Champions League is back in contention, and Europe’s best are all vying to knock Real Madrid off their perch as top dog on the continent. Here are our initial power ranking after the first round of Champions League fixtures, based on performances both in the tournament and domestically.
Arsenal lost their league opener to Liverpool, but haven't seen defeat since. They're still settling in as a unit though, and they were bad against PSG. Like, really bad. But for the first time in a long time, Arsenal go into a season with a full complement of quality players and options at every position. Now Arsene Wenger just has to put it all together.
PSG got themselves a brand new coach, plus they lost Zlatan. They completely dominated Arsenal, but Edinson Cavani looks like it’s going to take a few months in a yurt in the middle of Mongolia for him to rediscover the scoring ruthlessness he had at Napoli. Still though, they’ve got an incredible squad, and if Cavani can tuck away just half the chances he creates for himself, they’re going to be dangerous.
Napoli are undefeated in Serie A, and their new man Arkadiusz Milik has four goals in four games, including a brace against a resilient Dynamo Kyiv. Manager Maurizio Sarri is a fantastic tactician, and he’s got Napoli playing beautifully. They might not win Champions League, but they’ll definitely be fun to watch.
Dortmund are the ultimate boom-or-bust team. They’ve lost to Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig so far this year, but they also have two Bundesliga wins. Then they went and smashed Legia Warsaw 6-0 on the opening day of UCL play. They’ve got more attacking options than they know what to do with, and if they can figure out that whole defense thing too, they’re going to be even more scary.
Atleti are undefeated to start the season, but they’ve still drawn two matches in La Liga already. They got an important win against PSV on the opening day of Champions League though, and they’re coached by Diego Simeone. That spells danger for everyone involved.
Juve had a big summer of change, but they’ve started this season brightly so far. They’re perfect in Serie A after three, but couldn’t keep that streak of wins going as they hosted a cautious Sevilla, drawing 0-0. This team is built for a serious Champions League challenge though, and they’re going to be dangerous once all their pieces have settled in.
What a difference a manager (and £100m+ on transfers) makes. Pep Guardiola already has them humming and it’s only a few weeks into the season. City look dangerous both in England and in their limited Champions League action so far, and most importantly? Kun Aguero is healthy (for now) and firing.
The defending champs have their star man back in Ronaldo, and he was the one that helped them to victory over his old club, Sporting Lisbon. Madrid are undefeated so far this season and so far they look good and ready to mount another UCL challenge.
Barcelona had a blip against Alaves over the weekend, but then they went and put up a touchdown on Celtic. Their humiliation of the Bhoys and the 20 goals they’ve already scored this season cement their place right up against Bayern in the initial power rankings.
Bayern haven’t lost, drawn, or even conceded a goal yet this year. They’ve scored 20. The Carlo Ancelotti era is well and truly underway, and they’ve begun their Champions League assault with a 5-0 shellacking of Rostov. This is a team to be feared.