Premier League Power Rankings: Liverpool spiraling, Newcastle climbing

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Week 11 of the 2014-15 season is here and the rankings of power are up and down like a yo-yo. Liverpool are on a downward spiral after not scoring in two games, while Sunderland are heading in the opposite direction after a big win.

Plus, can Southampton and West Ham really challenge for the top four? Surely not…

[Archive: Premier League Power Rankings]

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!



1 Chelsea: Mourinho’s men remain top of our rankings, but only just. An uninspiring 2-1 win over QPR was followed up by a midweek draw in Maribor. Hardly top form ahead of their clash vs. Liverpool. (8-2-0)
source:  2 Southampton: The Super Saints keep on rolling. Six wins from seven now and they dispatched Hull with a professional display. Leicester at home for Koeman’s boys this week.  (7-1-2)
source:  3  UP 1 Arsenal: Despite a slack defensive display which saw them blow a 3-0 lead vs. Anderlecht in the UCL, Alexis Sanchez stole the show as Arsenal beat Burnley 3-0. Tricky trip to Swansea. (4-5-1)
source:  4 DOWN 1 West Ham: The Hammers didn’t win a fourth-straight, but they did rally from 2-0 down to draw with Stoke. Massive cojones from Big Sam’s men as Stewart Downing got an England call up for his displays. Villa at home this weekend could be another win.  (5-2-3)


5 Manchester City: No movement for the Citizens despite a Derby Day win over Man United. That was narrow and they lost to CSKA Moscow after a miserable display as their UCL hopes are all but over. (6-2-2)
source:  6 UP 3 Newcastle United: Toon! Toon! Three wins on the spin for Pardew’s boys who beat Liverpool 1-0 and Man City in the League Cup last week. West Brom away this weekend. (3-4-3)
source:  7 UP 1 Swansea City: The Swans put in a very mature display away at Everton in the league and held on late in the game after Shelvey saw red. Could be a good time to host Arsenal. (4-3-3)
source:  8 DOWN 2 Manchester United: Just when you think the Red Devils are turning the corner, they falter. SMH. Louis van Gaal has hardly any CB’s to chose from as Smalling’s moment of madness cost them in the derby and they’ve endured their worst start since 1986. United host Palace this Saturday, has to be three points. (3-4-3)
source:  9 UP 3 Tottenham Hotspur: Trailing Villa 1-0 with six minutes to go, Spurs looked dead and buried. Then they equalized and Kane scored a last-gasp winner. This could be a huge moment in their season. Stoke at home on Sunday. (4-2-4)
source:  10  EvertonThe Toffees are getting there, slowly but surely. They squandered plenty of chances against Swansea last time out but a win against Sunderland this week could push them back into the top six. (3-4-3)
source:  11 UP 1 QPR: The super hoops are up in the rankings despite losing to Chelsea. Redknapp’s men succumbed to a late Hazard PK at Stamford Bridge but look so much better of late. Can they shock Man City at Loftus Road? (2-1-7)
source:  12 DOWN 5 Liverpool: After all the furor about Rodgers’ team selection in Madrid, Liverpool are fired up and rested to beat Chelsea on Saturday. They haven’t scored in two games and Sturridge is still out injured. All is not well at Anfield. (4-2-4)
source:  13 Stoke CityThe Potters look very dangerous in attack but squandered a 2-0 lead at home to West Ham last week. They must shore things up at the back against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. (3-3-4)
source:  14 UP 4 Sunderland: Big win for the Black Cats down at Palace and they are big risers in our rankings. Gus Poyet’s men are slowly getting over that 8-0 drubbing to Southampton and Steven Fletcher is back to his best. Everton at home this week. (2-5-3)
source:  15 DOWN 3 Crystal Palace: The Eagles are looking a little shaky under Neil Warnock and are now without a win in four. They need to get back to basics fast. Palace travel to Old Trafford on Saturday without captain Mile Jedinak. (2-3-5)
source:  16 Hull City: No win in four for the Tigers as they went down at home to Saints last week. They head to Burnley this week and Steve Bruce will be hoping for a big win to climb clear of the bottom three. (2-5-3)
source:  17 West Brom: The Baggies beat Leicester 1-0 thanks to a bizarre own goal, but they weren’t great. Still adapting to life under Alan Irvine. Saido Berahino got his first England call up this week and should be full of confidence vs. Newcastle. (3-4-3)
source:  18 DOWN 3 Leicester City: Not a great spell for the Foxes as they have now lost three in a row without scoring. Worrying times for Nigel Pearson. He takes his team to his old club Southampton on Saturday. Not an easy game when you’re low on confidence. (2-3-5)
source:  19 Aston Villa: Can you believe it… six defeats on the spin for Villa. They looked to be getting a big win against Spurs but imploded after Benteke was sent off. Disaster. If they lose vs. West Ham, will Paul Lambert get fired? (3-1-6)
20 BurnleyThe Clarets came out scrapping at the Emirates and gave a good account of themselves. But that extra bit of quality is eluding them, especially in the final third. Hull at home is a must win game, can they grab a fist victory of the season? (0-4-6)



Sessegnon beats Neuer to score first Spurs, Champions League goal

Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Ryan Sessegnon has his first Spurs goal, which also happens to be his first UEFA Champions League goal, and he’ll love telling the tale of it.

The 19-year-old Englishman ripped a rocket past Manuel Neuer of all people, collecting a deflection to equalize early in Tottenham’s match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Sessegnon entered the day with an assist in 30 minutes spread across three appearances for Spurs, and needed just 20 more minutes to find a goal.

He made a big money move from Fulham this summer, having made a remarkable 120 senior appearances. Almost all of those came before he turned 19, and he’s scored 25 times with 18 assists.

Kingsley Coman has Bayern’s goal as the teams remain locked at 1 after Bayern hung 7 on Spurs in England earlier in the group stage.


Jesus hat-trick downs Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta qualifies for knockouts

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Manchester City looked sluggish again, but Gabriel Jesus made sure it didn’t matter.

The Brazilian cropped up at a critical juncture for Pep Guardiola, sending Manchester City through into the knockout stage on a winning note as his hat-trick sealed a 4-1 come-from-behind victory that knocked Dinamo Zagreb from European competition altogether.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

The first half was especially lackluster for the English visitors to Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, with lots of possession but little to show for it. The hosts went in front early on, punishing Man City on the counter on a fabulous volleyed finish from former Barcelona youth product Dani Olmo.

That was the best goal of the day, but Man City picked itself up and pulled back level before the break, with Jesus grabbing his first via a header as Dinamo Zagreb shut off, screaming for Man City to put the ball out with a Zagreb player down. The visitors rightly did not, and Dinamo was punished by the equalizer.

After halftime, Man City was much better, hammering the left flank to take a commanding lead. The second came on excellent work by Jesus in the box to shake a defender and finish with his right, while the third flew in minutes later on a pinpoint Benjamin Mendy cross that Jesus met with a flying karate kick. Pep Guardiola had one eye on the festive fixtures, withdrawing Jesus soon after the hour mark, replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko who curiously took Jesus’s place at the striker position.

Phil Foden was the best Manchester City player throughout, and finished off the scoreline with seven minutes to go. An excellent buildup down the right saw Bernardo Silva sprung through, and he cut back to Foden at the top of the six-yard box who slid to meet the ball with pace and poke home the cherry on top.

Elsewhere, Atalanta topped Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 in the Ukraine on goals by Timothy Castagne, Mario Pasalic, and Robin Gosens, meaning the Italians secured the second spot in Group A, qualifying for the knockout stage. The Ukranians were left dead in the water after right-back Dodo was sent off 13 minutes from time, leading to the second goal to seal things up. Atalanta’s advancement marks a stunning comeback given the Italian side failed to secure points in any of their first three group stage matches.

That left Shakhtar in third, dropping to the Europa League, while Dinamo Zagreb was left at the bottom of the group, on the outside looking in.

Charlotte MLS club files trademarks for eight potential names

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It is being heavily reported that Charlotte is the next city to earn a club in the rapidly expanding Major League Soccer landscape, and Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has taken the next step towards that possibility.

The new club needs a name, and they appear to be nearing a selection. Tepper filed for eight different name trademarks, according to multiple reports, including The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue who confirmed the filings were made under Tepper’s Panthers address.

Here is the list of names he filed copyright requests for:

“Charlotte FC” would be a bare-bones and generic name that follows in the footsteps of recent MLS expansion clubs such as Orlando City SC, NYCFC or LAFC. Others are a little more colorful, including “Carolina Gliders FC” or “Charlotte Monarchs FC,” while a few others like “Charlotte Town FC” or “Charlotte Athletic FC” clearly call forth thoughts of smaller English clubs.

Rodrigue speculated that the relative lack of “Carolina” encompassing names is potentially due to the possibility of an expansion bid from Raleigh down the road, and a Carolina team would potentially provide an unnecessary roadblock to that future prospect. There is a clear lack of region-encompassing names in Major League Soccer, with “New England Revolution” the only example, and there’s no real reason to break that mold with another potential bid city down the road.

Which name is your favorite? What would you have gone with if you could name the club?

LIVE, UCL: Two knockout spots remain; Man City, Tottenham in play

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Two more spots in the knockout round remain unclaimed as the final day of group stage play begins on Wednesday.

Groups C and D both require a second team to progress through to the Round of 16, with five teams still in the mix.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Manchester City has already won Group D, but the remaining three teams Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, and Atalanta all remain in contention for the second spot. Shakhtar currently sits second and has a home match with Atalanta, while Dinamo Zagreb host Man City in Croatia. Both those games feature in the early 12:55 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Group D, meanwhile, has a pair of sides vying for the last spot. Atletico Madrid has a point advantage, currently sitting in second with a home match against already eliminated Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow. Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, hosts group winners Juventus in Germany.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur has already locked up a spot in the knockout stage, locked into the second spot in Group A, and they finish out the group stage with a visit to confirmed group winners Bayern Munich. Jose Mourinho told the press he forbid his players from watching any footage of the 7-2 defeat to Bayern to begin group stage play, and is resting “a few players” ahead of the festive Premier League fixtures.

Finally, Group A has already been decided with Real Madrid confirmed to finish second behind winners Paris Saint-Germain, but the two still have to complete the fixture list. Madrid heads to Belgium to take on Club Brugge, while PSG hosts Galatasaray. The Spanish side is most likely to rest players, with a weekend visit to Valencia coming up on Sunday followed by a midweek El Clasico that was rescheduled from earlier in the season.

Below is the full schedule for the last UCL games on Wednesday, with all games kicking off at 3 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted, and you can follow the action live by clicking on the link above.

Wednesday Champions League action

Group A

Club Brugge v. Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain v. Galatasaray

Group B

Bayern Munich v. Tottenham Hotspur
Olympiakos v. Red Star Belgrade

Group C

Dinamo Zagreb v. Manchester City (12:55 p.m. ET)
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Atalanta (12:55 p.m. ET)

Group D

Atletico Madrid v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Bayer Leverkusen v. Juventus