Premier League Power Rankings

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Which clubs are surging? Which are struggling?

[ MORE: MLS Expansion rankings ]

With the international break here, it is time to take stock of the story so far in the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Below you will find the latest batch of club Power Rankings as we rank PL clubs in terms of where they’re at right now with their form.


#1 – Manchester City: Best-ever start to a PL season. Unbeaten. 10 wins from 11. 52 goals in all comps. Do you need me to continue?
#2 – Burnley: Their best-ever start to a PL season and in 7th place under Sean Dyche. Miracles being worked at Turf Moor.
#3 – Huddersfield Town: Talking about miracles, David Wagner has fostered incredible togetherness and the Terriers are in 10th place in their first-ever PL season.
#4 – Tottenham Hotspur: Defeats to Chelsea and Man United have been disappointing but Spurs have excelled in the UCL. Underrated start with Kane majestic.
#5 – Chelsea: Antonio Conte‘s boys have been up and down but there shouldn’t be a panic. Top four and UCL run beckons.
#6 – Brighton & Hove Albion: Chris Hughton‘s Seagulls have found their feet in the PL impressively. Tough to break down and dogged. Fantastic start.
#7 – Manchester United: Jose Mourinho can moan about injuries all he wants but a defensive style has seen them slip. Red-hot start has been extinguished.
#8 – Newcastle United: Rafael Benitez’s side aren’t sure what they are yet but they’ve ground out impressive wins. Solid and steady return to the PL.
#9 – Watford: Marco Silva‘s Hornets have hit a bit of a sticky patch with three-straight defeats but they enjoyed a superb start. Top 10 possible.
#10 – Liverpool: Up and down start but there are signs the Reds are settling down after some high-profile and heavy defeats. Goals galore going forward. Shaky in defense.

#11 – Stoke: The Potters have had a very strange season. They beat Arsenal and drew with Man United but the jury is still out. Defensive issues problematic.
#12 – Arsenal: Same old, same old for the Gunners. Arsene Wenger‘s men look fragile and weak on the road and haven’t addressed defensive deficiencies.
#13 – Leicester City: New manager Puel has taken over at a good time for the Foxes who have recovered from a poor start which saw Shakespeare sacked.
#14 – Bournemouth: Eddie Howe‘s Cherries are struggling for goals but did snatch a win before the break. They’re getting back to their best.
#15 – Crystal Palace: Despite being bottom of the table, things have improved drastically since Roy Hodgson took charge. Hope for the Eagles, especially with Zaha.
#16 – Southampton: Worrying start for Saints who have a horrendous schedule between now and January. Mauricio Pellegrino‘s side just can’t score.
#17 – West Brom: Two wins to start the season and none since. Tony Pulis is panicking and two wins in their last 20 PL games tells the story. Baggies in freefall.
#18 – Swansea City: Five defeats in six for the Swans and the decisions to let Llorente and Sigurdsson go this summer look very costly. Where will the goals come from?
#19 – West Ham: Moyes has taken over from Bilic and the Hammers look destined for a relegation scrap. Not the season they expected with all of their big name signings.
#20 – Everton: No permanent manager, out of Europe and despite a win vs. Watford, things aren’t looking good for a side meant to challenge for the top four. Massive disappointment.

River Plate to sponsor car in Indy 500

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There will be a soccer presence at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500.

On Thursday, Club Atletico River Plate announced, along with car owner Juncos Racing that Kyle Kaiser’s No. 32 car will feature a River Plate logo on the front of the vehicle. Juncos Racing is named after founder Ricardo Juncos, an Argentine native and clearly a big River fan.

Per a press release from River Plate, it’s the first time a soccer team is sponsoring a car in the Indy 500, which takes place this Sunday, May 26.

[READ: Pochettino hopeful Kane will be ready to make an impact in UCL final]

“As a River fan, I always wanted to have the logo of the Club in the car,” Juncos said in a press release.
“This race is very important for me. I am very happy and I believe that in the goal of River to expand into the Indy 500. From here to there will come positive things for both.”

Kaiser, just 23, is one of the new guys on the main IndyCar scene, especially after winning the IndyCar Lights title in 2017. It’s the racing equivalent of winning the Europa League. Unlike River’s reputation as one of the biggest clubs in South America, Kaiser just barely made it into the field all together, bumping former Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso out of the field by about one hundredth of a second.

While it’s cool to see a soccer team get involved in the Indy 500, a worldwide viewing event that’s also akin to a religious holiday throughout the state of Indiana, it’s another Buenos Aires club that really should have been the first to sponsor a car.

Racing Club, defending Argentine league champs, would have been terrific, Racing in Uruguay, or Racing de Santander in Spain. Perhaps one day in the future the three clubs can combine forces to sponsor an IndyCar event or a car competing in a race.

USSF, Relevant Sports clash in court over international matches

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NEW YORK (AP) A lawyer for a promoter asked a judge to order the U.S. Soccer Federation to sanction international league matches in the United States.

The USSF last month denied an application by Relevent Sports, a company partly owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, to have Ecuador’s Barcelona and Guayaquil clubs play on May 5 at Miami Gardens, Florida. The USSF cited an Oct. 26 announcement by FIFA that its ruling council “emphasized the sporting principle that official league matches must be played within the territory of the respective member association.”

During a half-hour hearing Thursday before New York Supreme Court Justice W. Franc Perry, a lawyer for the USSF argued the court should not hear the dispute and it should be sent to arbitration.

Blair G. Connelly, the lawyer representing the USSF, said because Relevent’s application included its executive chairman, Charlie Stillitano, as the FIFA-licensed match agent requesting approval to stage the game, Relevent was bound by a provision in FIFA’s match agent regulations requiring any dispute with a national association be submitted to arbitration. FIFA’s rules specify such a case be heard by its player status committee, whose decision could be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

“What they’re trying to do is outsource the court’s authority … to two bodies in Switzerland that don’t follow New York law and have nothing to do with it,” said Marc Litt, a lawyer for Relevent.

Connelly said the USSF’s decision could be overruled only if the court found it to be irrational. He also cited a 2007 decision by U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber in Illinois, who ordered a suit against the USSF by ChampionsWorld, a previous Stillitano-affiliated company, be stayed pending FIFA’s arbitration procedure.

“They are bound by the contracts their agent enters into on their behalf,” Connelly said.

Litt said FIFA never issued a formal regulation against international club matches in different countries and the USSF cited only a news release.

“Was U.S. Soccer irrational when it concluded that something that FIFA itself called a decision by its decision-making body was in fact a decision? We’re we crazy to think that? Was U.S. Soccer just in outer space?” Connelly said.

Litt claimed the USSF made its decision to protect Soccer United Marketing, an affiliate of the USSF and Major League Soccer.

“We believe that the only reason that they don’t want professional league matches that count in the United States is because that would damage Major League Soccer,” Litt said.

Relevent also attempted to stage the first Spanish La Liga match in the U.S., between Barcelona and Girona, at Miami Gardens on Jan. 26. That effort fell through following opposition from the governing body of Spanish soccer, the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol, and the players’ union, the Asociacion de Futbolistas Espanoles.

Perry did not announce any decision.

Wenger hints he may be retired from management

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It’s been a year since Arsene Wenger‘s Arsenal departure was announced, and the legendary manager remains on the sidelines.

Whether by his choice or not, Wenger has spent the year away from soccer, instead vacationing and being a studio TV pundit in France. In his latest public comments, Wenger hinted that while he still plans to return to a role in soccer, he likely won’t be a club manager anymore.

“I thought I will come back into management very quickly, but I enjoyed taking a little distance,” Wenger told the BBC. Now I’m at a crossroads.”

Per the BBC, Wenger later added: “You will see me again in football. As a manager… I don’t know.”

In the weeks and months after Wenger was effectively forced out of Arsenal after 22 seasons, Wenger repeatedly said that he had many offers to return to management, and it was only a matter of time before he’d accept one of these offers. And yet, it’s been a year and Wenger remains on the outside, perhaps a clear sign that today’s soccer has passed him by, and unless he wants to move to the Middle East or another soccer outpost, he won’t be able to get a top job in Western Europe.

Despite his acrimonious exit, Wenger still supports the Gunners and had some thoughts on the team’s season, as well as the club’s run to the Europa League final.

“I miss competition and I miss Arsenal because I left my heart in there,” Wenger said. “I gave my life to this club for 22 years. Every minute of my life was dedicated to this club and I miss the values we developed inside the club.

“I support Arsenal. It will be forever my club.”

Pochettino hopeful Kane can “give us a hand” in UCL final

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Harry Kane returned to training this week as Tottenham continues preparations for the UEFA Champions League final.

The England and Tottenham captain has been out with yet another ankle injury since April 9. Initially feared he would be out for the rest of the season, Kane now looks set to play in the final match of the season, and his manager Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful he can make an impact.

“He’s training and has entered the final stage of his recovery, Pochettino told a conference in Bilbao, via video link, per AS. “We’re hoping he’ll be able to give us a hand – either from the start, from the bench or if not, then by giving us moral support in the dressing room. But we are optimistic that he’ll be able to help us on the pitch.”

Pochettino completed a magnificent feat guiding Tottenham to the Champions League final, but he may have one of the most difficult decisions he has to make in his managerial career ahead.

Should Kane be available to start, Pochettino has to decide whether he should break from the lineup that came back from a 3-0 deficit to Ajax, and potentially put Lucas Moura on the bench. If Tottenham loses, Pochettino is probably darned if he does, darned if he doesn’t with Kane.

Either Kane wasn’t fit enough to play and make a big impact, or he clearly was and he didn’t have enough time in the match.

Regardless, Pochettino will hope to have a full squad available, with Kane able to make a difference should be needed.