Ranking Europe's Top 25 Clubs on Their Attacking Talent
The new season is getting underway across the continent, with teams once again eyeing either a shot at glory or just vast improvement from the last campaign.
Most are likely to stand and fall on the strength of their attack, as outscoring the opposition is, of course, a vital part of what they do.
Goals change games, and here are the teams who are best-equipped to score them.
25. AC Milan
They might have been hugely disappointing in the last campaign and had a pre-season to forget, but AC Milan can still boast some top forwards.
If they can get everything right at the other end, Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy, Jeremy Menez and Giampaolo Pazzini can certainly fire them to a few wins.
They might have lost the midfield creativity of Ivan Rakitic to Barcelona, but Europa League winners Sevilla still have plenty of players who can put the ball in the back of the net.
Most notably there is the Colombian forward Carlos Bacca, while in addition they can also count on Kevin Gameiro, Vitolo and new loan signing Iago Aspas from Liverpool.
23. Zenit St Petersburg
Andre Villas-Boas' Russian giants have scored 12 goals in their last two league games, and that is hardly a surprise when you consider the attacking talent they have been able to lure to St Petersburg.
In addition to Brazil's Hulk there is also the Russian goalscoring veteran Alexander Kerzhakov and Venezuelan Salomon Rondon, who previously scored goals at Malaga and Rubin Kazan.
Germany forward Mario Gomez has had an injury-hit time since arriving at Fiorentina last summer, but when he's fit he's certainly a goalscoring threat.
In addition to Gomez there's also Giuseppe Rossi, Juan Cuadrado, Joaquin and Matias Fernandez at the Viola.
21. Shakhtar Donetsk
Problems in Ukraine mean that it might not be too long before Shakhtar Donetsk's attacking talents leave the club, but for now they can boast some exciting Brazilians.
Douglas Costa, Bernard and Luiz Adriano are just three of them, and as it stands they'll look to shoot Shakhtar to a sixth straight Ukrainian title.
The permanent signing of Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea was crucial to Everton's summer, with boss Roberto Martinez seemingly basing all of his summer plans around recruiting the Belgian.
With a Europa League campaign to prepare for and the likes of Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas to support Lukaku, the Blues suddenly look well-set for the new season.
19. Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen have added Swiss forward Josep Drmic to their ranks this summer after the 22-year-old scored 17 goals in 33 games last season.
He joins the likes of Heung-Min Son, Hakan Calhanoglu and Stefan Kiessling at the BayArena, as Leverkusen attempt to reach the Champions League proper once again.
Roberto Soldado's struggles in front of goal last season were well-documented, but the resurgence of Emmanuel Adebayor at least ensured that Tottenham had a potent forward they could rely on.
Christian Eriksen, Aaron Lennon, youngster Harry Kane and perhaps even a rejuvenated Erik Lamela also offer promise ahead of the new season under Mauricio Pochettino.
In housing some of Germany's brightest young talents, Schalke have become a frequent destination for several scouts from Europe's top clubs in recent years.
Julian Draxler, Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka all contribute to the attack from various positions, while the squad also houses the much more experienced goal-getter Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Rafael Benitez's Napoli have plenty of firepower in their side and have added to it this summer by bringing in Michu on loan from Swansea City.
The Spaniard joins compatriot Jose Callejon, Belgium's Dries Mertens and, of course, World Cup finalist Gonzalo Higuain in Benitez's squad.
A couple of clever summer additions from Spain have added to Porto's attack for the new season, with Cristian Tello joining from Barcelona and Adrian Lopez from Atletico Madrid.
They join Jackson Martinez, Juan Quintero and Ricardo Quaresma in the squad as Julen Lopetegui's men look tooled up for the new campaign.
As things stand, Radamel Falcao is still a Monaco player, and so he can still give them a respectable position on this list.
The Colombian is joined in the squad by Dimitar Berbatov, Lucas Ocampos and Anthony Martial ahead of Monaco's return to the Champions League.
The veteran Francesco Totti is still going strong at 37 years old, as this pre-season chip demonstrates, and ahead of another assault on the Serie A title, the old master is joined by several attacking talents.
Gervinho, Mattia Destro, Juan Iturbe amd Adem Ljajic will all score goals in this hugely entertaining Roma side.
12. Borussia Dortmund
Marco Reus must have been devastated to miss the World Cup through injury, but he can channel that frustration into leading a Borussia Dortmund side who are now without the talents of Robert Lewandowski.
Italian Ciro Immobile has come into the squad to replace the Pole, while Jurgen Klopp's men also house the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ji Dong-Won and Adrian Ramos.
11. Atletico Madrid
It was never going to be easy for Atletico Madrid to lose the goals that walked out of the door when Diego Costa left this summer, but in Antoine Griezmann they have made a clever and impressive purchase.
Adding the Frenchman to fellow new boy Mario Mandzukic and Turkey's Arda Turan suggests that there are plenty of goals in the Spanish champions' team this season.
10. Manchester United
Their woeful campaign last season has seen Manchester United slip somewhat in these rankings, and it is going to need a good season from Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to shoot them back toward the top.
Questions over form and fitness surround both, though, but at least they've got decent deputies in Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, although freshening up the United attack might be a good idea for new boss Louis van Gaal.
The Italian champions scored 80 goals on the way to last season's Scudetto, and they've added to their attack with the purchase of forward Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid this summer.
Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba were already providing plenty of goals, though, and they are likely to do so again.
Diego Costa has arrived from Atletico Madrid to become the forward that everyone was adamant Chelsea needed last season, with Cesc Fabregas also coming in and looking likely to grab his fair share of goals too.
Fernando Torres and the returning Didier Drogba provide striking backup, but they are likely to be outscored by Eden Hazard and Oscar in a Chelsea team that will be as solid as ever under Jose Mourinho.
Arsenal are riding the crest of a wave following the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, with an impressive Community Shield win over Manchester City only whetting the appetites of Gunners fans everywhere.
Throw in Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and youngster Yaya Sanogo, and Arsene Wenger's men look set for an impressive campaign.
6. Paris Saint-Germain
Any team with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in is guaranteed to score goals, and Paris Saint-Germain will again expect to dominate in France's Ligue 1 as they look to make a mark on the European stage too.
Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Lucas Moura only add to the attacking talent, and PSG will again look to blow their opposition away this season.
Take away Luis Suarez's 31 goals and Liverpool would still have scored just one fewer than Chelsea in the Premier League last season. Even with the Uruguayan gone the Reds still possess formidable attacking prowess, which is based more on the structure of the team rather than individuals.
As this pre-season goal against Borussia Dortmund shows, quick passing is their weapon, and with Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Lazar Markovic, Rickie Lambert and probably another forward to come in, they'll be looking to hit the goal trail again this season.
4. Manchester City
Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic. That says enough doesn't it?
The most formidable attacking side in last season's Premier League scored 102 goals on their way to winning the title, and with Jovetic perhaps fitter and able to play a more convincing part in their attempts to defend the trophy this time around, yet more goals look to be on the way.
3. Bayern Munich
Seemingly not content with the vast attacking talents already at their disposal, Bayern Munich have now added Robert Lewandowski to their ranks as they bid to defend the Bundesliga crown yet again.
The excellent Pole joins Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Xherdan Shaqiri and many more in the formidable squad, one that will be desperate to reach a third Champions League final in four years this season.
It was a close fight, but Barcelona have just been nudged into second place despite being able to boast the outstanding talents of Lionel Messi, Neymar and the new but banned Luis Suarez.
Perhaps when Suarez gets up and running with his new club La Blaugrana will be able to take top spot, but while the world waits to watch him and the other two members of a stellar front three in action, they'll just have to settle for second place.
1. Real Madrid
Because following the arrival of the new and crucially available James Rodriguez, it is rivals Real Madrid who clinch the top billing as they prepare to defend their Champions League crown.
Signing the World Cup's top goalscorer isn't a bad way to do just that, and as James joins Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in the squad, Carlo Ancelotti's men appear to have the firepower to shoot down each and every team they come across this season.
It promises to be fun watching them try.
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