all, keep you abreast of every top club's fortunes and pick out who's excelling...and who's not.

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 boost.


20. Schalke 04 (Stay)

Schalke are on a winter break. They'll resume Bundesliga duties on January 13 away to RB Leipzig. 

                

19. FC Porto (Stay)

It's a lot of fun watching FC Porto at the moment; rarely do they serve up a bad game.

Their last six matches have produced 28 goals and six red cards, with the Dragons netting at least three in every one of them!

                

18. Arsenal (Stay)

Arsenal's festive crunch of fixtures forced them to fight hard. It's tough playing consecutive away games with such a short turnaround time in between, and both Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion put up stubborn fights.

Four points is an acceptable return, though Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will feel it should have been six given the nature of the Baggies' late equaliser—a controversial late penaltyThey now face Chelsea on Wednesday evening. 

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 31: Shkodran Mustafi (C) and Jack Wilshere (R) of Arsenal protest to Referee Mike Dean during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on December 31, 2017 in West Bromwich, Engla
Michael Steele/Getty Images

             

17. Lyon (Stay)

Lyon resume action after their winter break with a game against Nancy in the French Cup on January 6.

               

16. Valencia (Stay)

La Liga's mini-break came at a fantastic time for Valencia, whose form was on the slide. Three losses from four games put a stop to the phenomenal momentum they'd built up; now they've had a chance to rest up and recover can they produce another run? 


15. Lazio (Stay)

Lazio have taken a page from Juventus' book of late, solidifying things at the back and refusing to yield a goal in the last three games.

That's led to progression in the Coppa Italia and a creditable draw at the San Siro against Inter Milan, bringing them to within two points of Roma in fourth spot in the table.

              

14. Tottenham Hotspur (Stay)

Spurs have perked up of late, winning five of their last six in the league. They found Swansea City tough going on Tuesday and survived a period of serious pressure in the second half but secured three points with a 2-0 win that keeps them on the right track.

              

13. Roma (-4)

Roma have slowed down of late; their performances in Serie A lack creativity or attacking verve, and that's shown in their results.

Out of the Coppa Italia to Torino, beaten by Juventus in Serie A and then held by Sassuolo in a drab game before the turn of the year, manager Eusebio Di Francesco needs to spark his troops into life fast, as the upcoming fixture against Atalanta on January 6 will be another stern test.

12. Inter Milan (-5)

Inter Milan's fabulous run was curtailed around the same time as Valencia's, and the Nerazzurri have produced a similar run of bad results: Three losses from their last four, the other being a 0-0 draw.

They're without a goal in three full games, even failing to find one in 120 minutes against AC Milan in the Coppa Italia, and they face a tricky trip to Florence next to play Fiorentina on Friday night. 

Inter Milan's coach Luciano Spalletti from Italy looks on during the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan Vs Lazio on December 30, 2017 at the 'San Siro Stadium' in Milan. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORE
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

            

11. Atletico Madrid (Stay)

Atletico Madrid have had 13 days to stew over their 1-0 loss to Espanyol, a result that closed out a half-season that's disappointed for the most part. Now reinvigorated with the signings of Diego Costa and Vitolo, can they make amends in the Europa League and up the goalscoring ante?


10. Chelsea (+3)

It's been a comfortable, convincing week for Chelsea, who, in contrast to Arsenal, were dealt consecutive home games against weak opponents.

They cast aside Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 before thrashing a heavily rotated Stoke City outfit 5-0, paving the way for the Blues to move within two points of Manchester United in second with a game in hand.

             

9. Liverpool (+3)

It's tough to escape the idea that Liverpool just won two games they wouldn't have won in previous years. Jurgen Klopp's insistence on rotation looks to be paying dividends, as they were pegged back by both Leicester City and Burnley but clawed their way to 2-1 wins anyway.

            

8. Manchester United (+2)

Two straight clean sheets will please Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho, but a return of five points from games against Everton, Burnley and Southamptonthe latter two faced at home—may not.

The entire performance against Saints in the 0-0 draw was poor, and the malaise stretched into the first half against the Toffees; fortunately, Paul Pogba woke up and took matters into his own hands to help them to a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park.

             

7. Real Madrid (Stay)

Losing 3-0 to your archrivals on your own turf is a sickener, but Real Madrid have had to spend the entirety of Christmas turning the defeat to Barcelona over in their minds.

With La Liga success essentially beyond them even at this halfway stage, the focus should be on cup success, and that starts on Thursday against Numancia in the Copa del Rey.

            

6. Napoli (Stay)

Napoli's 1-0 win over Crotone was won by Marek Hamsik.

It was a narrow victory but three points all the same, keeping them top of Serie A by a point, but they dropped the ball soon after, losing to Atalanta in the Coppa Italia at home on Tuesday. Blue-skiers might suggest that will aid them come crunch time in the title race, but it's another chance at silverware squandered for this talented squad.

          

5. Juventus (Stay)

Verona ended Juventus' clean-sheet streak on December 30, with former Juve defender Martin Caceres becoming the first player to breach the Bianconeri defence in over a month.

That mattered little, though, as Juve scored three of their own, with Paulo Dybala netting two of them to end his own goal drought stretching back to November.

Next up? A Coppa Italia clash with city rivals Torino on Wednesday. That should be a quiet one.

           

4. Bayern Munich (Stay)

Bayern are on a winter break. They'll resume Bundesliga duties on January 12 away to Bayer Leverkusen. 

MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 20: Thomas Mueller of Muenchen celebrates after scoring his team`s second goal with Joshua Kimmich of Muenchen during the DFB Cup match between Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Dortmund at Allianz Arena on December 20, 2017 in Munic
TF-Images/Getty Images

              

3. Paris Saint-Germain (Stay)

PSG are on a winter break. They're back in action come January 7 against Rennes in the French Cup.

             

2. Manchester City (Stay)

City's winning run in the Premier League ended at 18, with Crystal Palace the ones to hold firm. The 0-0 draw keeps them on track, and a clean sheet can never be sniffed at, but City boss Pep Guardiola will be aware that only Ederson Moraes' penalty-saving heroics kept them from disaster.

This fixture crunch has made it difficult for City to play their regular brand of high-energy football, and the speed in their play has lacked at times. Still, grinding out points to keep their huge lead intact is a skill they've perfected, and it showed in the 3-1 victory over Watford on Tuesday.

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 23: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona walks off pitch prior La Liga match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on December 23, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

         

1. Barcelona (stay)

Barcelona are still riding high on the memory of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu with three crucial points. After a short Christmas break, they'll resume the 2017-18 season with a Copa del Rey clash against Celta Vigo on Thursday. 

               

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All statistics via WhoScored.com

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