Champions League power rankings: Man City look unbeatable, boss in last chance saloon, Gunners with it all to do

The Champions League returns over the next two weeks with the round of 16 second leg ties.

Big guns and Manchester City and Real Madrid look well poised, while UK bookmakers have Arsenal as third favourtites ahead of Bayern Munich, PSG and Barcelona despite their 1-0 loss in the first leg against Porto.

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But how do we see the teams ranked from 1-16 in terms of their power rankings halfway through the tie?

1.Manchester City

The title holders will take some stopping again and are set to cruise into the last eight after beating Copenhagen 3-1 away in the first leg. They are coming off an impressive win by the same scoreline in the Manchester derby on Sunday – where Phil Foden continued his rise as a world class wide player.

That was a 17th victory of a 19-game unbeaten run across all competitions a win over Copenhagen will see them become the third team in UCL history to win 10 straight games.

2.Real Madrid

Los Blancos have won Europe’s top club trophy 14 times and their pedigree and form means they are the main challengers to City. Sitting top of La Liga by seven points, Real have been given a jolt of energy by Jude Bellingham this season and the Englishman returns after missing the first leg 1-0 away win over RB Leipzig. Since that tight affair Real have won one of three La Liga games with two draws.

3. Inter Milan

Last hear’s beaten finalists hold a slender 1-0 lead against Atletico Madrid but could well have been out of sight after the opening match.

Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic squandered a hat-trick of chances before he finally managed to squeeze home a winner. Although the better team against a pragmatic Atleti, Inter have it all to do in Madrid.

4. Paris Saint-Germain

PSG had to weather a storm from Real Sociedad in the opening leg in Paris before sealing a 2-0 win that leaves them on top in their tie. Considering the French club’s UCL round of 16 ‘curse’, perhaps No.4 is giving them too much credit, but when Kylian Mbappe fires anything seems possible. He broke the dealock in the opening match before Bradley Barcola added a second to give PSG breathing space.

The team’s unity has been questioned, especially in the context of Mbappe’s impending move to Real Madrid st the end of the season.

5. Arsenal

The Gunners suffered an injury time gut punch in Porto but their home form in the Premier League suggests they are every chance of turning it around after conceding a wonder goal to Wenderson Galeno in Portugal.

Mikel Arteta’s team has hit good goal scoring form in recent weeks and their home run in the UCL was sparkling so far in their return after seven years out of the competition.

They were strangely quiet in the first leg, though. It was the first time Arsenal failed to have a shot on goal in a Champions League match since a 3-1 loss to Barcelona in March 2011.

David Raya of Arsenal controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 first leg match between FC Porto and Arsenal FC at Estadio do Dragao on February 21, 2024 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Diogo Cardoso/Getty Images)

6. Barcelona

This is a Barca team showing some signs of fragility and they won’t be helped by the loss through injury of star duo Pedri and Frenki De Jong for the visit of Napoli. The teams played out a 1-1 draw in Italy with big name strikers standing out as Robert Lewandowski’s opener was cancelled out by Victor Osimhen’s equaliser

7. Napoli

The Italian league champions have began to hit form since their draw to Barca – beating Sassuolo and Juventus in their past two games.

It was a curious performance in the opening match by Napoli. They showed little urgency, even after the Lewandowski opener, and the equaliser came against the run of play as Osimhen brilliantly outmuscled Iñigo Martínez before turning and finding the bottom corner.

8. Atletico Madrid

Diego Simone’s typically pragmatic approach to the opening leg kept the Madrid team in the contest and they will give themselves every chance of overturing the 1-0 deficit to Inter. Simeone has a worry over the fitness of star striker Antoine Griezmann, who missed a 3-0 Cop del Rey defeat to Athletic Bilbao on the weekend with an ankle injury.

9. Borussia Dortmund

The Germans took a 1-0 lead at PSV before they were pegged back in the first leg. Former PSV star Donyell Malen scored a superb goal against his former side but a controversial penalty saw them pegged back.

10. Porto

Porto played defensively against Arsenal in their first leg tie and it paid off when they snatched a victory fright at the death. With Arsenal in strong scoring form, Porto will need to be resilient again to withstand waves of attack at the Emirates.

11. Bayern Munich

The pressure continues to mount on Bayern head coach Thomas Tuchel, who by all reports could be sacked if the team fails to overcome the deficit to Lazio They’ve fallen ten points behind Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and their UCL performances have lacked customary venom.

The six-time European winners failed to register any of their 17 shots on target – the worst record by any team in the Champions League since records began in 2003-04.

Thomas Tuchel. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

12. Lazio

Ciro Immobile converted the only goal of the game from the penalty spot midway through the second half of the first leg win over Bayern Munich after Dayot Upamecano was sent off for a late challenge on Gustav Isaksen.

Lazio are ninth in Serie A, closer in points to the relegation zone than the top of the league, but stuck to their gameplan and are firmly in the hunt for a first Champions League quarter-final in 24 years.

13. RB Leipzig

The Germans were far from embarrassed by Real Madrid but face a tough ask in Spain where Jude Bellingham returns. Their task is made harder with the absence of key defender Lukas Klostermann while Mohamed Simakan serving a ban following yellow card accumulation.

14. PSV

The Dutch team have been impressive in their domestic league and were good value for their home point against Dortmund, although the penalty decision against Mats Hummels, converted by Luuk de Jong, was fortunate.

In de Jong, Johan Bakayoko, Guus Til and Yorbe Vertessen, they have some worthy proponents of manager Peter Bosz’s high pressing and high intensity footbal.

15. Real Sociedad

The Spaniards are seventh in La Liga and 26 points off Real Madrid’s pace and this looks too far back for them after a resilient opening 58 minutes in the first leg against PSG came to naught. The second Paris goal was a major blow.

Momentum is not on Real Sociedad’s side: they have lost their last three matches.

16. Copenhagen

The Danish team will need an upset of massive proportions. They have never won away from home against English opposition in European competition, haven’t won an away Champions League away game since December 2016, and were beaten 5-0 the Etihad in October 2022.

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