Pitchside Europe

Power Rankings: Leverkusen hit form

Andre Schuerrle and Stefan Kiessling celebrate Leverkusen's winnerIt was a good week for Bayer Leverkusen in our European Power Rankings as they cemented second place in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win over Nuremberg.

Bayer finished runners-up to Borussia Dortmund in 2011 but had to be content with the Europa League after a disappointing fifth-placed finish last season, not to mention a disastrous Champions League campaign.

But things have got better under new boss Sami Hyypia, who has overseen a return to form domestically and in Europe.

Indeed, Bayer are faring better than defending champions Dortmund in the sense that they are able to balance domestic and continental duties, although BvB have admittedly managed to top a ridiculously tough Champions League group.

The 1-0 win over Nuremberg means Leverkusen are three points clear of third-placed Dortmund, who were held to an entertaining draw by runaway leaders Bayern Munich. Order, it seems, has been restored for now.

That result combines neatly with Bayer's qualification from Europa League Group K, leading to a four-point surge that makes them our movers of the week.

Otherwise, there is little change of note, although Paris Saint-Germain's relative inconsistency sees them drop three places to the verge of a top-20 exit. Lyon are the main beneficiaries of PSG's malaise.

HOW IT WORKS

To determine our Power Rankings, we use the Euro Club Index, which scientifically analyses hundreds of thousands of matches from the top divisions in all European nations as well as Europa League and Champions League games.

The Index takes into account all matches played over an eight-year period but with recent results carrying more weight than older ones.

The performance of a league's teams in the Champions League and Europa League reflects the rise or fall of the sporting level in that league.

So, for example, if English teams perform well in Europe, all Premier League teams receive a small bonus in their ECI score. The ranking and its predictive power are thus made even more accurate.

European Power Rankings w/c Dec 3 2012