Three points are all that separate four teams at the top of the Premier League table.
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Five points are all that separate seven teams, including the defending champions, at the bottom of the table.
It’s been a strange ride through 13 weeks of the 2016-17 season, and it’s only going to get wilder as the calendar turns to December. Check out the latest batch of power rankings ahead of Matchday 14.
|20 (20)||Sunderland: At what point do we rename 20th spot “the Sunderland spot?” Back-to-back wins over Bournemouth and Hull saw them climb out of the cellar, but they’re right back down there with a single win by Swansea.|
|19 (13)||Crystal Palace: Six straight league games without a win, and Alan Pardew is hanging by a thread. If not for their strong-ish start, they’d find themselves in the bottom-three today. As it stands, they’re safe on goal differential.
|18 (19)||Hull City: One win in their last 11 games. If not for Sunderland’s perennial bottom-feeding, and Pardew’s impending pink slip, the Tigers would be languishing on the bottom.
|17 (18)||Swansea City: The good news — Bob Bradley got his first win in the PL. The not-as-good news — he’s going to need a lot more of them to keep the Swans up this season. The defense is still a problem, because they won’t score five goals against many sides not named Palace.|
|16 (17)||West Ham United: Winless in their last four games, and perhaps even more detrimental to their power-rankings stock, the Hammers are abysmal from an entertainment perspective. Last season seems long, long, long ago.|
|15 (15)||Burnley: Two stats on Burnley — 1) only Hull have scored fewer goals (11) than the Clarets (12) through 13 games; 2) they are the worst road team in the PL (1 point, -12 GD from five games away from Turf Moor). That’ll get you relegated nine out of 10 times.
|14 (14)||Middlesbrough: Boro are one of two other sides (Sunderland being the third) with just a dozen goals to their name. Home against Hull on Monday would be an awfully perfect time to rectify that.
|13 (8)||Leicester City: The Foxes’ bounce-back is coming any day now. Any. Day. Now. With Champions League progression secured — more importantly, a trip to Sunderland on the horizon — better days might not be far off.|
|12 (9)||Bournemouth: Nearly halfway to the requisite 40 points necessary to avoid relegation, Eddie Howe has done well to consolidate and stabilize during his first 18 months in the PL, even if they’ve won just one of their last five.
|11 (7)||Everton: Remember when some of us thought Everton were top-four contenders? That seems a long time ago. It wasn’t. One win in eight games will make you feel that way.|
|10 (6)||Southampton: Sunday’s win over Everton (and Ronald Koeman) snapped a four-game winless skid that began all the way back in October. Claude Puel has assembled one of the PL’s best defenses (12 goals conceded), but also a lifeless attack (13 goals).|
|9 (11)||Watford: Liverpool’s 6-1 destruction aside, Watford haven’t conceded multiple goals in a game since Oct. 1. Not a coincidence: the Hornets have picked up 10 of 18 possible points since then.
||West Brom: Don’t look now, but the Baggies are a top-seven side over the last month and a half. Unbeaten in three, they could end up as high as seventh in the table with a win over Watford on Saturday.
|7 (12)||Stoke City: The early-season struggles have gone, and Stoke find themselves exactly where they strive to be: right in the middle of the table, after just one defeat from their last eight games.|
|6 (10)||Manchester United: In the formula that converts dollars spent into entertainment value on the field, no one has lit more money on fire these last four years than the Red Devils. Not even Jose Mourinho wants to watch them anymore.
|5 (5)||Tottenham: The unbeaten start to the season covered up a lot of blemishes, and is finally no more. With just one win in their last six, another title challenge looks a very, very, very long shot as of Dec. 1.
|4 (4)||Arsenal: Much like Spurs struggled mightily with Harry Kane out injured, it must be terrifying for an Arsenal fan to imagine what will happen when Alexis Sanchez inevitably misses a month this winter.|
|3 (3)||Manchester City: After a pair of late wins against Palace and Burnley, City sit third in the table, behind Liverpool on goal differential. They’re far and away the best road team in the PL (18 points from 7 games), but alarmingly average at home (12 points from 6 games).|
|2 (2)||Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho is out for a month, while Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana are all dealing with injuries of their own. The Reds will continue their league-leading pace of 2.5 goals per game anyway.|
|1 (1)||Chelsea: After putting to bed Spurs’ unbeaten start, the Blues have won seven in a row, by a combined score of 19-1, since Antonio Conte switched to three at the back. Their 10 goals conceded are joint-fewest in the PL (Spurs), and Eden Hazard and Diego Costa look unstoppable together once again.|