Soccer Power Rankings top 25: Juventus in top five ahead of Champions League match with Atletico Madird; Ajax soars

Everybody loves the underdog… unless you are the favorite that gets knocked off. But last week’s Champions League saw four underdogs go through to the quarterfinals in Ajax, Tottenham, Manchester United and Porto. Four more will try to join them this week in Schalke (down 3-2 to Manchester City), Atletico Madrid (up 2-0) over Juventus, Liverpool (0-0 against Bayern Munich) and Lyon (0-0 against Barcelona). So let’s rank them in most likely to move on. You can watch all of this week’s UCL action on fuboTV (Try for free). 

1.  Atletico Madrid: With a two-goal advantage and a dominant defense, you can argue this team is now the favorite in the tie but was initially viewed as the underdog against Cristiano Ronaldo and company. Just one goal would force Juve to score three, but this team’s chances are looking good.

2. Liverpool: The club’s attacking ability and experience in the cup should help them, and they can definitely go on the road and get a draw with goals to advance. But recent form makes Bayern the favorite. They’ll need to dig deep, but they can do this. Sunday’s win will give them confidence. 

3. Lyon: Not conceding in the first leg gives them life, and Barca has shown it can stumble. They may need two goals to stand a chance, but this team can do it. Watch out on the set pieces in attack, because they have the size needed to surprise. 

4. Schalke: It almost feels like there is next to no chance they pull this off. After all, Schalke is in the relegation battle in Germany and lost the first leg. If they pull this off, Man. City would never be able to live it down. There’s just not enough there in attack. 

How the rankings work

We list the top 25 teams in the world based on recent form. The teams playing the best soccer — in their respective leagues and in international competitions — will be considered. Quality of the opponents will also be taken into an account, but above all, the most important factors are recent results and overall standings in competitions.

World Club Soccer Power Rankings

Previous rankings: March 4 | Feb. 25 | Feb. 18 | Feb. 11 Feb. 4 | Jan. 28 | Jan. 21 | Jan. 14 | Jan. 7 | Jan. 1 | Dec. 24 | Dec. 18 | Dec 10 | Dec 3 | Nov. 26 | Nov. 12 | Nov. 5 Oct. 30 Oct. 23 | Oct. 10 | Oct. 3 | Sept. 26 | Sept. 17 | Sept. 4 | Aug. 28 Aug. 23 | Aug. 15 | Preseason rankings     



Barcelona (ESP)

Still killing it in La Liga, but they must not overlook Lyon. Huge week for Ernesto Valverde’s team. 

Manchester City (ENG)

Raheem Sterling is on fire and it’s hard to see how this team doesn’t win the Premier League at this point.

Bayern Munich (GER)

Eleven goals in the last two games and back into first place in the Bundesliga. Next, Liverpool in UCL. 


Liverpool (ENG)

This team has certainly fizzled but what a chance to make a massive statement at Bayern Munich this week. Pressure is on. 


Juventus (ITA)

+1 Make or break week for the Italian club. Either beat Atletico Madrid in UCL or render your season a failure by mid-March. 


Atletico Madrid (ESP)


A 2-0 lead at Juve is far from safe, but Diego Simeone will be confident. The defense hasn’t conceded in the last five games.


Manchester United (ENG)


It’s hard to explain how this team got past PSG in UCL. Who cares about the Arsenal loss, they are alive in and well because of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 




PSG has failed to succeed in Europe. It doesn’t seem to matter what year you read this. Brutal for Neymar and company.


Arsenal (ENG)

The Gunners follow up a 3-1 loss at Rennes with a 2-0 win over red-hot Manchester United. Go figure. 


Ajax (NED)


What a dream week for this young side. Dominating Real Madrid keeps their European dreams alive. Feels like the good old days. 


Tottenham (ENG)

Into the final eight of the Champions League isn’t very Tottenham-like. Losing at Southampton in the Premier League is.      


Porto (POR)


What a performance to eliminate Roma. Their coach, Sergio Conceicao, is making waves and other clubs will come calling.


Chelsea (ENG)

Where in the world would this team be without Eden Hazard? Probably the bottom half of the Premier League and not in any cups. One of the world’s best. 


Borussia Dortmund (GER)


They may be level with Bayern in the league, but it really feels they don’t stand a chance. Too many mistakes at the back. 


Benfica (POR)

The last time Benfica lost a league game was Jan. 2. The clear favorite to win over Porto with their rival still in UCL. 


Wolves (ENG)


Raul Jimenez is up to 13 Premier League goals, and it feels like Wolves now have to take up the buy option from Benfica. He’s been crucial.


Lille (FRA)


The one team in Europe nobody is talking about but should be. Hazard’s former club has won 17 of 28 games in Ligue 1 and should be in the Champions League next season.


Napoli (ITA)


The race in Serie A is over now. The draw at Sassuolo has the Neopolitan club 18 points back. Still a good season, but focus now must shift to Europa League. 


Watford (ENG)


Can’t blame them too much for getting handled by Manchester City. Still having an amazing season by their standards. 



Boy has this team been near perfect as it goes in search of the Eredivisie title. Twenty-five matches, with 20 wins, four draws and just a loss. Ajax match on March 31 could be title decider. 

AC Milan (ITA)


The Rossoneri are now within striking distance of second place in Serie A. This team hasn’t lost a league game in nearly three months. What a run.


Real Madrid (ESP)


Well, talk about a nightmare week. It’s ground zero for this team. New talent, new coach and new leadership. They’ll probably only get the first two.


Getafe (ESP)


To think Getafe could be in the Champions League next season is what makes this sport so wonderful. But the job not even close to being done. Huge game at Valencia next week.

Lyon (FRA)


If Lyon saw Barca’s game with Rayo, they’ll know going on the counter will be key. Expect Memphis Depay to sit out wide and wait for his chance. 


RB Leipzig (GER)


Poor draw against Augsburg. Sixteen shot and no goals. It was just one of those frustrating nights. 

Biggest movers:
Real Madrid and Ajax 
Out of top 25: Roma
Honorable mentions: Valencia (ESP), Sevilla (ESP) and Borussia Monchengladbach (GER)

Categories: National Sports

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