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Power Rankings: Juventus Surge To No. 1, Real No. 2, Chelsea Drop To No. 4


Juventus look formidable of late, which is why they're leading the Power Rankings this week.

 


 February 17th, 2017  |  16:43 PM  |   616 views

ESPNFC.COM

 

We have a new top team in Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings this week! Chelsea has slipped down the charts, but they're in first place where it matters...

 

1. Juventus (+1)

 

Business as usual in Turin, then! Max Allegri's side are humming in high gear, winning six straight in all competitions and eight of their last nine. A pair of Gonzalo Higuain goals were enough to defeat Cagliari last weekend, and SPI gives them an 81 percent chance of breezing through to the Champions League quarterfinal. They're a team that nobody wants to see next on the fixture list.

 

2. Real Madrid (+1)

 

Real haven't always located top gear this season but are still a formidable side capable of turning it on when it counts. They followed up a routine 3-1 win over Osasuna last weekend by falling behind 1-0 to in-form Napoli in the Champions League, but it didn't matter. Three unanswered goals gave Zinedine Zidane's side a decent cushion ahead of the round-of-16 second leg. Los Blancos have two games in hand and a one-point lead in Spain, too. Not a bad place to be.

 

3. Bayern Munich (+2)

 

Any fears over Bayern Munich being in decline were cast aside in spectacular fashion on Wednesday night with a thrilling, freewheeling and emphatic 5-1 victory over Arsenal. Robert Lewandowski, Thiago Alcantara & Co. showed their might with a dominant second-half display. But they can also win in less dominant ways, having needed two very late goals to defeat Ingolstadt last weekend. Every victory counts, and they're holding a seven-point cushion at the top of the Bundesliga. This might not be the same side that reached epic heights under Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, but Carlo Ancelotti is doing just fine with what he's got.

 

4. Chelsea (-3)

 

Antonio Conte's side has slipped from the top of the Power Rankings, but they're still cruising serenely at the summit of the Premier League. Sunday's 1-1 draw at Burnley -- not the easiest place to play this season -- is no blip or cause for concern: Chelsea are eight points clear with 13 games left to play.

 

5. Paris Saint-Germain (new)

 

Just like Bayern, PSG are one of those giant clubs that everyone seems to think is in crisis. The fact that they're not running away with Ligue 1 -- they're three points behind Monaco -- is seen as a flaw when, really, they've got things just where they want them. Tuesday's 4-0 pasting of Barcelona showed a side in full confidence and flow, one that knows how to turn on the class when necessary. Marco Verratti bossed the midfield, and the playmaking duo of Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria made merry against a discombobulated Barca side. Unai Emery's side haven't lost since Dec. 17.

 

6. Benfica (no change)

 

Benfica are here not for their domestic exploits -- impressive as they are: top of the Primeira Liga, a point ahead of Porto, after beating Arouca 3-0 last weekend -- but for their continued success in Europe. Tuesday's 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund may have had a lot to do with the German side's wastefulness in front of goal (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a nightmare, in particular) but full credit to Rui Vitoria's side for taking their chance. Konstantinos Mitroglou poked in the game's only goal and Ederson was superb between the posts.

 

7. Monaco (no change)

 

The French league leaders are riding high after last weekend's 5-0 rout of Metz. Bernardo Silva is in fine form, Radamel Falcao has 16 goals, and Leonardo Jardim has created a stout and flexible defence to protect keeper Danijel Subasic. It's a winning formula, and after the recent 1-1 draw with PSG, it's going to take a lot to dethrone them.

 

8. AS Roma (new)

 

The Giallorossi aren't going to win Serie A anytime soon, but Luciano Spalletti is working wonders. Last weekend saw a 2-0 win over Crotone, easy stuff for a team with Europa League aspirations, and their fourth win in their last five games. Daniele De Rossi is maintaining in midfield while Edin Dzeko continues to bang in the goals: He has 18 this season, tied with Higuain for the Serie A lead. More impressive was their 4-0 rout of Villarreal in their round-of-32 first leg, with Dzeko adding a hat trick to continue his scoring tear.

 

9. Sevilla (+1)

 

A 1-0 win at Las Palmas took every ounce of Sevilla's ingenuity last weekend, but it's par for the course this season for Jorge Sampaoli's side, who manage to taste victory in seemingly every situation.

 

10. Olympiakos (-2)

 

Paulo Bento's side are running away with the Greek Super League, winning 2-0 vs. Larissa last weekend to maintain a 13-point lead at the top with 10 games remaining. But Olympiakos were unable to break down Osmanlispor in the Europa League, settling for a 0-0 home draw in the first leg. You'd still fancy them to win away from home given their form.

 


 

Source:
courtesy of ESPNFC

by SHAKA HISLOP

 

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