European Club Power Rankings After December 15-17 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 18, 2017

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 17:  Luis Suarez of Barcelona celebrates scoring his team's third goal with his teammate Lionel Messi (R) during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Deportivo de La Coruna at Camp Nou on December 17, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

December is an incredibly busy month in Europe's footballing calendar, but even by the sport's own lofty standards, things feel particularly frantic at the moment.

The Premier League and Bundesliga crammed in double gameweeks last week, while La Liga's offering was confused somewhat by Real Madrid's Club World Cup duties. Games are kicking off left and right at all different times, so if you missed any of the action, fear not: We're here to catch you up.

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. Sevilla (Stay)

After dropping them to 20th in the rankings last week, a 0-0 home draw with Levante wasn't the riposte we were looking for from Sevilla. Fortunately for them, the team who were in with a shot of replacing them (RB Leipzig) lost, so this last-chance saloon is extended.

                   

19. FC Porto (-1)

FCP play on Monday evening; they host Maritimo at the Dragao.

                

18. Arsenal (-1)

Watching Arsenal play home and away is like watching two completely different sides. A failure to crack David Moyes' West Ham at the London Stadium midweek genuinely won't have surprised some fans.

            

17. Lyon (+2)

Lyon currently look like the second-best side in France. Sunday saw them beat Marseille 2-0 thanks to Mariano and Nabil Fekir goals, putting a three-point gap between the third- and fourth-placed sides in the Ligue 1 table.

                

16. Tottenham Hotspur (Stay)

There's no shame in losing to Manchester City, even by a large margin. Predictably Mauricio Pochettino attempted to go toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola and feed on the confidence Wednesday's win over Brighton brought, but just as predictably, no positive result was forthcoming.


15. Lazio (-1)

Lazio faced Atalanta away from home on Sunday shorn of star striker Ciro Immobile, but they still rescued a respectable result thanks to two other familiar goalscoring faces: Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

              

14. Chelsea (+1)

A nuts and bolts week for Chelsea, dispatching two teams they'd have no business dropping points to. While it's difficult to praise big teams for doing what's simply expected, these are exactly the type of games the Blues have fluffed their lines in this season, so Antonio Conte will be pleased.

              

13. Liverpool (Stay)

Jurgen Klopp might well be wishing Liverpool could play away every week. Wednesday's scoreless home draw with West Bromwich Albion felt uncomfortably familiar, but they look unstoppable with space to counter-attack into when removed from Anfield.

                 

12. Valencia (-4)

Is the gloss coming off Valencia's season a little? Having embarked on an unbeaten start to the campaign that spanned several months, they've now lost two of their last three games, neither of which were to particularly menacing opponents.

              

11. Atletico Madrid (+1)

Atletico clambered above Valencia in the table on Saturday by beating Deportivo Alaves 1-0. They now sit second, six points off Barcelona at the summit, and are on a four-game win streak.

The season really hasn't gone to plan for Diego Simeone in a number of waysparticularly on the European frontbut this still represents a very strong domestic position. They may have drawn too many games (six), but they haven't lost any! 


10. Manchester United (+1)

The Red Devils truly were forced to work for their victories over AFC Bournemouth and West Brom last week, with David De Gea very busy against the former, and the defence hanging on a little late against the latter.

Still, it's a six-point haul and Romelu Lukaku (two in two) is back on the goal trail. In most other seasons, where Manchester City aren't the bludgeoning force 2017-18 has seen them become, their points total would put them in a position of title favourites.

                      

9. Roma (+1)

A win is a win, and the performance doesn't have to be great to earn three points. Roma fans know this all too well; it's been the hallmark of their season so far.

Once again they squeaked a 1-0 victory out of an opponent. This time it was Cagliari, courtesy of a 93rd-minute winner from Federico Fazio. The overall performance was clunky and poor, disjointed at times, and the midfield created very little.

But should they win their game in hand, they'd be just a point off Napoli's league-leading pace, and they won a Champions League group containing Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. It's been both a good and a poor season for the Giallorossi so far, depending on the angle from which you want to evaluate it.

              

8. Real Madrid (+1)

Lifting the Club World Cup at the weekend brought into focus just how incredible 2017 was for Real Madrid. Sure, there have been a few bumps in the road, particularly of late, but the overall trophy haul is positively mountainous.

Perhaps this latest victory comes at just the right time, acting as a boost for 2018. Los Blancos have a big points deficit to make up on Barcelona in La Liga and drew Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Round of 16. If things aren't in gear by February, they'll suffer for it.

                  

7. Napoli (Stay)

There are few odder sights in football right now than Napoli failing to score a goal over the course of 90 minutes, so to see them go consecutive games without finding the back of the net was downright strange.

This week, though, they found their groove, putting three past Torino. One of the strikes held a particularly special meaning: Marek Hamsik's 115th in Partenopei colours drew him level with the legendary Diego Maradona in the club's goalscoring charts.

              

6. Juventus (Stay)

The last 30 days or so have seen Juventus put together a sneaky-good run. They're winning regularly and haven't conceded a goal in six straight games, with the latest clean sheet, against Bologna, thanks to strong performances from Mattia De Sciglio and Medhi Benatia.

Max Allegri still has obvious issues to sort out, and this is no perfect teamin particular, Gonzalo Higuain isn't involved enough, and Alex Sandro's still sufferingbut despite this, they're just a point off top spot in Serie A.

                

5. Inter Milan (-2)

So, Inter Milan finally lost a game.

They were never going to negotiate the entire campaign unbeaten, so supporters will have been steeling themselves for this. But the way their flawless record popped (at home to Udinese) rendered many lost for words.

                

4. Bayern Munich (+1)

Bayern enter the Bundesliga's winter break in fine fettle, 11 points clear at the top of the table. The title feels all but sewn up already, and it will allow them to start moving pieces around in preparation for the all-important Champions League knockout stages.

The draw was kind to them (they finished second in their group and got Besiktas), and they'll be expected to make the quarter-finals as a bare minimum. Given their drastic improvement under Jupp Heynckes, you might even see a few tempted to suggest them as European contenders come February.

                   

3. Paris Saint-Germain (+1)

It looks like an awful lot of fun playing in this PSG attack. Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani are all working and creating for each other; they're all smiles all the time.

Midweek saw them get revenge over Strasbourg (who handed them their first loss of the season a few weeks ago), and then they crushed Rennes in a dazzling display on Saturday.

Les Parisiens move back into the top three, taking advantage of Inter's fall.

                  

2. Barcelona (Stay)

Sunday evening's game between Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna proved a real stroll in the park for the hosts, with Lionel Messi and Co. claiming victory at a canter in the end.

We saw plenty of excellent work between the lines and outside the box from the Argentinian, once again starring in the more central role Ernesto Valverde has given him. Paulinho also scored his fifth of the season to further endear himself to an already adoring fanbase.

               

1. Manchester City (Stay)

Not only did City underline their immense quality (again) this week, but also the frightening squad depth they possess too.

They made light work of Swansea City midweek, rotating the squad a little but still winning 4-0, then put another four past Tottenham despite the fact they were missing key men, with David Silva chief among them.

On this run of results, they have simply been a joy to watch.

                          

Facebook.com/SamTigheBR

All statistics via WhoScored.com

Related

    Every Moment from the Best-Ever World Cup

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Every Moment from the Best-Ever World Cup

    B/R Video
    via Bleacher Report

    World Cup 100: the Final Edition

    World Football logo
    World Football

    World Cup 100: the Final Edition

    Sam Tighe
    via Bleacher Report

    World. Champions. Get Your Gear 🏆🛒

    World Football logo
    World Football

    World. Champions. Get Your Gear 🏆🛒

    via B/R Shop

    France Win World Cup as VAR Kills Croatia

    World Football logo
    World Football

    France Win World Cup as VAR Kills Croatia

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report