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Premier League Power Rankings

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After an exciting and eventful Premier League weekend, let’s take stock in the rise and fall of teams in the latest edition of the Premier League Power Rankings.

[ MORE: PL Power Rankings – 2017-18 ]

The last time we updated our rankings was in mid-January, and you can see the ranking of the clubs back then in the parenthesis after their club name in the list below.

We’ve had some fascinating movement, up and down.

Here is the latest batch of Premier League Power Rankings as we sort the 20 clubs based on their current form.

  1. Manchester United (4) — Not including the mid-week defeat at Tottenham, Manchester United has been incredibly consistent over the past few weeks, with four wins in its last five games. Paul Pogba has returned to sparkling form and Alexis Sanchez has added a new spark to the attack. And the defense with Matic holding in front of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and/or Marcos Rojo has remained strong and steady.
  2. Manchester City (3) — City has rebounded very nicely since the thrilling 4-3 defeat to Liverpool. Successive wins over Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion led up to a surprising 1-1 draw with Burnley, though had Raheem Sterling finished his gilt-edged chance, the result would have been different. Pep Guardiola‘s side is trending upwards, again.
  3. Tottenham (2) — Was it offside? Was it a penalty kick (both times)? Either way, Tottenham fought back at Anfield to earn a 2-2 draw, just a few days after smoking Man United at Wembley Stadium. It wasn’t Tottenham’s best performance, but they managed to get a point out of it, a sign of better things to come down the closing stretch of the season.
  4. Liverpool (1) — The Reds had a chance to stay at the top of the Power Rankings or near it had they held on to defeat Tottenham, but Jurgen Klopp‘s side let the game get away, regardless of the decisions by the officials. Up next for Liverpool. A return for Virgil Van Dijk to his former club, Southampton.
  5. Bournemouth (9)Eddie Howe is pushing all the right buttons for the Cherries. Since beating Arsenal, Bournemouth has built up a seven-game Premier League unbeaten run, with two straight wins over Chelsea and Stoke City, moving into the top 10 and seven points above the drop zone. If they keep up this form, with Callum Wilson‘s return, they’ll be squarely in mid-table by the season’s end.
  6. Arsenal (10)  After a deeply disappointing 3-1 defeat in Swansea, the Gunners completed the deadline-day transfer of Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang, reuniting him with former Dortmund teammate and new Arsenal signing Henrik Mkhitaryan. The two looked terrific in their debut as Arsenal romped to a 5-1 win over Everton. Is some light shining at the Emirates Stadium?
  7. Watford (15) — Watford has started off well under new manager Javi Gracia. The Hornets picked up a massive 4-1 win over the defending champions, Chelsea, with Gerard Deulofeu back to his best in the Premier League and Troy Deeney leading the line up top. Watford is definitely trending up.
  8. Chelsea (7) — It’s been a rough week for Chelsea, with defeats to both Watford and Bournemouth and reports that Antonio Conte‘s days as Chelsea manager could be numbered. Chelsea faces West Bromwich Albion this week, with a chance to regain momentum and stay in the Premier League’s top four. It’s crucial for Gary Cahill and the back three to return to their former level.
  9. Swansea City (12) — Carlos Carvalhal has made an amazing start with the Swans, which has beaten the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool while drawing Leicester City on the road. Amazingly, the latest run has moved Swansea City out of the relegation zone.
  10. Leicester City (8) — Leicester City has had a decent January, with just one defeat and two wins in the FA Cup. But the defeat was at struggling Everton and Claude Puel‘s side was unable to break down Swansea City in a 1-1 draw. Leicester are still 8th in the table, but Jamie Vardy isn’t getting any help in the scoring department the last few weeks.
  11. Brighton and Hove Albion (18) — The Seagulls picked up a crucial win over West Ham this week, with Jose Izquierdo scoring for just the third time this season. Sitting three points above the relegation zone, every win counts.
  12. Southampton (20) — The Saints ended the Premier League’s longest winless streak (12 games) with a road victory at West Bromwich Albion, pushing Southampton out of the relegation zone. Mauricio Pellegrino is still on the hot seat, but the win brightens the spirits for a little while. Unfortunately for the Saints, up next is Liverpool.
  13. Crystal Palace (5) Roy Hodgson‘s side has fallen down the Premier League standings with three-straight games without a win, scoring just three times and picking up two points. Palace needed a penalty kick to draw Newcastle last weekend and they’ll need a big performance from the squad at Everton on Saturday.
  14. Everton (14) — Speaking of Everton, it appeared to be trending upward under Sam Allardyce before the Toffees were hammered by Arsenal. But four points from two games prior to that helped propel the side into the top 10 of the Premier League, where they’ll likely stay the rest of the season.
  15. Burnley (19) Sean Dyche’s side’s winless streak has i to nine games, but a pair of 1-1 draws, including against Manchester City are keeping Burnley in the top 10.
  16. West Ham United (6)David Moyes has West Ham barely treading water over the relegation zone, but a tough past few weeks has thrown a wrench in his plans, including a defeat to Brighton and Hove last week. The Irons have a chance to move up against Watford this Saturday.
  17. Newcastle (13) — Winless in its last four, Newcastle failed to capitalize against Burnley and Crystal Palace in successive weeks as Rafa Benitez still struggles to put together wins with the squad he has.
  18. Stoke City (17)Paul Lambert picked up a big win over Huddersfield Town but it’s been same old Stoke City the last couple of games, a draw and defeat as the club remains in the relegation zone.
  19. West Bromwich Albion (11) — Ditto for West Bromwich, as the coaching change to Alan Pardew hasn’t delivered the results that other managers are receiving.
  20. Huddersfield Town (16)David Wagner‘s team is alive in the FA Cup but has lost five straight in the Premier League and is falling fast. No goals scored in its last three games either.

Transfer rumors: Willian, Alderweireld to Manchester United

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The transfer rumor mill is picking up steam this Monday, including some persistent whispers regarding two Premier League players with possible futures at Old Trafford.

Both of these make a lot of sense.

[ MORE: Nashville hires ex-Liverpool CEO ]

A day after Nemanja Matic stressed the need for experienced players at United, two good fits hit the rumor mill (again).

Matic’s old Chelsea pal Willian has interest from United if he seeks a way out of London — which seems likely — where he’s said to be ready to go if Antonio Conte remains as manager.

Then there’s Toby Alderweireld, whose been very strong at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur but reportedly fallen out with current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

During a rut, the Tottenham manager claimed that Alderweireld was held out of Spurs’ lineup due to the form of the players in front of him.

Also from Sky, we’ll leave this quote from PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi on the idea of possibly selling Kylian Mbappe.

Al-Khelaifi told Canal+: “You want me to give you a number? More than €1bn! Yes, I said one billion! And even if you gave me a billion, I wouldn’t sell him.”

Pogba: Mourinho “made me progress in leadership”

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Paul Pogba says “we are never sure of anything but contractually, it’s sure” that he’ll remain at Manchester United.

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement from United’s most expensive transfer purchase, as many have linked him with a move away from Old Trafford.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

He also said he’s not worried about his relationship with United boss Jose Mourinho, and pointed out that his problems and growth in Manchester are a natural part of a player’s progression. From Sky Sports:

“There were times where I wasn’t playing, I was on the bench. There was a lot of talk, people thought it wasn’t working out,” Pogba added.

“But a coach and a player don’t have to be best friends, we don’t have to go to restaurants together. I had a few little problems too… football is sometimes all about the mental side. He put me on the bench and I gave my response on the pitch. I always give everything I’ve got.

“He made me progress in leadership. I had the armband with Mourinho, it was the first time in a club, it’s important for me, it makes me grow to be also a leader in the France team.”

In a candid talk, the 25-year-old Pogba was asked about Paris Saint-Germain and told French television that he’d be open to representing the club in the future despite the fact that his parents are Marseille supporters.

Moore takes hold of West Brom’s promotion bid

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Darren Moore‘s spell as West Brom caretaker manager couldn’t quite pull off a miraculous run to Premier League safety, but the promise it contained has helped him to the first chance at earning promotion back to the top flight.

West Bromwich Albion announced Moore as its new manager on Monday, with the boss promising his Baggies would play attractive football while also being a side “that’s willing to fight and scrap for every ball.”

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Moore is also happy to carry a flame for minority coaches — called BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) — in England.

“If it does inspire others, I would be extremely proud,” he said. “I don’t just speak on behalf of BAME coaches but the young, aspiring British coaches across the board.”

Moore, 44, only lost one of his six PL matches as WBA boss, winning three times and inspiring many to wonder what would’ve happened had the Baggies’ pulled the plug on Alan Pardew — and Tony Pulis before him — earlier.

A center back in his playing career, Moore spent 18 seasons between a number of clubs including West Brom, Derby County, and Doncaster Rovers. He won promotion as a player twice with West Brom, and again with Derby.

Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan

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BRUSSELS (AP) Belgium left midfielder Radja Nainggolan out of its World Cup squad despite a standout season with Champions League semifinalist Roma.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has long had a difficult relationship with the stormy midfielder. But after being called up for a warm-up game in March against Saudi Arabia, expectations had been that he would be on the 28-man roster announced Monday.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

On top of the troubled relationship, Nainggolan was also the victim of the unparalleled wealth of talent the small nation has produced over the past few years.

Thibaut Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were all named in the squad, which will be cut to 23 before the World Cup.