Admit it, you are tired of Barcelona. Tired of watching them beat up on teams that are supposed to be some of the best in Europe. Sevilla? Battered. Valencia? Smoked. You name them and Barca has probably smacked them around recently (save for Getafe, which is giving everybody trouble lately). Okay, so maybe you aren't tired of watching some of the most beautifully-played soccer seen in a long time, but you must admit it is getting a bit monotonous seeing the No. 1 team in the SBI European Club Top 25 tear teams to shreds.
Real Madrid stands poised to be the next victim of a beatdown so inevitable that Real Madrid fired its coach BEFORE the match to get it out of the way. Juande Ramos is a good manager, but he will need some serious magic to help an injury-ravaged Real Madrid side have any chance against Barcelona.
Just who will stop Barcelona? Don't look now but there is a new force emerging from some early-season ashes. None other than Atletico Madrid, a team that suffered through a four-match winless streak that included a 6-1 hammering by Barcelona. Atletico has gotten through that rough patch and has now gone ten matches without a loss, including a pair of well-played Champions League ties vs. Liverpool. That run has been enough to help Atletico Madrid climb back into the SBI European Club Top 10 after completely falling out of the Top 25 just a month ago.
Who else has moved up the charts? Bayern Munich moved up after beating a game TSG Hoffenheim side, while Inter Milan has also crept closer to the top spot with a recent run of strong form in Serie A.
Here is how this week's SBI European Club Top 25 shakes out:
SBI European Club Top 25
1. BARCELONA (11-1-2 league record). Last week– beat Valencia, 4-0, on Saturday. This week– vs. Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday (UCL), vs. Real Madrid on Saturday.
2. LIVERPOOL (11-1-4). Last week– Beat Blackburn, 3-1, on Saturday. This week– at PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday (UCL), vs. Hull City on Saturday.
3. INTER MILAN (11-1-3). Last week– Beat Lazio, 3-0, on Saturday. This week– at Werder Bremen on Tuesday (UCL), vs. Chievo Verona on Sunday.
4. CHELSEA (11-2-3). Last week– Beat Bolton, 2-0, on Saturday. This week– at CFR Cluj Napoca on Tuesday (UCL), vs. West Ham United on Sunday.
5. MANCHESTER UNITED (9-2-4). Last week– Beat Sunderland, 1-0, on Saturday. This week– vs. AaB on Wednesday, at Tottenham on Saturday.
6. VILLARREAL (8-1-5). Last week- Tied Getafe, 3-3, on Saturday. This week– at Celtic on Wednesday (UCL), at Sevilla on Sunday.
7. BAYERN MUNICH (10-2-4). Last week– Beat TSG Hoffenheim, 2-1, last Friday. This week– at Lyon on Wednesday (UCL), at VFB Stuttgart on Saturday.
8. JUVENTUS (9-3-3). Last week– Beat Lecce, 2-1, on Sunday. This week– vs. BATE Borisov on Wednesday (UCL), vs. AC Milan on Sunday.
9. AC MILAN (9-3-3). Last week– Beat Catania, 1-0, on Sunday. This week– at Juventus on Sunday.
10. ATLETICO MADRID (7-4-3). Last week- Beat Sporting Gijon, 5-2. This week- at Marseille on Tuesday (UCL), vs. Real Betis on Sunday.
- 11. TSG Hoffenheim (10-4-1)
- 12. Napoli (8-4-3)
- 13. Sevilla (8-3-3)
- 14. Arsenal (9-5-2)
- 15. Lyon (10-3-4)
- 16. Real Madrid (8-4-2)
- 17. Aston Villa (8-4-4)
- 18. Valencia (8-3-3)
- 19. Bordeaux (8-4-5)
- 20. Standard Liege (8-3-4)
- 21. Fiorentina (8-5-2)
- 22. Olympiakos (10-1-2)
- 23. Ajax Amsterdam (9-3-2)
- 24. Bayer Leverkusen (10-5-1)
- 25. CSKA Moscow (16-6-8)
OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: AZ Alkmaar (10-2-2), Dinamo Kiev (14-2-1), Marseille (8-2-7), Hamburg (9-4-3), AS Roma (6-6-2), Benfica (7-0-4), Sporting Lisbon (7-3-1), Stade Rennes (7-1-9), Anorthosis Famagusta (9-2-1), Panathanaikos (6-2-5), FC Porto (6-2-2), FC Metalist Kharkiv (11-2-4).
What do you think of the rankings? Which match-up of ranked teams are you looking most forward to? Which team do you think deserved a much higher ranking?
Share your thoughts on the rankings in the comments section below.