Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 8

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

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

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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

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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

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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

West Ham midfielder Yarmolenko out six months after Achilles surgery

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West Ham announced on Monday that midfielder Andriy Yarmolenko would miss around six months after undergoing successful surgery on his Achilles tendon.

Yarmolenko was carried off on a stretcher in the 40th minute of West Ham’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham on Saturday. He appeared to catch his studs in the penalty area turf and went to the ground.

[ MORE: Arsenal tops Leicester City 3-1 ]

The Hammers released a statement confirming the surgery was “successful” and that he would miss around six months. That likely leaves Yarmolenko out for the rest of the season, unless he returns for the final month or so.

The 28-year-old Ukranian international joined West Ham this summer from Borussia Dortmund for a reported $23 million, and had just cracked the starting lineup after coming off the bench for the first four matches of the season. He had a brace in a 3-1 win over Everton, but has otherwise struggled to find the back of the net.

Yarmolenko was expected to be a major part of the West Ham squad this season, with a significant amount of top flight and international experience. Yarmolenko has 80 caps for Ukraine, with 36 goals to his name. He is a versatile player, able to play either on the wing or centrally, and his injury will likely mean more minutes for Michail Antonio who has started just one match for West Ham in their last five.

Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City: Ozil conjures magic in Gunners victory

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They say Mesut Ozil is one of the best players in the Premier League, when he wants to be. He wanted to be on Monday afternoon.

The Gunners captain scored the opener, and he truly shone while orchestrating two of the most brilliantly constructed goals of the Premier League season to help Arsenal shake off an early Hector Bellerin own-goal to earn a 3-1 victory at the Emirates.

Leicester City attacked well from the onset and would go ahead just seconds past the half-hour mark as they push down the left. Ben Chilwell burst down the flank past Alexandre Lacazette and behind Hector Bellerin just enough that as Bellerin hoped to recover, Chilwell’s cross clipped Bellerin’s foot and into the back of the net, with goalkeeper Bernd Leno already diving the wrong way to stop the cross.

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Arsenal surged into the asencency after falling behind, and nearly found an equalizer shortly after. A long ball was just out of reach for a streaking Alex Iwobi behind the defensive line, Granit Xhaka came close on a long-range free-kick, Aaron Ramsey whiffed on a free header at the near post on a corner, and Iwobi’s effort from the right was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Eventually, the pressure would prove fruitful and the Gunners would equalize just before the break. As the Gunners looked to build out of the back, Mesut Ozil charged through the midfield on the ball, and after spraying it right to Bellerin, he got the ball right back in front of net and had plenty of space for a one-touch finish on the run.
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After the break, Arsenal had a big chance as Lacazette’s shot pinged around and fell to Henrikh Mkhitaryan whose scissor kick swerved across the face of goal and just wide of the left post. Still, Leicester proved pesky and nearly put themselves back in front in the 58th minute as Wilfred Ndidi headed a corner straight into the crossbar.

That would prove costly, as Arsenal took advantage minutes later. With the Gunners on the ball in the attacking third, Ozil threaded an absolutely delicious through-ball for Bellerin that completely unlocked the Leicester City back line, and the Spaniard simply tapped across to substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the goal.

The Gunners would do even better three minutes later on one of the prettiest goals we’ve seen this Premier League season. Bellerin sent the ball into the mixer with Ozil waiting at the top of the box. The German international let the ball go through his legs, dummying to Lacazette who touched right back to Ozil on the run past the Leicester City back line. With Arsenal now through, Ozil produced a delicious chip over a charging Schmeichel to Aubameyang waiting to finish a simple tap-in for his second goal of the evening.

Arsenal probably should have had a fourth, but Lacazette’s look on the doorstep was smothered well by Schmeichel. That was the last serious action of the game, as the Gunners cruised to victory.

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The win pushed Arsenal up to fourth in the Premier League table, even on 21 points with Tottenham and Chelsea, and ahead of their West London rivals on goal differential. Leicester City, meanwhile, remained stuck in 11th on 12 points for the season.

Report: USSF CEO Dan Flynn to step down in 2019

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According to a report by Washington Post reporter Steven Goff, U.S. Soccer Federation CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn will step down from his position in the aftermath of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Flynn has been atop USSF for the last 18 years, generally credited for turning around the finances of the federation from a position of instability and insecurity to generate a $150 million reserve fund.

The 63-year-old has been a source of stability for U.S. Soccer over the past two decades despite multiple changes around him. He began serving with U.S. Soccer back in 1994 when he left his position as president of Anheuser-Busch and worked on the United States’ production of the World Cup that summer. After that, he served as Chief Administrative Officer and as Chief Operating Officer until his hiring as CEO in 2000.

The report states that Flynn will assist in the transition to his successor after stepping down. While no timetable is given for his departure other than to suggest it will take place during the 2019 calendar year, the report states that it is unlikely that he will leave before the end of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Flynn was the genesis of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, TX and is the federation’s highest paid employee.

Watch Live: Arsenal v. Leicester City

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Arsenal host Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Gunners aim for a tenth-straight win in all competitions.

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Leicester have never won at Arsenal in the Premier League with the Gunners winning each of their last 11 encounters at home against the Foxes.

Unai Emery‘s men have been flying in recent weeks with six wins on the spin in the PL and the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring goals galore in attack.

In team news Arsenal bring in Shkodran Mustafi for the injured Sokratis Papastathopoulos with Stephane Lichtsteiner in at left back.

Leicester make one change with Jonny Evans coming in for the suspended Wes Morgan in central defense.


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