Premier League Power Rankings: Liverpool, Saints climbing; can Chelsea go top?

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It is time to fire up the Power Rankings for their first outing of 2015.

Over the past few weeks the Premier League games have been coming thick and fast, as the rankings of power have shifted all over the place.

Jose Mourinho’s men can’t sneak back to the top spot ahead of Manchester City, while the likes of Southampton and Liverpool continue to surge. At the bottom, it is looking like a bleak winter for Newcastle, Sunderland and up to nine other teams embroiled in an almighty relegation scrap. Let’s see how that impacts our 1-20.

[ Archive: Premier League Power Rankings ]

In case you are new around here, 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!

RANKING
Up/Down

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1 Manchester City: The Citizens are still on top, and now they have Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany returning plus Wilfried Bony has arrived. Tough test against Arsenal this weekend. (14-5-2)
source:  2 UP 8 Southampton: Saints are flying. Wins over Arsenal, Everton and Man United, plus a draw with Chelsea, shows what a good team they are. But, injuries mounting up and Newcastle away on Saturday. (12-3-6)
source:  3  DOWN 1 Chelsea: Okay, so the Blues are still in top spot in the actual standings… but they are going through a tricky patch. A draw at Southampton and a hammering by Spurs was followed by an unconvincing home win over Newcastle. Swansea away next. (15-4-2)
source:  4 UP 1 Arsenal: Three wins from their last four, the Gunners are doing okay. Injuries are stacking up but as long as they have Alexis Sanchez, they’ll have a chance vs. City. (10-6-5)

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5 UP 11  Liverpool: Unbeaten in five, the Reds look more solid and Daniel Sturridge is almost back. Brendan Rodgers will be hoping the ‘do it for Stevie G’ mantra will kick his squad back into a top four battle in 2015. Huge climbers, Villa away this week. (9-5-7)
source:  6 UP 5 Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs had won four of their last six before getting shocked at Palace. Pochettino’s boys are on the right path. Can they keep it going vs. Sunderland? (10-4-7) 
source:  7 DOWN 3 West Ham: The Hammers are without a win in four, hence why they slide down the rankings. Narrow defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea shouldn’t see Big Sam hit the panic button. Hull at home next up. (9-6-6)
source:  8 DOWN 5 Manchester United: Talking of panic buttons, LVG may be a little closer to pushing his. After talk of a title charge, United followed up draws at Spurs and Stoke with defeat to Saints. QPR away next. Tricky. (10-7-4)
source:  9 Burnley: Unbeaten in three and fresh from beating QPR, the Clarets are steady in ninth. Massive clash at home vs. Palace this Saturday. (4-8-9)
source:  10 UP 7 Crystal Palace: Speaking of Palace, they’re on the up too as Alan Pardew’s first match in charge was a superb 2-1 win over Spurs. Undefeated in three, can they climb further up the table and our rankings? (4-8-9)
source:  11 UP 3 West Brom: Another new boss has had a big impact, as the Baggies are unbeaten in two and pulling clear of danger. Can they hold onto Berahino? He will be key vs. Everton this week. (4-5-7)
source:  12 UP 8 Leicester City: Huge climbers after two wins from three for the bottom climb who have now dragged plenty of teams into the relegation scrap. Can the Foxes continue their charge vs. Stoke? (4-5-12)
source:  13 DOWN 7 Stoke City: The Potters did okay against Man United, but they just look so short of goals up top and were bad against Arsenal. Tough trip to Leicester. (7-5-9)
source:  14 UP 4 Swansea City: Bony has been sold to Man City, but Garry Monk’s side should still finish in the top 10 and their bank balance is looking good. Without a win in three, now Chelsea come to town. Upset? (8-6-7)
source:  15 QPR: The R’s lost away, for a record 10th straight time to open up a PL season and Harry Redknapp’s side are struggling. Still, just one point from safety. (5-4-12)
source:  16 DOWN 8 Newcastle United:  The Magpies have plummeted since Pardew left town for Palace. Caretaker boss John Carver may not get the position full time as Remi Garde is the favorite. (7-6-8)
source:  17 DOWN 1 SunderlandThe Black Cats are so goal shy it is ridiculous. Swapping Jozy Altidore for Jermain Defoe could be an inspired move… or a very expensive one. Spurs away next. (3-11-7)
source:  18 DOWN 11 Everton: The Toffees have fallen fast and furiously in our rankings, with no wins in five after four defeats on the spin. A draw vs. City will boost confidence but they are in the relegation battle. No doubt. (5-7-9)
source:  19 DOWN 6 Aston Villa: Villa have scored just 11 goals this season. 11. No wins in their last six and have failed to score in their last three. Liverpool at home, as the pressure builds on Lambert once again. (5-4-7)
source:  20 Hull City: Not much better for Hull, but at least they’ve snatched a few narrow wins lately. Steve Bruce badly needs a few top signings in January and a win vs. West Ham. (4-7-10)