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

The 2 Robbies podcast: Liverpool, Chelsea through to UCL knockouts

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle on Liverpool’s nervy 2-0 win against Red Bull Salzburg to take first place in Group E of the Champions League (1:55), Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Lille to secure a place in the Round of 16 (13:15) and who is the current favorite to win it all (20:45).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Plus, what Arsenal’s come-from-behind 3-1 win at West Ham means for both London clubs (29:10) and the Robbies discuss what they’re looking forward to most at the next Live Premier League Mornings Fan Fest in Miami Beach (46:05).

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

PL Club Power Rankings: Week 16

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The Premier League didn’t issue too many surprises at the bottom of the table this week, but two top-tier sides didn’t behave as such and shook up our rankings.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Chelsea and Man City have dipped low, and Bournemouth’s skid doesn’t have it sinking lower (yet) because of the teams beneath it.

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]


20. Watford — Liverpool and Manchester United are next, and it’s looking a long way back to safety.
Last week: 20
Season high: 17
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Crystal Palace
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Liverpool

19. Norwich City — Outshot, out-passed, our possessed Sheffield United at home and still lost. Bad vibes, man.
Last week: 18
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Sheffield United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Leicester City

18. West Ham United — Just feels like there’s something lurking below the surface here. Doesn’t smell right given the Irons talent.
Last week: 17
Season high: 5
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 3-1 v. Arsenal
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Southampton

17. Bournemouth — Losing to Liverpool is no shame, but it’s almost officially time to worry.
Last week: 16
Season high: 6
Season low: 17
Last match: Lost 3-0 v. Liverpool
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Chelsea

16. Aston Villa — Tom Heaton is a heck of a goalkeeper but he can’t be expected to save four A-plus danger chances per game.
Last week: 14
Season high: 8
Season low: 16
Last match: Lost 4-1 v. Leicester City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Sheffield United

15. Southampton — West Ham and Villa back-to-back have to provide four points if Saints revival is to be believed.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Newcastle United
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. West Ham United

14. Everton — Duncan Ferguson gives the Toffees board reason enough to be patient with their managerial hire, and then Napoli goes and fires Carlo Ancelotti.
Last week: 19
Season high: 5
Season low: 19
Last match: Won 3-1 v. Chelsea
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Manchester United

13. Burnley — The defending against Spurs — we know, Spurs are good — was enough to drop them far lower than four spots. Abject stuff from a Sean Dyche side.
Last week: 9
Season high: 5
Season low: 15
Last match: Lost 5-0 at Spurs
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Newcastle

12. Arsenal — Freddie Ljungberg started Nicolas Pepe, and Nicholas Pepe was his best player. Stunning stuff, really. Look at the assist below.
Last week: 13
Season high: 4
Season low: 12
Last match: Won 3-1 at West Ham
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Man City

11. Crystal Palace — I want to believe, but am holding out for something more. A derby win versus Brighton would suffice.
Last week: 7
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Drew 0-0 at Watford
Up next: 2:45 p.m. ET Monday v. Brighton

10. Newcastle United — Again, Steve Bruce‘s men are getting tremendous Fortune and he’s pushing almost all the right buttons (It takes guts to start Andy Carroll over the struggling record signing Joelinton). This could be a sign of the Geordie Apocalypse.
Last week: 11
Season high: 11
Season low: 20
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Southampton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Burnley

9. Sheffield United — A little wobbly lately, but still a good comeback at Carrow Road.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 2-1 at Norwich City
Up next: 10 a.m ET Saturday v. Aston Villa

8. Brighton and Hove Albion — Doesn’t it say something that a country who starves for young, strong English coaches had one sitting in Sweden for eight years? Graham Potter is legit.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Won 2-1 at Arsenal
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Wolves

7. Chelsea — Some of those young guys who’ve played so well, so early, are looking a little ragged. It’s a shame Frank Lampard is still waiting on Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who will really help things take another step.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 12
Last match: Lost 3-1 at Everton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Bournemouth

6. Manchester City — It probably has nothing to do with the system, and a lot to do with not having Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane… Still, it needs to be better than a home derby loss to a Paul Pogba-less United.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 6
Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Manchester United
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Arsenal

5. Tottenham Hotspur — We’re gonna need multiple screens on Sunday morning, as Wolves-Spurs and Man Utd-Everton are both must-monitor.
Last week: 8
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 5-0 v. Burnley
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Wolves

4. Manchester United — Ole’s at the wheel, and still doesn’t feel like Lewis Hamilton or anything but we’re not worried about heading off a cliff.
Last week: 6
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 2-1 at Man City
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Everton

3. Wolves — Beat Spurs on Sunday and I’ll go ahead and bet on them as a Top Four finisher, even after the Brighton draw failed to deliver the goods.
Last week: 3
Season high: 3
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 2-2 at Brighton
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Spurs

2. Leicester City — Wow.
Last week: 2
Season high: 2
Season low: 10
Last match: Won 4-1 at Aston Villa
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Norwich City

1. Liverpool — Wow, only atop the table.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 3-0 at Bournemouth
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Watford

Champions League Weds. preview: Two spots remain

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Only two spots remain in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, and those will be settled Wednesday afternoon.

In Group C, hosts Shakhtar Donetsk need to beat Atalanta to go through, while the visitors can also go through with a win if Dinamo Zagreb fails to defeat Man City.

[ MORE: Ancelotti reportedly speaking w/ Everton ]

In Group D, Atletico Madrid is through with a win over Lokomotiv Moscow, though Bayer Leverkusen can complete a remarkable comeback from an 0-3 start to the group stage if they beat already-qualified Juve and Atleti loses to their Russian visitors.

You certainly wouldn’t be against Diego Simeone there, though.

“Tomorrow is a great opportunity, every day that you wear the Atletico shirt is,” Simeone said, via Marca. “I believe in my team, in the humility that they have at the moment. The results will come based on what they are demonstrating on the field.”

Premier League sides Man City and Tottenham Hotspur both have their fortunes settled, with City having won Group C and Spurs settled into Group B’s second spot, but they still have plenty to figure out on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho’s Spurs are going up against a Bayern team that walloped them at home, while City is living an unusual 2W-3D-2L lull in form.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League action

12:55 p.m. ET
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Atalanta
Dinamo Zagreb v. Man City

3 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Bayer Leverkusen v. Juventus
Paris Saint-Germain v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Red Star Belgrade
Bayern Munich v. Tottenham Hotspur

Ancelotti fired by Napoli as Everton, Arsenal lurk

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Carlo Ancelotti won a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, then lost his job.

The Napoli’s boss strained relationship with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis came to a head, with the Neapolitan side advancing in Europe to end a nine-match winless run.

[ MORE: Sporting KC adds Liga MX top scorer ]

That run may’ve included seven draws, but it also saw Napoli dip into seventh on the Serie A table. They are seven points back of sixth and 17 points behind leaders Juventus.

A strained relationship got worse when Ancelotti refused to take the team on a De Laurentiis-ordered “team retreat” following a draw against Salzburg in early November.

Gennaro Gattuso is rumored as Ancelotti’s replacement, and the fired coach himself is being mentioned as an immediate target for Arsenal and Everton.

In fact, the Toffees are in discussions with the Italian legend already, according to Sky Sports. Football Italia claims Arsenal is in on the action, too.

Ancelotti has won the Champions League with AC Milan twice and a third time with Real Madrid. He’s claimed domestic titles in five of Europe’s top leagues, with silverware at Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid.