Premier League Power Rankings: New team on top with nine games to go

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Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been on a roll with Chelsea and Manchester City struggling a little as the top two no longer look impenetrable. With nine games to go the business end of the season is here as everything is to play for at the top and bottom of the PL. Finger nails are getting shorter and sleepless nights more frequent.

[ 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 UP 1 Liverpool: After winning eight of their last nine, there’s no doubt who the form team in the PL is. Liverpool host fierce rivals Man United at home on Sunday. A win takes them above United and into the top four. (16-6-7)
source:  2 DOWN 1 Arsenal: The Gunners are unlucky to lose top spot in our rankings after five-straight wins. Their UCL exit to Monaco was a bitter pill to swallow but they’re just one point behind Man City in second. Newcastle away this weekend. (17-6-6)
source:  3  – Manchester United: Seven wins from their last nine and a 3-0 thumping of Spurs was their best display this season. Can Wayne Rooney lead them to derby success at Anfield? (16-8-5)
source:  4 DOWN 1 Chelsea: The Blues are limping to the title rather than striding forward with purpose. Mourinho’s men were knocked out of the UCL by PSG and looked nervy at home to Saints. A slip up at Hull this weekend will blow the title race open. (19-7-2)

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5 UP 1 Southampton: Koeman’s boys are still hanging around in the top six and looked lively vs. Chelsea last time out. Very winnable home match vs. Burnley. (15-5-9)
source:  6 DOWN 2 Manchester City:  Two defeats in their last three has left City’s title hopes in ruins, as they also crashed out of the UCL to Barca. Pellegrini looks a worried man. Must beat WBA this Saturday. (17-7-5)
source:  7 UP 2 West Brom: Talking of WBA, the Baggies are in fine form after Pulis took charge. Three wins from five have them well clear of danger. (8-9-12)
source:  8 Crystal PalaceThe Eagles are non-movers and have won two of their last three to keep Alan Pardew’s impressive start as boss going. Can they knock off Stoke this Saturday? (8-9-12)
source:  9 DOWN 3 Tottenham Hotspur: Pochettino’s boys had been going along quite nicely. But a nervy win at QPR was followed up by a drubbing at he hands of Man United. Must beat Leicester if their top four dreams are to become a reality. (15-5-9)
source:  10 Everton:  One step forward, two steps back for the Toffees. Roberto Martinez is a great manager, more on that here, but Europa League has definitely harmed the Toffees. Must beat QPR this Sunday. (7-10-12)
source:  11 UP 8 Aston Villa: Wow. What a difference a few victories make. After two-straight wins Tim Sherwood’s team is looking completely different. Not out of relegation trouble yet, but a win vs. Swansea would help the survival bid. (7-7-15)
source:  12 UP 1 Stoke City: The Potters have steadied the ship and won three of the last four before their woeful display vs. WBA. Palace at home this weekend as they look to seal their best ever PL finish of 10th place. (12-6-11)
source:  13 UP 7 Hull City: Steve Bruce’s side are once again hard to beat as they’ve lost just one of their last five and conceded three goals in the process. Can the stun Chelsea this week? (6-10-13)
source:  14 DOWN 3 Swansea CityPlenty of industry in south Wales but performances have lacked a little bit of flair of late. Can they overcome a stubborn Villa side away? (11-7-11)
source:  15 UP 2 Burnley:  Beating Man City has to be their best-ever win as a PL club. Sean Dyche’s men have a fighting chance of survival given Sunderland’s woes. Saints away is toughie this weekend. (5-10-14)
source:  16 DOWN 2 Newcastle United: Bit of a rudderless ship are Newcastle. Their usual trick of excelling up until Christmas and then collapsing has repeated itself. No danger of relegation, but will likely lose to Arsenal (9-8-12)
source:  17 DOWN 5 West Ham: The Hammers have gone right off the boil as uncertainty around Sam Allardyce’s future remains. No win in six and three-straight defeats but Sunderland up next. (10-9-10)
source:  18 QPR:  Another London club struggling is QPR with eight defeats from their last nine. A heavy defeat at Palace last week (even though Phillips scored this screamer) proved how poor they are. Still hope for the R’s but time is running out. (5-4-14)
source:  19 DOWN 3 Leicester City The Foxes are slowly drifting away as they are seven points from safety at the bottom. Can anything save them now? spurs away this weekend. (4-7-17)
source:  20 DOWN 5 Sunderland: Gus Poyet lost his job and now Dick Advocaat is in as a short-term replacement. The Dutchman has a heck of a job on his hands after Sunderland’s 4-0 home defeat to Villa. Relegation is in the air around the Stadium of Light. (4-14-10)