Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 8

Leave a comment

Heading into the international break, it is time to unveil our latest batch of Premier League Power Rankings.

[ MORE: Hazard to Real Madrid? ]

Plenty of clubs are heading in opposite directions, as the break has come at both a good and bad time for many PL teams.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

20. Huddersfield Town — Eight games without a win and despite an improved display at Burnley, things are looking bleak.
Last week: 20
Season high: 18
Season low: 20

19. Cardiff City — See above. No wins yet for Cardiff, but Neil Warnock‘s men made Tottenham work hard for their win. Tough run of games coming up.
Last week: 19
Season high: 19
Season low: 20

18. Fulham — Defensively a shambles and although the Cottagers are good to watch, there’s no substance to their obvious style. Worrying start to life back in the PL. How long will Slavisa Jokanovic get?
Last week: 16
Season high: 11
Season low: 18

17. Newcastle United — Just when it seemed like the Magpies had bagged their first win of the season, they crumbled like a Jenga set. Rafael Benitez’s men squandering a 2-0 lead at Man United was painful to watch as you could see the belief being sucked out of them. Massive games coming up.
Last week: 18
Season high: 13
Season low: 18

16. Southampton — Mark Hughes‘ men actually created plenty of chances against Chelsea but they’ve now failed to score in three-straight games and it looks like another season of relegation struggles for Saints.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 17

15. Crystal Palace — Only one win so far for Palace and Roy Hodgson‘s men continue to look lackluster in attack with Wilfried Zaha out of sorts. A tight loss at home to Wolves suggests finishing in midtable would be a great season for the Eagles.
Last week: 13
Season high: 6
Season low: 15

14. Watford — A 4-0 spanking at the hands of Bournemouth underlined Watford’s rapid decline and silly defensive errors are costing the Hornets dear. Once again a fine start is evaporating quickly.
Last week: 12
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

13. Burnley — The Clarets only drew at home against Huddersfield but Sean Dyche‘s men are now three games unbeaten and looking back to their old selves. Solid and dependable.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

12. West Ham United — The Hammers were second best at Brighton but could have grabbed an equalizer but missed some glorious chances. Manuel Pellegrini will be annoyed with West Ham’s latest display.  
Last week: 9
Season high: 9
Season low: 20

11. Leicester City — I think we can label the Foxes a Jekyll and Hyde team. Wes Morgan‘s red card didn’t help matters, but they were second best in the home defeat to Everton. Four wins and four defeats so far this season.
Last week: 7
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

10. Brighton and Hove Albion — The Seagulls delivered a much-improved display and grabbed a valuable three points against West Ham. Glenn Murray‘s fine form continues as the veteran finished off one of several incisive moves.
Last week: 14
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

Getty Images

9. Manchester United — Well, what can we say? They looked dead and buried at 2-0 down at home against Newcastle with Jose Mourinho facing the sack. United then roared back to win 3-2 with a last-gasp goal from Alexis Sanchez. Hardly vintage play, but they stood tall when their manager needed them to. So many defensive issues to sort out. But a win is a win.
Last week: 10
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

8. Everton — A fine win away at Leicester and Marco Silva‘s attacking unit finally looks dangerous. Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a stunner to win it, while Walcott, Richarlison and Bernard caused plenty of problems. Toffees shoring things up defensively too.
Last week: 11
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

7. Tottenham — A weird season for Spurs so far, as they’ve failed to hit top gear but are just two points off top spot and they’ve equalled their best-ever start to a season. Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t been impressed with their displays, but they’ve been winning. That is the sign of a good team.
Last week: 6
Season high: 3
Season low: 8

6. Bournemouth — The fairytale continues for Eddie Howe‘s side who are showing they can truly be the “best of the rest” and mount a challenge to qualify for Europe. The quartet of King, Wilson, Brooks and Fraser ripped Watford apart in a 4-0 win and there is so much to admire about Bournemouth’s attacking play with young talent. Fantastic start as they’re just five points off the top.
Last week: 8

Season high: 6
Season low: 12

5. Wolves — Talking of fairytales, my word, Wolves are flying. The newly-promoted team won at Crystal Palace and Nuno Espirito Santo has named eight unchanged lineups for their eight PL games. Continuity is key and the backing from their Chinese owners suggests this is only the start. Alongside Bournemouth, they will fight to finish in the top six. They sit in seventh heading into the break.
Last week: 5
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

Getty Images

4. Liverpool — Disappointing display against Man City and they should have lost late on. That said, still unbeaten after eight games and Jurgen Klopp is delighted with that given all of the big Champions League and League Cup games rolled into the past few weeks. Solid start, even if Salah and Co. aren’t firing on all cylinders up top.
Last week: 3
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

3. Arsenal — Wow. Here come the Gunners. Nine wins on the spin in all competitions and six in a row in the league means that Unai Emery is having to calm everyone down. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are on fire and scored twice each in the 5-1 win at Fulham, while defensively there is still room for improvement but they look better at the back.
Last week: 4
Season high: 4
Season low: 9

2. Man City — A mature display away at Liverpool where they controlled the attacking trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino with ease and should have won late on had Riyad Mahrez not skied the penalty kick. The reigning champs are top of the table on goal difference but know they’ll have a much tougher fight this season to win it all.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

1. Chelsea — Maurizio Sarri‘s men are looking imperious right now. They have yet to lose any of his 11 games in charge in all competitions and they are joint-top of the table while playing the most attractive football in the PL. With Eden Hazard in the form of his life, Sarri’s first few months have been scintillating. Remember: he only arrived in mid-July but it already seems like he’s been at Stamford Bridge for years. The Blues look set to muscle in on a title battle between Man City and Liverpool.
Last week: 2
Season high: 2
Season low: 4

WATCH: Timo Werner’s first Chelsea goal is a terrific one

Timo Werner first Chelsea goal
Photo by Visionhaus
Leave a comment

Timo Werner’s 11th shot as a Chelsea player finally yielded his first goal.

The German hit a 19-yard effort past Hugo Lloris to open Tuesday’s League Cup fourth-round match at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho branded Tottenham’s 18-yard box “a special box” this weekend and Werner will certainly agree after crafting this memory.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ]

Werner picked up a Cesar Azpicilueta cross that found its way through a sea of players to meet him centrally outside the 18 and powered home for 1-0 in the 19th minute.

The 24-year-old has 95 goals in his time with RB Leipzig, 14 with Stuttgart, and has 12 for the German national team.

This is likely the first of a great many for Chelsea. His first assist came in Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Brighton.

UEFA Champions League qualifying: How to watch, start times, odds

Champions League qualifying
Photo by Raddad Jebarah/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Leave a comment

American defender Henry Wingo and manager Jesse Marsch face big weeks as the second legs of the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoffs take center stage Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wingo’s Molde drew Ferencvaros 3-3 in the first leg but those three away goals loom large as the American and his Norwegian club head to Hungary.

[ MORE: Champions League qualifying scores ]

Meanwhile, Marsch saw his Red Bull Salzburg come back from an early deficit in Israel to take a 2-1 advantage over Maccabi Tel-Aviv back to Austria.

Salzburg are very heavy favorites to win and advance to the Champions League group stage for another year.

Marsch has also been linked with an impending transfer for USMNT teen Brenden Aaronson, one of at least eight Americans to watch as the European transfer window reaches its conclusion next month.

How to watch the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoff round

Kickoff: 3 pm ET Tuesday and Wednesday
Stream: CBS All-Access (subscription required)

UEFA Champions League playoff round matches

All 12 legs will kickoff at 3 pm ET between Tuesday and Sept. 30.

First legs (Roundup)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Slavia Prague 0-0 Midtjylland
Krasnodar 2-1 PAOK
Gent 1-2 Dynamo Kiev
Molde 3-3 Ferencvaros
Olympiakos 2-0 Omonia


Ferencvaros v Molde
Dynamo Kiev v Gent
Omonia v Olympiakos


Midtjylland v Slavia Prague
PAOK v Krasnodar
Red Bull Salzburg v Maccabi Tel-Aviv

UCL second leg odds (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Ferencvaros (+108) v Molde (+215) | Draw (+230)
Dynamo Kiev (-118) v Gent (+280) | Draw (+235)
Omonia (+325) v Olympiakos (-130) | Draw (+235)
Midtjylland (+170) v Slavia Prague (+155) | Draw (+195)
PAOK (+105) v Krasnodar (+220) | Draw (+235)
Red Bull Salzburg (-834) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv (+1300) | Draw (+600)

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links

League Cup: How to watch, start times, odds, predictions

Leave a comment

The League Cup’s fourth round features two interesting tactical duels in that the tournament gives us rematches of a pair of Premier League matches from the weekend, right down to the locations.

Brighton will hope Manchester United’s Wednesday trip to the Amex Stadium isn’t as lucky as the Red Devils’ 3-2 triumph over the Seagulls, while Arsenal heads back to Anfield on Thursday with designs on a measure of revenge for Monday’s 3-1 loss in league play.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ]

While Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United are built a bit deeper — easy, Red Devils fans — due to squad necessity for European competition, Graham Potter’s Seagulls don’t have it as simple as chopping and changing (though Brighton has looked plenty good with its depth so far in this tournament.

How will the tactician plot his overthrow of United? And will Mikel Arteta do anything different with Arsenal to help thwart the high line Liverpool used to limit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Monday (if the Gabonese star even plays)?

[ MORE: JPW’s 3 things from Liverpool-Arsenal ]

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho thinks that schedule congestion is going to cost Spurs on Tuesday against Chelsea as well as in the treatment room.

The Portuguese boss says he will not be able to give the League Cup the respect he’d like because of Thursday’s Europa League visit from Maccabi Haifa is a match the club needs to make the UEL group stage.

Mourinho lost Heung-min Son to injury in Sunday’s controversial draw against Newcastle and he’s worried about what’s next.

“I think Sonny was just the first [injury],” Mourinho said, via Football.London. “More will come. So he was the first, but more will come.”

Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell could make their first Chelsea starts in the match, which comes too soon for Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.

Three lower league remain and will be playing their fourth League Cup matches of the month compared to the PL’s three outings. Those who win this week will have a lot longer to wait for the quarterfinals, which won’t be held until December.

League Cup fourth round kickoff times and odds (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Tottenham (+420) v Chelsea (-180) | Draw (+360) — 2:45 pm ET Tuesday
Newport County (+560) v Newcastle (-230)  | Draw (+340)— 12:30 pm ET Weds
Burnley (+625) v Manchester City (-275) | Draw (+375) — 2 pm ET Weds
Brighton (+300) v Manchester United (-120) | Draw (+250)— 2:45 pm ET Weds
Everton (-145) v West Ham (+350) | Draw (+280)— 2:45 pm ET Weds
Brentford (+135) v Fulham (+185) | Draw (+225)— 12:30 pm ET Thursday
Aston Villa (-150) v Stoke City (+360) | Draw (+275)— 2 pm ET Thursday
Liverpool (-105) v Arsenal (+230) | Draw (+270)— 2:45 pm ET Thursday

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links

League Cup fourth round predictions

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea
Newport County 1-3 Newcastle United
Burnley 0-3 Manchester City
Brighton 2-1 Manchester United
Everton 2-2 (EFC wins in penalties) West Ham United
Brentford 1-1 (Brentford wins in penalties) Fulham
Aston Villa 2-0 Stoke City
Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal

How to watch League Cup fourth round streams and start time

Kickoff: Tuesday through Thursday
Online: Select games on ESPN+
Updates: Follow League Cup scores via

Liverpool confirm Thiago tests positive for COVID-19

Thiago Alcantara
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for COVID-19, Liverpool confirmed.

The Spanish midfielder, 29, was a surprise omission from the Liverpool squad for their 3-1 win against Arsenal on Monday and it was initially believed he had a minor injury.

However, the reigning Premier League champions have issued a statement on Thiago after he tested positive for coronavirus and said he “exhibited minor symptoms” of COVID-19 and is now in “good health and is getting better” under the close watch of their medical team. 

Here is the statement on Thiago Alcantara.

“Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating according to the necessary guidelines. The 29-year-old, who missed Monday’s match against Arsenal, has exhibited minor symptoms of the virus but is in good health and is getting better. The club has, and will continue to follow, all protocols relating to COVID-19 and Thiago will remain in self-isolation for the required period of time.

“LFC first-team doctor, Dr Jim Moxon, said: ‘It is the choice of each individual whether they reveal publicly the outcome of a COVID-19 test. We have followed all the protocols to the letter and Thiago is OK. He will be self-isolating now as per the guidelines and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.'”

This news means that Thiago Alcantara will not feature for Liverpool against Aston Villa on Sunday and all being well he will be back in action for the Reds after the international break in mid-October.

The Premier League announced late Monday that 10 individuals tested positive out of 1,658 people tested within the league for COVID-19.