The 10 clubs in Europe’s top five leagues with the most points in 2022

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Jurgen Klopp celebrates Liverpool's 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Selhurst Park 23 December 2022.

Moulding a team capable of accumulating points consistently is something all clubs strive for but few succeed in their quest.

The New Year comes around midway through the football seasons in Europe, meaning it’s not representative of a fresh start many in society view it as.

By the start of January, we tend to already know whereabouts in the table a club will end up come the end of a campaign. But the New Year still represents a good marker for teams to set targets to improve.

In Europe’s top five divisions (Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A and Bundesliga), there are a few sides that have upped their game since the start of 2022.

We’ve taken a closer look at the 10 clubs who have picked up the most points in these elite leagues from the start of January to date.

1. Liverpool (28 points)

Jurgen Klopp’s side have played 10 Premier League matches in 2022. The Reds’ only dropped points in this period was a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but since then, the title challengers have gone on a nine-match winning streak in the competition.

Their most emphatic victory in this time was against Leeds United at Anfield in late February when they ran out 6-0 winners.

Liverpool’s remarkable form sees the club sit just one point adrift of current league leaders Manchester City with just nine Premier League fixtures to play.

Luis Diaz’s January arrival is a big reason why Klopp’s men have rediscovered their mojo that was sometimes missing in the early stages of the season.

2. Barcelona (26 points)

It looked like turning into a season to forget for Barcelona when Ronald Koeman was sacked by the club in late October following a forgettable 14-month stay.

Club legend Xavi Hernandez replaced the Dutch coach, and he’s started to successfully implement his ideas at his old stomping ground.

In addition to masterminding Barca’s progression in the quarter-final stage of the Europa League in 2022, the Catalans’ La Liga form has been outstanding so far this year.

Unfortunate away draws to Granada and city rivals Espanyol – Barca had a man sent off in both games – are the only two results that have prevented the club from boasting a 100 per cent 2022 La Liga winning record.

And you wouldn’t bet against Xavi’s side continuing their scintillating form after the international break. Barca’s 4-0 El Clasico demolition at the Bernabeu last time out emphasised how the club are back in business.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez issues instructions during their win over Real Madrid at Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid, March 2022.

READ: Barcelona are back: Their 4-0 Clasico mauling shows Xavi is Pep’s true heir

3. Atletico Madrid (25 points)

Diego Simeone’s side have accumulated 25 points from 10 league outings so far this year. It’s a tally that sees the 2020-21 La Liga champions occupy fourth spot in the table, level on points with Barca.

A 3-0 away triumph over Osasuna in February is Los Colchoneros’ biggest margin of victory in 2022. In typical Simeone style, his side have been content with grinding out results; a trait they showed to great effect to knock Manchester United out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage.

With Real Madrid well ahead at the summit of the table, it’s extremely unlikely Atletico will be able to catch Carlo Ancelotti’s side. But still, they’re a force to be reckoned with in Europe.

4. Juventus (25 points)

If you looked at Juventus’ league position of fourth in Serie A, you’d probably be surprised to see the Italian giants feature on this list. But their league form has markedly improved in 2022.

Juve are unbeaten in the 12 league fixtures since the beginning of January and are only seven points behind league leaders AC Milan. Although, it remains unlikely Massimiliano Allegri’s side could realistically make a late surge for the title.

5. Napoli (24 points)

Napoli were last crowned Serie A champions in 1990. But performances this season – continuing into the New Year – mean they might never have a better chance to end a 32-year quest to become kings of Italy once more.

Barring two defeats inflicted by Fiorentina and AC Milan this year, the two-time Serie A winners have hit the accelerator button at precisely the right time.

If their form continues into April and May, expect the intensity in Naples to reach boiling point.

6. AC Milan (24 points)

Milan are in pole position for their first Scudetto since 2011 after motoring away from the chasing pack in 2022.

Stefano Pioli’s side have beaten Roma, Internazionale and Napoli over recent months but the boss is preaching caution as the season enters the final stretch.

“We must not put the cart before the horse,” before Milan’s recent match with Cagliari. “Virtually we are only one point ahead of Inter, perhaps Atalanta will lose a few points.

“The traps and obstacles are still many. There are still many games, if we think too far we lose our reality of the moment. And this must not happen.

“It’s the next game that counts. For the first four (teams in the standings) the games are very open, every match is at the crossroads.”

7. RB Leipzig (23 points)

Leipzig suffered a terrible start to the 2021-22 campaign, sacking Jesse Marsch in December after defeat at Union Berlin left them languishing in 11th place.

The east German side were also eliminated in the Champions League group stages but the appointment of Domenico Tedesco has kickstarted their season.

The accumulation of 23 points in 2022 has lifted Leipzig into fourth place, with the highlights being thumping 6-1 away wins at Hertha Berlin and Greuther Furth.

The Red Bull recruitment strategy is too astute for Leipzig to fail for too long and it seems as if the Bundesliga arrivistes are back on track.

8. Borussia Dortmund (23 points)

They were second at the end of 2021 and they’re still second now but Dortmund have only suffered one Bundesliga defeat in 2022.

As befitting one of Europe’s brightest young sides, they’ve enjoyed some crushing victories – Freiburg and Monchengladbach have been on the receiving end of hidings at the Westfalenstadion – and Dortmund’s place in next season’s Champions League seems basically assured.

With Bayern Munich six points ahead, it seems inevitable that Dortmund’s attention will switch towards the future of Erling Haaland over the next few months.

9. Strasbourg (23 points)

Strasbourg are among the six teams to have played more than 2000 games in France’s top-flight and they’ve enjoyed a spectacular start to 2022.

They’ve only lost once this year – a see-saw 4-3 reverse at strugglers Bordeaux – and are currently sitting in France’s Europa Conference League spot.

Premier League clubs might turn their nose up at UEFA’s third-tier tournament but Strasbourg haven’t made the group stage of a European competition since 2005-06.

A return to continental football is overdue for one of France’s famous old clubs.

10. Rennes (21 points)

Forget PSG – Rennes are the true entertainers of Ligue 1 and they’ve successfully married style and results throughout 2022 so far.

They’re currently residing in France’s last Champions League spot – ahead of bigger clubs like Lyon, Monaco and Lille – and have enjoyed a number of statement victories since January.

The thrashings of Bordeaux and Metz were good but the 4-2 victory at Lyon, in a stadium built to host Champions League football, would have been the most satisfying for supporters of the Brittany-based club.

Rennes were desperately unlucky to lose at the Parc des Princes in February too. While a title challenge might be far-fetched – Rennes are too vulnerable to English vultures picking their best players – but their success is one of European football’s most heartwarming stories this year.


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