Aston Villa’s World Ranking
“Aston Villa FC, are by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen,” we know all know the words of the song, which spells out the reality of football’s pecking order. However, let’s take off those claret and blue glasses for a moment and ask ourselves: where does Villa actually rank among the world’s best football teams?
Well, the short answer is that, according to the current Opta Power Rankings at the time of writing, Aston Villa is currently placed as the 25th best team in the world
What are the Opta Power rankings?
Well in Opta’s own words, it’s a global ranking system that assigns an ability score to nearly 13,500 football teams on a scale between zero and 100. These Power Rankings are updated daily and currently rank teams from 183 different countries and 413 unique domestic leagues.
The power rankings are calculated using the Elo rating system ratio, which was derived by Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-American physics professor, who sought an improved chess-rating system, with the method since going on to be used for football, basketball, baseball, American football, table tennis and beyond.
I’m not going to bore you with how the Elo rating system works in terms of football, but you can geek out and learn via the Opta site here.
Villa have a score of 88.4 out of 100, which sees them place 25th in the current table of all the world’s football teams.
The Top English Teams Ranked
1st Manchester City 100
4th Liverpool 94.2
8th Arsenal 92.8
9th Manchester United 92.3
14th Newcastle United 90.7
19th Brighton 89.3
25th Aston Villa 88.4
26th Brentford 88.2
32th Spurs 87.7
Of course, just looking at the last Premier League table will give you a pretty good insight into the state of play in terms of who’s the best English teams about. The only difference to the final Premier League table is that Opta’s Power Rankings perhaps reflects Liverpool’s improved calendar year form better.
The most interesting use of the rankings is to provide a metric to measure teams across leagues and countries. So, it’ll have its use when looking at the calibre of opponents Villa could potentially face in their Europa Conference League campaign.
Europa Conference League Threats
While Aston Villa may currently be unseeded for the Europa Conference League draw, there is an interesting possibility. If UEFA blocks Juventus from entering the tournament due to their recent punishment in Italy, Villa could potentially find themselves as the team with the highest Opta Power Ranking in the tournament.
Juventus currently place 17th in the overall table with a score of 89.9. Obviously without their 10-point deduction in Seria A, they would have been qualifying for the Champions League.
When looking at the rankings of the main teams that have qualified (below), you can see the level of the better teams in the competition are equivalent to teams in the lower half of the Premier League.
With or without Juventus’s participation, Villa will have the fresh experience of entering a tournament as one of the favourites.
Main Europa Conference League Threats
17 Juventus 89.9
24 Aston Villa 88.4
42 Eintract Frankfurt 86.5
45 Lille 86.2 (West Ham 86.3)
65 AZ 84.0 (Wolves 83.9)
74 Fenerbahçe 83.5 (Leicester City 83.4)
80 Osasuna 83.0
82 Gent 83.0
100 Club Brugge 82.1
106 Maccabi Tel Aviv 81.9 (Nottingham Forest 81.8)
145 Legia Waraszawa 79.8
151 Basel 79.4 (Southampton 79.4)
168 Dynamo Kiev 79
225 Rapid Vienna 77.0 (Same score as LA FC)
300 Rosenberg 75.6 (Luton Town 75.3)