Opta Power Rankings: Highest Risers and Fallers
Using our Opta Power Rankings we’re able to judge which of Europe’s biggest clubs have enjoyed a good week and which of those have suffered a week to forget. Or in other words, who’s hot and who’s not.
Here, we look at the highest risers and fallers of note across the last seven days.
14 February 2023
You win some, you lose some. Confusingly this week saw Toulouse win some. Their two competitive wins across the week have seen the mid-table Ligue 1 club rise 23 places in the Opta Power Rankings over the last seven days: more than any other side in the top five European leagues.
After beating Reims 3-1 in the last 16 of the Coupe de France last Wednesday, they defeated yet another team placed higher in them in the Ligue 1 table on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over European contenders Rennes at Stadium TFC.
Toulouse have started 2023 on fire, winning eight of their 10 competitive matches this year and losing just once – an away defeat to Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain. There’s just nine points separating them and the top five in the table with 15 games remaining in 2022-23, plus a potential Coupe de France trophy now that they are in the quarter-finals. Keep up this form and they have a shout.
Hertha Berlin also had a great week, rising 22 places in the Opta Power Rankings thanks to an impressive – and much-needed – league win over Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend. Hertha benefitted from poor results by teams placed around them in the rankings to see such a rise from a single game, but they won’t care. After four successive Bundesliga defeats to kick off the new year, this win was vital in their battle against relegation and gave the blue and white half of the city some joy during a season that they’ve been overshadowed by city rivals Union Berlin, who are currently in second in the Bundesliga.
Of the 20 Premier League clubs, it was Leicester City who enjoyed the biggest rise in the rankings over the last seven days. Before this weekend, opponents Spurs were ranked as the 15th best team in the world based on the Opta Power Rankings, with the Foxes in 46th place. Brendan Rodgers team laughed in the face of these rankings, however, hammering Spurs 4-1 at home on Saturday in the English top-flight.
The honour of being the biggest losers in the Opta Power Rankings over the last seven days belongs to Ligue 1 side Auxerre, who fell 34 places this week.
Their midweek defeat to bottom-placed Ligue 2 club Rodez in the Coupe de France is the main reason behind this fall, with Auxerre in 351st place in the Opta Power Rankings ahead of the game and their lower league opponents all the way down in 1010th. Auxerre lost the game 3-2 despite being at home, then followed it up with a 1-1 away draw at the only team below them in the Ligue 1 table, Angers, this weekend.
As for Rodez, they rose 73 places overall in the Power Rankings this week and are now placed 937th – one place above Egyptian Premier League club Al Ittihad Alexandria Club. That’s the real quiz.
7 February 2023
This weekend saw some surprise results across the top five European leagues, arguably none more unexpected than Elche’s 3-1 home win over high-flying Villarreal in LaLiga.
Elche fans have had little to cheer about in 2022-23 so far, with just six league points on the board coming into this weekend and cast adrift at the bottom of the Spanish top-flight table. Their opponents Villarreal were fifth in the table before their trip to the south-east of Spain and would have been confident of picking up the points against the only winless side still left in LaLiga this season. But Elche and their winger Pere Milla had other ideas.
Milla opened the scoring after just three minutes and was to add two penalties later in the game to score his first top-flight career hat-trick. That victory saw Elche climb 28 places in the Opta Power Rankings, which is the highest rise of any top five European club across the last seven days. That’s the good news… the bad news is that they are still the lowest ranked LaLiga team in the rankings (194th).
Elche’s win means that there is only one team still winless across the top five European leagues in 2022-23 – Italian side Cremonese. Despite a 2-0 defeat at the weekend in Serie A to Lecce (who themselves have seen a 19-place rise in the Opta Power Rankings across the last seven days), Cremonese enjoyed an exceptional Coppa Italia quarter-final win away at Roma last Wednesday to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 1987.
The highest risers in the Premier League across the last seven days were Everton, who ended a winless run of eight games (D2 L6) with an exceptional 1-0 home win over league-leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park. The match saw new manager Sean Dyche take charge of Everton for the first time, and they’ll be hoping for more joy on the next Premier League matchday when they come up against rivals Liverpool.
It’s been a bad week for French side Troyes. Seven goals conceded in back-to-back Ligue 1 defeats against mid-table Toulouse (4-1) and Lyon (3-1) have seen Troyes fall 30 places in the Opta Power Rankings across the last seven days. Troyes have the leakiest defence in Ligue 1 this season with 48 goals conceded and now find themselves only a point above the relegation zone, with those three teams in the drop zone the only one’s below them in the Opta Power Rankings (236th).
Montpellier are another Ligue 1 side who’ve suffered two defeats across the last seven days, but with one of those coming away at Paris Saint-Germain, it’s had much less impact on their Opta Power Ranking than the two losses suffered by Troyes.
The biggest fallers in the Premier League over the last seven days have been Southampton. Since Nathan Jones took over the south coast side on 10 November, no side have won fewer points than they have in the English top-flight (three), while they’ve won more cup games against Premier League opposition (two) than they have league games (one).
A 3-0 away defeat to Brentford led to a bizarre post-match press conference from Jones, with pressure building on the former Luton Town manager to turn things around quickly as they now find themselves two points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table and three points from safety.
Enjoy this? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive five stories each Friday. It’s free. Also, follow us on Twitter.