As we approach the end of October, there are 6 undefeated clubs remaining in Europe’s top 5 football leagues: 2 in La Liga (Barcelona & Valencia), 2 in Serie A (Inter & Napoli), 1 in the Premier League (Manchester City) and 1 in Ligue 1 (PSG). Here’s a bit about each team’s season so far:
FC Barcelona (La Liga)
Every season without at least a La Liga and/or the Champions League title is disappointing for Barca, as it is for Real Madrid. Barcelona only won the Copa Del Rey in 2017, and looked like huge underdogs heading into this season. However, after 9 league matches, they’ve dropped only 2 points, opening a four point lead over Valencia and 5 over Real Madrid. The only team so far able to hold off Barca were Atletico Madrid, drawing 1-1 against Los Cules in their new stadium. Lionel Messi, as expected, as been transcendent, scoring 11 goals along with 3 assists.
Internazionale FC (Serie A)
With Luciano Spalletti on the sidelines, it looks like Inter might finally be ready to put their years of struggling following the departure of Jose Mourinho behind them. The nerazzurri have won 8 of their 10 matches so far, putting them behind only Napoli. One of their two draws was against the league leaders. Mauro Icardi is leading the team in scoring with 11 goals, while young centre back Milan Skriniar of Slovakia is quickly establishing himself as one of the best young defenders in Europe.
Manchester City (Premier League)
Pep Guardiola was heavily criticized, justly or not, for his team’s results in his first season of Premier League management. This season, after 9 matches in which City have dropped just two points, there are no complaints. The only undefeated EPL team is 5 points clear of Manchester United and Tottenham, scoring 32 goals (10 more than the next most prolific side) and conceded just 4 times (tied for the best). Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling share 24 goals between them, while Kevin de Bruyne might be the league’s best player so far.
SSC Napoli (Serie A)
The Serie A leaders have dropped just two points this season – a 0-0 home draw against 2nd place Inter. They boast the best goal difference in Italy with a +22, and are enjoying the clinical finishing of Dries Mertens once more, with the Belgian forward scoring 9 goals in 10 appearances. Lorenzo Insigne has 3 goals and 4 assists.
Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1)
Despite the easy-to-spot rifts in the team between Edinson Cavani and the Brazilian contingency headed by Neymar, this seems like the least competitive case of football in Europe. Paris Saint-Germain are playing some terrific football to lead by four points, dropping wins twice in the last 5 weeks (against Montpellier and Marseille), but it’s simply impossible to envision anyone running neck and neck with them over the course of a season. Neymar has 7 goals and 5 assists, Cavani is the team’s top scorer with 9 goals.
Valencia CF (La Liga)
The Peter Lim era is finally hitting a smooth stretch, as Valencia find themselves in second place, with 6 wins in 3 draws through the first 9 matches. Scoring 25 goals, they’re playing some fantastic football this season, including a 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla in their most recent La Liga match, pleasing the Mestalla faithful. Simone Zaza has been the club’s main finisher with 8 goals, followed by Rodrigo with 5. 20-year old Goncalo Guedes of Portugal has 5 assists, and has been a revelation in midfield.