There has been a lot of club football already this season. It’s getting a bit tiring for us watching it, let alone those playing.
With the first international break of the campaign upon us, now’s as good a time as ever to resurrect 90min’s definitive power rankings!
Here are our picks for the ten best form teams in Europe heading into the September break…
Pre-season expectations: Gian Piero Gasperini getting fed up
Early season reality: Gian Piero Gasperini lives on
The title race in Serie A looks set to be one of the most entertaining in years, and Atalanta head into the international break joint-top of the league.
After a disappointing draw at home to Cremonese last week, Gasperini’s men bounced back with a seismic win at Roma. With no European fixtures this season, La Dea could be right in that title fight.
Pre-season expectations: Quite modest, probably
Early season reality: Wir gewinnen die liga, jungs!
And the Bundesliga leaders heading into October will be…*checks notes*… not Bayern Munich?!
Be warned, Union Berlin. You can’t keep your status as a hipster team if you actually go on to win trophies. Choose your legacy wisely.
Pre-season expectations: Dark horse title contenders
Early season reality: The COYS are back in town
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham were about four minutes away from an unbeaten opening to the campaign that stretched into the international break. Then they collapsed against Sporting CP for some reason.
A 6-2 tonking of Leicester City, largely thanks to a Son Heung-min hat-trick, means that Spurs just about squeak back into the top ten.
Pre-season expectations: A special episode of ‘Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away’
Early season reality: Robert Lewandowski in the ‘How do you do, fellow kids?’ meme
Well, Barcelona, you may have mortgaged your future just to make some middle-of-the-road signings, but your start to the season has at least been very impressive.
The only real blot on your record was the loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Have you considered not letting Die Roten pull your pants down for once?
Pre-season expectations: Goal Machine scores goals
Early season reality: Goal Machine scores goals
I’m not one to overreact, but Erling Haaland might be the best player of all time.
Manchester City’s defence has been a bit wobbly, but that won’t really matter if their big Norwegian is scoring seven times a game.
Pre-season expectations: All hail King Mbappe
Early season reality: All hail Kings Neymar & Lionel Messi
A lot of focus heading into the season was on sporting director/talisman Mbappe’s role in leading PSG forward, but the resurgence of Messi and Neymar have made that more of the subplot in the French capital.
Christophe Galtier has got Les Parisiens playing some scintillating stuff. Considering PSG nearly knocked Real Madrid out of last season’s Champions League even with two of their three star forwards misfiring, they could be a force on the continent again.
Pre-season expectations: Does anyone outside of Napoli really have strong feelings about Napoli?
Early season reality: I guess they do now
We’re still a good few months away from Napoli’s annual collapse, so for now we can enjoy what Luciano Spalletti is building.
Gli Azzurri remain unbeaten and have already picked up statement wins against Liverpool and Milan, while the emergence of Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has been one of the more exciting storylines in Italy.
Pre-season expectations: Transfer window winners
Early season reality: Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, EFL Cup winners
Arsenal have responded to their collapse at the end of last season in pretty much the best possible fashion, rolling their way to seven victories from eight games in all competitions and topping the Premier League table.
Mikel Arteta’s men face a huge test of their title credentials after the international break when they host Tottenham in the north London derby.
Pre-season expectations: Win the league? What more do you want from them?
Early season reality: Thanks for the Darwin Nunez money, Liverpool
Benfica have played 13 games so far this term.
They’ve won all 13 of them.
They also beat Paul Ince’s Reading in pre-season for good measure.
Pre-season expectations: Another double, por favor
Early season reality: Gracias
Real Madrid too have won every game they’ve played this season (though are yet to face Reading), and as the reigning kings of Europe, that helps them take top spot in these rankings.
Can anyone stop Los Blancos?