Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 29

Leave a comment

Can anyone stop Man City besides its schedule? The quadruple is still in play and Pep Guardiola isn’t exactly shying away from his desire to win everything.

[ MORE: Spurs aiming high in UCL ]

City’s back atop our rankings and the Premier League table. Here are the 19 clubs staring up at the reigning champions.

20. Huddersfield Town — Thirteen points back means any hope of a miracle run to safety needs to include a win over Bournemouth this weekend.
Last week: 19
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

19. Fulham — Can Scott Parker lead a surprise defeat of Leicester? It’s looking like this has to be a win.
Last week: 20
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

18. Cardiff City — Will the Bluebirds catch West Ham sleeping? Points need to come quickly to Wales, who will then face Brighton before two Top Four tests.
Last week: 18
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

17. Burnley — A trip to wounded Liverpool seems… not ideal.
Last week: 16
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

16. Southampton — Have to be hoping Spurs are tired from their trip to Germany at midweek.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

15. Brighton and Hove Albion — Chris Hughton‘s men would love to take another step toward safety by winning away in the M23 Derby.
Last week: 17
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

14. Newcastle United — West Ham is a quality club and Rafa Benitez will be wondering what he might’ve done had he the resources of Manuel Pellegrini‘s Irons.
Last week: 14
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

13. Leicester City — So it turns out that win with Brendan Rodgers in the stands gave way to a loss with him planning a trip to Watford. Baby steps this week would be nice.
Last week: 10
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

12. Bournemouth — Didn’t really challenge Man City in a 1-0 loss; Anything less than a decisive win over Huddersfield may see the Cherries dip to a season low.
Last week: 13
Season high: 6
Season low: 14

11. Crystal Palace — Using the M23 Derby to more or less clinch Premier League safety would be so sweet for Roy Hodgson and Co. given the past two seasons’ ups and downs.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 17

10. Everton — Will a fine performance in the Merseyside Derby fade into disappointment at Newcastle United? That’s kinda been Everton under Marco Silva, but this late in the season may see the Toffees straighten out the boat.
Last week: 11
Season high: 5
Season low: 15

9. Wolves — Nuno Espirito Santo has instilled a battler’s mentality in his men, but consistency has evaded the Midlands bunch. Now comes Chelsea, but fortunately Watford will tangle with Man City.
Last week: 7
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

8. West Ham United — A 1-0 loss to Man City from sitting a point back of seventh. Look out Cardiff City.
Last week: 9
Season high: 6
Season low: 20

7. Watford — Still maddeningly inconsistent, yet you wouldn’t bet against them pushing City to the brink this weekend.
Last week: 8
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

6. Spurs — It’s hard to see this six knowing that Tottenham has thrived in the Champions League, but Spurs have taken one point of nine to throw their Top Four credentials into the frying pan.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

5. Arsenal — If Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang makes his late penalty, the Gunners are knocking on the door of third-place Spurs.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

4. Chelsea — On balance of talent, you’d peg Chelsea to finish Top Four. Will the Blues pass a stiff test from capable visitors Wolves on Sunday?
Last week: 6
Season high: 1
Season low: 7

3. Manchester United — The Red Devils may have a chance to climb level on points with Spurs by beating Arsenal, but a loss at the Emirates may see United as low as sixth. This race for the Top Four is going to be intense.
Last week: 3
Season high: 3
Season low: 14

2. Liverpool — Believe it or not, the reality that Liverpool should still be able to win the Premier League will be taxed more by its manager’s ability to find the right mentality than its players; The Reds will possibly play a half-dozen more matches than Man City.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

1. Manchester City — “No excuses,” says Pep Guardiola. City will have them if they fail to win the Premier League, but its boss is striking a pre-emptive note.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 3

Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 28

1 Comment

There’s a new team at the top, a new one at the bottom, and a club reaching its highest point of the season… in terms of power rankings and maybe soon in terms of the table.

[ MORE: Ranieri fired ]

20. Fulham — The last time Fulham fired a pair of managers in the same season, well, they got relegated. The hiring of Scott Parker may just be a, “Let’s see if you’ve got the stuff to lead us back next season.”
Last week: 19
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

19. Huddersfield Town — A feel-good win for Jan Siewart at the John Smith’s Stadium against a very good Wolves team. Maybe they have a shot at survival? Almost certainly not, but maybe.
Last week: 20
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

18. Cardiff City — As the Bluebirds slip into the Bottom Three, their remaining fixtures pick up in caliber of opponent. Uh oh?
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

17. Brighton and Hove Albion — In danger/eligible for the unlikely “Win a cup, qualify for Europe, get relegated” combination.
Last week: 18
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

16. Burnley — Looking down after an 8-match unbeaten run to clearly see the drop zone is alarming.
Last week: 14
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

15. Southampton — Ralphampton lives.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

14. Newcastle United — There’s a world in which Rafa Benitez wins Manager of the Year, Miguel Almiron makes Mike Ashley realize the potential of a spending Newcastle, and next season does not involve a relegation fight. It’s somewhere, like the old TV show “Fringe,” and we bet there’s a lot of Geordies who would like to drag it through the breach.
Last week: 16
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

13. Bournemouth — Since starting 6-2-2, the Cherries have collected 14 points. Not good, Ed. Not good.
Last week: 9
Season high: 6
Season low: 14

12. Crystal Palace — Maybe this is Roy Hodgson‘s last Palace hurrah, but he’s getting a job done.
Last week: 10
Season high: 6
Season low: 17

11. Everton — How huge would a Merseyside Derby result be for both the Toffees and the title race? Monumental.
Last week: 13
Season high: 5
Season low: 15

10. Leicester City — I’m not sure that Brendan Rodgers fixes anything, but the Foxes are better than what they showed under Claude Puel.
Last week: 12
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

(Nigel French/PA via AP)

9. West Ham United — Manuel Pellegrini‘s done a fine job, but needs to pile up points over the next four matches to give the Irons a legit shot at seventh.
Last week: 11
Season high: 6
Season low: 20

8. Watford — What is this team?
Last week: 8
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

7. Wolves — A dry patch has seen Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men claim just two of nine available points while losing to Huddersfield Town and drawing Newcastle and Bournemouth. We hate to say it, but that could be it for their European aspirations given Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United on the back end.
Last week: 6
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

6. Chelsea — That was a quality win against Spurs. You might even call it a Kepa (We’ll be here all night).
Last week: 7
Season high: 1
Season low: 7

5. Spurs — There’s a school of thought that Spurs have overachieved in their continued finishes inside the Top Three, but this season feels like a couple of colossal missed opportunities. One was the summer transfer window, and the other is the last five days.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

4. Arsenal — They are fun again, yeah, but the Gunners also very much carry the vibe that Arsene Wenger left behind (both the good and bad parts). We kinda want to see Unai Emery, Season 2 without seeing any more of the first edition.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

 (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

3. Manchester United — *New season high*Fun again. And we’ve also learned through the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era that the Ed Woodward redemption tour is a thing; This roster, even with its lack of spending on defenders, gave the Red Devils enough to compete in England.
Last week: 4
Season high: 3
Season low: 14

2. Manchester City — Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Will Liverpool open the door?
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3

1. Liverpool — The fact is that Liverpool’s point against Manchester United gives it an advantage only exceeded by one other facet; Liverpool may only have Premier League matches on its docket within a couple of weeks, while Man City remains alive in three competitions.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

‘Not a penalty:’ Pellegrini enjoyed Man City reception, not result

1 Comment

Manuel Pellegrini both enjoyed and disliked his return to the Etihad Stadium.

[ RECAP: Man City 1-0 West Ham ]

The West Ham United manager is perhaps better known as man who guided Manchester City to the 2013-14 Premier League title and a pair of League Cups.

On Wednesday, he returned to his former haunt for the first time as an opposing manager. His Irons lost 1-0 on a controversial penalty awarded to Bernardo Silva, but the Etihad celebrated its “Charming Man.”

“I’m very happy with how the City fans received me. I’m very pleased with what they said. I’m not happy with the result because it was not a penalty. Bernardo Silva threw himself down when he felt a touch. Lanzini had the same thing but didn’t go down, so the referee didn’t whistle.”

Bernardo hit a crowd of men and it was hard to tell whether it was a foul that sent him to the turf, but City was otherwise good value for its slim win. And it’s nice that Pellegrini remains a key figure in City history despite the club’s decision to have him leave in favor of some guy named Pep Guardiola.

Watch Live: West Ham v. Fulham; Cardiff v. Watford

Leave a comment

Two Friday night Premier League games are coming your way to kick off Matchweek 27.

Start your weekend right.

West Ham United host Fulham and Watford head to Cardiff City (both kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET), with the game between the Hammers and Cottagers on NBCSN.

Manuel Pellegrini‘s men will look to get back on track in their hunt for a seventh-place finish, while Fulham are desperate for points as they’re now eight points from safety.

Cardiff are looking for a third-straight Premier League win to continue their surge up the table and away from the bottom three, while Watford hope to jump into seventh place with a win.

Below is the schedule and streaming details for both games, while we have reaction and analysis to them both right here on Pro Soccer Talk.


Friday’s Premier League games

2:45 p.m. ET: West Ham v. Fulham – NBCSN [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Cardiff City v. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

PL Friday Preview: West Ham, Watford looking to stay in top ten

Getty an Apple vitamin pakced
Leave a comment

European competition next season may be out of reach, but a top-ten finish for West Ham and Watford is a distinct possibility as we head towards the home stretch of the regular season. This week of Premier League action is kicked off with a London derby between West Ham and Fulham and Watford visiting Cardiff City.

[READ: The 2 Robbies discuss Man City and Liverpool in the Champions League]

West Ham v. Fulham — 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

One notable name that has been missing from West Ham’s lineup all season could finally be back in the gameday squad. Manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed that Argentine international Manuel Lanzini, along with Samir Nasri, could both feature in West Ham’s match against Fulham on Friday. The 26-year-old midfielder has been out ever since suffering a devastating ACL injury while in World Cup training camp with Argentina.

Whether he’s ready to go 90 minutes is unclear, but West Ham certainly needs him. The squad has lost five consecutive matches in all competitions, with just four goals scored. The strikers haven’t been able to finish very well recently, but the lack of a creative midfielder has really hurt the Irons in the most important sectors of the field.

Fulham meanwhile are in serious trouble with just 12 matches remaining. Fulham is eight points behind Cardiff City in the top spot outside of the relegation zone.

INJURIES: West Ham —  OUT: Jack Wilshere (ankle); PROBABLE: Samir Nasri (calf) | Fulham — OUT: None; PROBABLE: None


Cardiff City v. Watford — 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Watford enacted a little bit of revenge last week after defeating former manager Marco Silva and Everton. This week, it’s arguably a tougher task.

Cardiff City supporters have helped will their team to three-straight victories, after the tragic plane crash carrying footballer Emiliano Sala. Cardiff has poked its head out of the relegation zone, and will be desperate for another home victory. Watford, meanwhile, is looking to solidify a place in the Premier League’s top ten.

Interestingly, all ten of Watford’s wins this season have come with Abdoulaye Doucoure in the starting eleven.

INJURIES: Cardiff City —  OUT: None; PROBABLE: None | Watford — OUT: Kiko Femenia (hamstring); PROBABLE: Roberto Pereyra (hamstring), Isaac Success (hamstring), Sebastian Prödl (hamstring and knee)