SBI European Club Top 25

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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.

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21 Responses to SBI European Club Top 25

  1. Mike22 says:

    i think valencia and hoffenheim should be 10 and 9, respectively.

  2. RK says:

    You don’t count that 5-0 drubbing to a third division team that Villarreal took? Even if you ignore that (because it was a Cup game) their defense had been porous before this weekend.

  3. Beckster says:

    Thank god Hull is gone. Now we need to get rid of Arsenal!

  4. MikeK says:

    Ives ives ives… Besides the point that RK makes about Villareal’s disasterous crash out of the cup, Celtic still aren’t in the top 25! Hahaha, okay, half kidding.

    All kidding aside, I think the rankings are decent, even if they are a bit biased towards Spain at the moment. This week’s champion’s leagues games should help focus things a little bit. Who knows, another dramatic victory in Glasgow and Celtic are in the top 25. Conversely, a victory over Celtic goes a long way to boost thier stock. We’ll see.

  5. Ives says:

    MikeK, as I wrote in the notes that I added, Valencia hasn’t beate one truly tough opponent yet this season. Yes, they’re fun to watch and have some stars, but what would you base a Top 10 ranking on?

    I really like Hoffenheim as well, but am far from convinced that they are a Top 10 team.

    And RK, I don’t factor in that Cup game. They rested several starters, which is why I don’t factor in early round domestic cup games as a rule. Also, I’m not so sure about your comment about their defense. Yes, they gave up four to Atletico but Atletico’s attack is top notch. They also gave up three in a wide-open Champions League game against AaB, but one of the three was an own goal and the other two came on two of the THREE shots on goal AaB had that day.

    Actually, Villarreal has allowed more than one goal just once in La Liga. They also own shutouts against Manchester United, Celtic, Espanyol and Racing Santander, which just put up a four-spot on Valencia.

  6. Ives says:

    MikeK, Villarreal already beat Celtic once. Are you saying beaten Celtic at Parkhead will give Villarreal legitimacy that tying Manchester United at Old Trafford didn’t?

  7. RK says:

    I think Villarreal is great, it is just that I’m worried about the recent leakage on defense. That AMadrid game was really troubling — giving up two goals when up a man, and Aguero didn’t even play.

    Barca is a clear #1, that’s for sure.

  8. Ives says:

    That’s fair RK, they have given up some goals lately. That said, they do have the distinction of being the only team in Europe that is still unbeaten both in Champions League and domestic play.

  9. Al17 says:

    I knew should have ignored this last week but nooooo….ooo.

    There is no way in hell that Marseille should have been considered. They have underachieved in a big way this season and their defense is quite porous. Hoffenheim should definitely be higher and are much better side than Villa – sounds like I’m bashing the EPL but aside from the big 5 in the EPL, the drop off is embarrasing. EPL is a like the SPL when it comes to parity except on a larger scale. Thank goodness the quality of the Big 5 isn’t on par with the SPL. Come to think of it, Juventus and Lyon should have a better ranking than Villa.

  10. RK says:

    Marseille is 2nd in Ligue 1 — that accounts for something.

  11. Ives says:

    A117, fair point about Villa. Juve and Lyon should have been ahead of them, and are now. I was overrating Villa a bit, but its win against Ajax in UEFA Cup wasn’t exactly a gimme, and it’s record was good in the EPL. I get that you think the EPL stinks but that’s your opinion.

    Also, what’s your beef with Marseille? They’re in second place in France and have one loss. Should they be doing better? Probably, but they are still a quality side.

  12. mikeK says:

    Ives- I certainly don’t have to remind you of Celtic’s record at Parkhead. The classic route to the final 16 that Celtic takes is 3 wins and 3 losses, 3 wins at Parkhead, losses everywhere else.

    Need I remind you of a certain team that went into Glasgow and came home empty handed named Manchester United? Sure, a draw at Old Trafford is respectable, but a win at Celtic holds just as much weight, given the history.

    It’s not easy to play in front of thousands of Irishmen singing “You’ll never walk alone.” Meanwhile, it’s easy to play in front of a bunch of prawn eaters at Old Trafford.

    That said, Celtic’s options for both Villareal and Man U are devistated by injuries to Samaras and Jan Vennegoor. They’d do well to get a draw and parachute in to the cup.

  13. Amy says:

    Does anybody else thing that Xavi looks like Ted Mosby from the show How I Met Your Mother?

  14. Jake Wright says:

    Who on Earth are Les Cules? They’re either Los Culés (Spanish) or Els Culés (Catalan). But els blaugrana are easily the best team in Europe.

  15. Jake Wright says:

    Meant the blaugrana. The.

    /blush.

  16. eric says:

    Oh come on, Barca isn’t that good. I mean, they only got 4 goals this weekend. They’re supposed to score 5 every week!

  17. Danny says:

    lol at sporting being on top of benfica…we beat them 2-0 and were in front of them in the table…dont give me that CL excuse Ives

  18. thumpjosh says:

    boooo 90067! buy some ad space somewhere.

  19. mig says:

    For those saying that Villareal’s defense is leaky, they HAVE only allowed 8 goals in 9 games and 4 came in one game. I think if they have problems so far, it is surprisingly on the attack. 17 goals ain’t no powerhouse and again, 4 came in one game.

  20. mig says:

    Barca is not a proven quantity to me yet.

    Numancia 17th

    Santander 15th

    Gijon 12th

    Betis 16th

    Espanyol 10th

    Atl. Madrid 6th

    Bilbao 19th

    Almeria 11th

    Malaga 8th

    And the Atl. Madrid game was at home. Tough to be a big believer given that schedule? It’s like Arsenal’s starting schedule. AND their CL group is rather weak.

  21. celtic1888 says:

    celtic should be top 25,theyve been playing quite well lately

    how about hoffenheim?what a year they have been having