Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 3

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Everyone knows you can look at the table to see where clubs stand in a given season, but we do power rankings because we like to have fun with our beloved games and aren’t a wet paper towel on the shoe of sports.

A few grains of salt — or 300 — are always recommended when dealing with power rankings, and our Premier League club power rankings are intended to be a show of how the clubs look in both form and forecast at a moment in time.

[ MORE: Current Player Power Rankings ]

A new No. 1 and a fairly stagnant Bottom Five… will the real Burnley and Manchester United please stand up?

20. Cardiff City — Picked up two points from a run of Bournemouth, Newcastle, Huddersfield despite the latter two having a man sent off. Now see Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Spurs, and Liverpool inside next seven fixtures.
Last week: 19
Season high: 19
Season low: 20

19. Huddersfield Town — After opening with Chelsea and Man City, would’ve expected all three points from Cardiff’s visit. Instead, a 63rd minute red card to Jonathan Hogg and nil-nil.
Last week: 20
Season high: 18
Season low: 20

18. West Ham United Full-blown Manuel Pellegrini panic stations if the Irons cannot beat Wolves at the London Stadium and fall to 0-4.
Last week: 18
Season high: 17
Season low: 18

17. Southampton — The club’s first lead of the season lasted just four minutes, then Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s red card had Saints scurrying to hold onto a point against visiting Leicester City. Harry Maguire‘s stoppage time goal meant no points for the St. Mary’s set.
Last week: 14
Season high: 14
Season low: 17

16. Newcastle United — Rafa Benitez set up to defend against Chelsea, and nearly came away with a point. Their tough start to the season now features a visit to stung Man City before Arsenal comes to St. James Park, and the supporters didn’t even get a cup respite: The Magpies fell 3-1 at Nottingham Forest.
Last week: 16
Season high: 13
Season low: 16

Kenedy of Newcastle United (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

15. Burnley — One point from three matches, and plenty of fans will be weighing the worth of continuing its improbable and amazing Europa League run. That could end without a significant win over Olympiacos at Turf Moor on Thursday.
Last week: 15
Season high: 15
Season low: 15

14. Manchester United — Certainly the lowest they’ll fall considering a trip to fixture-battered Burnley comes next on Sunday, right? Or will the players’ lack of inspiration cost the club a match and a manager?
Last week: 8
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

13. Crystal Palace — A real let down at in-form Watford, as the Eagles need to find offense from someone not named Wilfried Zaha. Alexander Sorloth found the score sheet in a League Cup win over Swans at midweek.
Last week: 7
Season high: 6
Season low: 13

12. Fulham Aleksandar Mitrovic is not only behaving himself at Craven Cottage, he’s scoring like his best days in a Newcastle United shirt. Good win over Burnley, but a point or more at Brighton would feel nice heading into Man City.
Last week: 17
Season high: 11
Season low: 17

11. Wolves — The home draws against 10-man Everton and champions City are nice, and a point at West Ham on Saturday would reinforce preseason hopes of a top half finish.
Last week: 13
Season high: 10
Season low: 13

10. Bournemouth — Eddie Howe‘s got the Cherries flying, even with the 2-2 draw against Everton that featured a red card for each side. A visit to Chelsea is next.
Last week: 11
Season high: 11
Season low: 12

9. Brighton and Hove Albion — Terrific little litmus test this weekend versus Fulham, which can help suss out the true table potential of the Gulls.
Last week: 12
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

8. Leicester City  Claude Puel‘s men are very quietly 2-1, and could be a perfect 3-for-3 had Jamie Vardy not stumbled out of the gates on Opening Day. Now a chance to make a statement when Liverpool comes to King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Last week: 10
Season high: 8
Season low: 11

Kasper Schmeichel and Ricardo Pereira of Leicester City (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

7. Arsenal — Visits to Cardiff City and Newcastle allow Unai Emery a chance to further cement his system following a needed 3-1 win over West Ham.
Last week: 9
Season high: 7
Season low: 9

6. Everton — No Richarlison for visits from Huddersfield and West Ham, then a trip to Arsenal is a concern, but the Toffees are so far quite legit under Marco Silva.
Last week: 5
Season high: 5
Season low: 8

5. Watford — Unbeaten is unbeaten, but their spotless 3-0 record meets visits from Spurs and Manchester United.
Last week: 6
Season high: 5
Season low: 7

4. Chelsea — Have scored multiple goals in all three wins to start the season, and weathered Rafa Benitez’s parked bus at St. James’ Park. A visit to Bournemouth should make for appetizing television on Saturday.
Last week: 3
Season high: 3
Season low: 4

3. Tottenham Hotspur — What transfer window concerns?
Last week: 4
Season high: 3
Season low: 4

2. Manchester City — Most certainly mortal, as 38-0 is no longer a possibility. It’s a poor week to be visiting Newcastle.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

1. Liverpool Jurgen Klopp is undoubtedly preening given the Reds’ spotless start, with three wins from three and not a single goal conceded by Alisson Becker. Visits to Leicester and Spurs will almost certainly end the latter, but is 5-0 on the horizon?
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

Southgate, England players sound off on racist abuse

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England took care of business in Monday’s 6-0 thrashing of Bulgaria, but the Three Lions had to endure some horrendous racist abuse from the crowd during the game.

The match was paused on two occasions I’m the first half by the match officials after racist chanting could be heard from a section of supporters, and a large group of Bulgarian fans were ejected towards the end of the half. However, racist abuse continued during the match from small pockets of fans in the stadium.

[READ: England v. Bulgaria delayed after racist abuse from stands]

“I have to say that the officials were on to everything very quickly,” England manager Gareth Southgate told ITV after the match. “We reported everything immediately when we heard things, we had constant communication with the fourth official and the referee. I was in contact with the players, all the way through the first half in particular, and then again at halftime.

”We know it’s an unacceptable situation, and I think we’ve managed to make two statements. By winning the game, but also we’re raised the awareness of everybody to the situation. The game was stopped twice, I know for some people that won’t be enough, but we as a group were on board with that process.”

Raheem Sterling, who scored a brace in the win, also sounded off on social media, as did former England and Arsenal star Ian Wright.

Ultimately, UEFA and the match officials followed the protocol, but the sad part about this is that England and the officials had a plan for racist abuse, and it was predictable that it would happen.

In a statement after the game, the FA confirmed they would be asking UEFA to investigate what happened. However, any punishment is too little, too late for the players who endured the abuse.

Kane, Sterling star as England rout Bulgaria

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On a night where racist abuse from the stands in Bulgaria marred the overall spectacle, England’s players produced an incredible result and spectacle for the visiting fans, with all things considered.

Harry Kane scored once and assisted on three others as England rolled over Bulgaria, winning 6-0 on Monday evening in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria. Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley both scored a brace for the Three Lions and Marcus Rashford’s thunderbolt from a tight angle gave England the opening goal it needed.

The blowout result was the perfect response after England had suffered its first loss in qualifying for a decade, losing on Friday, 2-1 at the Czech Republic. The six goals England put past Bulgaria was also the fourth time out of six games that England had scored at least five goals in a match. The only other time, aside from the defeat, was a 4-0 win last month at Wembley Stadium over Bulgaria.

This story will be updated.

 

Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

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England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.

Tottenham re-signs goalkeeper Vorm

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With Hugo Lloris set to miss at least another two months of action with a broken elbow, Tottenham has turned to a familiar face to provide some cover between the pipes.

Tottenham announced Monday it had re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm to a contract through the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season. Vorm spent five seasons with Tottenham after signing from Swansea City in 2014. However, after playing second-fiddle to Lloris and later serving as the third backup behind current Tottenham No. 2, Paulo Gazzaniga for the past couple of seasons, Vorm was released at the end of last season.

Its certainly a boost for Tottenham that a player with a long history at the club and plenty of experience was available to help in this situation. Similar to Liverpool picking up Adrian after Alisson Becker’s injury, Tottenham know what it’s getting in Vorm and may play him a few times if Gazzaniga needs a night off in the next few months.

According to Vorm, he had been home in his native Netherlands and was watching the game when he saw Lloris get injured.

“Obviously I saw straight away that he had a bad injury and at the time I thought about how bad it was, Vorm told Tottenham’s website. “After the game I spoke with Jan (Vertonghen), he told me what was going on and I spoke also with Toni (Jimenez, our goalkeeping coach) and, yes, during the week I got the phone call to ask if I was open to come back and help out. I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the players and also with Toni. We were speaking quite regularly and on Thursday he called me, we had the conversation and from there on, it went very quickly.”

In his five seasons with Tottenham, Vorm made a total of 47 appearances in all competitions. He saw plenty of time in the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and Champions League during his stay at White Hart Lane.