We are a month into the 2014-15 Premier League season (hasn’t that flown by?) and plenty of teams are still trying to figure things out.
At this early stage of the campaign there are tons of inconsistent performances as new players get used to new teams, managers are stamping their authority on clubs and simply put, some have been handed tougher schedules than others. A few teams came up big over the past seven days with Manchester United, Aston Villa and Southampton putting in particularly eye-catching displays.
Each week we put our neck on the line to analyze the strength of each Premier League team, forget about the official league standings (here they are in case you actually do want them) that doesn’t mean squat.
The Power Rankings take into account the strength of schedule, injuries, suspensions, playing well but still losing and plenty of other variables. The W-D-L bracket shows each PL team’s current record and you can now see how many spots each team has moved, up or down, from week-to-week.
Let’s get to it!
Chelsea: Jose Mourinho’s men remain perfect in league play but they slipped up in the UCL vs. Schalke in midweek. This week they have their toughest test so far: Man City away. Can they stay perfect? Diego Costa is the key man. (4-0-0)
Aston Villa: Undefeated and flying high after their win at Anfield, Villa are in the top 2 for the first time in our rankings. Brad Guzan has three shutouts from four games as the Villans are hard to beat. Tough test vs. Arsenal live on NBCSN on Saturday. (3-1-0)
Southampton: The Saints have won two-straight and scored seven goals in the process. Koeman has got them playing attractive soccer, with a cutting edge. Graziano Pelle and Morgan Schneiderlin can’t stop scoring. Swansea away this weekend. (2-1-1)
Arsenal: Another week, another draw for the Gunners. But this was a good one. They led Man City 2-1 until late on as Jack Wilshere scored this stunner. Can they grab their first W since the opening day of the season away at in-form Villa? (1-3-0)
Swansea City: Brave battling from the Swans who led Chelsea up until the 45th minute at Stamford Bridge. Garry Monk’s men look dangerous and face Southampton in a top four battle this weekend at the Liberty. (3-0-1)
Manchester City: Man City looked lackluster against Arsenal but still came away with a point from their trip to the Emirates. They came so close to getting a draw away at Bayern in the UCL too. Yaya Toure’s poor form is worrying. Can he get back to his best vs. Chelsea this Sunday? (2-1-1)
Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers has spoken about their being “no magic formula” as the Reds’ new boys settle in. A shock defeat to Aston Villa was followed up by a poor display vs. Ludogorets in the UCL. Should fans be worried? Tough trip to West Ham live on NBC.(2-0-2)
Leicester City: The Foxes bagged their first PL win in a decade! They beat Stoke 1-0 with a gritty away display and Esteban Cambiasso came off the bench to do the business. Nigel Pearson’s men have adapted to life back in the PL very well. (1-2-1)
Tottenham: Mauricio Pochettino will be annoyed with some basic defensive errors as Spurs let two leads slip away at Sunderland. A work in progress at White Hart Lane. On Sunday they should beat West Brom. (2-1-1)
Everton: The Toffees finally bagged their first clean sheet of the season as Tim Howard’s boys beat West Brom 2-0. Watch this beauty from Romelu Lukaku who is now up and running. Everton host Crystal Palace on Sunday. (1-2-1)
Manchester United: That’s better boys. Louis van Gaal grabbed his first win as United boss with a resounding 4-0 success over QPR. The Red Devils looked incredible going forward but their opponents were poor. Winnable game away at Leicester on Sunday. (1-2-1)
Stoke City: The Potters followed up beating Man City away by… losing to Leicester at home. Mark Hughes will be pulling his hair out after a frustarting display. He needs to get the best out of Bojan. In other news, Stoke are setting up academies in North America. QPR away this week. (1-1-2)
Sunderland: Poyet’s men battled back bravely to draw with Spurs but I still worry about where the goals will come from. They were handed that draw due to a calamitous own goal. Is Jozy Altidore ready to start a game? Tough trip down to Burnley. (0-3-1)
Hull City: The Tigers twice blew a lead at home to West Ham but new signings Abel Hernandez and Mo Diame both scored in an entertaining game. Steve Bruce has been linked with Newcastle but he’s done a good job at the KC. The Tigers head north to play Newcastle this week. (1-2-1)
Crystal Palace: Still without a win this season but two draws from two for new Palace boss Neil Warnock. They were lucky to escape with a point at home to Burnley, as Julian Speroni saved a late PK. Can they stun Everton this Sunday? (0-2-2)
West Ham: The Hammers fought back admirably away at Hull on Monday with Enner Valencia scoring this beauty. Sam Allardyce’s side looked good going forward but suspect at the back. They will have to tighten things up as Liverpool come to Upton Park on Saturday. (1-1-2)
Newcastle: You have to feel for Newcastle’s fans. They drove 7 hours down to Southampton and saw their team get spanked 4-0. They are calling for Alan Pardew to be fired, and who can blame them with no win in four? If they don’t beat Hull on Saturday, it could be the end for Pardew. (0-2-2)
Burnley: Two unbeaten for Sean Dyche’s side but they have only scored once all season. They should have beaten Palace away but will fancy their chances as Sunderland come to Turf Moor. Will the Clarets bag their first win of the season? (0-2-2)
QPR: Harry Redknapp’s side were battered by Manchester United and looked completely out of their league. New signings Leroy Fer, Sandro and Vargas looked decent. Stoke at home is one of those games they must win. (1-0-3)
West Brom: The Baggies lost again and were their own worst enemies against Everton. Bad mistakes from Jonas Olsson and Ben Forster saw the home fans unhappy as new boss Alan Irvine is still searching for his first win. Will that arrive at Spurs on Sunday? (0-2-2)