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Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 6

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Two teams in claret are leaping up our table as the Premier League eyes up a tasty weekend with matches at both ends of the table.

[ MORE: League Cup wrap ]

Chelsea will host Liverpool in a bid to knock off the Reds for a second time in four days, while Cardiff City hopes Burnley will be waylaid by a shock loss to Burton Albion in the League Cup.

To the rankings!

20. Huddersfield Town — Both Cardiff and Huddersfield will be looking for each other on the schedule, only to realize that’s where both acquired one of their measly two points.
Last week: 18
Season high: 18
Season low: 20

19. Cardiff City — Neil Warnock‘s Bluebirds get to sit above Huddersfield on account of their last three matches, all losses, coming against Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man City.
Last week: 19
Season high: 19
Season low: 20

18. Newcastle United — Celebrated the end of a tough early season run of fixtures by nearly losing to Palace and scrambling to find any notion of offense in the scoreless draw. Rafa Benitez clearly has little trust for his strikers.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 18

17. Burnley — Celebrate! The Clarets absolutely crushed Bournemouth at Turf Moor to ring in some good times and climb out of our, and the real table’s, Bottom Three.
Last week: 20
Season high: 15
Season low: 20

16. Southampton — Not being able to use Danny Ings against his parent club had three points in Liverpool’s side of the board before the match began at Anfield.
Last week: 14
Season high: 13
Season low: 17

15. Fulham — The Cottagers only loss in four matches was against Man City. The question is whether Fulham has enough defense to limit goals. The club has not kept a clean sheet and has only allowed one goal on one occasion.
Last week: 15
Season high: 11
Season low: 17

14. Brighton and Hove Albion — A rainy visit from Spurs ended 2-1 in favor of Tottenham, but there was reason to believe the Seagulls could’ve managed a third successive 2-2 draw.
Last week: 12
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

13. Everton — Having Richarlison back in encouraging, but not much else about the 2-0 loss at Arsenal is giving us hope about Everton rising too high up the table.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 11

12. Crystal Palace — Mamadou Sakho‘s missed sitter at the back post is going to be one of the things we look back on if Palace fails to finish top half.
Last week: 11
Season high: 6
Season low: 13

11. West Ham United — We know this is a terrific jump for a club who lost its first four matches of the season, but Manuel Pellegrini‘s side was always too talented and too high-powered to be a Bottom Three candidate.
Last week: 16
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

10. Leicester City — If Claude Puel‘s men are for real, they’ll do a job against Newcastle United this week.
Last week: 13
Season high: 8
Season low: 13

9. Bournemouth — A mighty shot back to Earth for the Cherries, though admittedly the 4-0 loss at Burnley wasn’t reflective of their performance.
Last week: 6
Season high: 6
Season low: 12

8. Watford — Fourth in the table, but failing to get more than a point at home to Fulham has the feel of sheep in wolves’ clothing (or at least less vicious dogs in wolves’ clothing).
Last week: 5
Season high: 4
Season low: 8

7. Manchester United — If the off-field subplots weren’t running so rampant, the draw against Wolves would be easily forgiven. Instead, they’ve run into a League Cup upset at the hands of Derby County. Beware the match-up with West Ham early Saturday (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Last week: 7
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

6. Tottenham Hotspur — The win against Brighton failed to inspire, but Erik Lamela is rounding into form. Dele Alli‘s midweek League Cup goal could be the jolt his season needed at Stadium MK.
Last week: 8
Season high: 3
Season low: 8

5. Wolves — Fun to watch, and have drawn both Manchester clubs (including United away). Nuno Espirito Santo‘s on hallowed ground.
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Joao Moutinho (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

4. Arsenal — Winners of four-straight in league play, a defeat of Watford at the weekend would show signs of true contention.
Last week: 4
Season high: 4
Season low: 9

3. Chelsea — The draw against West Ham was unlucky, but Maurizio Sarri‘s men will be serious title fighters if either Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata can find their in-form finishing boots.
Last week: 3
Season high: 3
Season low: 4

2. Manchester City — Just another ho-hum 5-0 win. Avoiding a slip-up at Brighton in a classic trap game before trips to Hoffenheim and Liverpool will be paramount to their title hopes.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

  1. Liverpool — The perfect season was lost in a home defeat to Chelsea at midweek. Now can they flip the script when the same two teams switch venues and put all their stars on show in London on Saturday?
    Last week: 1
    Season high: 1
    Season low: 2

UCL, Live: Chelsea v. Bayern; Napoli v. Barcelona

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The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League is back and the Round of 16 games continue this week as Chelsea host Bayern Munich and Barcelona head to Napoli in what should be two epic battles.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores

This is arguably the biggest test yet for Frank Lampard‘s Chelsea youngsters as they face the German giants Bayern who are in imperious form in Europe and have Robert Lewandowski leading their charge. What Chelsea lack in experience they make up for in talent and despite some attacking injuries, Lampard will be keen to take the game to Bayern at Stamford Bridge. Given Chelsea’s defensive flaws so far this season, their best form of defense is attack.

Lampard knows Chelsea must lock down Lewandowski and his battle with Antonio Rudiger is one, among many, we are really looking forward to.

[ MORE: Which Premier League team(s) will reach last eight? ]

Elsewhere, Barcelona warmed up for their big trip to Napoli in fine style as Lionel Messi scored four times in a thumping win against Eibar in La Liga on Saturday. Messi, 32, will be Barca’s main men in the cauldron that is the Estadio San Paolo and despite their patchy form in Serie A, Gennaro Gatusso’s Napoli are a dangerous proposition in the Champions League. Especially at home in Naples.

Below is the full schedule for the two UCL last 16 first leg games on Tuesday, with bothgames kicking off at 3 p.m. ET. You can follow the action live by clicking on the link above.

Tuesday Champions League action

Chelsea v. Bayern Munich
Napoli v. Barcelona

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Our latest Premier League player Power Rankings are here and there are new faces pushing their way into the upper echelons.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Stars from Premier League giants Liverpool, Man United, Arsenal, Man City and Wolves dominate our power rankings after some impressive performances and there are plenty of new entries and plenty of players from the same teams.

[ MORE: Club Power Rankings

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.

1. Anthony Martial (Man United) – New entry
2. Diogo Jota (Wolves) – New entry
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – Up 16
4. Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) – New entry
5. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Up 6
6. Richarlison (Everton) – Up 1
7. Dwight McNeil (Burnley) – New entry
8. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Up 2
9. Moussa Djenepo (Southampton) – New entry
10. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) – Down 5
11. Raul Jimenez (Wolves) – New entry
12. Bruno Fernandes (Man United) – Up 4
13. Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) – Down 9
14. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – Even
15. Martin Dubravka (Newcastle) – New entry
16. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – Down 4
17. Harry Maguire (Man United) – Down 9
18. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man United) – Down 12
19. Stuart Armstrong (Southampton) – New entry
20. Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal) – Down 7

Key battles: Chelsea v. Bayern; Real Madrid v. Man City

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Two Premier League teams play in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 this week as Chelsea host Bayern Munich and Man City head to Real Madrid in the first legs.

Which battles will determine the outcome of these games?

[ MORE: Predicting the UCL last 16 encounters ]

Below we take a look at three crucial head-to-head clashes which will be pivotal in deciding which teams will reach the quarterfinals.

Chelsea v. Bayern Munich

Antonio Rudiger v. Robert Lewandowski: The former has become a real threat from set pieces for Chelsea but his main role will be to stop the most lethal striker in Europe this season in Lewandowski’s. Bayern’s target man is ageing like a fine French win and has 40 goals to his name in all competitions for club and country. Chelsea’s defense has struggled at times this season and Lewa must be licking his chops in anticipation as he tries to win his first-ever Champions League title.

Jorginho v. Thiago Alcantara: Two pass-masters in central midfield will be a joy to watch. Jorginho has a more defensive role to play with N’Golo Kante out and the Italian will look to deliver perfectly weighted passes to get Chelsea’s attack going. As for Thiago, his vision works really well alongside some of Bayern’s more defensive midfielders and he is so assured in possession. The Spanish international has class on the ball and he and Jorginho are very similar. What a battle this should be.

Reece James v. Alphonso Davies: This is a battle we should all look forward to. Canadian star Davies has been a revelation at left back for Bayern and is encouraged to steam ahead and join in attacks whenever he can. James does exactly the same for Chelsea and has made the position his own in his debut season in the Premier League. These two players will be around at the top level and playing in the Champions League for a very long time and you can expect incisive runs up and down as they go head-to-head.

Real Madrid v. Man City

Casemiro v. Kevin De Bruyne: This will be one heck of a job for Real’s Brazilian destroyer. Of course, Casemiro can play too but his main role will be to shut down Kevin de Bruyne who has been in imperious form for Man City in recent weeks. When KDB is fit and firing on all cylinders he is almost unstoppable and he is a player who continues to be linked with a move to Real this summer amid the uncertainty over Man City’s two-season European ban.

Sergio Ramos v. Sergio Aguero: The master of the dark arts against the master of finishing will be fascinating viewing. The Sergio’s will put on a show and Aguero will fancy his chances of wriggling past Ramos and being the hero. That said, how many times have we written off Ramos in the past? The Real Madrid and Spain skipper seems to always find a way of coming out on top but he will be stretched to his limits as his Real defense try to put out fires all over the place with Aguero, KDB and Raheem Sterling or Gabriel Jesus popping up.

Karim Benzema v. Aymeric Laporte: The latter has been influential since his return from injury and his absence is the main reason Man City are so far behind Liverpool in the Premier League title race. Benzema’s physicality could cause Laporte some issues and like Ramos, he is underrated for a player who has been pivotal in winning four Champions League titles with Real Madrid. Laporte is good on the ball and Benzema’s clever turns and flicks means this battle will be more about brains than brawn.

Lyon-Juventus gets green light despite virus concerns

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LYON, France (AP) French club Lyon says its sold-out Champions League home game against Juventus will go ahead as planned on Wednesday despite the coronavirus outbreak in nearby Italy.

Lyon said in a statement on Tuesday it received the go-ahead from French authorities for the match to take place “in its initial configuration.”

Up to 3,000 Juventus fans coming from different regions of Italy are expected to attend Groupama Stadium for the last-16, first-leg match.

The fast-spreading virus from China has led to the postponement of Serie A games in northern Italy, where a cluster of the COVID-19 disease has caused seven deaths and towns to be locked down.

Health Minister Olivier Veran told RTL radio on Tuesday that France is not considering closing its border with Italy, nor banning big gatherings of people because it would not make sense.

Asked specifically about the Lyon-Juventus match, Veran said: “Should we ban gatherings? Should we stop the (Paris) Fashion Week? Should we stop matches? Should we close universities? The answer is no.”

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