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Footy Power Rankings: City stays top as Benfica, Schalke enter the fray

Taking into consideration recent domestic and continental results, along with underlying stats, we try to figure out which clubs are among Europe’s elite.

1. Manchester City (1st in Premier League)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
26-3-1 85 20 7.3 6.3

Previous rank: 1st

Pep Guardiola’s current side maintains a narrow advantage on his former employer thanks to a four-match league winning streak that includes victories over Leicester City, Arsenal, and Chelsea. Next up, Manchester City visits Everton before a Manchester derby where the club can secure a third Premier League title in seven years against its hated rival.

2. Barcelona (1st in La Liga)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
23-6-0 74 13 7.4 10.3

Previous rank: 2nd

Still yet to taste defeat in La Liga after besting Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou, Barcelona’s 25th league title is all but certain. With a straightforward Champions League quarter-final tilt with Roma paired with a Copa del Rey final’s matchup against Sevilla, Ernesto Valverde and Co. are inline to replicate 2014-15’s treble-winning campaign.

3. Real Madrid (3rd in La Liga)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
18-6-5 73 33 7.6 9.9

Previous rank: 4th

Remember when Zinedine Zidane’s head was on the chopping block amid profane claims of a ‘club in crisis?’ Real Madrid has lost just once in the league since then, and after the first-half of the season was defined by injuries and shocking results, Zidane’s fit-again squad is banging in the goals, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the pack thanks to 17 in his last 8 outings.

4. Bayern Munich (1st in Bundesliga)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
21-3-3 66 20 6.6 8.6

Previous rank: 3rd

Bayern Munich slips a spot courtesy of RB Leipzig’s come-from-behind victory over the Bavarian behemoth on the other side of the international break, but that was hardly a setback. Bayern holds a 17-point advantage on second place Schalke with nine matches to play, meaning Jupp Heynckes will celebrate a fourth title in his third tenure at the helm.

5. Paris Saint-Germain (1st in Ligue 1)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
27-2-2 95 21 7.2 10

Previous rank: 5th

Despite red-card rebel Thiago Motta’s best efforts, 10-man Paris Saint-Germain topped in-form goal-machine Karl Toko Ekambi and Angers before recording a 2-1 statement win at Nice. The capital club can now sleepwalk its way towards a fifth Ligue 1 title in six years ahead of a summer of certain change. Unai Emery, ’twas nice while it lasted.

6. Juventus (1st in Serie A)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
24-2-2 67 15 5.8 7.7

Previous rank: 7th

With last year’s finalists and Real Madrid set to contest the jewel of the Champions League quarter-final crown, Max Allegri’s charges cling to a two-point lead in Serie A, whilst looking forward to the Coppa d’Italia final with AC Milan. Too much for some clubs to manage, Juve has proven adept at competing on multiple fronts, going unbeaten in their last 16 league contests.

7. Atletico Madrid (2nd in La Liga)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
19-7-3 49 14 7 11

Previous rank: 6th

Favourites to win the Europa League, Atletico Madrid’s slim chances of catching Barcelona for La Liga honours were all but extinguished with a 2-1 defeat at Villarreal. Now nine points adrift of the Catalan side and with talk of Antoine Griezmann’s potential summer exit casting a shadow over the Wanda Metropolitano, it’s Europe or nothing for Diego Simeone’s side.

8. Manchester United (2nd in Premier League)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
20-5-5 58 23 4.9 11.8

Previous rank: 8th

Speaking of sides torn between success and trepidation, Manchester United was shockingly bounced from the Champions League at home to Sevilla before advancing in the FA Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over Brighton. Jose Mourinho has become the subject of scorn, Paul Pogba appears discontent, and Alexis Sanchez has scored once in 11 United appearances.

9. Napoli (2nd in Serie A)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
23-4-2 63 19 6.9 7.7

Previous rank: 9th

Clinging to hopes of a first Serie A title since 1989-90, Napoli sits two points back of Juventus. It was a Raul Albiol 72nd-minute goal in a 1-0 defeat of Genoa that kept Maurizio Sarri’s lot in Scudetto contention, after a loss to Roma followed by a draw at Inter. Mark your calendars for the April 22 visit to Juventus.

10. Liverpool (4th in Premier League)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
18-9-4 73 34 6.3 7.5

Previous rank: 10th

Three players share the Premier League 38-match goal-scoring record on 31. After bagging a quartet against Watford, Mohamed Salah has 28 tallies with seven matches to play. Next up is a visit to Selhurst Park before a season-defining Champions League quarter-final first-leg visit from Manchester City.

11. Tottenham Hotspur (3rd in Premier League)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
18-7-5 59 25 5.9 8.5

Previous rank: 11th

An FA Cup semi-finalist for the second year on the bounce, Tottenham’s ability to snap a stretch of trophy-less seasons faces an obstacle in the form of 12-time winner Manchester United, a task made more daunting by Harry Kane’s absence. For now, the focus is on an April Fools’ Day sojourn to west London to face Chelsea.

12. AS Monaco (2nd in Ligue 1)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
19-6-4 72 31 5 11.5

Previous rank: 12th

A year after shocking France to win Ligue 1, Monaco is quietly going about its business in France’s top flight thanks to a 15-match league unbeaten run. On the wrong side of a 4-1 scoreline in the 2016-17 Coupe de la Ligue finale against Paris Saint-Germain, Leonardo Jardim’s lot will get a chance at revenge when the two sides meet on Mar. 31 in this year’s final.

13. Valencia (4th in La Liga)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
17-5-6 54 30 4.9 12.9

Previous rank: 14th

After a midseason stretch of ineptitude, Valencia’s roller coaster campaign is again at a high point courtesy of six wins and a draw over the last seven matches that includes an away victory over mercurial Sevilla. Doesn’t hurt that Rodrigo – who was recently recalled to the Spain squad – has five goals in four, including a brace and MOTM performance at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

14. Schalke (2nd in Bundesliga)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
17-5-8 52 27 6.2 10.2

Previous rank: NR

Between rookie gaffer Domenico Tedesco and a budding midfield, there’s a lot to fancy about Schalke this season despite a wonky transfer policy that continues to facilitate the departures of the club’s best players on free transfers. It helps that Die Knappen boasts the Bundesliga’s second-best away form and joint-second-fewest goals conceded.

15. Benfica (2nd in Primeira Liga)

League record GF GA Shots on target per match Shots conceded per match
21-5-1 71 16 7.4 7.9

Previous rank: NR

Sure, Benfica sits two-points adrift of table-topping rival FC Porto, but the Dragons defeat at Pacos de Ferreira, paired with the Lisbon lot’s 21-match league unbeaten streak is enough to squeeze Rui Vitoria’s side into this installment of the Footy Power Rankings.

On the cusp: Chelsea, FC Porto, Borussia Dortmund, PSV, Galatasaray

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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