Time flies when you're having fun and that's exactly what happened during the month of January. The Bundesliga returned and didn't disappoint last weekend as Bayern maintaned their league dominance, all while Serie A title hopefuls Juventus and Napoli stayed red hot. With Feburary just around the corner, we take a close look at where Europe's finest stand before the winter transfer deadline in this week's Power Rankings extravaganza. -- FOXSoccer.com's Thomas Hautmann, Alberto Moreno and Charles Ventura.
Getty ImagesRoss Kinnaird
Missing the cut
Reasoning: Borussia Dortmund came out of the Bundesliga winter break flying, going on the road and dominating a dangerous Borussia Moenchengladbach side. Benfica, though they still trail Lisbon rivals Sporting in the Primeira Liga by two points, have won nine straight games in all competitions, outscoring opponents 27-5. As impressive as both clubs are, there's simply no room for them in our list. Better luck next week.
10. Leicester City (Premier League)
Premier League record: 13-8-2. // Next opponent: vs. Liverpool (Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET). Last week's rank: Tenth. // Reasoning: Just when you thought they were down, they simply get back up. The Foxes bounced back from their FA Cup setback against Tottenham with a commanding 3-0 victory over Stoke City last Saturday. With a brutal schedule on the horizon against title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal, the Premier League leaders will surely use the FA Cup weekend break to recharge their batteries.
Getty ImagesMichael Regan
9. Arsenal (Premier League)
Premier League record: 13-5-5. // Next opponent: vs. Burnley (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET on FS1). // Last week's rank: Sixth. // Reasoning: A loss to city rivals Chelsea would always be tough to stomach for an Arsenal fan, but this season, with the Blues closer to the relegation zone than the title hunt, it’s much, much worse than that. Winless in their last three now, Arsene Wenger’s men must show a championship-worthy response in their next couple of games -- at home to Burnley in the FA Cup and then Southampton three days later.
AFP/Getty ImagesBEN STANSALL
8. Manchester City (Premier League)
Premier League record: 13-5-5. // Next opponent: at Aston Villa (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET). // Last week's rank: Ninth. // Reasoning: City’s dramatic League Cup triumph came with a sour note after midfield starlet Kevin De Bruyne ruptured his ankle and knee ligaments in the semifinal win over Everton. The news is a definite blow but it's no time to sulk. Manuel Pellegrini who must now look for alternatives in his attacking third as Man City prepares for a demanding slate which will see them play three matches in eight days.
AFP/Getty ImagesOLI SCARFF
7. Atletico Madrid (La Liga)
La Liga record: 15-3-3. // Next opponent: at Barcelona (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET). // Last week's rank: Fourth. // Reasoning: Atletico are heading into their big clash against Barcelona coming off a rare three-game winless streak. The good news? They can reclaim the La Liga throne with a win at the Camp Nou. The bad news? Los Colchoneros have just one win in their last 17 meetings versus the Catalans.
AFP/Getty ImagesJAVIER SORIANO
6. Napoli (Serie A)
Serie A record: 14-5-2. // Next opponent: vs. Empoli (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET). Last week's rank: Eighth. // Reasoning: The Serie A leaders shrugged off a home loss to Inter in the Coppa Italia last week by winning a wild one at Sampdoria at the weekend. That victory made it five straight in the league to keep second-place Juventus at bay, and 12 wins out of 15 games in all competitions.
AFP/Getty ImagesMARCO BERTORELLO
5. Juventus (Serie A)
Serie A record: 13-3-4. // Next opponent: vs. Roma (Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET). Last week's rank: Seventh. // Reasoning: Make that eleven straight Serie A wins and nine straight in all competitions for the Old Lady. Getting better seemingly every week, Juventus held off Roma at home last weekend before putting one leg in the Coppa Italia final with a 3-0 first-leg victory over Inter. Can anyone stop these guys?
Getty ImagesMarco Luzzani
4. Real Madrid (La Liga)
La Liga record: 13-5-3. // Next opponent: vs. Espanyol (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET). // Last week's rank: Fifth. // Reasoning: Los Merengues have shown newly found vigor under Zinedine Zidane, despite only salvaging a draw against Real Betis last weekend. A win over Espanyol at the Bernabeu, where Real have lost just once all season, would see them close in on at least one of either Barcelona or Atletico Madrid, who face each other at the Camp Nou.
Getty ImagesGonzalo Arroyo Moreno
3. Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1)
Ligue 1 record: 19-3-0. // Next opponent: at Saint-Etienne (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET). // Last week's rank: Third. // Reasoning: With a draw or a win at Stade Geoffroy Guichard, the Parisians will match the record for the longest unbeaten run in Ligue 1 history (32 games), set by Nantes in 1995. Led by the in-form Angel di Maria and prolific Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG look primed to not only to equal Nantes’ feat, but demolish it.
Getty ImagesJean Catuffe
2. Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)
Bundesliga record: 17-1-1. // Next opponent: vs. Hoffenheim (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET on FS+). Last week's ranking: Second. // Reasoning: A pair of Robert Lewandowski goals vs Hamburg ensured Bayern a clean start to the Rueckrunde – and tied him with Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Bundesliga’s top scorer race. Losing Jerome Boateng for the next three months, however, is a huge blow to a team whose mantra this year is Champions League or bust.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesStuart Franklin
1. Barcelona (La Liga)
La Liga record: 15-3-2. // Next opponent: vs. Atletico Madrid (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET). // Last week's rank: First. // Reasoning: Winners of seven straight and unbeaten in their last 25 games (all comps), Barcelona now have a huge opportunity to separate themselves from the pack in La Liga with a home tilt vs second-place Atletico. Their recent record vs Los Colchoneros is scary good, having won each of the past five meetings and losing just once in their last 17.