Everyone's back off their winter holidays now and all hell has broken loose. European champs Real Madrid are falling off the pace, Paris Saint-Germain are dropping points here, there and everywhere, and Bayern Munich just can't win... or lose. Oh, and Arsenal lost an actual game of football for once.
There's been a fair amount of change up and down The Sportsman's Power Rankings following the resumption of domestic competition, with Liverpool dropping out of the top 10 amidst their continuing slump and Manchester United continuing to climb as the Erik ten Hag effect takes further hold at Old Trafford.
Based on achievements over the past five seasons, with a sliding scale rewarding more recent successes most heavily, we’ve come up with an algorithm which identifies the very best teams across domestic leagues and European competition. Here are the top 40 teams in the rankings including all results up to and including January 31:
40. Club Brugge (previously 39th), Newcastle United (39th), Feyenoord (39th) - 15.000
39. Real Betis (38th) - 15.063
38. Juventus (13th) - 15.563
36. Genk (37th), Galatasaray (-) - 15.938
35. Lille (34th) - 16.313
34. Molde (-) - 16.875
33. Benfica (31st) - 19.688
32. Stade Rennais (27th) - 19.938
31. Eintracht Frankfurt (22nd) - 20.734
30. Roma (32nd) - 21.305
29. Atalanta (35th) - 21.500
27. Young Boys (28th), Slavia Prague (-) - 21.563
26. Tottenham Hotspur (26th) - 22.297
25. Lens (25th) - 22.500
24. Real Sociedad (24th) - 22.625
23. Villarreal (33rd) - 23.250
22. Monaco (29th) - 23.500
21. Lazio (30th) - 24.219
20. Union Berlin (36th) - 24.500
19. Celtic (21st) - 25.313
18. Chelsea (15th) - 26.359
17. Manchester United (20th) - 26.391
16. Red Star Belgrade (16th) - 29.063
15. Marseille (15th) - 29.375
14. Red Bull Salzburg (14th) - 30.000
13. Milan (7th) - 30.500
12. Borussia Dortmund (19th) - 31.289
11. Liverpool (8th) - 31.422
10. Atletico Madrid (12th) - 31.680
It's not been the most memorable month for Atleti - dumped out of the Copa del Rey by neighbours Real Madrid and taking seven points from 12 in La Liga - but the difficulties of Milan and Liverpool see them climb a couple of spots back into the top 10 after two months away. Their next three games are winnable but a lack of Champions League fixtures should see them fall down the rankings in March and beyond.
9. RB Leipzig (10th) - 33.469
Welcome back, Leipzig. Their World Cup break ended with a spirited 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich, then they went and battered Schalke 6-1 before beating Stuttgart 2-1. That leaves them sat just two points off leaders Bayern with plenty of legs in the Bundesliga race and a Champions League clash with fourth-ranked Manchester City to come.
8. Arsenal (9th) - 33.531
They might have been knocked out of the FA Cup, but no points are awarded for the knockout competition in the Power Rankings so the Gunners break even in January after picking up two big Premier League wins over Manchester United and Tottenham following their 0-0 draw with Newcastle. All eyes are now on their first league clash with City on February 15.
7. Napoli (6th) - 38.984
The Partenopei are now 13 clear in Italy and on the verge of making new history, having battered Juventus and latterly seen off Roma in a pivotal January run. This month they have winnable league games against Spezia, Cremonese, Sassuolo and Empoli, and they're back in Champions League action against Eintracht Frankfurt.
6. Inter (11th) - 40.000
Inter leapfrog Napoli despite being well adrift in Serie A, with their 1-0 win over the league leaders helping them to nudge their way into second. Their February slate starts with a Milan derby though, and with Porto due to visit in the Champions League the Nerazzurri have a battle on to protect their ranking.
5. Barcelona (5th) - 42.969
Remember when Barca were skint and bereft? Yeah, well, look at them now. January brought seven wins from eight and a penalty triumph in the other. They won their first trophy under Xavi Hernandez in the Supercopa final and remain top of La Liga. They're somehow expected to fit eight games into February though, so a tested squad will have to see them past Manchester United in the Europa League, Madrid in the Copa del Rey and a handful of adversaries in the league.
4. Manchester City (4th) - 50.641
Out of the League Cup and beaten by United in the Manchester derby, this could have been a month from hell for City. But their FA Cup win over Arsenal gives them renewed hope before they take on the league-leading Gunners on February 15 in the first of two pivotal Premier League meetings between the best two teams in England so far this season.
3. Paris Saint-Germain (3rd) - 53.367
No amount of 7-0 wins away to Pays de Cassel will get you shooting up The Sportsman's Power Rankings, which is bad news for a PSG side doing their best to throw away the Ligue 1 title. They've picked up just four points from 12 in the last month, leaving them just three clear of Lens and anticipating a tough ride from Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Last season their fans didn't celebrate their domestic league win with the players, and at this rate nobody will be celebrating anything in Paris this May.
2. Bayern Munich (2nd) - 56.992
'One-one... You only draw 1-1.' Bayern's renaissance after a tough start to the season has hit the buffers since returning from the winter break, with three score draws doing great things for pools fans and nothing for die Roten's hopes of an 11th consecutive title. They now have only one point on second-placed Union Berlin, leaving them in need of a big February which will also see them take on PSG.
1. Real Madrid (1st) - 58.164
Beaten at Villarreal and held by Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu, Madrid are now five points adrift of Classico rivals Barcelona having at one stage had a handy lead in La Liga. They were also beaten by the Blaugrana in the Supercopa final and have generally looked shy of their brilliant best this time last year. The one thing going for the European champions right now is that Liverpool - the team they conquered in Paris last summer and face next in the Champions League - are in even worse form.
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change