Star Power Index: Raheem Sterling is on fire for Man City, Sadio Mane is a top shelf machine for Liverpool, and more
Here's a look at the players making the most noise in the world of soccer this week
Welcome to the Soccer Star Power Index -- a close look at the players who are making the most noise on the pitch. Note: Inclusion on this list isn't necessarily a good thing. It simply means that you're capturing the soccer world's attention. It's also worth noting that this is not a list of rankings. The players listed are in no particular order as it pertains to the buzz they're generating.
Raheem Sterling could reach 10 goals in his first six games
- Key stat: 4 goals in two matches
Ever since Pep Guardiola took over at Manchester City in 2016, Raheem Sterling has been an absolutely different, world-class type of player. Everybody could see his potential at Liverpool with back-to-back seasons of double-digit goals before turning 21. His first two seasons at City saw him score 21 total goals. He's got 48 in the last two seasons and has become one of Europe's most prolific scorers, which is wild for a winger.
Sterling has four goals in just two Premier League games this season, and he is on pace for 76 goals. He's done it every single way you can imagine, and in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham this past weekend, he even did it with his head.
It's obviously unlikely he'll keep this pace up, but he is well on his way to beating the 17 league goals he scored last season. His ability to get by defenders and get a shot off quickly has been key. The team Pep Guardiola has constructed a deep squad that has helped create a ton of chances for someone like Raz. I mean, look at that swinging cross from Kevin De Bruyne above. Sterling has proven again and again these last few years that he is the type of player that needs just one chance to score. City has Bournemouth, Brighton, Norwich and Watford up next -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free). There's a chance he could have close to 10 goals just six games into the campaign.
Sadio Mane has a habit of going top shelf
- Key stat: 3 goals in 3 appearances (2 starts)
Sadio Mane has a knack for going top corner. It's almost as if it's his new signature shot. He did it against his former team Southampton this past weekend and again earlier in the week against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup, where he scored twice. On a team where Mohamed Salah gets all of the attention in the final third, remember that he finished just one-goal shy of Salah's 27 goals last season.
The key for him has been his ability to create just a little bit of space to get a shot off, as you'll see here, finishing with a defender closing down:
Mane is the Reds' top goal scorer thus far with three and is the only player with multiple goals. Playing along unselfish players like Salah and Roberto Firmino, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see him reach 30 goals this season in all competitions.
Is Luka Jovic being squeezed out already at Real Madrid?
- Key stat: 1 appearance, 9 minutes played
So much for a hot start to his Real Madrid career. After blowing up at Eintracht Frankfurt on loan last season from Benfica, the Serbian international got his big-money move to the Bernabeu in the summer to be the future No. 9. The current No. 9 still seems to belong to Karim Benzema, however. Jovic played just nine minutes in the 3-1 season-opening win over Celta Vigo. Benzema got the start with Vinicius Jr. and Gareth Bale, with the last two combining on the first goal. Zidane has stuck to his 4-3-3 formation, and Jovic has even been linked with a potential loan to Inter Milan according to Corrire dello Sport, which is crazy to think because he hasn't even been given the chance to prove his worth in matches. As we've seen with Zidane and Bale, the manager isn't afraid to just blacklist a player he doesn't trust, but if he does that with Jovic and sends him out on loan now or in January, many will rightfully start to question why they even went after him in the first place.
The former MLS manager will become the first coach to manage a team in the Champions League...
Here's a look at who is rising and who is falling
The Reds are 5-0-0 to start the season
The Brazilian heard boos for much of the match
It's a rematch of the Copa del Rey final from May in which Barca lost to Los Che
The Brazilian made quite the impact off the bench for the first-place Reds