Can anybody stop Barcelona?
Goals are flying like raindrops whenever Barca takes the field these days, and the latest blowout win has helped ‘Los Cules’ move all the way up to the top spot in the SBI European Club rankings.
Just how potent has Barcelona’s attack been? Try 22 goals in its past five matches in La Liga and Champions League play.
While Barca has taken first place in La Liga and the Top 25, Italy’s Serie A enjoys the strongest representation in the Top 10 this week, with an impressive four teams. Napoli rounded out the Top 10 despite losing to AC Milan. If you have been watching them this year, and you watched the Milan loss, you know Napoli is one of the best teams in Europe.
Here is how this week’s Top 25 shook out:
SBI European Club Top 25
1. BARCELONA (7-1-1 league record)
2. VILLARREAL (6-0-3)
3. LIVERPOOL (8-1-2)
4. CHELSEA (8-1-2 )
5. AC MILAN (7-2-1)
6. MANCHESTER UNITED (6-1-3)
7. REAL MADRID (6-1-2)
8. INTER MILAN (6-1-3)
9. UDINESE (6-1-3)
10. NAPOLI (6-2-2)
- 11. Juventus (5-2-3)
- 12. Lyon (8-1-3)
- 13. Sevilla (5-2-2)
- 14. TSG Hoffenheim (8-2-1)
- 15. Bayern Munich (6-2-3)
- 16. Valencia (6-1-2)
- 17. Dinamo Kiev (11-1-1)
- 18. Arsenal (6-3-2)
- 19. Aston Villa (6-3-2)
- 20. FK Rubin Kazan (18-3-6)
- 21. CSKA Moscow (14-4-8)
- 22. Bayer Leverkusen (8-3)
- 23. Lazio (6-3-3)
- 24. Sporting Lisbon (4-2-1)
- 25. Bordeaux (6-3-3)
OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: Atletico Madrid (4-4-1), Marseille (6-1-4), Hamburg (5-1-3), Benfica (4-0-3), Standard Liege (6-2-2), CFR Cluj (6-3-4), Ajax (6-1-2), Celtic (9-1-1), Dinamo Bucharest (9-2-2), Hull City (6-3-2), Fiorentina (5-3-2), Olympiakos (6-1-1).
Here is a rundown on some of the ranking decisions:
Napoli did lose to Milan, but it was a great game and Napoli was in the match until the end despite being a man down.
Arsenal tumbles down to 19th after losing to Stoke. The Gunners are struggling badly, but I couldn’t very well take them out of the top 25 just yet. They are getting the job done in the Champions League. That can’t be forgotten.
Aston Villa tumbled after today’s loss. I’ll admit that I was giving them a little too much love, though they did beat a good Ajax squad in UEFA Cup play. They need a win against one of the Big Four before I start considering them for a higher spot again.
I dropped Valencia quite a bit as well. They don’t have a convincing win all year and their 4-2 loss to Racing de Santander exposed a team with some problems in defense.
Hoffenheim moves up to 15th and you should know that their attack is the real deal. They might not win the Bundesliga title, but they are going to be in the mix all season and Vedad Ibisevic and Chinedu Obguke Obasi are going to be popular transfer targets come the summer (if not sooner).
Sticking with the Germans, Bayern Munich is motoring up the rankings and it probably won’t be too long before Juergen’s boys are in the Top 10. That team is just too talented not to keep rising.
Rubin Kazan clinched its league title with its 18th win of the season. Not bad at all, though I wonder how long I keep them in the rankings since their season is now over. The same doesn’t apploy to CSKA Moscow, which is still in the UEFA Cup.
Standard Liege dropped out of the Top 25 after suffering another domestic loss and falling to fourth place in the Belgian league.
Before any Benfica fans ask why Sporting Lisbon is in the Top 25 and they are not (Benfica beating Sporting earlier this year), Sporting’s Champions League record gives them the edge right now.
I dropped Hull City out of the Top 25 after a pair of losses, but haven’t given up on them completely. They showed just how good they can be in fighting back in their 4-3 loss to Manchester United. They may never crack the Top 25 again, but they’re better than people realize.
What do you think of this week’s rankings? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.