UEFA Champions League Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain slide continues, Manchester City retake top spot

The Champions League group stage comes to a close next week on Paramount+. With 11 places in the knockout stages, the rankings of the great powers in European football are now guaranteed:

Top layer: title or bust

These teams should be disappointed with anything less than a semi-final berth, and frankly that might not be enough, that’s their talent.

1. Manchester City (+1)

Choose from the top four most likely Champions League winner. On the opportune day, any one of these teams looks capable of dismantling 28 more on the field as City did with PSG. Although the margin of victory on the pitch may have been narrow, it was Pep Guardiola’s men who were once again dominant; Across two meetings with the presumptive challenger to the crown, they set 4.03 expected goal (xG) while only allowing 1.5.

2 – Bayern Munich (-1)

Their drop in the rankings does not represent any failures on their part although it is perhaps fair to ask how many times Julian Nagelsmann’s side have really been tested in what proved to be a weak group in the Champions League. Sunday match with Borussia Dortmund may be They provide a more thorough examination of their traits after three matches in which they have not achieved the same score lines they had collected a few weeks earlier.

3. Liverpool (-)

Possibly the most devastating attack in Europe right now, every attack from Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and of course Mo Salah looks in devastating form as they take to the pitch. The most tempting, however, may be the long-awaited flowering of Thiago in recent weeks. The defense gives up more dangerous shots than the other superpowers of the Premier League, but this looks like a team that will make up for it more than the other side.

4. Chelsea (+1)

There are those games where Chelsea create all the chances in the world but never seem to score, but Thomas Tuchel’s side are now on the stage where they amass exceptionally high volume of xG – over 2.5 per game in every game of the last game. Eight games – without giving up a huge amount of opportunities at the other end. Their crushing of Juventus was an all-out performance as seen in the Champions League this season.

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Serious contenders: If all goes well, why not?

It’s certainly not far from the imagination that any of these teams could lift the European Cup in Istanbul in May, although it may take some happy breaks for the tournament to go its way.

5. Ajax (-1)

As detailed last week, it was no less impressive to see a weak Ajax side overcome Besiktas in a bold fashion than it was to watch them crush every other opponent in their path. Sebastian Haller continues to shock doubters as Dusan Tadic tops the Champions League in the opportunities created.

Dark horses: Unlikely to compete, but competitors are all the same

These teams are not potential champions, but then Chelsea were champions this time around a year ago. It could require a change of circumstances like the Blues when they appointed Thomas Tuchel, perhaps a new signing or the unveiling of a new tactical plan. It is possible, but certainly not likely.

6. Real Madrid (+1)

In a six-game winning streak, Real Madrid produced two very impressive results last week, negotiating what might be a difficult trip to Moldova in a determined fashion before falling behind to defeat Sevilla and open a huge gap in La Liga. Their defense is still struggling to keep a clean sheet but with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr at the level they are at now, it probably doesn’t matter.

7- Paris Saint-Germain (-1)

Although the overall results might suggest otherwise, the reality is that PSG played two games against a potential Champions League contender and looked inferior in both. Nearly a year on, Mauricio Pochettino’s energetic style has yet to catch up, and it’s hard to see him doing so with three riders off the ball at the top of the field. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe could win this team some matches in the knockout stages but Jamie Carragher was right to point out that the title overtakes this team at the moment.

in the last 16

They may not be in a competitive position to win the tournament outright but they will definitely be in the knockout stages next year.

8. Inter Milan (+1)

On the continent and in Serie A, Inter seem to have taken another step forward in recent weeks. Their 3-2 victory over Napoli was a real boost to their title hopes, while the calm they achieved with Shakhtar Donetsk proved that this team would not be a repeat of Antonio Conte’s team in the group stages. Until the round of 16, no one will enjoy a draw that puts him in the face of a strong defense on one end and the tandem of Lautaro Martinez Edin Dzeko at the other end.

9. Manchester United (+1)

They are of course in the last 16, which helps, but any optimism one might have about United’s chances in the new year certainly hinges on progressing to where Ralph Rangnick’s side may have a couple of months or so on their project. At the moment, they seem very far from facing the big teams and have had a lucky draw with Chelsea. However, with the right man in the dugout, they can be more serious about the challenge in the new year.

10. Sporting (+8)

Their early vacillation blew up the Champions League copy book but since the 1-0 defeat in Dortmund on September 28, all Sporting do is win… and in a somewhat convincing way. Its climax thus far was the impressive 3-1 victory over the BVB in Lisbon that gave them a place in the Round of 16, a match that will surely cement Pedro Goncalves’ reputation.

11. Juventus (-3)

Increasingly, winning six games in September and October seemed like a strange coincidence for a team that plays as it is now: a mid-level side in Serie A. They certainly weren’t close to the Chelsea game: they crossed their midfield, lacking any significant focal point in attack. Injuries are not helping Massimiliano Allegri’s side, but this is not the standard that Juventus expect.

The competitors in the knockout stage

Heading into the final round of matches, these teams can still qualify for the Round of 16.

12. Small (+8)

Apparently, out of nowhere, the Ligue 1 champions have turned Group G in their favour. Only Chelsea have conceded fewer goals than Lille in the group stage while they have the fifth best opponent xG. At the other end, Jonathan David emerges as a major star coveted by some of Europe’s top teams. Point in Wolfsburg – no certainty, but certainly within their power – and Lille is over.

13. Porto (+2)

14. Benfica (+6)

15 – Villarreal (-1)

16 – Red Bull Salzburg (-5)

Lille’s rise coincided with the rapid collapse of Red Bull Salzburg, who could have qualified in the fourth round but lost their last two matches. The question swirling around Matthias Gassel’s young side, very dominant in the Austrian game, is whether they have a tough enough fight to get to the last few yards in the Champions League. You should tell us the seasoned European operators visit Seville.

17 – Atletico Madrid (-1)

18. Seville (+3)

19. Atalanta (-)

20 – Wolfsburg (-3)

21- Barcelona (-8)

It is a testament to the state of the Spanish game at the moment that Barcelona, ​​Atletico Madrid and Seville are finding themselves after contemplating the end of Europe’s biggest tournament.

22. AC Milan (+4)

In Barcelona and Milan we have two traditional powers who have put in a really good shot but look like they will fall short against the teams that usurped them at the top of the table in European football. After their draw with Benfica, Barcelona needs to beat Bayern Munich. That would suffice regardless of the results elsewhere, although it’s easier said than done. Meanwhile, Milan need to beat Liverpool and hope that Atletico Madrid and Porto face each other to reach a stalemate. Stefano Pioli’s team has proven throughout this competition that they can test any topside but simply wasn’t with them.

The European League is binding

These teams will have European football next year but they will be in the second division.

23- Borussia Dortmund (-11)

24 – Sharif Tiraspol (-3)

25- Zenit (-)

In the European League race

These teams cannot mathematically qualify for the Round of 16, but they can reach the European League.

26. RB Leipzig (+4)

27. Club Brugge (-4)

The primary calculations in deciding which team might get third place in Group A may be just which team of competitors has more rides on Day Six. PSG and City both know where they will end up, but the first player still feels he has something to prove in his performance; It seems more reasonable for Leipzig to get something at home for the citizens than what Club Brugge could win in Paris.

28 – Young Boys (-4)

outside Europe

These teams are guaranteed to finish last in their group and are completely eliminated from European competition.

29. Dynamo Kiev (-1).

30 – Shakhtar Donetsk (-3)

31 – Besiktas (-)

32 – Malmo (-)

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