Soccer Power Rankings: Chelsea, Real Madrid, Arsenal in desperate need of positive results during pivotal week


It could be a make-or-break week for a host of teams, especially those in the Premier League. Three matches in one week could see a huge shift in the table, and there is plenty on the line. Before European competition picks back up, who can find that stability to carry them as we enter the final third of the season?

Here are three teams who have the most on the line this week:

1. Chelsea

Not only are there places in the table on the line, but jobs are possibly on the line as well. The Blues play Tottenham and Fulham, and anything short of a point against Spurs and a win on the weekend could mean the end to the Maurizio Sarri’s era. Chelsea has really struggled to find consistency, especially in attack. But they can get back on track this week after losing the EFL Cup final to Manchester City on Sunday. 

2. Real Madrid

So Real Madrid’s schedule this week is Barcelona on Wednesday and Barca again on Sunday. Two Clasicos (both available streaming on fuboTV), one in the Copa del Rey semifinals and the other in the league. No game is more important than Wednesday’s in the CDR. A 0-0 draw or a victory will be enough to move on to the final, where the winner of Valencia-Real Betis awaits. Two losses could be fatal blows to their hopes of winning a trophy this season. 

3. Arsenal

After that crazy start to the season where the Gunners went months without a loss, they have be grounded a bit after a few rough showings. But now the team is gelling again. With Bournemouth and Tottenham on the schedule, six points would likely allow them to grab a stronghold in the top four. But anything less than four points will almost certainly see them drop out of the top four by the time the weekend’s over. 


How the rankings work

We list the top 25 teams in the world based on recent form. The teams playing the best soccer — in their respective leagues and in international competitions — will be considered. Quality of the opponents will also be taken into an account, but above all, the most important factors are recent results and overall standings in competitions.

World Club Soccer Power Rankings

Previous rankings: Feb. 18 | Feb. 11 Feb. 4 | Jan. 28 | Jan. 21 | Jan. 14 | Jan. 7 | Jan. 1 | Dec. 24 | Dec. 18 | Dec 10 | Dec 3 | Nov. 26 | Nov. 12 | Nov. 5 | Oct. 30 | Oct. 23 | Oct. 10 | Oct. 3 | Sept. 26 | Sept. 17 | Sept. 4 | Aug. 28 | Aug. 23 | Aug. 15 | Preseason rankings  

TEAM CHG ANALYSIS

1. Barcelona (ESP)

What Lionel Messi did against Sevilla was nothing short of ridiculous. It was him at his best, and when that happens it’s hard to find a team that can beat Barca.

2. Manchester City (ENG)

Another trophy and just a point back in the Premier League. Add the fact that the team is in the driver’s seat to advance in the FA Cup and the Champions League, and this squad could realistically win three or four trophies this season.

3. Liverpool (ENG)

Not a bad point against Manchester United, but this team feels like it has lost a bit of it’s early season luster. It’s time to buckle down and get some results in the coming weeks. If not, City will jump them and they’ll be out of UCL.

4. PSG (FRA)

+1 Six wins in a row and awaiting Neymar’s return. And we all know about the attack, but that defense has only conceded one goal during the dominant streak. 

5. Bayern Munich (GER)

+1 Right on the heels of Borussia Dortmund, and now it feels like only a matter of time until they are back in first. Niko Kovac has his team gelling and the sky is the limit. So much young talent.

6. Juventus (ITA)

-2

Really rough showing at Atletico Madrid. Didn’t do well with Atleti’s pressure and now have their backs against the wall. Not convinced they’ll be able to pull off the comeback.

7. Atletico Madrid (ESP)

+1

What a result against Juventus. Never, ever doubt Diego Simeone. One of the world’s very best managers and the perfect fit in the Spanish capital. As consistent as they come.

8. Manchester United (ENG)

-1

Had the chance to beat Liverpool, but the injuries were too much. Now we have to wait and see if these injuries potentially derail a promising season.

9. Real Madrid (ESP)

Huge week for Los Blancos. Two games against rival Barcelona, and none more important than Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal second leg. It’s Real’s best chance at a trophy.

10. Borussia Dortmund (GER)

+1

Without Jadon Sancho, this team would be in trouble. He’s keeping them in first place, but they have to be feeling the pressure from Bayern. 

11. Tottenham (ENG)

-1

Horrible result at Burnley on Saturday. But thanks to Liverpool’s draw, they are still in the title race. A long shot, but you’ve got to dream.

12. Arsenal (ENG)

+3

Unai Emery has his team in the top four once again, and they’ll take on Spurs this weekend. Fending off Manchester United won’t be easy, but they have a fighter’s chance.

13. Porto (POR)

+1

Aside from that UCL loss to Roma, Porto hasn’t lost a game in regulation since Oct. 7. Four points clear in the Primeira Liga, Porto has conceded just 12 goals in 23 league games.

14. Chelsea (ENG)  

-2

That Kepa vs. Maurizio Sarri incident on Sunday was so strange. And it sums up the currently situation at the club — lack of connectivity. 

15. Lille (FRA)

-2

Two straight draws sees Lille still five-points clear of third place in Ligue 1. Still one of the surprises of the season and looking like a lock to make the Champions League. 
16. Napoli (ITA)

Five clean sheets in their last six games, and next up is Juventus on Sunday. Probably out of the title race already, but a win against Juve can keep the dream live. Anything short, and it’s over. 

17. Benfica (POR)

Did well to draw at home against Galatasaray and advance in the Europa…

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