Saturday, March 30, 2013

UEFA European Soccer Power Rankings

Every two weeks we'll analyze the top ten European Soccer teams and rank them according to current form.

1. FC Barcelona

Hard to argue this one. You know this is a good team that when they go 2-0 down to AC Milan in the Champions League, and you have no doubt they'll turn it around with ease when they go back home to the Camp Nou which is exactly what they did. They had an odd slip up today against 18th place Celta Vigo, but with a 13 point gap between them and 2nd place Real Madrid, I think they can coast to the title. Have a mouth watering clash with PSG in the Champions League quarterfinals looming.

2. Bayern Munich

Anyone see them put up 9 today on Hamburg? A ridiculous +65 goal difference and a 20 point lead on second place Dortmund, they should just give them the trophy already. They let their guard down in the Champions League return leg against Arsenal and were fortunate to hold onto their 3-1 aggregate lead. They cant do the same when they go up against Italian power Juventus this week. So much depth, and so much power on this team, all signs point to a Munich v Barca final at Wembley in May.

3. Paris Saint Germain

Ever since PSG was bought out by Qatar Investment Authority, they've done all they can to assemble a dream team. The French capital is now home to one of Europe's best and they see themselves with an eight point advantage in the league. Boasting a lineup including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Javier Pastore, PSG will be a very tough out for Barcelona this week.

4. Juventus

Juventus, who seem to be facing match fixing scandals every other day, find themselves forth on the list after defeating Inter at the San Siro 2-1 and going 9 points clear of 2nd place Napoli. Italian teams are known for their defending and they're going to have to stick to those principals to have any chance against offensive juggernauts Bayern Munich this week.

5. Real Madrid

While Real Madrid's domestic form has left something to be desired (13 points behind Barca and drew 1-1 at 17th place Zaragoza today), they still find themselves in the last eight of the Champions League after deservedly dispatching Manchester United a couple of weeks ago at Old Trafford. Face Galtasaray in the Champions League this week.

6. Manchester United

While some people may think this is a little low for United, I cant see them beating a single team above them on this list. While they may be dominating England right now, I think that comes down to it being a soft year and City being incredibly inconsistent. They came away with a 1-0 win at Sunderland off an own goal (what else is new) after the ball took two deflections. No longer in the Champions League after Nani lost his mind, they surely have the Premier League wrapped up and face a big replay with Chelsea in the F.A. Cup.

7. Benfica

Gotta give Benfica some love here. The Portuguese league doesn't get as much attention as England, Spain, Germany or Italy since its usually a two horse race between them and Porto every year, but an unbeaten start through 24 games has to be noticed. At 20 wins 4 draws and 0 losses they are still only four points in front of Porto who are ALSO unbeaten (18-6-0). Put six past Rio Ave today and are still fighting it out in the Europa League.

8. Borrusia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund finds themselves in Bayern Munich's shadow in Germany, but dont let that fool you. This is a team that can play with the best of them, just ask Manchester City. Matched up against surprise package Malaga in the Champions League quarterfinals, they should easily move onto the semi's.

9. Manchester City
This team literally makes no sense to me. They could put out two teams that could finish in the top four in the Premier League. They took care of business against Newcastle today with a 4-0 win but have losses against Everton and Sunderland (??) that has all but ended their hopes to repeat as champions. Fixtures away from home have been their downfall this season as they have dropped points to teams such as QPR and Stoke City which they cant be doing if they want to challenge for a title. Maybe next year guys.

10. Atletico Madrid

Barcelona and Real Madrid may get all the attention in Spain but you cant forget about Atletico Madrid who are only 2 points behind Real Madrid for second place in La Liga. They are led by one of the best strikers in the world Radamel Falcao who has 21 goals in La Liga this season.

Honorable Mentions: Tottenham, Galtasaray, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, FC Porto, Napoli, Ajax Amsterdam

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