Chris Wilder

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Premier League Club Power Rankings: Wk 5

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A weekend of tumult in all parts of our table, as Norwich City’s shocking win over Man City and Chelsea’s win at Wolves make us reassess previous results this season.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low


20. Watford — Absolutely dominant against Arsenal despite the early Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang-inspired deficit. Still, two points from five matches and a lot of work remains for Quique Sanchez Flores.
Last week: 20
Season high: 19
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 2-2 v. Arsenal
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Man City

19. Newcastle United — Credit to Steve Bruce for a disciplined system against Liverpool. The Magpies get a must-win home visit from Brighton ahead of matches with Leicester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea.
Last week: 19
Season high: 19
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 3-1 at Liverpool
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Brighton

18. Brighton — The late concession against Burnley is an eyebrow raiser and ranking lowerer. Brighton deserved better and would’ve been counting the three points as relegation insurance. At least Neal Maupay‘s goal was a beauty.
Last week: 16
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Burnley
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Newcastle United

Brighton and Hove Albion’s Neal Maupay (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

17. Wolves — Excuses are running low, even with a Europa League match on Thursday leading into a Sunday match. At some point, Wolves will have to rise above congestion.
Last week: 10
Season high: 7
Season low: 17
Last match: Lost 5-2 v. Chelsea
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Palace

16. Crystal Palace — A lot of teams get waxed by Tottenham in North London.
Last week: 14
Season high: 14
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 4-0 at Spurs
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Wolves

15. Burnley — Never rule out Sean Dyche, as the Clarets got a point despite being dominated at Brighton, but maybe we were foolish to think they had the quality to sustain another mid-table run.
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 15
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Brighton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Norwich City

14. Sheffield United — Chris Wilder‘s men play a furious game, which cost them a late red card in their spirited tussle with Saints.
Last week: 11
Season high: 11
Season low: 17
Last match: Lost 1-0 v. Southampton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Everton

13. Southampton — Moussa Djenepo‘s got skills, team, and he may be the latest bargain from a Saints side which endured a bit of a cold streak in the transfer market following their wondrous run earlier this decade.
Last week: 13
Season high: 13
Season low: 19
Last match: Won 1-0 at Sheffield United
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Friday v. Bournemouth

12. Everton — Maddeningly inconsistent, the Toffees defending versus Bournemouth was pathetic. And they are wasting a fixture list which smiled broadly on their hopes of building an early season cushion in the race of seventh or better.
Last week: 5
Season high: 5
Season low: 12
Last match: Lost 3-1 at Bournemouth
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Sheffield United

11. Aston Villa — Solid, but is there another gear here once the pieces gel a bit more?
Last week: 12
Season high: 8
Season low: 15
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. West Ham United
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Arsenal

10. Norwich City — Take a bow, Daniel Farke. Your injured squad had no business doing that to the reigning champs.
Last week: 18
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Won 3-2 v. Man City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Burnley

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

9. Bournemouth — Looking comfortably mid-table
Last week: 17
Season high: 9
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 3-1 v. Everton
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Friday at Southampton

8. Manchester United — A nice win to feel a bit better about themselves, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men will look like a bonafide member of the muddled middle if they fail to perform at West Ham.
Last week: 15
Season high: 2
Season low: 15
Last match: Won 1-0 v. Leicester City
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at West Ham United

7. Arsenal — The Watford draw should’ve been a loss, and maybe by more than one goal. Bernd Leno is the sneaky MVP of Arsenal’s early season, and he may not get the respect he deserves if the Gunners keep hemorrhaging gilt-edged chances to their opponens.
Last week: 4
Season high: 4
Season low: 7
Last match: Drew 2-2 at Watford
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Aston Villa

6. West Ham United — An off day for Sebastien Haller and goofy red card from Arthur Masuaku cost the Irons at Villa. Next week brings a chance to instill some bonafide hope in the supporter base.
Last week: 6
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Drew 0-0 at Aston Villa
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Manchester United

5. Leicester City — Deserved at least a point from Old Trafford, and now heads to North London for a tougher test.
Last week: 3
Season high: 3
Season low: 10
Last match: Lost 1-0 at Manchester United
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Tottenham Hotspur

4. Chelsea — Looking back at their schedule, the draw with Leicester and tough win over Norwich look better than they first appeared. How will Frank Lampard utilize his depth and overcome injuries with midweek UCL and Liverpool this week.
Last week: 9
Season high: 4
Season low: 12
Last match: Won 5-2 at Wolves
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Liverpool

(Photo by Chelsea Football Club/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

3. Man City — At the risk of my Twitter mentions, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi basically welcomed Fernandinho into competition for first pairing minutes after an insipid display in a game the offense played well enough to win. Turns out losing one of the best center backs in the world isn’t ideal.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Lost 3-2 at Norwich City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Watford

2. Spurs — Beating Palace soundly isn’t a banner-raising moment, but it still shows “re-focus” and Spurs still haven’t gotten full-fledged Harry Kane. A healthy Tanguy Ndombele will help a lot, too.
Last week: 7
Season high: 2 
Season low: 7
Last match: Won 4-0 v. Crystal Palace
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Leicester City

  1. Liverpool — Fine-tuned, and their only competition right now is their nerve. This year, it seems, that might not be the problem it’s been in previous pursuits of a Premier League title. Depth will be tested for the Reds and their Sunday foes after UCL midweek action.
    Last week: 1
    Season high: 1
    Season low: 3
    Last match: Won 3-1 v. Newcastle United
    Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Chelsea

Djenepo magic leads Saints past Sheffield United

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Southampton beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane on Saturday, as a thrilling end-to-end game was decided by a moment of magic from Moussa Djenepo.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

In his first Premier League start the Mali winger, a summer arrival from Standard Liege, danced past several Blades defenders before slotting home the winner in the second half, as Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s Saints completed back-to-back away wins for the first time since March 2017.

Sheffield United had former Saints striker Billy Sharp, who came on as a sub, sent off late on as they huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a way past Angus Gunns and a resolute Saints defense.

With the win Saints now have seven points on the board and they are unbeaten in four games in all competitions, while Sheffield United are without a win since the second week of the season.

3 things we learned

1. Djenepo the difference: It is too early to say that Djenepo is finally Saints’ replacement for Sadio Mane, but it is not too early to say he will be a very important play for Southampton this season. He danced past several tackles after showing his strength to score a brilliant solo goal and that is his second stunning strike in as many games. Djenepo was the difference and for a Saints side looking to shore things up defensively, they have to make the most of their chances at the other end.

2. Saints still haven’t found correct formation: This wasn’t a great display from Southampton though. they looked disjointed as Hasenhuttl tinkered with the formation once again, with Djenepo, Cedric and Hojbjerg all looking like they played at left wing-back at times. Defensively Bednarek and Vestergaard have improved and one goal conceded in the last four games in all competitions points to that. But Saints don’t quite know their best formation yet, even though they are proving tough to beat.

3. Blades not sharp enough: David McGoldrick had some great chances and Ollie McBurnie had a goal disallowed as the Blades were blunted for the first time this season. Chris Wilder‘s side fly forward at every opportunity and gave it their all, but they just looked a little sluggish as Saints snapped into tackles in midfield and cleared crosses into the box. Sheffield United are a dangerous side to play against, but they didn’t have their shooting boots with them on Saturday.

Man of the Match: Moussa Djenepo – The winger has pace, power and trickery and looks like being a bargain buy at $18 million. Djenepo is 21 years old and has the potential to be Saints’ main goalscoring threat this season. Of course, he will be linked with plenty of big clubs if he keeps this form up, but right now it seems like Southampton have unearthed another gem.


Saints started well and Vestergaard got a header on goal which was saved comfortably by Dean Henderson.

A wild few seconds then saw former Sheffield United striker Adams smash a beautiful effort against the post and moments later David McGoldrick was put clean through but Angus Gunn stood his ground to make a superb stop.

The Blades finally got going before half time as John Fleck nodded over and they were causing plenty of problems down their right flank. However, Saints almost caught them on the break as Cedric somehow slotted wide from a great position.

In a lively first half Adams went close again as his header was saved by Henderson, then the Blades caused Saints all kinds of issues with their crosses into the box. Southampton continued to look dangerous on the break as Sofiane Boufal was set up perflectly by Moussa Djenepo but his tame effort was a huge let-off for the home side.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The Blades thought they had taken the lead at the start of the second half but McBurnie was offside as he tapped home Oliver Norwood‘s free kick to the back post.

Saints improved as the second half played out with Boufal and Djenepo getting on the ball in dangerous areas in the final third time and time again.

Djenepo did the business as Boufal once again won the ball back, then Djenepo fought off a defender, dribbled past a couple more and slotted home superbly to make it 1-0.

Late on Sheffield United chucked everything at Saints with plenty of balls into the box, as McGoldrick smashed a great chance over the bar.

Substitute Billy Sharp was then sent off for a lunging tackle on Stuart Armstrong as the Blades finished the game with 10 men and couldn’t find an equalizer.

Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 4

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One of the long-held maxims in sport is that you cannot lose your job to injury, but can you lose your spot in our power rankings?

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]

Spoiler alert: Yeah. Yeah you can.

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low


20. Watford — A better class of performance in drawing at St. James’ Park, but it’s not like Newcastle didn’t have more of the danger. Also, the opponent was Newcastle.
Last week: 20
Season high: 19
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Newcastle United
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sept. 15 v. Arsenal

19. Newcastle United — Probably deserved all three points from Watford, but most Magpies supporters would’ve signed up for four points through four matches
Last week: 19
Season high: 19
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Watford
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Sept. 14 at Liverpool

18. Norwich City — Injuries, injuries, injuries (and VAR?). Someone send Daniel Farke some elixirs and potions over the international break, and encase Teemu Pukki in something special.
Last week: 15
Season high: 12
Season low: 17
Last match: Lost 2-0 at West Ham United
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Sept. 14 v. Man City

(Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

17. Bournemouth — In last year’s hot start, Bournemouth handled itself well against most teams outside the Power Six. This year, well, the Cherries aren’t doing that (though Leicester’s been in our Top Three for a couple of weeks now).
Last week: 17
Season high: 14
Season low: 17
Last match: Lost 3-1 at Leicester City
Up next: 9 a.m. Sept. 15 v. Everton

16. Brighton and Hove Albion — No shame in getting pumped 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium, but the Gulls were punchless. Rough two weeks after a solid first two matches.
Last week: 14
Season high: 6
Season low: 16
Last match: Lost 4-0 at Man City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 v. Burnley

15. Manchester United — What’s going on here? Well, the absence of Anthony Martial for one. But United’s subs bench was as uninspiring as ever: Romero, Rojo, Tuanzebe, Chong, Matic, Lingard, Greenwood. A lot of blind hope there.
Last week: 6
Season high: 2 
Season low: 15
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Southampton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 v. Leicester City

14. Crystal Palace — Improving, but it’s difficult to bump them up too much when their three points earned come almost exclusively through a terrible refereeing decision. However, we reserve the right to move them way up the rankings via a strong performance against Spurs (even if it doesn’t lead to a result).
Last week: 18
Season high: 14
Season low: 18
Last match: Won 1-0 v. Aston Villa
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 at Spurs

13. Southampton — Saints are… pretty good. If the season-opening blowout loss at Turf Moor was a blip, Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s men way well be mid-table this season. The performances have been that good in a narrow defeat to Liverpool and a draw with Manchester United.
Last week: 13
Season high: 13
Season low: 19
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Manchester United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 at Sheffield United

12. Aston Villa — Deserved a point from Crystal Palace, but got de-Friended. Woof.
Last week: 10
Season high: 8
Season low: 15
Last match: “Lost” 1-0 at Crystal Palace
Up next: 3 p.m. Sept. 16 v. West Ham United

11. Sheffield United — I want to go out on the town with Chris Wilder‘s crew, who are scrappy, not taking anything for granted, and loving life in the top flight. Or maybe just go out with Chris Wilder. Not sure I could hang.
Last week: 16
Season high: 11
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 2-2 at Chelsea
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 v. Saints

(Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

10. Wolves — Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men have points in three of four matches, but all have been draws. Europa League congestion can be blamed for that, but will it also short-circuit Wolves’ charge for another berth in European competition? Big first match after the break.
Last week: 8
Season high: 7 
Season low: 10
Last match: Lost 3-2 at Everton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 v. Chelsea

9. Chelsea — Frank Lampard showed his inexperience with the subs in a come-from-ahead 2-2 draw against the Blades. You can’t simply forget your experienced players down the homestretch of games simply because the kids are flying.
Last week: 9
Season high: 9 
Season low: 12
Last match: Drew 2-2 v. Sheffield United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 at Wolves

8. Burnley — Just obliterated by Liverpool. That happens, but the Clarets rarely look as easy to beat as they did at the weekend.
Last week: 5
Season high: 5
Season low: 9
Last match: Lost 3-0 v. Liverpool
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 at Brighton

7. Tottenham Hotspur — Christian Eriksen is staying, and that’s great, but if Spurs’ last two matches taught us anything, it’s that Tanguy (pronounced Ton-guy) Ndombele is as indispensable as any Spur not named Harry Kane.
Last week: 7
Season high: 2 
Season low: 7
Last match: Drew 2-2 at Arsenal
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 v. Crystal Palace

6. West Ham United — Has allowed two goals in three matches since getting sand-blasted by Manchester City on opening day. A tough test with Villa awaits before a visit from Manchester United.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Won 2-0 v. Norwich City
Up next: 3 p.m. Sept. 16 at Aston Villa

5. Everton — The wobble at Villa. The red card draw with Palace. Everton failed to get what should’ve been a minimum 10 points from its first four matches, but will be happy to be within a point of the Top Four.
Last week: 11
Season high: 8
Season low: 11
Last match: Won 3-2 v. Wolves
Up next: 9 a.m. Sept. 15 at Bournemouth

(Photo by Emma Simpson/Everton FC via Getty Images)

4. Arsenal — That the Gunners were down 2-0 at home to Spurs was an issue, but only because they had been so dominant. The comeback delivered a richly deserved point to Unai Emery‘s men, who have two matches before a trip to wobbly Manchester United.
Last week: 4
Season high: 4 
Season low: 7
Last match: Drew 2-2 v. Spurs
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sept. 15 at Watford

3. Leicester City — It felt like the visit from Bournemouth had speed bump written all over it, but Brendan Rodgers‘ men limited the tumult to a Callum Wilson first half equalizer in a fairly comfortable win.
Last week: 3
Season high: 3 
Season low: 10
Last match: Won 3-1 v. Bournemouth
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sept. 14 at Manchester United

2. Manchester City — The Laporte injury is a big set back to their title hopes; One more injury could really sting the reigning champs.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1 
Season low: 2
Last match: Won 4-0 v. Brighton
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Sept. 14 at Norwich City

1. Liverpool — Jurgen Klopp wasn’t wrong: The demolition of Burnley was complete, and included a much-sought clean sheet. With Laporte out for a while, the Reds’ runway to the title looks clearer today.
Last week: 2 
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 3-0 at Burnley
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Sept. 14 v. Newcastle United

Wilder: Sheffield United “can enjoy a night out” after Chelsea draw

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You can easily why Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is beloved by the Blades.

Keeping in mind that the early run of dramatic results helps that reputation, Wilder has a way with words and seems a mix of what Bournemouth fans love about Eddie Howe and Burnley fans enjoy from Sean Dyche.

[ LAMPARD: “It was under control” ]

Now if he can keep maneuvering results like Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea, well, look out. They may name a pub after him.

“We have celebrated, we have come to a historic football club and gone toe-to-toe with them,” Wilder said after coming back from 2-0 down, later adding that, “It’s a great result for us. Put it into perspective, three years ago we were bottom of League One and now we have come away from Chelsea with a result.”

He continued, and it got even better.

“It’s been a great start, we can enjoy a night out tonight. We are here to compete, we are not day trippers getting autographs and collecting shirts.”

Sheffield United sits eighth, having drawn Bournemouth and Chelsea with last gasp equalizers and beaten Crystal Palace.

Premier League Preview: Chelsea v. Sheffield United

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Chelsea’s attack will have to beat one of the top young goalkeepers in the game when the Blues visit Dean Henderson and Sheffield United at 10 a.m. ET Saturday (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Henderson, 21, is on loan from Manchester United and has been a force for the Blades dating back to last season, sealing a second loan stint due to David De Gea‘s star status at Old Trafford.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder thinks Henderson has the goods to be the future No. 1 for England, and says there’s a comparison to be made between Henderson and two fellow stars of last season’s Championship who will be on the field for Chelsea on Saturday. From the Yorkshire Post:

“Two of their outstanding young players had experience of the Championship last year. In that play-off final game, one went up in Tammy Abraham – who was really good for Villa and had a fantastic season – and Mason Mount. From a team point of view the result was disappointing for Frank (Lampard) and Mason, but he had an outstanding season and was definitely the standout player in the Championship for me.”

It’s interesting to note that all three players were loanees from big clubs, the cyclical effect of Premier League power blooding their prospects for promotional hopefuls.

Chelsea will need Christian Pulisic, Willian, and Mount to deliver the goods from the wing position, with Pedro out. They’ll have to be better helpers in defense, too, with N’Golo Kante injured and set to be absent for upcoming French duty as well.

The Blues have yet to really deliver this season. Aside from a decent performance in the UEFA Super Cup, Chelsea lost 4-0 to Manchester United before drawing Leicester and just outlasting newly-promoted Norwich City.

It’s a step up in class for Sheffield United, though, as Wilder’s men have drawn Bournemouth, beaten Crystal Palace, and lost to Leicester City.


Injuries/suspensions

Chelsea — OUT: N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, Pedro

Sheffield United — OUT: None.


What they’re saying

Chelsea’s Lampard on England call-ups: “We are delighted for Mason [Mount] and Ross [Barkley], and hopefully it is a matter of time for Tammy [Abraham]. It is only the start for Mason but I’m fully confident that he will keep his feet on the ground and keep working hard.”

Sheffield United defender John Egan on Henderson“If you look at the England goalkeepers, Deano is right up there. It’s not a case of ‘if’, for me it’s a case of ‘when’ for Deano. He’s got a really bright future ahead of him and, so long as he keeps his head down and keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll get there.”


Projected lineups

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Emerson, Christensen, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Barkley, Kovacic; Mount, Abraham, Pulisic.

Sheffield United: Henderson; Eagen, Basham, O’Connell; Sheffield, Norwood, Freeman, Lundstram, Baldock; McBurnie, McGoldrick.


Prediction: This is a big, big ask for the Blades, who come down to earth a bit when the Blues post a 3-0 behind Christian Pulisic’s first PL goal.