Benfica are staying the course to a third Europa League semifinal appearance in four years thanks to a huge, 1-0 away win at Aron Johansson’s AZ Alkmaar on Thursday. Undefeated in their last twenty-four league games (yes, they only lost their first game), Benfica are also inching to their first Portuguese title since 2010.
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Juventus (Last week: Seventh)
An unexpected source -- Leonardo Bonucci -- gave the Old Lady a late winner in Lyon to put one leg in the Europa League semifinals. And despite Juve dropping their second match of the Serie A season to Napoli, it should only be a matter of weeks before they wrap up their title defense, thanks to a cupcake schedule coming up (Livorno, Udinese, Bologna, Sassuolo).
Manchester City (Last week: Eighth)
The Citizens still have two games in hand, but the draw at Arsenal combined with Liverpool’s hot streak produces some extra pressure for the upcoming games. But if City can get through Southampton and Liverpool relatively unscathed, five of their last six opponents are in the bottom half of the league.
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Chelsea (Last week: Fifth)
There wasn’t much Jose Mourinho was happy with this week, actually, nothing at all. Crystal Palace may have knocked Chelsea out of the title race, at least for the moment. Then PSG handed the Blues their third loss in five games, and reminded Mourinho he doesn’t have any “real strikers” on his squad.
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Liverpool (last week: Ninth)
Both Robbie and ex-Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot -- who also appeared on our show this week -- agree that Liverpool is the Premier League team to watch right now. If the Reds win at West Ham on Sunday, then next week’s home match against Manchester City presents a chance to take the upper hand in the title race.
Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesJohn Powell
Paris Saint-Germain (Last week: Third)
The likely Ligue 1 repeat champs were dealt a big blow with the news of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury, but the 3-1 win over Chelsea proved there’s more to them than just the Swedish Behemoth. Holding on to that lead at Stamford Bridge (without Zlatan) next week would confirm PSG as a rising superpower in Europe.
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Atletico Madrid (Last week: Fourth)
This team just keeps on proving the doubters wrong. Even without a healthy Diego Costa, Atletico took the edge over Barcelona in the Champions League, managing to frustrate the highest-scoring offense in Europe once again. In four games this season, Barcelona have only beaten Diego Simeone’s brilliant defense twice.
Getty ImagesDavid Ramos
Real Madrid (Last week: Fifth)
On Wednesday’s postgame show, Robbie was asked who his Champions League frontrunner was, and he went with Real. With one leg in the semifinals after a 3-0 win over Dortmund, not a bad choice. Key stat: Cristiano Ronaldo tied Messi’s all-time goals mark for one Champions League campaign with his 14th. With CR7 now expected to miss time due to a knee injury, Gareth Bale and Co. will turn their effort to dosmetic matters on Saturday.
Getty ImagesClive Rose
Bayern Munich (Last week: First)
Turns out, the biggest threat to Bayern Munich in our Power Rankings this season is Robbie Keane! The unanimous No. 1 all season, Bayern were brought down to earth a bit after a rather surprising draw at Old Trafford. And without Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and Thiago for the return leg, Bayern may have something to worry about for the first time in a long time.
AFP/Getty ImagesCHRISTOF STACHE
Barcelona (Last week: Second)
Robbie believes in Barca, and really, why shouldn’t he? Since a shock loss at Valladolid in early March, Gerardo Martino’s men have been firing on all cylinders until Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Atletico, beating Man City and Real Madrid along the way. However, there’s a lot of work left to be done if Barca want some silverware this year.