Manchester City rule Europe; Barcelona and Real Madrid tread water: The National’s Power Table

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The Power Table is The National’s sports team’s rankings of which 20 clubs are currently the best in Europe, based on a combination of current form, recent results and our general feeling for who would beat whom.

The top team stayed the same from our season-opening edition a few weeks ago. The struggles of a couple of England’s heavyweights Chelsea and Manchester United have dropped them completely from the list. Which clubs took their place?

Click or swipe through for this edition of the Power Table.

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20 PSV Eindhoven

Down 8 spots

An opening Uefa Champions League loss to Atletico Madrid earlier this month ended a run of seven matches without defeat, and the Dutch side followed that with a 1-0 reverse to table-topping Feyenoord. Their next Champions League fixture is Rostov on Wednesday, which probably presents their best chance to get points in a Group D that also includes Bayern Munich.

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19 Benfica

Staying at 19

Benfica have held strong at the top of the Portuguese Primera Liga table with 16 points in six undefeated fixtures. They also drew 1-1 with Bestikas in their opening Champions League fixture, with Napoli next up on Wednesday.

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18 Sporting Lisbon

Down 9 spots

Sporting are only a point below Benfica in the Liga and were a last-gasp Alvaro Morata header away from holding Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in their opening Champions League fixture. They have a shot to pick up points in Group F on Tuesday at home against Legia Warsaw, with a much bigger test against Borussia Dortmund to come next month.

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17 FC Basel

Previously unranked

Basel are tearing up the Swiss Super League with a perfect 27 points in nine fixtures, already 13 points better than any other side. A 1-1 draw with Ludogorets in the Champions League is the only non-winning result in their last 10 fixtures. Next up: Arsenal on Wednesday.

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16 Shakhtar Donetsk

Previously unranked

While sitting pretty atop the Ukrainian Premier League with 25 points and an impressive plus-17 goal difference, Shakhtar have also started the Europa League well, sitting atop Group H as the only team with three points.

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15 Porto

Up 3 spots

Seven points in three Liga fixtures plus a third-place standing in the table would be good enough, but an intriguing Champions League matchup with English champions Leicester City also awaits on Tuesday. Porto would have to be favoured based on current form. A win gives them four points in a very winnable Group G.

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14 Nice

Previously unranked

Last Power Table saw France represented only by Monaco. Nice – and not big-spending Paris Saint-Germain – join their country counterparts this time around. Though it’s tightly bunched at the top of Ligue 1 with only five points separating places one through seven, right now Nice are on top with 17 points. Defeat in their opening Europa League match has been ignored thanks to refreshingly competitive league displays. Nice are giving fans plenty to cheer for these days.

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13 Feyenoord

Up 3 spots

The Rotterdam side are currently dominating the Dutch Eredivisie with 21 points and a plus-19 goal difference through seven matches. Oh, and they beat a club called Manchester United 1-0 to open their Europa League campaign.

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12 Napoli

Previously unranked

Napoli debut in the rankings thanks to a strong start in Serie A that sees them only a point behind juggernaut Juventus and with the league’s best goal difference at plus-9. They opened up play in a winnable Group B of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev, and have Benfica next on Wednesday.

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11 Atletico Madrid

Previously unranked

The Spanish giants were surprisingly left out of the opening rankings, but debut strong at 11 this time around thanks to a strong run in Primera Liga – no losses, a draw at Barcelona and only two points off first place – plus a win over PSV to open their Champions League bid. A matchup with Bayern Munich on Wednesday in the Champions League’s awaits.

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10 Tottenham Hotspur

Up 10 spots

Tottenham are hanging strong in a top-heavy Premier League table in second place thanks to four wins in five matches (the fifth being a draw with resurgent Liverpool). A 1-2 defeat to Monaco to open the Champions League was a disappointment, but they can help their cause in Russia on Tuesday agaisnt CSKA Moscow. After that, a clash with a rampaging Manchester City in the Premier League.

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9 Monaco

Down 2 spots

Monaco were thoroughly dominated 4-0 by Ligue 1 first-place side Nice, but sit only a point behind them. Champions League play looks promising following an opening win over Tottenham in Group E and a home tie with Leverkusen is up next on Tuesday night.

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8 Liverpool

Previous unranked

The biggest risers in the continent since we last presented these rankings. Liverpool’s 16 goals scored are second only to Manchester City, and they are only a point behind Tottenham for second place. The defence has shown signs of improvement, and having no European football to worry about should help keep Jurgen Klopp’s men relatively fresh to stay in league contention.

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7 Arsenal

Up 10 spots

Arsenal have shaken off an opening, sky-is-falling Premier League loss to Liverpool with aplomb, with a 3-0 thrashing of Chelsea the latest sign of improvement. The upcoming fixture list is quite kind, too: Basel (Wednesday night) and Ludogorets in two winnable Champions League matches, and a Premier League run of Burnley, Swansea City, Middlesborough and Sunderland before a November showdown with Tottenham. Things are looking up for Arsene Wenger’s men.

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6 Barcelona

Down 4 spots

The Spanish champions were at the top of these rankings consistently last year. A general listlessness seems to have led to worrying drop in form, but Barcelona are firmly in the cluster of the usual three atop the Primera Liga table, one point behind Real Madrid for top spot. They will be without Lionel Messi when they travel to play Gladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday, but should be fine to continue their winning – if not entirely dominant – ways.

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5 Juventus

Up 1 spot

Still the class of Italy, though Napoli sit only a point behind them for the top of Serie A. A scoreless draw to Sevilla in the Champions League wasn’t ideal, either. No real challengers appear in the upcoming fixture list until an October 29 meeting with Napoli, but Juventus could well have separated themselves in the table by then.

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4 Real Madrid

Staying at 4

Drama aside, defending European champions Real Madrid are in fine enough form to sit atop Primera Liga despite two straight listless draws. A true test awaits on Tuesday against re-emerging power Borussia Dortmund.

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3 Borussia Dortmund

Up 7 spots

Dortmund are neck-and-neck with Bayern Munich atop Bundesliga, and can affirm their ascent to heavyweight status with a Champions League win over Real Madrid on Tuesday. They opened their European campaign strongly with a 6-0 demolishing of Legia Warsaw, and have since had an identical win over Darmstadt, a 5-1 win over Wolfsburg and a 3-1 win over Freiburg. Dortmund are rolling at just the right time.

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2 Bayern Munich

Up 6 spots

Very nearly knocked off our returning top team in the list, Bayern Munich have to settle for a very strong second place. They have a perfect 15 points to open the Bundesliga, conceding only one goal in the process. They demolished Rostov 5-0 to open their Champions League season. A tie with Spanish power Atletico awaits, and a win in Spain could well make Bayern the side to beat.

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1 Manchester City

Staying at 1

The top of England, the top of Europe, and Pep Guardiola’s side have ambitions to raise trophies affirming the status of both this season. Ten wins in their last 10 matches across all competitions says it all. Things pick up soon, with an October 2 league tie at Tottenham and an October 19 Champions League tie at Barcelona. We’ll see soon how well City deserve this top spot.

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Also receiving votes

• Sturm Graz

• CSKA

• Roma

• Villareal

• FC Copenhagen

• Lyon

• Athletic Bilbao

• Manchester United

• Ajax

• Dinamo Zagreb

Falling from rankings

Manchester United, Chelsea, Spartak Moscow, Borussia Monchengladbach, Genoa, Sampdoria

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How we voted

Steven Luckings, Senior Sports Editor

1 Borussia Dortmund

2 Bayern Munich

3 Manchester City

4 Juventus

5 Liverpool

6 Arsenal

7 Real Madrid

8 Barcelona

9 Tottenham

10 Atletico Madrid

11 Monaco

12 Napoli

13 Porto

14 Sporting Lisbon

15 PSV Eindhoven

16 Roma

17 Lyon

18 Manchester United

19 Ajax

20 Dinamo Zagreb

Jonathan Raymond, Sports Web Editor & Junior Designer

1 Manchester City

2 Bayern Munich

3 Borussia Dortmund

4 Barcelona

5 Real Madrid

6 Juventus

7 Atletico Madrid

8 Arsenal

9 Feyenoord

10 Monaco

11 Tottenham Hotspur

12 Napoli

13 Liverpool

14 Shakhtar Donetsk

15 Nice

16 Villarreal

17 CSKA Moscow

18 Athletic Bilbao

19 FC Basel

20 FC Copenhagen

Jon Turner, Sports Web Editor

1 Manchester City

2 Bayern Munich

3 Real Madrid

4 Barcelona

5 Juventus

6 Borussia Dortmund

7 Tottenham

8 Arsenal

9 Monaco

10 Feyenoord ​

11 Liverpool

12 Nice

13 Napoli

14 Benfica

15 Sturm Graz

16 FC Basel

17 Atletico Madrid

18 FC Copenhagen​

19 Shakhtar

20 CSKA Moscow

Published: September 27, 2016 04:00 AM

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