An American's Premier League Power Rankings: Week 7.
The impossible finally happened, Newcastle managed a draw. Chelsea and Manchester City duked it out, and Crystal Palace managed to keep it close for three or four minutes before stumbling further down the road. All of it and much much more gets covered on this weeks rankings.
20.Crystal Palace. (No Change)
As evidenced by the photo of a sad group of Palace fans heading this weeks rankings things aren't looking great for Palace. Look, I don't want to act as if the entire season is lost and Palace might as well pack it up for the year. However, I feel like it can't be understated how poorly things are going for Palace right now. Top-flight English football has been played since the 1880's. That is a very long time. Countless teams have come and gone and not a single one has ever started like Palace, so at least they are making history right? Seven games, seven losses, and no goals is historically bad.
To be fair to Palace it's hard to judge how and if they are improving over the past few games because they have had to duke it out with the Manchester Juggernauts. A match against Chelsea after the international break hardly makes things easier looking forward. Surely, one single goal is around the corner...right?
19. Bournemouth. (No Change)
A 0-0 draw against an all over the map Leicester City team is not the result Bournemouth needed if they wanted out of the relegation zone. Bournemouth quite simply put doesn't look good. Hopefully the international break can allow for the squad to refocus, improve, and tackle the next chunk of the season in a far more productive manner. They play Tottenham after the break, so it doesn't look great, but for their sake I hope so.
18. Swansea City. (-2)
Oh hey. It's just me saying yet again that Swansea City better start scoring more goals soon if they want to go anywhere. A 0-1 loss to West Ham didn't help Swansea at all and they remain the lowest scoring team in the entire Premier League after woeful Palace.
If anything Swansea seems to be playing worse of late. As with Bournemouth hopefully they come back from the international break rejuvenated because a home match against Huddersfield awaits, it's a game that could afford them the chance for a point.
17. Everton. (-3)
Everton has the second worst goal differential in the entire league, ranking behind only Palace. They have allowed the third most goals. They have four losses already after just seven games. Quite simply they are a mess. A big dysfunctional mess that doesn't seem to be righting the ship at all. There has without question been no more disappointing squad in the Premiership, the early season hopes of finishing in the top six now just seem like fanciful delusions.
There is so much they have to fix that I honestly am not sure where to start first. An away game against Brighton in two weeks time is a matchup that could go a long way in deciding both teams relegation chances. Just...Jesus Everton.
16. Leicester City. (-1)
Yet again I come before you and say that Leicester is the highest scoring team outside the top eight. Yet, again I come before you and say that Leicester has failed to live up to potential. The inability of the Foxes to beat lowly Bournemouth is a discouraging indictment of the team at large. At the same time though, they constantly seem to step up and seriously challenge good quality teams. The points left on the board against Bournemouth could come back to haunt Leicester down the road. For now, it is yet another result that should have gone differently and another reminder that Leicester needs to start actually winning some of these games.
They take on West Brom at home in two weeks in what is likely to be a challenging, tough, but winnable matchup. They'd do good to achieve the full three points.
15. Brighton. (-3)
A 0-2 road loss to Arsenal at the Emirates is hardly something to be embrassed about for the newly promoted Brighton. It's the way they lost though and their reactions to events that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Brighton's roller coaster, up and down season continued and perhaps few squads could better use the extra week to recalibrate and take a deep breath to figure out where their going.
Just as with Leicester there are flashes of something special here. Unlike with Leicester, Brighton hasn't proved itself on this big of a stage. I will very closely be watching their match against Everton to see how Brighton reacts to the loss and some of the criticism they've received. I do not believe this is a relegation team, they should start acting like it now.
14. West Ham. (+4)
Make no mistake the Londoners are making quite a turnaround here. Grabbing seven points out of their last four matches is no small feat. Even more so when their lone loss came in a hard fought 2-3 defeat to the Harry Kane led Hotspurs. I believe in West Ham, I really do, they have the look and feel of a team that is going to be fighting and battling it out for the full 90 minutes every week. Two wins, a draw, and a loss is something to build off of and because of that run of results West Ham now finds itself a few spaces clear of relegation. They are still allowing too many goals( the most after Palace) but things do appear to be looking up with three clean sheets in their last four games. There's hope here, there's potential here.
They play Burnly next, if they can manage to snag a point there then West Ham will make quite the statement.
13. Southhampton. (-2)
Losing to Stoke at the bet365 stadium is no cause for alarm. Yet, the Saints are trending in the wrong direction with back to back losses and having picked up just four points in their last five games. Worse still is the goal scoring problems they have encountered, with the Saints managing just two over those five games. Their defense isn't really a problem though, the seven goals allowed places them in the top seven, yet if nobody's scoring then it's all for not.
They have a big home game against Newcastle after the international break. Both teams feature some impressive defenses and it seems safe to bet on a low-scoring tough battle between the two, it won't be the easiest chance for a win but it's increasingly becoming a necessary time for one.
12. Huddersfield. (-3)
Huddersfield got slammed by Kane and company as Tottenham smashed four past them in a rout that was never all that close. It is indicative of a larger downward slide for Huddersfield. With just three points managed in their last five games the Terriers suddenly see themselves falling further and further down the table. They have managed just one goal during this five game stretch and coughed up seven. They haven't won a game since an August 20th match against Newcastle, a game and result that seems like years ago.
Only four teams have scored fewer goals then Huddersfield and their apparent idea to just end every game in a 0-0 draw, something they have managed TWICE during the past five games seems to be a failed idea to make progress. They tackle a Swansea City team who similarly can't find the back of the net in two weeks and it nows looms on the schedule as a big opportunity for Huddersfield to get it's first win in nearly two months.
11. Stoke City. (+6)
No team has perhaps been a bigger roller coaster of emotions for me then Stoke. After their 2-2 draw against United I was so impressed and wowed by the performance that I was calling Stoke a sleeper team of the Premier League. Fastforward two weeks later and Stoke is now reeling after consecutive losses to Newcastle and Chelsea. They appeared to have hit a peak against United and were performing worse and worse.
Now, after a throughly impressive victory over fellow mid-table contender Southhampton, Stoke appears to have righted things at least somewhat. Manager Mark Hughes has led his team on this fitful, start and stop journey and now must head to Manchester to take on City. Hopefully they can match the result they managed against United.
10. West Brom (+3)
A 2-2 draw against Watford is a nice result for West Brom that helps to lift the club into the top half of the table. West Brom has been remarkably consistent this season sporting a record of 2-3-2. They may never seem dangerous but after the opening seven games now it is far to call West Brom and the start they've managed, one that has the ability to match up against most of the Premier League.
They travel to Leicester to take on the Foxes after the international break and must be favored to at least grab a point.
9. Newcastle (+1)
Newcastle stood toe to toe with Liverpool and looked the better for it. Whereas all the stories about Jurgen Kloops side after the match will be about their disappointing start to the season, fans of the Magpies can sit around and be happy with the knowledge that their newly promoted side currently has 10 points, three wins, and an increasingly good looking set of results.
Newcastle has thus far allowed fewer goals then all but four teams, and increasingly looks like a real threat. They play to win, as evidenced by the lone and newly acquired draw that they have. They are sharp, quick, and very impressive at times, they are none of those things at others, but they play to win regardless.
They take on a Southhampton team next in a match that could be a very interesting test for both mid-tier clubs.
8. Watford. (-1)
Watford is one of only six teams that have managed a single loss or less at the moment. They stand tall with 12 points and have to be among the big surprises of the season so far. The road draw against West Brom is a very respectable result and Watford should be more then happy with how their season has started. The season is about to get far tougher though as they next play host to a surging Arsenal side before taking on Chelsea at home.
7. Liverpool (-2)
The drama surrounding Liverpool has only intensified in the wake of their failure to put away Newcastle. Their attacking, highly enjoyable style of football has led them to become the fourth highest scoring team and a delight to watch. Liverpool however has also allowed the second most goals and sports the worst goal differential of any top seven team. Their defense only allowed one goal in their game against Newcastle but the Reds still haven't managed to snag a clean sheet since their demolition of Arsenal a game that seems like a lifetime ago and that sent the two clubs rocketing down very different and unexpected paths.
Coming up after the international break is a massive showdown between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield. The stakes are huge for both sides, particularly Liverpool as they try and pull themselves out of this disappointing run and re-establish their credentials as a legitimate top four team.
6. Burnly (+2)
I mentioned last week how Burnly had gone four straight games without a loss but only managed one win, while acknowledging those draws were against some pretty good clubs(Tottenham, Liverpool, Huddersfield) I stated how they needed to start winning some games. Burnly responded in kind by winning 1-0 against Everton in a game that was never really as close as the score might suggest. Now riding a five game unbeaten streak and sitting just one point outside the top five Burnly has to be the biggest heartwarming story in the Premier League right now. They are a joy to watch at times. The excitement, the skill on display. This is a real team, a real contender. They can push their run even further with a home match against West Ham after the break.
5. Chelsea (-2)
Losing Morata 30 minutes into their heavily anticipated match against City was a blow that Chelsea never really overcame. They hung on and played a really fantastic at times first half of football, but after halftime the team just wasn't the same and largely stuck to hanging on for dear life as City relentlessly attacked again and again until they finally broke though. Still, a 1-0 loss against possibly the leagues best team is not a dreadful blow, particularly with your star forward injured for much of it. Chelsea doesn't seem to be playing it's best football in the league at the moment.
Luckily for them though they get the break and then a match against Palace to get back into the winning formula. The three points should be a foregone conclusion.
4. Arsenal (+2)
Wenger's side continues it's steady climb up the table as the Gunners are surging of late. Arsenal is red hot at the moment. Since their loss to Liverpool, Arsene Wenger's team hasn't lost a single game in any competition. An unbeaten run that has now reached seven games.
Suddenly they find themselves one of the most impressive and feared teams in England. A match against Watford after the break is a key matchup to further extend the streak and build off the success they've built since the last break.
3. Tottenham (+1)
Harry Kane is a very good footballer y'all. As Kane continues his goal-scoring assault, he currently sits one off the lead despite not scoring once during the entire month of August, Tottenham has roared to life, yet a little discussed aspect of the club is their defense which has only allowed five goals so far this season, tied for third in case you were wondering.
Tottenham looks impressive, genuine, and like not just a top four threat but a real contender to stop the Manchester domination of the title race. They return from the break with a home match against bottom feeder Bournemouth. It provides ample opportunity to both push forward their points total and finally break their Premier League Wembley curse.
2. Manchester United (No Change)
United's 4-0 trashing of Palace was about the least shocking result of the week, but it was still a through and impressive showing by Mourinho's boys and one that coupled with their 4-0 Champions League victory proved a nice bounce back after their lackluster win against Southhampton last week.
A matchup against Liverpool at Anfield after the break is the first major test of just how deep, talented, and worthy of a title challenger United actually is. I expect a banger of a game between the two, with each having something to prove.
1. Manchester City (No Change)
City is a very good and very deep squad y'all. I don't really know what else to say. Beating Chelsea, particularly their play in the second half is an emphatic statement of City's intent to dominate things this year. The gauntlet has been thrown down. They are the best team in England at the moment. United's game against Liverpool in two weeks time will go a long way in showing how close or how far away City's competition is to it.