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Start as you mean to go on: Europe's unbeatables

Published: Thursday 21 November 2013, 9.17CET
Ten clubs return from the international break still unbeaten after three months of their domestic season: UEFA.com gets the inside line on the brightest starters of 2013/14.

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Published: Thursday 21 November 2013, 9.17CET

Start as you mean to go on: Europe's unbeatables

Ten clubs return from the international break still unbeaten after three months of their domestic season: UEFA.com gets the inside line on the brightest starters of 2013/14.

AC Sparta Praha (CZE) P14 W11 D3 L0
Sparta's 120th anniversary season started with a disappointing UEFA Europa League second qualifying round exit at the hands of BK Häcken, but Vítězslav Lavička's men have vented their frustration on the Czech First League. They have won seven out of seven at home and a draw at SK Sigma Olomouc in their most recent game was a letdown by comparison. Lavička, though, was just happy to keep rolling, saying: "We are glad we have kept our unbeaten streak going, even if we wanted to win."

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) P13 W9 D4 L0
Determined not to surrender their crown to big-spending AS Monaco FC, Paris have set a punishing pace in France's Ligue 1, their Zlatan Ibrahimović-Edinson Cavani strike force taking them four points clear at the top of the table. "For the moment, everything is going very well," said the Swede following their latest league fixture, a 3-1 victory against OGC Nice. "We are playing well and staying focused."

FC Bayern München (GER) P12 W10 D2 L0
Only SC Freiburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have held the champions this term, meaning Bayern have now gone 37 Bundesliga matches without defeat – in addition to winning their last nine UEFA Champions League games. That latter run includes May's final triumph against Borussia Dortmund, the side that will be hoping to stop the Bavarians in their tracks when Germany's top two meet on Saturday.

Olympiacos FC (GRE) P11 W10 D1 L0
The Piraeus outfit have a six-point lead over second-placed PAOK FC and, having beaten their nearest rivals 4-0 last time out, are well set for a 41st Greek title. Míchel's charges are averaging better than three goals a game while shipping just three, but have some way to go to break the all-time scoring record of 102 they set in 1973/74 and the best defensive record of 13 goals conceded from a season earlier. "It's like building a house," Míchel said. "At first you see the ground and set the foundations, but can't imagine how it will look when the windows are put in. I am beginning to see the windows."

AS Roma (ITA) P12 W10 D2 L0
The first team ever to win their opening ten matches of a Serie A campaign, Rudi Garcia's Roma went slightly off the boil with back-to-back draws against Torino FC and US Sassuolo Calcio. "When you don't kill games off these things happen," said Garcia after Sassuolo scored an added-time equaliser, only the third goal the Giallorossi have let in in 12 games. "However, we are calm because we know we will win a lot of games playing like this."

Hibernians FC (MLT) P11 W9 D2 L0
Hibernians began with seven consecutive victories before being denied a record-equalling eighth in a 2-2 draw with the club who set that benchmark – Sliema Wanderers FC. Key to the Paola side's success has been new coach Branko Nisević, who took over at the end of May. The 42-year-old Serbian is determined to steer Hibernians to their first Maltese championship since 2008/09 after they were pipped by Birkirkara FC last term.

FC Porto (POR) P9 W7 D2 L0
Having claimed the 2012/13 Portuguese title without defeat, dropping points in just six draws along the way, Porto have picked up where they left off. They are now unbeaten in 52 Liga outings since succumbing 3-1 to Gil Vicente FC on 29 January 2012, and have not lost a Liga home game in five years. "Here the commitment towards victory is permanent," said coach Paulo Fonseca during the summer. "In this house, we breathe victory. Here we either win or we win."

FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU) P11 W9 D2 L0
Ten goals in all competitions from summer signing Federico Piovaccari have helped Romanian champions Steaua make a flying start as they seek a 25th league crown. They are level on points with FC Astra at the top of the table, yet have two games in hand, with coach Laurențiu Reghecampf having set high targets for the UEFA Champions League contenders. "Our mission is title No25 and the Romanian Cup," he said. Right now, it is hard to imagine them failing.

Celtic FC (SCO) P12 W9 D3 L0
Celtic's 12-match unbeaten start in Scotland's top flight is their best since 2003/04 when Martin O'Neill's team drew on the opening day before chalking up 25 straight victories. Current boss Neil Lennon says that was the best Celtic side he played in and he is happy to have survived the first quarter this time without losing a game. "We're on a decent unbeaten run and want to maintain that," said Lennon. "It's not a massive record at the minute but it's there to be preserved."

FC Barcelona (ESP) P13 W12 D1 L0
A new coach with a slight variation on style and injuries to Lionel Messi have failed to distract Barcelona from the goal of retaining their Spanish Liga crown. At times accused of being more workmanlike than spectacular, the Blaugrana have been no less efficient in terms of results, the leaders surpassing their best opening to a domestic campaign under Gerardo Martino. They are the division's top scorers with 38 goals from 13 games and have the tightest defence, being breached just eight times.

Last updated: 03/12/13 19.43CET

Related information

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/news/newsid=2023872.html#start+mean+europes+unbeatables

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