An American's Premier League Power Rankings: Week 6
Man City steamrolled over yet another opponent, Newcastle continued it's quest to never draw a game, and Rooney got quite the shiner. Let's dive right into the past week of Premier League action.
20. Crystal Palace. (No Change)
Ugh. I hardly even know what to say here. Six consecutive losses to open the year and without scoring a single goal, makes Palace the first team in the history of top flight football in England to achieve such a feat.That is awful. It is gut-wrenching to watch this Palace side. I don't believe that they are as terrible as these numbers seem to indicate but against Manchester City they looked simply lifeless.
An away game at Old Trafford this weekend is most definitely not what Palace needs to fix their problems. They are in the midst of a horrendous stretch of their schedule and honestly just scoring a single goal should maybe be their goal for now. Horrible to watch unfold.
19. Bournemouth. (-1)
Bournemouth was so close to securing their second win in a row, this time against a mess of an Everton side. Two late second half goals later though and Bournemouth was leaving the pitch with their fifth loss in their first six games.
A matchup against a Leicester City side who has scored the most goals of any team outside the top ten(while also allowing the second most) and in dire need of points itself promises Bournemouth a testy and important chance to grab some much needed points and begin the process of getting out of the relegation zone.
18. West Ham (-2)
So close yet so far away. After clawing itself back into the match against Tottenham on Saturday and making a serious run at drawing level, West Ham instead lost yet another game that they could have gotten points from. They were impressive looking during quite a bit of the Tottenham game and there are definitely glimmers of promise on the team but they seem incapable of sealing the deal. A match against Watford at home is gonna be key if West Ham is going to start to right the ship a bit here.
17. Stoke City. (-4)
I honestly wanted to put them even lower. Back to back losses after their draw against Manchester United is now making me question my earlier belief that this team might be a real threat. They looked absolutely horrid against Chelsea. Truthfully in some ways they may have had the single worst week of the entire Premier League(not counting Palace of course). It was an awful showing and made Stoke look totally woeful from start to finish. Mark Hughes left me encouraged after the first four games, particularly against United. Now though...
They need to do something at home against Southhampton least they drop three games in a row. It's not just that they need to score more, it's not just that they need to concede fewer, or any other one thing, it's everything. A point at home is the bare minimum that should be acceptable. A win is really what they should be aiming for.
16. Swansea City. (-2)
I said it last week and now I say it again, Swansea needs to start scoring some goals. They managed one against Watford this week but that still only gives them three on the entire year, putting them ahead of only poor Palace. They aren't conceding too many at all, the seven they've allowed puts them in the top half of the league but the three scored is looking more and more damning everyday. A road matchup against West Ham awaits Swansea this Saturday and they should look at it as an opportunity to find the back of the net against a West Ham side that's allowed the most goals so far this season.
15. Leicester City. (No Change)
Leicester may not have won this past week but they still managed to put forth arguably their best performance of the season in the thrilling match against Liverpool that easily was the weekends greatest match. Indeed there are a lot of positives for Leicester not the least the fact that they are the best scoring team outside the Top 5. They are an exciting promising bunch still capable of going toe to toe with the best. Yet, the match against Liverpool also highlighted their flaws namely their shoddy defense which has now allowed the second most goals and which seems downright woeful at times.
An away match against Bournemouth this Saturday should be viewed as a key opportunity for the Foxes to pick up some points and distance themselves away from the relegation zone.
14. Everton. (+5)
The biggest jump of any team this week.
Oh Everton were to begin. Rooney got straight clobbered in the eye bleeding everywhere, they seemed a muddled disjointed mess for much of the game, and were honestly probably the weaker side in the match, yet ultimately they won this game and picked up three crucial points. When they play well they lose badly, when they play only ok they win.
Still, a win is a win and one that Everton was in dire need of. They still have a dreadful goal differential and a match against Burnly that is hardly a layup. Yet, hopefully for Everton fans this win can be the start of something for the side.
13. West Brom. (-2)
Winning their match against Arsenal was always going to be a stretch and indeed West Brom didn't play terrible and they were arguably robbed off a penalty that could have changed the direction of the game. Still, they lost. It wasn't spectacular but it's hardly time to set fire to your hair. A very evenkeeled 2-2-2 so far this year West Brom has been remarkably level so far this year and now faces a Watford side that seems like a different team every week. A win would lift West Brom into the top half of the League, a draw would be also be good for the squad.
12. Brighton. (+5)
What a difference a week makes huh. Brighton triumphed in their matchup against Newcastle, certainly a result I did not expect and did so in a rather dominant fashion at times. The first 50 minutes or so was a rather one-sided affair and even as Newcastle came back with a fury in the last 20 minutes Brighton still managed to hang on and withstand the barrage. They certainly didn't play like a team destined for relegation Sunday.
That said an away match to the Emirates against a suddenly hot Arsenal team is hardly the match Brighton would've hoped for to try to build some momentum against. If they can mange a point that should be viewed as a victory.
11. Southhampton. (-1)
I watched Southhampton play Man United. I held my breath for what felt like the entire 90 minutes as they battled, danced, and took chances to break through and honestly, they were the far better team for most of this game. Southhampton should feel proud with how they performed against an admittedly sluggish and sloppy United side. Yet, they lost. Their inability to find the equalizer must serve as a massive disappointment after an impressive showing Saturday. They travel to the bet365 stadium this weekend to play a Stoke City side that is a bit of a mess at the moment before taking on Newcastle after the international break. Both provide opportunities to pick up points.
10. Newcastle. (-6)
The biggest fall of any team this week. Seriously though, why can't Newcastle mange a draw? Three wins and three losses after their first six games tells only a slice of the rollercoaster story of Newcastle's season. Their three game winning streak came to a shuddering halt against Brighton and Newcastle must console itself with the fact that those nine points picked up catapulted it into the top 5 for a week.
Now Newcastle must brace itself for showdowns with Liverpool and Southhampton before taking on a Crystal Palace side that hopefully will have scored a goal by then. If they can come out alright in their next two games Palace provides their easiest points for some time.
An away draw against a very solid and eerily similar stat-wise Burnly side is a good result for Huddersfield, even if they never really impressed during the game.
That said a home game against Tottenham is a tough one for Huddersfield, particularly when Spurs is so lethal on the road.
8. Burnly. (-2)
Burnly has now gone four straight games without a loss since losing to West Brom in the second week of the season. However, that streak consists of three draws and just one win. Burnly is a non power five side that I am truly impressed with and those draws all came against real contenders( Tottenham, Liverpool, and Huddersfield) yet at some point in time they are going to have to start building towards winning these games and grabbing the full three points. They aren't going to be playing Crystal Palace every week.
A road match against Everton is just such a case where Burnly should go for the win and the three points that come with it. I expect big things from them this week.
7. Watford. (+5)
Watford is the only team in the top half with a goal differential under water. They are also a team that underimpresses me every week but that manages to pick up points too. A win against Swansea is a nice rebound after getting obliterated by Man City the week before and their upcoming match against West Brom is a unique opportunity for Watford to further build on the surprise success of their season.
6. Arsenal (+3)
A surging Arsenal has now grabbed two wins and a road draw against Chelsea in it's last three games and has shown just how baseless all of the talk of crisis and Wenger being finished really was. They have games against Brighton and then Watford next and both should represent further opportunities for Aresene Wenger and company to further extend this recent run of success.
5. Liverpool. (+3)
I really don't know what to make of Jurgen Kloops side. High flying exciting football while at the same time a total mess on the defensive side of the ball. Liverpool currently stands with a goal differential of 1. Hardly the number that befits a serious title contender. Liverpool can score. They can hammer away shots on goal. But if they can't find some way to stop others from scoring then ultimatly it's all for not. For as exciting and great as the Liverpool V. Leicester game was Liverpool should never have been in that situation. That game should have been put away long before Jamie Vardy and company almost pulled off the comeback. A visist to St. James Stadium is an opportunity for Liverpool to set things right. Keeping Newcastle out of the back of the net should be a priority.
4. Tottenham. (+1)
Harry Kane is great. He's fantastic. He is without question one of the best players in all of England. Tottenham though is still struggling to really finish off teams. Against lowly, struggling West Ham they almost squandered everything and blew the three points. Luckily that didn't happen, but a more consistent effort going forward is required if Tottenham is really going to challenge the Manchester sides for the title and take the next step towards becoming a true top flight team.
3. Chelsea. (No Change)
Well, that's certainly a way to make a statement. An emphatic 4-0 victory on the road against Stoke has silenced anyone who questioned Chelsea after the home draw against the Gunners. This side is lethal, fast, and full of talent and drive. Whether they can catch the Manchester sides is an open question. Whether or not they are a threat and challenge to everyone they face is not.
Honestly, it was maybe the best performance of the entire week. A titanic showdown at Stamford Bridge against Manchester City awaits them this Saturday. The match already has the feel of a title defining 90 minutes to it. If Chelsea wins the race is on, if they lose at home...they may simply be playing for third then. Regardless, what a joy to watch.
2. Manchester United. (No Change)
Everybody can win when they are playing great. When all cylinders are firing and everything is going your way. Most can win when they are playing a solid ok game. The true best of the best though, well they win even when they play poorly and United's weekend match against Southhampton was a poor showing. If not for the brilliant performance by Phil Jones anchoring the defense and providing much of the heart for the squad United would not have come away with three points.
That's the problem I've mentioned for United, they seem to turn it off at times and when they do it is often to problematic results. They are lucky to have escaped with three points and hopefully it served as a wakeup call to the Red Devils that it won't simply be a cakewalk to the crown. A match against goalless Palace at Old Trafford is the perfect showcase for United to shake off the bad showing and once again prove just how dangerous and dynamic of a squad they are.
1. Manchester City. (No Change)
Jesus, City can score. A beatdown of poor Palace left another side battered and bruised after a showdown against City. Pep's side has now scored 11 unanswered goals in it's last two Premier League games and has outscored it's competition 20-0 in it's last four Premier League and Champions League matches. They currently sit at 21 goals scored and only two conceded after the first six games of the Premier League season and are absoluty blitzing opposing sides right now.
A massive showdown against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge awaits now. If City wins they are the unquestioned favorites for the title.