Soccer Power Rankings: Manchester City jumps Ronaldo and Juventus while Messi and Barcelona also slip
Nobody is playing better than Pep Guardiola's team right now
Arsenal's "Invincibles" were born back in the 2003-04 season. The miraculous Gunners won the Premier League over Chelsea by 11 points and in the process finished the league season undefeated. It was an unbelievable season where the club allowed just 26 goals in 28 games, finishing with a 26-12-0 record. That squad was loaded with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and others, and the team produced a lovely, speedy style of play that was simply unstoppable domestically.
Fast-forward to the 2018-19 Premier League season and we have three teams without a loss in mid-November. Manchester City sits at first with 10 wins in 12 matches, Liverpool is not far behind with nine in 12, and Chelsea is third at 8-4-0. We are nearly a third of the way into the league calendar, so it's time to start wondering if any of these contenders have what it takes to finish the season undefeated. Let's rank their chances of finishing the season with a big fat zero in the loss column.
1. Manchester City
This is an easy one. It's simply because this team has been so dominant and has depth unlike any other team in England. While Manchester United is bringing guys like Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard off the bench, City regularly has guys like Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan, starters for most teams in the world, come in and change games if for some reason the first hour or so hasn't gone right.
That depth is incredibly crucial in those matches where some key players are injured, and City is the team best prepared to squeak out those wins or draws, especially on the road. Another important factor not to be overlooked is the brilliance in the final third with short passes, those efforts that open up looks on frame like Sergio Aguero's goal on Sunday. City has arguably the most loaded squad in Europe and could really finish this league season undefeated.
The Blues are much less likely to do this, but they are better prepared than Liverpool because of the midfield brilliance from Jorginho and N'Golo Kante. Their physicality in the middle and the ability to quickly push the ball forward on the counter is massive. If you aren't scoring much, you are OK to get a result if you are sound defensively, and it all starts in the middle. It also helps having the second-best goal differential in all of the Premier League, but the inconsistency from the striker position means it probably won't happen.
It's close between Liverpool and Chelsea, but we know historically Liverpool is a tournament team more than it is a league team. It's hard to really calculate why, but this club is always more of a contender in knockout competitions. Even with hot starts, it feels like it is only a matter a time before there is some slip-up that takes this team out of the title race. With all that said, it wouldn't be all that surprising if this Liverpool team continued undefeated as it has been greatly boosted by the arrival of Alisson, but don't expect anything close, especially with the focus being to get out of the Champions League group right now.
And now, our latest power rankings.
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.
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World Club Soccer Power Rankings
Manchester City (ENG)
|Took care of rival Manchester United and nobody is playing better at the moment. This team has put together some near-perfect performances as of late. David Silva is still a superstar.|
|Wojciech Szczesny didn't look the part against Manchester United midweek. Going from Gianluigi Buffon to Szczesny is like moving from Juventus to Reggiana.|
|Perfect in the league, but so-so in continental play. That's been the story for years now. |
|Good news? Lionel Messi returned from a broken arm. Bad news? The team lost to Real Betis at home. Nothing to be concerned about, though. It happens.|
|The Reds returned to form over the weekend after an uncharacteristic night at Red Star in the Champions League. They're still better than most Premier League teams.|
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
|Really rolling. This could be the season it topples Bayern in the Bundesliga. Jadon Sancho may be the next big thing.|
|A draw at home to Wolves won't put a blemish on what this team has been able to accomplish in approximately the past two months. It's unbelievable that this team has gone 16 games without losing.|
|Still undefeated in the Premier League, but the draws are starting to add up.|
|Another weekend Serie A game, another win for Napoli. The trend of playing well in Serie A play continues.|
Bayern Munich (GER)
|It's November, and Bayern Munich is in fifth place in the Bundesliga. Bizarro world.|
Atletico Madrid (ESP)
|Two big wins, and Diego Simeone's team is still, somehow, under the radar. That's just how they like it.|
|Stephen El Shaarawy has been playing well, and his quality play means a lot for this team's depth. Still probably not good enough to finish top two in Serie A.|
Inter Milan (ITA)
|How does the blue side of Milan follow up some fine results as of late? By conceding four at Atalanta, of course.|
River Plate (ARG)
|Good 2-2 draw at Boca in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores. A shame for them the away goals don't hold more value. Still slight favorite in the second leg.|
|Four wins in a row and looking like a strong contender to finish in the top four. Same old story.|
|Boca Juniors (ARG)|
|Too many wasted chances against River, but the team is still in a good spot to improve in the second leg and win the Copa Libertadores final. Will Cristian Pavon be healthy?|
|Tough loss at Tottenham. Looking like it will exit the Champions League early -- but hey, at least it might be able to wrap up the Dutch league early.|
Cruz Azul (MEX)
|Huge win to stay top of the table. Fans will be thrilled to see Martin Cuateruccio do something.|
|Remember Saturday's draw at Atletico Mineiro. That is the type of result that can be the difference between winning or losing the title.|
RB Leipzig (GER)
|This team has flown under the radar with a 6-4-1 start in the Bundesliga, but that 3-0 crushing of Leverkusen is a statement. The best defense in Germany at the moment.|
Club America (MEX)
|A good point picked up at Santos, and this team looks poised to make a title run, but three straight draws will create a little frustration.|
Real Madrid (ESP)
|Back into the top 25 and looking better under Santiago Solari. Still early, but his early tactical changes have worked and Karim Benzema looks revived with four goals in four games.|
Santos Laguna (MEX)
|Julio Furch continues to shine and that's not a bad point against America, but boy was this team wasteful.|
|A seven-game winning streak for Porto and rolling in the Champions League. Very manageable schedule in the coming months.|
Deportivo Alaves (ESP)
|Abelardo Fernandez has little Alaves in the top four in La Liga in November. Seven wins from 12. Unreal.|
Biggest movers: Borussia Dortmund (GER), Atletico Madrid (ESP), Boca Juniors (ARG) and River Plate (ARG).
Out of top 25: Montpellier (FRA), Internacional (BRA) and AC Milan (ITA).
Honorable mentions: Borussia Monchengladbach (GER), Racing (ARG), Young Boys (SUI) and Istanbul Basaksehir (TUR).
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