(Pre-Derby) Premier League Power Rankings

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Which clubs are surging? Which are struggling?

[ MORE: MLS Expansion rankings ]

The last time we visited PST’s Premier League club power rankings, there were upstarts high up in the table.

And this time of season is perhaps the most fun period to evaluate clubs in this way, with teams having seen most of the league opposition once yet not at a point where the standings are an accurate depiction of team power.

In a lot ways, we’re looking at power rankings as a measuring stick. Combining recent form with table standing, it’s a bit like saying, “Who’d win in a neutral site match today?” while also keeping in mind that liking Crystal Palace’s recent form more than Spurs doesn’t mean the bottom three Eagles should be eighth.

It’s also a good time to take stock, with three emotional derbies this weekend set to sway the minds and hearts of fan bases: West Ham hosts Chelsea, Everton is off to Liverpool, and Man City visits Manchester United.

Below you will find the latest batch of club Power Rankings as we rank PL clubs in terms of where they’re at right now with their form.

  1. Manchester City (1) — Still unbeaten, and about to contest one of the season’s two biggest league matches against a derby mate missing its most influential player.
  2. Manchester United (7) — With Paul Pogba out, better hope David De Gea is ready to double up on historic performances. Can one more day’s rest help close the gap?
  3. Chelsea (5) — Quietly humming along, with Eden Hazard back to his best.
  4. Arsenal (12) — Lost to Manchester United thanks to a trio of defensive gaffes which, along with De Gea, betrayed a dominant, possessing, attacking display.
  5. Liverpool (10) — Waxed Brighton to continue long unbeaten run into first Merseyside Derby of season.
  6. Leicester City (13) — Don’t look now, but have beaten Burnley and Spurs in consecutive weeks to slide back into European contention. Can they keep Riyad Mahrez in January?
  7. Watford (9) — Consistency in defense is key, as Everton and Man Utd losses came despite two goals in each.
  8. Tottenham Hotspur (4) — The slump is real, as Spurs are winless in four league matches and four points behind the Top Four.
  9. Burnley (2)– Sean Dyche‘s men have lost two of three, still challenged in attack.
  10. Everton (20) — Took momentum from beating West Ham in the last match of David Unsworth‘s caretaker stint right into a win over struggling Huddersfield Town, but Sam Allardyce should be wary of judging results against reeling competition.
  11. Southampton (16) — Charlie Austin is back on the score sheet and something feels right about that. Is he the finishing answer for Saints’ plethora of providers?
  12. Bournemouth (14) — A team that’s lost just once in its last five also happens to have just two points from its last three. Glass half what?
  13. Stoke City — It’s hard to give anyone credit for halting a slide when its stopped by beating Swansea.
  14. Crystal Palace (15) — Would be even higher were it not still in the drop zone despite a fourth-straight result. Have lost just twice since Roy Hodgson took over at Selhurst Park.
  15. Newcastle United (8) — Need January difference makers in a bad way, as steady unit remains unspectacular.
  16. Huddersfield Town (3) — Four-straight losses include Bournemouth and Everton in David Wagner‘s first real Premier League morale challenge.
  17. Brighton and Hove Albion (6) — Liverpool blowout not nearly as troubling as home draws to Palace and Stoke.
  18. West Bromwich Albion (17) — Alan Pardew‘s men showed more style, but still winless since August.
  19. West Ham United (19) — Credit where it’s due: West Ham took Man City to the wire.
  20. Swansea City (18) — Aside from a visit to Chelsea, this was supposed to be a fixture run to move the Welsh side up the table, not down.

Osorio: Jonathan Gonzalez has a “promising future” with El Tri

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The Jonathan Gonzalez situation still stings for many U.S. Men’s National Team supporters, and the encouragement from Mexico’s camp regarding the midfielder’s bright future isn’t making things better for Americans.

[ MORE: Where does Zlatan rank among stars to come to MLS? ]

El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio reaffirmed his belief that Gonzalez is one of the many promising prospects within the Mexican national team ahead of the country’s friendly against Iceland on Friday.

Gonzalez, who switched his national team allegiance to Mexico from the U.S. earlier this year, has been called up for the match after the 18-year-old made his Mexico senior team debut against Bosnia back in January.

“Jonathan, to start with, is part of a group of Mexican players that I’ve referred as having a good present and a promising future and that excites me to continue, along with Edson Alvarez, Omar Govea and others that aren’t here like Orbelin [Pineda] and Erick [Gutierrez],” Osorio said at a news conference on Thursday.

“Gonzalez is a good midfielder and can fight for a place with anyone. Like everyone, he has to improve a lot of things to win a place.

“After deciding to play for Mexico, it is our responsibility to give him a platform to develop and consolidate himself as a player.

“That’s why he’s in this call-up, and hopefully he can establish himself and show the qualities I mentioned.”

The former USMNT youth prospect has quickly become a regular for club side Monterrey, who currently sits sixth in the Liga MX table.

Gonzalez has appeared in 38 matches across all competitions for the four-time league champions and earned honors in the Liga MX Best XI following the 2017 Apertura season.

USMNT reveals new kits ahead of Paraguay friendly

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U.S. Soccer’s teams has donned some pretty sweet kits in the past, but this go around has particularly patriotic feel about it, and we like it.

[ MORE: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has joined the LA Galaxy ]

The U.S. released a video on Friday (below) with several USMNT stars, including Bobby Wood and Tyler Adams wearing the new kits ahead of Tuesday’s international friendly against Paraguay.

The home jersey features a flag design engraved on a white kit, which is representative of the American flag. Meanwhile, the away version holds a similar design, but with a blue base for the jersey.

Meanwhile, the USWNT will don their new kits on April 5 when they take on Mexico in the first two matches in the U.S. The two rivals will meet three days later for the second meeting.

What do you think of the latest U.S. Soccer kits? Let us know what you like or dislike about it in the comments section below.

UEFA Nations League gets $94 million prize fund for 55 teams

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) UEFA says it has created a 76.25 million euro ($94 million) prize fund for the inaugural Nations League.

The first champion will earn 7.5 million euros ($9.25 million).

The Nations League is replacing most international friendlies. All 55 UEFA members will play group matches in four tiers through November. The Final Four will be in June 2019.

UEFA says 12 top-ranked teams in League A will each get 1.5 million euros ($1.85 million). Group winners will get 1.5 million euros ($1.85 million) extra and advance to the final tournament, and the winner will get another 4.5 million euros ($5.55 million).

League B will pay 1 million euros ($1.23 million) per team, while in League C it’s 750,000 euros ($925,000) and in League D it’s 500,000 euros ($617,000). Group winners will double their money.

Alexis Sanchez discusses Man United struggles

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Alexis Sanchez appears to be struggling with his disappointing start to life at Manchester United.

The Chilean star, 29, became the highest-paid player in the Premier League when he arrived from Arsenal in January in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but Sanchez has scored just one PL goal.

Sanchez has failed to make his mark on a consistent basis as United have also crashed out of the UEFA Champions League.

What does Sanchez put his lack of form down to?

In an Instagram post he left a caption saying that he was mentally exhausted: “I know you are tired. I know you are psychologically and emotionally exhausted. But you have to smile and continue”.

Speaking to the Chilean media ahead of their friendly against Sweden in Stockholm on Saturday, Sanchez revealed he has been struggling with the lack of impact he has had at United.

“The change of club was something that was very abrupt – it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January – but many things have happened in my life that are difficult… As I am self-demanding, I expected something better. After my arrival at United, it was hard to change everything very quickly. I even hesitated to come here [to Sweden].”

Sanchez has looked better in a central role behind Romelu Lukaku but he hasn’t been used there often enough by Jose Mourinho.

At Arsenal he had the license to roam free in the attacking third but in Mourinho’s more defensive, rigid system he appears to be struggling to get on the ball in the right areas in and around the box. Sanchez has cut a frustrated figure out on the left wing and has given the ball away on multiple occasions as he tries to make the difficult passes and open up opposition defenses.

It appears that Sanchez is perhaps trying to hard to impress United and given his all-action displays, that is not easy to do.

United need more of him in the final third than out wide or tracking back to help out his own defense if they’re going to seal their top four spot and win the FA Cup to see out the final months of the season.

There’s no doubting Sanchez’s quality as we all know just how good he can be from his four seasons at Arsenal.

Yet, as he acknowledged himself, something at United isn’t quite right.