Power Rankings: Bayern Munich throne rocking after each passing week
Borussia Dortmund (Last week: Ten)
It was between Manchester City and the Germans for the tenth spot, but it goes to Dortmund for one simple reason: they beat both our top two teams this month. A win at Leverkusen this weekend will clinch second place in the Bundesliga, and leave Jurgen Klopp with three weeks’ time to focus on the German Cup final against Bayern.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesDennis Grombkowski
Juventus (Last week: Seventh)
Juve are inching closer to ther third straight title after an eight-year drought. Relegation-threatened Sassuolo will put up a fight, however, so a victory there could be tricky if Antonio Conte prefers to rest some of his stars for the do-or-die bout against Benfica in the Europa League next week.
Getty ImagesClaudio Villa
Benfica (Last week: Not ranked)
After being crowned Portuguese champions with two games to spare, Benfica got a huge late goal from Lima for a 2-1 win over Juventus on Thursday. A draw at the Juventus Stadium would now be enough to reach their second straight Europa League final, to be held at the same site. Only Fiorentina, Real Madrid and Galatasaray have been able to snag a result here all year long.
Getty ImagesJamie McDonald
Paris Saint-Germain (Last week: Ninth)
Edinson Cavani scored two goals in the French League Cup final to help PSG to another domestic double and a consoling end to their season. The Uruguayan star may also have spiked the interest of several suitors for his services, as Cavani has been said to want away from playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer.
Getty ImagesJohn Berry
Barcelona (Last week: Sixth)
The news of former manager Tito Vilanova’s death paralyzed the soccer community Friday, and adds tragedy to the list of adversities the club was hit with this season. Gone too soon at age 45, Vilanova will forever be remembered for his influence on Barcelona’s most celebrated generation.
AFP/Getty ImagesJOSEP LAGO
Chelsea (Last week: Fifth)
After Sunderland shattered Chelsea’s Premier League aspirations last weekend, Jose Mourinho may opt to field a weaker team against Liverpool, knowing the Champions League is his best chance at a trophy. Still, expect the Blues to do everything in their power to steal a win at Anfield, even if it involves parking a large motor vehicle in the vicinity of the goal area again.
Getty ImagesJamie McDonald
Liverpool (Last week: Fourth)
Should Liverpool beat Chelsea on Sunday, the FA can start tying red ribbons on the Premier League trophy. A win would leave the Reds four points away from sealing the title, even if Man City win all four of their remaining games. And with Petr Cech and John Terry out, Chelsea will miss two key men in stopping Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
Getty ImagesMichael Regan
Atletico Madrid (Last week: Third)
Diego Simeone’s men weren’t too frustrated following the goalless draw to Chelsea, knowing a goal at Stamford Bridge would back Chelsea, whose issues on offense are well documented, into a corner against their own stout defense. The Blues have the advantage at home, but Los Colchoneros must still like their chances with Diego Costa leading the line.
Getty ImagesGonzalo Arroyo Moreno
Bayern Munich (Last week: First)
To get past Madrid now and advance to their fourth Champions League final in five years, Bayern will need to get more from their key players, especially their best. Franck Ribery hasn’t been right for weeks, and with Real doing a good job doubling Arjen Robben on the right, it’s up to the UEFA Player of the Year -- or Mario Goetze in his place -- to ask more questions on the left.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesMartin Rose
Real Madrid (Last week: Second)
Neither Gareth Bale nor Cristiano Ronaldo were at full strength on Wednesday and Real still beat Bayern, 1-0. What can they do together on the pitch in Munich come Tuesday? One away goal could be enough, but if Carlo Ancelotti opts for a more offensive gameplan, Real could leave themselves open to a dogged Bayern team.