Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 10

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There’s another week of Top Five tumult in our power rankings, as Arsenal and Spurs failed to hit their mark while the remaining three challengers brought fine form out of Week 10.

[ ARCHIVE: Premier League club power rankings ]


20. Huddersfield Town — The Terriers have two goals in their last six matches, with Fulham up next; If Huddersfield doesn’t score this weekend, it should be relegated now.
Last week: 20
Season high: 18
Season low: 20

19. Fulham *New season low*  Have taken zero points since beating Millwall in the League Cup, and will find themselves in serious trouble if they cannot manage a result at Huddersfield Town.
Last week: 18
Season high: 11
Season low: 19

18. Newcastle United — Back-to-back visits from Watford and Bournemouth before a trip to Burnley. Yes, the first two are doing well this season, but the Magpies really need to find at least four points from those three fixtures.
Last week: 19
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

17. Burnley — A bit of relief following a combined 9-0 scoreline in losses to Man City and Chelsea, with a visit to West Ham. The claret vs. claret match-up will tell us whether Burnley fans should be nervous.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

16. Cardiff City — Probably somewhere in between their 4-2 defeat of Fulham and 4-1 loss to Liverpool, and could use a point from grieving Leicester City’s visit.
Last week: 16
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

15. Southampton — Looked stout against Newcastle, but still struggling to find the recipe for danger up front despite plenty of opportunities to open up the Magpies.
Last week: 14
Season high: 13
Season low: 17

(Mark Kerton/PA via AP)

14. Crystal Palace — A fortunate draw at Arsenal moves the Eagles up ahead of a murderous run: at Chelsea, home Spurs, at Manchester United.
Last week: 15
Season high: 6
Season low: 15

13. West Ham United — Probably deserved all three points against Leicester after a gutsy performance with 10 men. Six points from their next two — home to Burnley, away to Huddersfield — would put them in a position befitting their team.
Last week: 13
Season high: 9
Season low: 20

12. Wolves — Losses to Watford and Brighton have us scratching our heads. Will Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men refind their rhythm as giant killers with Spurs and Arsenal next?
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

11. Leicester City — Heavy, heavy hearts accompany the Foxes to Cardiff City following the tragic death of its owner and four others.
Last week: 12
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

10. Brighton and Hove Albion — Three-straight gutsy, 1-0 wins have the Seagulls well-positioned for a mid-table run. It wouldn’t be crazy to see Chris Hughton‘s men get 12-14 points from its next 18.
Last week: 11
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

9. Everton — Rebounding from the loss to Manchester United against in-form Brighton is necessary.
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

8. Watford — Steady again with back-to-back wins, will the Hornets show consistency with a visit to punchless Newcastle United?
Last week: 9
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

7. Bournemouth — There’s a chance for the Cherries to possibly join the Top Five if they can pass their first big litmus test in some time: a visit from Manchester United.
Last week: 7
Season high: 6
Season low: 12

6. Manchester United — Have scored multiple goals in three successive matches, and can feel better about life with a win at in-form Bournemouth.
Last week: 6
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

5. Spurs — The 1-0 loss to Man City at Wembley was ugly in a few ways, but can easily be written off if Spurs can get right back to winning ways against Wolves.
Last week: 4
Season high: 3
Season low: 8

4. Arsenal — Deserved a win at Palace if not for Granit Xhaka‘s silly conceded penalty. How it fares against Liverpool will tell us a lot about Unai Emery‘s new era.
Last week: 2
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

3. Chelsea — Still unbeaten and well-rested ahead of a visit from Crystal Palace (who also kept their best players rested at midweek).
Last week: 5
Season high: 1
Season low: 5

2. Liverpool — Well, here you go, Reds: A match against Arsenal and the chance to make a real statement against a club which hasn’t lost in 14 outings.
Last week: 3
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

1. Man City — Could’ve netted three, four, five, maybe six against Spurs on the dodgy pitch at Wembley, but picked up the 1-0 win on a day it was far from its best.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

 

Sheffield United season restart preview

Sheffield United season restart preview
Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images)
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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

Sheffield United is next.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Blades when it comes to the season restart.


Outlook: Sheffield United has welcomed itself to the Premier League and put its feet up on the big boys’ tables while asking what’s for dinner. Blades sit seventh and will hope to continue a fairytale which has them on the precipice of the Europa League. Their fixture list in monstrous, especially at Bramall Lane, but Wilder’s proven capable of outwitting even the smartest of bosses for long periods of time. A name to remember is Simon Moore. The backup keeper and starter from Blades’ League One days could become vital should Manchester United defy expectation and pull Dean Henderson home from his loan upon its June 30 expiry.

[ MORE: Ranking every Southampton player in 2019-20 ]


Tactical analysis: Chris Wilder has flummoxed many a Premier League manager with his creative use of defenders in attack. United typically uses Jack O’Connell, John Egan and Chris Basham as a back-3 with Enda Stevens and George Baldock as the two wingbacks. Those players have accounted for six of United’s 18 PL assists this season. For more on the tactics, Wilder laid things out in entertaining fashion for Arlo White late last month.


Possible XI (3-5-2) 

—– Henderson* —–

— Basham — O’Connell — Egan —

— Baldock — Fleck —  Berge —– Norwood — Stevens—

—– McBurnie —– Mousset —–

The challenge here is fitting January signing Berge into the mix, as fellow central midfielders John Fleck, Oliver Norwood, and John Lundstram have been instrumental in this amazing season. Lundstram seems the most likely to cede his spot if someone will, which really says something about Berge’s immense talent. David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp have provided a lot up top, so McBurnie and Mousset will see plenty of time on the bench. And the biggest question of all is Henderson, who’s on loan from top seven rival Manchester United.

[ MORE: The 2 Robbies assess Sheffield United’s chances ]


[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Remaining schedule
Home: Spurs, Wolves, Chelsea, Everton
Away: Newcastle, Manchester United, Burnley, Leicester City, Southampton

Predicted finish: The Blades will get the chance to defend their home turf from not one, not two, not three, but four would-be European rivals (It’s a little generous to include Everton, but the talent is there). Throw in Leicester and Manchesteer United away, and there is a huge bridge to cross for Wilder’s men to keep their incredible season on the path toward unprecedented heights. It’s not just about keeping Spurs and Arsenal in the rear view mirror, as Blades meet the next four teams above their seventh-place footing.

Petersen’s header leads Freiburg past 10-man Gladbach

Freiburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach recap
Photo by Ronald Wittek/Pool via Getty Images
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Nils Petersen’s second half goal led Freiburg to a huge 1-0 win over 10-man Borussia Monchengladbach at the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Friday.

Freiburg keeps its Europa League hopes alive by moving onto 41 points, one behind sixth and seventh.

Gladbach fails in a bid to go third and remains fourth with 56 points, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential.

A second yellow card to Plea was a double curse to Gladbach, who went down a man and now will miss a star forward against Bayern Munich.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Bayer’s Ramy Bensebaini utilized a slick backheel turn to nutmeg an opponent and send in a cross that was put out for a corner kick.

Freiburg keeper Alexander Schwolow made a tight-angle save on Alassane Plea just after the quarter-hour mark.

Gladbach saw a chance chalked off after two dangerous bids resulted in an offside deflection into the goal.

Florian Neuhaus came close to scoring again when Lars Stindl headed the penultimate move of a fine team play into the six, but he popped it over the frame.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Gladbach’s second half again settled into the Freiburg final third, but it was a home sub that paid dividends at the other end.

Petersen improved his club record for goals when he nodded Vincenzo Grifo’s free kick home in the 59th.

Stindl wasn’t too far from equalizing with a 17-yard shot at the hour mark, but Plea’s second yellow card damaged Gladbach’s hopes of a comeback.

LA Galaxy release Katai after wife’s social media mocks protestors

Aleksandar Katai released
Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images
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The LA Galaxy have “parted ways” with Aleksandar Katai after the Serbian winger’s wife posted racist and violent comments regarding protestors.

On Tuesday, Tea Katai posted a comment to “kill the s—-” with an accompanying video of a New York PD police vehicle ramming into a barricade help up by protestors and another photo of looters with sneakers she captioned, “Black Nikes Matter.”

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Aleksandar Katai issued an apology on Instagram saying that the views would not “be tolerated in my family” and condemned white supremacy while posting that “Black Lives Matter.”

That wouldn’t be enough for the Galaxy, who announced they would meet with Katai on Thursday. Their consideration may have been affected by protests outside their stadium.

According to the LA Times’ Kevin Baxter:

On Thursday four men stood before a statue of David Beckham outside the team’s stadium holding a bedsheet-sized banner that read “No Racists in Our Club” with Katai’s uniform No. 7 encircled with a red line through it.

Katai, 29, was in his first season with the Galaxy after spending 66 matches with the Chicago Fire, scoring 19 goals with 12 assists. Prior to that, he spent time with Red Star Belgrade and Vojvodina. He is nine times capped by Serbia including thrice in 2019.

Newcastle United season restart preview

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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

Newcastle United is next.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Here is a closer look at all things Magpies when it comes to the season restart.


Outlook: The Magpies won’t be qualifying for Europe and also are extremely unlikely to be relegated, but is there some danger of the latter? It seems more likely that Newcastle’s season will be more headline watching to see if its controversial takeover is approved and serious pitch-analyzing to see if Joelinton can rediscover what he did well in the Bundesliga last season. Steve Bruce’s men are also in the FA Cup quarterfinals but have Man City coming to St. James’ Park, but the veteran manager getting a result against Pep Guardiola twice in one season seems a tall ask.

[ MORE: Ranking every Newcastle player in 2019-20 ]


Tactical analysis: The Magpies have done their best work replicating the system Rafa Benitez implemented last season, but Bruce has shown some real nous in getting four of six points from a flat back four in the final two matches before the pause (That said, the Burnley draw was abysmal).

It’s easy to imagine Bruce using four at the back for the first two matches of the restart, home outings against Blades and Villa, though the Magpies’ 2-0 defeat of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane saw the side effective in a 3-4-3. How it goes from there could dictate Bruce’s plans, though expect more 5-man back lines with Man City, Liverpool, and Spurs yet to come.

[ MORE: The 2 Robbies assess Newcastle’s chances ]


Possible XI (4-2-3-1) 

—– Dubravka —–

— Manquillo — Lascelles — Fernandez — Rose —

—– Shelvey —– S. Longstaff —–

— Ritchie— Almiron — Saint-Maximin—

—– Joelinton —–

There are plenty of things that could and should change here. Loan signings Valentino Lazaro and Nabil Bentaleb have good chances to start and Isaac Hayden’s been more consistently than sophomore-slumping Sean Longstaff. The club also will want to court Matty Longstaff into a new deal and Geordie hero Andy Carroll is healthy and works well in place of or next to Joelinton, who can move to the wing. Fabian Schar and Ciaran Clark are starting caliber backs looking for homes since Steve Bruce moved away from a back five, and Paul Dummett is a healthy and adequate CB, too.


[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Remaining schedule
Home: Sheffield United (6/21), Aston Villa (6/24), West Ham, Spurs, Liverpool
Away: Bournemouth (7/1), Man City, Watford, Brighton and Hove Albion

Predicted finish: We’ll know plenty within three days of the season’s restart, as Blades and Villa visit St. James’ Park and the Magpies could sit top half in no time. Eight points clear of the drop zone is not entirely safe with eight matches left, though, so there’s some potential for danger if they lose those winnable matches at an empty SJP. That said, there are too many ways to cross the 40-point mark and so many teams behind them. They sit 13th, and they’ll finish within a place or two of that.