(Pre-Derby) Premier League Power Rankings

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Which clubs are surging? Which are struggling?

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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.

Mourinho on muted celebrations from Lukaku, himself

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There’s a lot of buzz about celebrating, and not celebrating, when it comes to Manchester United.

Star striker Romelu Lukaku‘s post-goal actions were muted for a second-straight week, and manager Jose Mourinho appeared nonchalant on the bench.

[ RECAP: WBA 1-2 Man Utd ]

For Lukaku, that could be down to his status as a former West Brom player (and to be sure he was quite energetic in support of Jesse Lingard‘s insurance goal).

As for Mourinho, this is a man who was quite critical of Man City’s celebrations after winning a derby at Old Trafford. And Jose isn’t one to let a story line die unnecessarily.

Here’s Mourinho when asked about Lukaku’s non-celebration, from the BBC:

“Maybe he looks to the bench and sees his manager doesn’t celebrate. Maybe he loves West Brom. Maybe he remembers the team that helped him early in his career.

“I will celebrate if my team scores a winning goal in the last minute. But you have to have more maturity and keep your feet on the ground. If some guys want to be kids until the last day of their careers or if they want to act to the cameras then they can. But if we score an important goal then I can do anything.”

On one hand, I get it. On the other hand (and a third if I can find one), be okay with having a bit of fun, Jose.

United is back to within 11 points of leaders Man City, and it’s a massive mountain to climb for the Red Devils. Yet Ander Herrera, who was terrific again on Sunday, said the directive is simple: control what you can.

“We won three titles last season, which was very good. It is true that the top of the table is difficult to reach right now but this is Premier League, you never know. Our aim is just to keep winning games.”

The side’s 41 points through 18 matches would’ve been enough to lead the Premier League in two of the previous four seasons. No one’s going to tell United to be content with where they stand, but it’s been a fine season for Mourinho’s men so far.

WATCH: Liverpool battering Bournemouth with highlight reel half

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Philippe Coutinho is capable of elite magic, and he conjured up some fantasy on Sunday at the Vitality Stadium.

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Liverpool and Bournemouth were scoreless when the Brazilian dribbled past Simon Francis and Lewis Cook on a mazy run, taking Andrew Robertson‘s square pass and dancing through daylight.

If only there were a body cam on Adam Smith, who was chasing Coutinho the whole time!

Dejan Lovren — does this require we say “of all people?” — then scored a diving header after Roberto Firmino saved a wayward corner kick.

And Mohamed Salah, what else can you say about the 20-goal scorer (in all competitions)?

Salah would get his goal in stunning fashion, bodying off a defender before dribbling past two more to finish with an off-balance belt past Begovic.

Kaka calls it a career; Won World Cup, Ballon d’Or

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson
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He’s the last Ballon d’Or winner neither named Messi nor Ronaldo, and he’s calling it a career.

Kaka announced his retirement on Sunday after a gleaming career on three continents.

Born Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, Kaka won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil and also boasts two Confederations Cup wins amongst his 92 caps and 29 international goals.

[ MAN CITY-SPURS: 3 things |  Studs and duds ]

Kaka debuted for Sao Paolo in 2001, and left for AC Milan three seasons later. Thrice names in the UEFA Team of the Year and twice the Serie A Footballer of the Year, Kaka won Serie A with Milan and La Liga with Real Madrid.

He spent the final three seasons of his career in Major League Soccer with Orlando City SC, and was magnificent. The 35-year-old scored 25 goals with 19 assists for the Lions.

West Brom 1-2 Manchester United: Red Devils hang on

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  • United back into second
  • Lukaku scores 10th PL goal of season
  • Baggies winless in 16

Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard scored first half goals and Manchester United held on to beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

Gareth Barry scored the Baggies’ lone goal, as Alan Pardew‘s men sit 19th and without a win since August.

United pulls three points ahead of Chelsea, and is 11 points back of Man City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Brom wasn’t intimidated by the task at hand, and James McClean was particularly lively as the Baggies tried to find an opener.

But United quickly settled into control through possession, albeit without any effective incisiveness.

That changed when Lukaku rose to deposit a trademark header beyond the reach of Ben Foster, converting Marcus Rashford‘s cross with power.

After a moment of danger provided by Allan Nyom and Salomon Rondon, United made it 2-0 when Lingard took a lay-off from Juan Mata and hit a shot that Ahmed Hegazi deflected past Foster.

Jake Livermore forced David De Gea into a low save in the 44th minute.

 

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The Baggies pulled one back as both Evans and Barry could’ve tapped in a loose ball off a corner kick.

Barry did, and United was on its heels. Credit Alan Pardew for his substitutes of Barry, Chris Brunt, and Jay Rodriguez (though they were, after all, on the bench).

Rodriguez powered a header off Brunt’s cross wide of the near post with about five minutes to play.

And a scramble in front nearly put the Baggies level, but De Gea was there. The keeper was kicked by Ahmed Hegazi and came up smarting.