We head into the October international break with Man City, Sevilla, Juventus, PSG and Dortmund leading their respective leagues but things haven’t been that simple. Teams like FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Napoli, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and more could easily either be top of their leagues or are undefeated in the Champions League while Real Madrid and Bayern have been in poor form but are two of the most talented in the world.
So it begs the question of who are the top 10 teams in club football right now? Well here are my rankings…
(Rankings criteria in no order: form, league and Champions League record, head-to-head against other top clubs, difficulty of domestic league)
Honarable Mentions: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Sevilla, Tottenham
Domestic: (5-0-2), 2nd in Serie A (15 points)
Champions Leauge: (1-1-0), 1st in Group C
Even with 2 losses in the league, Napoli have been very impressive this season as they lead a Champions League group with PSG and Liverpool and are sitting in 2nd in Serie A. Their only two losses this season were at Juventus where they went down to 10 men and at Sampdoria in a one-off poor performance. Will they chase Juventus in the league? Probably not, but if they can get out of or even win Group C then they can really make some noise.
Domestic: (6-0-2), 4th in Premier League (18 points)
Europa League: (2-0-0), 1st in Group E
Form: WWWWW (Won last 9)
Arsenal are back! They have won 9 straight and although they haven’t played anyone too notable during that period, they sit 2 points back of leaders City/Chelsea/Liverpool in the league and will likely make a deep run in the Europa League. Unai Emery’s team is starting to gel after their tough start and have an easy month ahead. I don’t see them leaving the top 10 here until they lose or there’s a convincing win from the honorable mentions.
8. Borussia Dortmund
Domestic: (5-2-0), 1st in Bundesliga (17 points)
Champions League: (2-0-0), 1st in Group A
You may be wondering why one of the few undefeated teams and the leader of the Bundesliga is all the way up at 8. Well it’s actually simple; they haven’t played anyone yet. They have only played 1 team in the top 4 of a top-5 league this season and although they beat Leipzig in that match, Bayern’s troubles have made it easy for them to shine in the Bundesliga this year. They’re a team full of young talent and they play Atletico in two weeks time which will be a much better indication of how good this team can be.
7. Atletico Madrid
Domestic: (4-3-1), 3rd in La Liga (15 points)
Champions League: (2-0-0). 2nd in Group A
Speaking of the team Dortmund will face in two weeks, Atletico come in at number 7 on my list. Similar to Dortmund, Atletico have had somewhat of an easy go in the league this year only having to play an out of form Real Madrid squad where they drew 0-0. A league loss to Celta Vigo didn’t help but they sit tied with Dortmund at the top of Group A in the Champions League on points, only to be behind on goal differential. They sit in the exact same scenario as that Dortmund team and their fate in the power rankings will rest in their Champions League faceoff in two weeks.
6. Paris Saint Germain
Domestic: (9-0-0), 1st in Ligue 1 (27 points)
Champions League: (1-0-1), 2nd in Group C
Mbappe, Neymar and co. have been running through the Ligue 1 competition this season as they have gone undefeated and would be in all competitions if it weren’t for a late loss to Liverpool in the Champions League. This is a PSG team that has yet to win by less than 2 goals and five of their 9 league matches have been won by 3 or more goals. But Ligue 1 is a very poor league and they aren’t perfect in the Champions League after losing to Liverpool so I can’t let them in my top 5. If they stay undefeated in the league for a while and get out of the group convincingly, they will crack the top 5.
Domestic: (6-2-0), 3rd in Premier League (20 points)
Champions League (1-0-1), 3rd in Group C
Now this one many people may find puzzling as Liverpool have been out of form, sit behind PSG and Napoli in Group C and lost to Napoli last week. But this is a Liverpool team that sits tied on points in the most competitive league in the world, have wins over Spurs and PSG and have big draws against Chelsea and City during a really tough stretch of matches. They’re about to have three very, very winable games to close out October and considering their only losses have been against Chelsea in the cup and at Napoli, they’re a deserving 5th right now. Their quality will get them through the Champions League group and they will give City a run for its money in the Premier League.
Domestic: (6-2-0), 2nd in Premier League (20 points)
Europa League (2-0-0), 1st in Group L
Chelsea have been nothing short of brilliant this year, going undefeated in all competitions and are tied on points atop the Premier League but have one thing that’s up against them. Being in the Europa League really hurts them and 4 may be the highest ranking I give Chelsea this season unless they start to gain control over the Premier League. They have United after the international break but nobody after that until late November so it should be interesting to see if they slip up or if they stay undefeated.
3. FC Barcelona
Domestic: (4-3-1), 2nd in La Liga (19 points)
Champions League: (2-0-0), 1st in Group B
Another team that has puzzling form but has made the top 5. FC Barcelona haven’t been good over the last month but still sit 1 point back of Sevilla in La Liga and are on their way to running away with Group B. Domestically they haven’t played anyone in the top 4 of La Liga but they did go to Wembley and crush a Tottenham team in the Champions League. Messi is back to playing like the best player in the history of the universe and their offense can click at any moment. But as I said earlier, their form is questionable and their next month and a half will be very crucial as they will play Sevilla, Inter Milan twice, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. All of those teams are either in these rankings or just missed out so we will soon get to see what Barca are made of.
2. Manchester City
Domestic: (6-2-0), 1st in Premier League (20 points)
Champions League: (1-0-1), 2nd in Group F
City’s overall record this season is 9-2-1 and have yet to give up more than a goal in a match this season with 6 clean sheets to add. There were some bumps in the road with the road draw to Wolves and the loss at home to Lyon in the Champions League, but overall this City team has looked the same as last year even without Kevin De Bruyne. Their draw at Liverpool was their first ever clean sheet at Anfield and there are some people who think it was a bad result for them, speaking volumes of the expectations for this team. Their combination of talent, coaching and style of play may be the best in the world and City were just a few shaky results from being #1 on my list.
Domestic: (8-0-0), 1st in Serie A (27 points)
Champions League: (2-0-0), 1st in Group H
Juventus has won all of their matches, different than being undefeated, and have yet to show a single sign of weakness or of slowing down. In Serie A they’ve scored the most goals (18) and have conceded the second least (5), with a top goal differential of +13 through only 8 matches. Ronaldo is starting to get comfortable as he’s added 4 goals and 4 assists in his 8 league matches so far even with the distraction of his sexual assault allegation (story here, I don’t have time to get into it but I recommend checking it out). I see them eventually dropping points because win streaks rarely get past 10, but I don’t see them losing over the next 5 matches and they’ve been the steadiest team in the world since the start of the season.
That’s all for my power rankings which will now become a more regular thing because I enjoyed doing this, and I hope you did too. I hope everyone can catch the United States play Colombia in Tampa Bay (if the weather holds out), as our young stars take the field against the World Cup Quarterfinalists.
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.