Well, here we go with the very first Premier League Club Power Rankings of the 2020-21 seasons
Transfer Deadline Day is in the books and teams are still figuring themselves out, not to mention their opponents.
Clubs have also played between three and four matches against opponents of varying strength.
[ MORE: Full Premier League schedule ]
And how hard is it to read the litmus tests when we’re two teams from being able to complete one of those wheels of who lost to who, and that the teams we’re waiting on are Everton and Aston Villa.
On top of all that, almost every team on the table returns from the international break with a real litmus test including three derbies in the form of Everton-Liverpool, Crystal Palace-Brighton, and Tottenham-West Ham.
Cue Eric Wareheim mind-exploding gif.
ProSoccerTalk is using a different method to ranking teams this season, at least until everyone’s played each other once.
Here are our considerations:
- Form — Winning and losing in three recent matches plus notable injuries
- Sense and strength matter — If the champs lost two-straight hard luck matches and a relegation candidate got 2 weird VAR breaks to win, we note the big picture over the little.
- The table — Of course it matters.
- Head-to-head — The results better be notable if a head-to-head loser goes above a team that beat it recently.
- Numbers > Luck— Did a wicked deflection or bad bounce make a dominant side fall to a poor one? Let’s look at xG, shots, chances, possession, and other indicators.
At the first international break, let’s get stuck in…
Premier League Club Power Rankings 2020-21, Vol. I
Next: Oct. 17 at Sheffield United
Here’s hoping Ruben Loftus-Cheek stays healthy and becomes the impact player he was at Palace, and that two signings at center back shore up a weak corps. If not…
Next: Oct. 17 at West Brom
After losing 4-2 at Leicester in super unlucky fashion (xG says Burnley by about .7 of a goal), they were deserving losers to Saints and Newcastle. Sean Dyche wanted help on the transfermarket. Their answer was “Well, what if we keep James Tarkowski? Then Dale Stephens should be enough, right?”
18. West Bromwich Albion
Next: Oct. 17 v Burnley
The Baggies aren’t as bad as they’ve looked but Burnley, Brighton, and Fulham are next after a tough-enough run to start the season. Gotta get at least four points there.
17. Sheffield United
Next: Oct. 17 v Fulham
16. Newcastle United
Next: Oct. 17 v Man Utd
Steve Bruce’s men are going to be like this all year over each span of four games, albeit without the fortunate point against Spurs more often than not. They crushed West Ham and Burnley because Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson have real quality and the opposing managers are short-handed and underwhelming or both. Jose Mourinho and Graham Potter are better tacticians and the Magpies could’ve been blown out in both.
Next: Oct. 17 at Chelsea
Next: Oct. 19 at Leeds, 3 pm ET
13. Brighton and Hove Albion
Last match: Everton 4-2 Brighton
Next: Oct. 18 at Crystal Palace, 9 am ET
A year after good performances often didn’t get appropriate results, it’s happening again. Brighton bossed Newcastle and Man Utd and could’ve drawn or beaten Chelsea. The Everton loss was justified, but three points via one win through four games could hardly tell the story of Potter’s men (if it wasn’t telling the story of their last 13 months).
12. Manchester United
Next: Oct. 17 at Newcastle United
- United 1.91 – 1.1 Palace (Palace won 3-1)
- Brighton 2.98 – 1.58 United (United won 3-2)
- United .87 – 3.30 Spurs (Spurs won 6-1)
Also, after beating Real Madrid and half the world to Donny van de Beek, Solskjaer’s playing him like it would be impossible for the youngster to understand his system or something. Van de Beek’s 39 minutes played are second-fewest on the team to Odion Ighalo’s five.
11. Crystal Palace
Next: Oct. 18 v Brighton, 9 am ET
10. Manchester City
Last match: Leeds United 1-1 Man City
Next: Oct. 17 v Arsenal, 12:30 pm ET
They are hurt. Fine. They’ll improve, for sure. But this is hardly the sort of “(expletive) off” tour we expected. And Arsenal has the ponies to counter City out of the park. 1W-1D-2L City through four probably won’t happen, right? Right?!?
Next: Oct. 17 at Man City, 12:30 pm ET
8. Leicester City
Next: Oct. 17 v Aston Villa
7. West Ham United
Last match: Leicester City 0-3 West Ham
Next: Oct. 18 v Spurs, 11:30 am ET
Maybe David Moyes is a good game-planner and recruiter but really, truly annoying on the touch line? The Irons looked great for the second-straight week with Moyes giving the team talks via Zoom or something due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Next: Oct. 17 v Southampton
The 10-man loss to Liverpool is still sticking in our craw here, but this club is 2-1-1 with a very unlucky Timo Werner and without anything from Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic. The four before the next international break could dial up 10-12 points: Saints, Manchester United, Burnley, Blades.
5. Leeds United
Next: Oct. 19 v Wolves, 3 pm ET
Next: Oct. 17 at Everton, 7:30 am ET
3. Tottenham Hotspur
Next: Oct. 18 v West Ham United, 11:30 am ET
2. Aston Villa
Next: Oct. 17 at Leicester City
Last match: Everton 4-2 Brighton
Next: Oct. 17 v Liverpool, 7:30 am ET
Carlo Ancelotti, you beauty. And whatever you think Robin Olsen’s loan means, it’s not a safeguard. Without European schedule congestion, Everton is a good goalkeeper and healthy center backs away from contending for all the domestic honors.