The World Cup is on the horizon, but there’s still plenty of club football to plough through before we get there (a message I’m sure managers will be drilling into their players’ heads).

There are some big movers in this week’s power rankings, while two teams have entered the top ten for the first time in what is surely the highpoint of their respective seasons.

Let’s tuck in…

Erik ten Hag

United had a great week / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Erik ten Hag’s stock is sky-high.

He oversaw Manchester United’s enthralling 2-0 win against Tottenham, metaphorically bodied Cristiano Ronaldo and then saw his team claim a 96th-minute equaliser at Chelsea in the space of three days.

The Red Devils are back.

AC MIlan v AC Monza - Serie A

One happy man / Stefano Guidi/GettyImages

No team has dipped in and out of this season’s power rankings as much as AC Milan. Welcome back, lads.

Stefano Pioli’s boys have won four on the spin in Serie A and are now three points off the summit again. Ignore their European form, which will surely see them drop out of the top ten once more.

Sheraldo Becker

Are the wheels falling off? / Lars Baron/GettyImages

Why did you have to do it, Union? Why did you have to go and lose to *checks notes* Bochum???

The spritely side from Berlin are still in the top ten and still top of the Bundesliga but German giants will be smelling blood. Speaking of which…

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Serge Gnabry, Benjamin Pavard

Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting is on fire (seriously) / Markus Gilliar – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Bayern Munich have now won their last four games and are unbeaten in seven.

Tic tac, Union.

Miguel Almiron

Are you watching, Jack Grealish? / Julian Finney/GettyImages

The only thing that’s stopped Newcastle from having an unbeaten season to this point is a 98th-minute goal from Liverpool’s Fabio Carvalho.

Well, Eddie Howe, you may dodge important political questions but I have to say – you coach a good football team.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Pedro Gonzalez 'Pedri'

Marc-Andre ter Stegen has kept nine clean sheets in 11 La Liga games / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

After disappointing results against Inter and Real Madrid, Barcelona responded in some style.

The Blaugrana thrashed Villarreal 3-0 before inflicting similar misery on the returning Ernesto Valverde and his Athletic Club side, who left Camp Nou on the end of a 4-0 hiding.

Erling Haaland

Big scoring freak scores goals / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

Erling Haaland’s goal drought is over.

After going one game without scoring, he netted twice in Manchester City’s 3-1 win at home to Brighton.

He now has 17 Premier League goals and is six off the tally needed to win last season’s Golden Boot. The clocks haven’t even gone back yet.

Gabriel Jesus

Arsenal stumbled on Sunday / Robin Jones/GettyImages

What do you mean Arsenal didn’t win?

What do you mean they drew to one of the most hopeless teams in the division?

What do you mean Stuart Armstrong scored???

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema was awarded the Ballon d’Or last week / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Real Madrid’s record for the season now reads as: P16, W14, D2, L0.

The champions of Europe just keep on rolling, while they now possess the reigning Ballon d’Or holder in Karim Benzema and Yashin Trophy winner in Thibaut Courtois.

Can anyone stop Los Blancos?

Victor Osimhen, Gianluca Gaetano

Victor Osimhen scored a winner vs Roma / Paolo Bruno/GettyImages

Exciting football? Check. Fun, young talent? Check? Big statement win? Check.

I, for one, welcome European football’s new Napoli overlords.


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