Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 23

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Two Premier League clubs have dipped to new season lows in our Premier League Club Power Rankings.

[ ARCHIVE: Premier League club power rankings ]


20. Huddersfield Town — If Jan Siewert can save the Terriers this season, he should get an instant statue next to David Wagner‘s whenever the latter is built.
Last week: 20
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

19. Fulham — A fine performance against Spurs ends with another loss.
Last week: 19
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

18. Cardiff City — It’s difficult to rail against the Bluebirds’ performance at Newcastle given the horrific story involving record signing Emiliano Sala’s plane disappearing en route to Wales.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

17. Newcastle United — Out of the drop zone after a convincing defeat of Cardiff City, the Magpies don’t have much of a chance to build on it. Next up are Man City, Spurs, and Wolves, the latter two away from St. James’ Park. By the time Huddersfield Town visits, will the Magpies be with them in the drop zone?
Last week: 18
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

16. Burnley — Given their recent run, a draw at Watford is just fine. The Clarets are just dropping due to the razor-thin margins between the hopeful midtable sides. Burnley is still just three points above the drop zone. Now can Sean Dyche slow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s flying Manchester United at Old Trafford?
Last week: 14
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

15. Everton *New season low* — Anything other than a win at Huddersfield Town should legitimately increase the heat under Marco Silva‘s seat to full flame.
Last week: 12
Season high: 5
Season low: 15

14. Southampton — Back-to-back wins and the chance to put another side in its rear view when 14th place Palace visits in what could be the surprise entertainment of the midweek.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

13. Crystal Palace — Some understandable bumps in the road have hit the Eagles, but they’ll be expected to bounce back and get a point or more at Southampton even if Ralph Hasenhuttl has Saints looking up.
Last week: 16
Season high: 6
Season low: 17

12. Brighton and Hove Albion — After losses to Liverpool and Manchester United, don’t be surprised if the Seagulls bust out the goals against Fulham.
Last week: 10
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

11. Leicester City — Now losers of three-in-four after a 7-goal thriller with Wolves, which probably shouldn’t be put down to Claude Puel (but will be).
Last week: 11
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

10. Bournemouth — A nice bounce back and win against West Ham sets the Cherries up for another chance to show something against a Top Six side in unimpressive Chelsea. And, so far, the Cherries have been able to hold onto striker Callum Wilson.
Last week: 13
Season high: 6
Season low: 14

9. West Ham United — Still maddeningly inconsistent. Would be useful if they can flip Marko Arnautovic for a stable and happy striker (Duvan Zapata?).
Last week: 7
Season high: 6
Season low: 20

8. Watford — A four-match unbeaten run has asked a lot of questions about Javi Gracia‘s Hornets, who sit seventh but could have a stranglehold on it with any sort of consistency in anything other than inconsistency.
Last week: 8
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

7. Wolves — A riot of a win versus Leicester City snaps a two-match skid and sets Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men up to claim pole position in the race for seventh and a Europa League berth.
Last week: 9
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

6. Chelsea *New season low* Maurizio Sarri is correct. As was Antonio Conte. And Jose Mourinho. Chelsea is incredibly talented, and just as entitled.
Last week: 5
Season high: 1
Season low: 6

5. Arsenal — A nice win over struggling Chelsea, sure, but Manchester United in the FA Cup and Man City in the league stretch across their next three outings.
Last week: 6
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

4. Manchester United — Getting past Friday’s FA Cup match with Arsenal would probably get Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to the Champions League unbeaten as United boss.
Last week: 5
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

3. Tottenham Hotspur — Not really their fault unless you want to explore their summer window a bit more, but Dele Alli and Harry Kane out until March hits their chances hard. A run of home matches against winnable opponents stops them from sinking lower than Chelsea.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

2. Man City — The big question isn’t whether City will win enough points, it’s whether Liverpool will drop four more than the reigning champions.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 3

1. Liverpool — Kept it interesting against feisty Crystal Palace, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s forthcoming return will only serve to strengthen their chances of outgunning anyone who dares draw on the Reds.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

Serie A: Leaders Inter Milan open door for Juve by drawing Roma

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MILAN (AP) Italian league leader Inter Milan was held by Roma to 0-0 on Friday, giving second-placed Juventus a chance to return to the top.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

The home draw left Inter only two points ahead of Juventus, which can regain the lead when it visits third-placed Lazio on Saturday.The result also wasn’t good for Roma, which moved from fifth to fourth place in the standings but remained nine points off the lead after 15 matches.

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez had one of the game’s best chances when he got past a defender and entered the area in the 68th minute, but his shot was blocked at the last minute. He called for a handball by the defender but the referee let play continue.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Inter was coming off five straight wins in the league, with its last setback in all competitions last month against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Its last league loss was against Juventus in October, nine matches ago.

Roma was seeking its third straight league win. It had won five of its last six matches since last month.

Inter visits Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Premier League Preview: Man City v. Man United

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  • Man City (3rd) trail Liverpool by 11 points
  • Man United (6th) eight points out of 4th
  • Last meeting: Man United 0-2 Man City

For the first time in recent memory, Manchester City and Manchester United each find themselves failing to meet expectations — by their own respective standards, at least — as they prepare to meet at the Etihad Stadium in the 179th Manchester derby on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Man City, the two-time defending Premier League champions, are looking increasingly unlikely to retain their crown for a third straight season but look a surefire bet to finish in the top-four, which is a place for which Man United would bite your hand off as they currently trail leaders Liverpool by more points (22) than they have points of their own (21).

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

The struggles for United have been all about consistency as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side hasn’t won back-to-back games all season. The Red Devils haven’t won two in a row in the PL since March. On the bright side, United turned in one of their complete performances of the season on Wednesday, spoiling Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford and beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. Marcus Rashford scored both goals and Solskjaer couldn’t rave enough about his 22-year-old forward after the game. From start to finish, United were the better team and looked in majority control, which isn’t something they’ve been able to say often in 2019.

As for City, they’ve simply been “not good enough” without ever actually being “bad” this season, given Liverpool’s scintillating form (14W-1D-0L thus far). Realistically, City likely need to pick up all 69 remaining points this season, and even then they might still come up short.

Injuries/suspensions

Man City: OUT – Sergio Aguero (thigh), Aymeric Laporte (knee), Leroy Sane (knee), Oleksandr Zinchenko (knee)

Man United: OUT – Anthony Martial (hamstring), Eric Bailly (knee), Marcos Rojo (undisclosed); QUESTIONABLE: Paul Pogba (ankle), Nemanja Matic (groin), Diogo Dalot (groin)


Projected lineups

Man City: Ederson — Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Angeliño — Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva — Bernardo, Jesus, Sterling

Man United: De Gea — Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young — Fred, McTominay, James, Mata, Lingard — Rashford


What they’re saying

Pep Guardiola, on the derby: “It’s Man United. I respect what they’ve done for English football, European, and world football. United have huge history and their quality is always there but we must try to beat them. We play against a good team, try to follow the performances we’ve put in and try to win the game. You know my opinion on the title race.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on his derby memories: “It took many years before I played a Manchester derby myself. Of course, Man City are a better team now than when I was playing. … Confidence is a strange thing in football; you can get performances and results like Wednesday night and it boosts it so much. And I know our boys will be up for it. 24 hours less recovery time [than City] shouldn’t matter, you go on adrenaline.”


Prediction

The win over Tottenham was impressive, no doubt about it, but City remain a challenge of an entirely different class, no matter what their points total says. If the title is well and truly gone for Guardiola’s side, then retaining superiority in Manchester will have to suffice. City 3-1 United.

Klinsmann gets first point as Hertha Berlin manager

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Jurgen Klinsmann claimed his first point since returning to coaching as his Hertha Berlin team let slip a two-goal lead to draw with Frankfurt 2-2 in the Bundesliga on Friday.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Hertha was clinging to a 2-1 lead in the 86th minute when Sebastian Rode hammered the ball in from a corner for Frankfurt to deny the Berlin team the win.

Hertha is in the relegation playoff spot in 16th and winless in its last six league games, while Frankfurt is 10th.

Dodi Lukebakio gave Hertha the lead with a shot through Frederik Ronnow’s legs. That goal was assisted by Marko Grujic, who later made it 2-0 with a header from a free kick.

However, Frankfurt almost immediately replied with a header of its own from Martin Hinteregger, the Austrian defender with five Bundesliga goals.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Frankfurt’s fans expressed their disapproval of the video assistant referee after it ruled out two goals for the hosts. There was a rare disallowed own goal when Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft palmed a cross into his own net but was found to have been pushed while jumping.

Klinsmann took over Hertha last week on a temporary deal until the end of the season, after Ante Covic was fired with the team under threat of relegation. Klinsmann hadn’t coached since being fired in 2016 by the United States, and last worked at a club in 2009 at Bayern Munich.

Nigel Pearson appointed new Watford manager

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Nigel Pearson has been appointed new manager of Watford and been handed a very straightforward — but tall — task for the remainder of the season: avoid relegation from the Premier League.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Pearson takes over from Quique Sanchez Flores — who only took over from Javi Gracia in September — who left his post at Vicarage Road with the Hornets sitting 20th out of 20 teams in the PL table, already seven points adrift from safety. Pearson’s contract runs through the end of the season.

The 56-year-old Pearson, who last managed in the PL with Leicester City in 2015, was most recently in charge of Belgian side OH Leuven before he was fired in February.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Pearson won’t take charge of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold). Interim manager Hayden Mullins will see out the week’s preparations and manage the team before handing the reins to Pearson on Sunday.