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Premier League Power Rankings: Questions remain in tight title race

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Three teams are tied atop the Premier League. One team is a point back.

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It’s been a long time since we’ve been treated to such an intriguing, wide open title race. There are multiple teams at the top of the table in good form, and they’re all jockeying for any space they can get at the summit.

[ ARCHIVE: All of PST’s Power Rankings ]

Check out the latest round of power rankings ahead of Matchday 10.


TEAM RANKING
source: 20 (20) Sunderland: Arsenal pummeled Sunderland, leaving the Black Cats stuck on just two points from 10, the worst start in Premier League history. It will take a miracle to keep them up.
Hull City logo 19 (19) Hull City: A loss to Watford condemned them to six straight losses, without a win since Matchday 2. The loss of Robert Snodgrass due to injury only makes things worse.
source: 18 (18) Swansea City: A road loss to Stoke City caused the Swans to take a step backwards after Bob Bradley‘s first point the week before. They are still looking for their first win under the American.
source: 17 (16) West Ham: A pair of wins over Palace and Sunderland appeared to have righted the ship, but the defense again proved culpable in last weekend’s loss to Everton. Lots of work ahead for Slaven Bilic.
source: 16 (15) West Bromwich Albion: Being pummelled by Manchester City says little we didn’t already know, but winless since mid-September tells us much more. After Leicester this weekend, the schedule gets much softer, and the Baggies have an opportunity.
burnley fc crest 15 (13) Burnley: It’s not often a team falls two spots after a draw with Manchester United, but Burnley still looks to be riding its defense, and aside from the win over Everton, there isn’t much to fall back on.
200px-Middlesbrough_crest 14 (17) Middlesbrough: Boro finally found its shooting boots, scoring at least 2 goals for just the 2nd time this season in a 2-0 win over Bournemouth. Can they build on that?
source: 13 (12) Crystal Palace: The Eagles have been inferior in their last few matches, and winless in four, the promising September is a distant memory. This weekend against Burnley is a chance to right the ship before a visit from Manchester City.
source: 12 (14) Stoke City: The Potters are on a roll. Three straight wins and unbeaten since late September, everything is clicking. They’ll want to keep it going before the schedule gets exponentially tougher in December (Arsenal, Saints, Leicester, Liverpool, Chelsea in a row).
source: 11 (11) Watford: Three straight clean sheets is nice, but with only 2 goals during that span, the Hornets will want to get their shooting boots on for games against Liverpool and Leicester that will be true tests.
source: 10 (9) Manchester United: The Red Devils are in a true free-fall. Since starting with 3 straight, they have just one league win in their last seven. A drab 0-0 draw with Burnley means this weekend against Swansea is a must-win.
source: 9 (8) Bournemouth: After smoking Hull and drawing with Spurs, the loss to Middlesbrough is deflating. This weekend against Sunderland is a chance to get back on top before an enticing matchup with Stoke.
source: 8 (10)
 Leicester City: The 3-0 loss to Chelsea is truly put to rest, and this weekend against West Brom is a chance to jump into the top half of the table before a pair against two stout defenses.
source: 7 (7) Everton: A convincing win over West Ham was just what the Toffees needed after finding themselves winless in four. They are likely off the title pace, but a European place is a realistic goal as they sit five off the top. There are chances to impress coming up.
source: 6 (6) Southampton: The Saints had a shot to pull into the top five with Spurs slipping up, but couldn’t do it against the in-form Blues. They have slipping Hull this weekend before another test in Liverpool.
source: 5 (5) Tottenham: The Spurs title challenge is in real trouble. The club is slipping up in all competitions, and finding themselves on the outside looking in in Champions League play is deflating. The North London derby couldn’t come at a worse time. They need a result.
source: 4 (4) Arsenal: Arsenal is unbeaten in its last nine, and with six goals in its last two league games plus three more in the Champions League midweek, the Gunners welcome hated Spurs in good form.
Logo_Manchester_City 3 (2) Manchester City: Pep put the winless streak to rest against lowly West Brom, and a big Champions League win could spark a true return to fortunes. If they can break through the Boro defense, it might truly push them forward through a soft part of the schedule.
source: 2 (1) Liverpool: The Reds haven’t lost since Matchday 2 and are steamrolling inferior opponents and challengers alike. They don’t face a top 6 team until New Year’s Eve. This is Liverpool’s chance to build a lead in the title race.
source: 1 (3) Chelsea: Despite Liverpool’s solid record, the Blues are in the best form in the league. Without European play to contend with, Chelsea has notched four straight clean sheets against some strong opponents. The next four fixtures read Everton, Boro, Spurs, City – a potentially season-defining stretch.

WATCH: Hartford Athletic scores wild 90th-minute winner

Hartford Athletic goal
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It’s very rare in this age full of soccer on our screens that we catch a goal of unique ingenuity.

The USL Championship delivered the goods on Wednesday.

Hartford Athletic had blown a two-goal lead to Philadelphia Union II on Wednesday and was staring down a 2-2 draw when Danny Barrera swung into action.

[ REPORT: Spurs land Mourinho’s “top target” ]

Well, perhaps he lunged into action. Or flailed. On third thought, swung is good.

Heck, you pick the verb.

Barrera, 30, turned Philadelphia goalkeeper Mitchell Budler into a gift horse, reacting quickly to flick his back boot into the path of the keeper’s attempted outlet throw in the 90th minute.

The 81st-minute sub became the match-winning goalscorer off the play, which gives him two goals and seven assists on the season.

Hartford has 32 points and is a point off table-leading Tampa Bay Rowdies with one match to play. Second-place Louisville City is also on 32 points and Pittsburgh Riverhounds have 31.

Hartford may be able to look back at Barrera’s goal as the surprise three points that swung a title race in its favor.

Leeds – Manchester City: How to watch, start time, prediction, odds

Leeds - Manchester City
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Leeds – Manchester City: It’s been so far, so good for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds in their return to the Premier League, but a visit from Man City to Elland Road is a stiffer test (Watch live at 12:30 pm ET Saturday on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Leeds fell 4-3 to Liverpool on Opening Day but has since beaten Fulham and Sheffield United to sit top half of the table in this very young Premier League season.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Man City fell 5-2 to Leicester City at home last weekend after beating Wolves to start their PL season. A midweek clean sheet of Burnley shows that Pep Guardiola’s men aren’t dead, and the Catalan mastermind will relish the chance to match wits with a man he hails as a role model in Bielsa.

Guardiola once called Bielsa the best manager in the world.

“Winning titles helps to have a job next season but at the end of your life, what you remember is not the titles you have won, what you remember is the memories you have and whether the manager taught you a lot,” Guardiola once said when asked about Bielsa. “What we remember are the experiences and the memories, the players you have had, the managers you have had. Marcelo is at the top of the list. Absolutely at the top of the list.”


Team news for Leeds – Manchester City (INJURY REPORT)

Leeds will not have emerging star winger Jack Harrison, who is in his second season on loan to the club from Man City and ineligible to play against his parent club. Gaetano Berardi (knee), Adam Forshaw (groin), Pablo Hernandez (groin) are on the injured list.

Things are getting better for Manchester City, who got Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva back in a midweek League Cup win over Burnley. Still out are Gabriel Jesus (undisclosed), Sergio Aguero (knee), Joao Cancelo (foot), Ilkay Gundogan (COVID-19), and Oleksandr Zinchenko (undisclosed).


What they’re saying

Leeds’ young goalkeeper Illan Meslier on keeping a clean sheet: “I’m happy because in the last game against Fulham I felt I could have saved the last two goals, but against Sheffield I saved two important chances and we arrived at half time at 0-0 which was important. It is just one game though, and we are focused on the next game now and then the one after that. For the spectators I think 4-3 games are better, but for the team and me it is better one-nil. We managed to do that on Sunday and win the game so it is all good.”

Man City boss Guardiola on new signing Ruben Dias: “We know Ruben Dias’s personality and I am sure he will be an incredible player for the next six or seven years. We’re very happy to have him. Our back four are now a young team. We start training tomorrow and get going as quick as possible.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

This line has probably become a lot tighter than it would’ve been in August since Leeds has burst onto the scene while Man City has been up-and-down (relatively speaking). Leeds is +675 to win at home and +440 to draw, while City is -290 to collect all three points.

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Leeds – Manchester City prediction

Leeds is a talented side and only getting better and deeper in terms of talent and experience. And Bielsa can plan for any opposition. But injured or not, City still has Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Raheem Sterling, and more. Man City 3-1.


How to watch Leeds – Manchester City stream and start time

Kickoff: 12:30 pm ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Manchester United – Tottenham: How to watch, start time, prediction, odds

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Manchester United – Tottenham: Jose Mourinho’s latest Premier League project waltzes into his previous stop when Tottenham Hotspur visits Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Both clubs boast midweek wins in the League Cup, though Tottenham’s Thursday visit from Europa League foes Maccabi Haifa have complicated Mourinho’s planning for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Tottenham may have a new striker in the fold, with reports claiming the North Londoners have loaned Mourinho’s No. 1 target, Carlos Vinicius, from Benfica.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer has grown frustrated of answering questions on United’s transfer activity with days to go in the window.


Team news for Manchester United – Tottenham (INJURY REPORT)

Same old, same old for United, which is still dealing with long-term injuries to Axel Tuanzebe (ankle) and Phil Jones (knee).

Tottenham is still waiting for Gareth Bale to regain full fitness after a knee injury, while Heung-min Son is unlikely to play Sunday but manager Jose Mourinho was unwilling to completely rule the South Korean out.


What they’re saying

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Man Utd’s transfer activity“I can’t give you any news. We are working with what we have got. We have a big squad. If there is any update, we will let you know. I don’t comment on other teams’ players. I can’t concern myself with other clubs. I know the club is working well and hard to have a strong squad as possible. Sometimes speculation is there and we can’t control that.”

Spurs’ boss Mourinho on midweek League Cup win over Chelsea“We were ready to fight, I told you. I told the players before the penalties that they were magnificent in the second half, we made Chelsea look ordinary. The team waited for the right moment…. I have to think about three games at the same time but the players only thought about this game, they were phenomenal. Phenomenal.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Man United is -108 to win while visiting Spurs register a +290 odds to get all three points against Jose Mourinho’s former club. A draw nets the bettor +260.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Manchester United – Tottenham prediction

Tottenham’s looked the superior team in all competitions so far, though United’s stars have yet to really fire on all cylinders aside from Bruno Fernandes. The variables for this weekend, however, favor United. Spurs will have played Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday while United played Saturday-Tuesday. If Old Trafford was full of screaming fans we might expect a little more advantage for a home side, too. Son’s absence looms large, though, and that will tilt the scales from a 2-2 draw to a 2-1 Man United win.


How to watch Manchester United – Tottenham stream and start time

Kickoff: 11:30 am ET Sunday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Report: Tottenham lands Mourinho’s No. 1 striker target from Benfica

Carlos Vinicius to Tottenham
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If Gareth Bale doesn’t have “it” anymore, then Jose Mourinho’s gonna have other options.

Heck, even if he does.

Tottenham will soon announce the signing of Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius on a one-year loan and $50 million-plus option-to-buy after the season.

[ MORE: Champions League draw preview ]

Not to be confused with Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior, Carlos Vinicius is a 25-year-old Brazilian striker coming off a career-year in Portugal.

Vinicius scored 23 times with 13 assists in a breakout 2019-20 season, his 18 league goals tied for the Portuguese top flight lead with teammate Pizzi and Rio Ave’s Mehdi Taremi.

He’s also comfortable coming off the bench, scoring those six of his 18 league goals in substitute performances.

[ MORE: Mourinho on League Cup defeat of Chelsea ]

Football.London reporter Alasdair Gold says Vinicius was Jose Mourinho’s No. 1 summer target but the price tag was too high earlier in the window.

Vinicius used to belong to Napoli but twice went out on loan, one of those a 16-appearance, 2-goal campaign for Monaco in Ligue 1.

The player shares an agency with Cristiano Ronaldo, Ederson, Ruben Neves, Ruben Dias, and Matt Doherty.