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Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 15

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[ ARCHIVE: Premier League club power rankings ]

20. Burnley — Since we last ranked ’em, the Clarets have lost to Newcastle and Liverpool at home and Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Only one of those is forgivable given current form. This is getting real dicey for a side which has Brighton, Spurs, Arsenal, and Everton by Boxing Day.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

19. Southampton *New season low* — New boss Ralph Hasenhuttl saw a team that didn’t quit despite hitting the bar thrice in going down 3-0 at Spurs. A visit to Cardiff City is on the verge of “must win” on Saturday.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

18. Huddersfield Town — The Terriers are looking solid, even in defeat, but points have to start coming to the John Smith’s Stadium.
Last week: 19
Season high: 18
Season low: 20

17. Fulham — Claudio Ranieri‘s men have nearly doubled their point total during his three matches in charge, including a draw against his old pals Leicester.
Last week: 20
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

16. Crystal Palace  — Someone besides Wilfried Zaha from open play and Luka Milivojevic from the spot has to produce goals (and Andros Townsend‘s once-in-a-blue-moon wonder strikes don’t count). The Man Utd draw and Burnley wins do help.
Last week: 14
Season high: 6
Season low: 16

15. Cardiff City *New season high* — Two wins from four, and the other matches were respectable. Has Neil Warnock done enough to keep the Bluebirds clear of the Bottom Three with an addition or two in January?
Last week: 16
Season high: 15
Season low: 20

14. Newcastle United — There are few teams as stout at the back as Rafa Benitez‘s Magpies, who can start to consider midtable an option with an easier run of games underway and the January window maybe bringing a takeover and reinforcements (like Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron?).
Last week: 14
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

13. Watford — Like Bournemouth, the Hornets have failed a series of tests regarding their chances to contend for something meaningful. But their performance against Man City reminded us that they are capable of finishing comfortably mid-table if they bring their A-game.
Last week: 11
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

12. Wolves — That’s a really nice win over Chelsea to stop the rot, and there’s a chance for Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men to really steady the ship with Newcastle on the docket.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

11. West Ham — Perhaps a bit lucky that Joe Ralls couldn’t convert his Tuesday penalty, the Irons are steadily collecting the results they should to climb into the Top Seven mix.
Last week: 12
Season high: 9
Season low: 20

10. Bournemouth — And exhale. The Cherries lost four-straight, three against giants and one against Newcastle, before getting their footing against Huddersfield Town. Their reward? Liverpool this weekend.
Last week: 8
Season high: 6
Season low: 12

9. Brighton and Hove Albion  Back on track after some setbacks, Chris Hughton‘s men won the M23 Derby and could climb even higher with Burnley up next.
Last week: 13
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

8. Leicester City — Unbeaten in six, though the Foxes would’ve liked to have picked up a few more wins given the competition. Spurs visit this weekend.
Last week: 9
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

7. Manchester United — Think Chelsea’s on a dry run? United has three draws since their loss to Man City, and better hope Claudio Ranieri’s counter attacking ways haven’t fully sunk into Fulham this weekend. Maybe Paul Pogba really is a problem, by the way…
Last week: 7
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

6. Everton — Jordan Pickford‘s silly mistake against Liverpool cost the Toffees derby honors and the fifth spot in our rankings, and their lack of finish in a dominant performance against Newcastle nearly set them further back. And the Magpies traveling support was not kind to the former Sunderland man.
Last week: 7
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

5. Chelsea — Four points from 12, and Man City up next at Stamford Bridge. Could easily go from dueling for first to three points back of the Top Four inside of one month.
Last week: 4
Season high: 1
Season low: 5

4. Tottenham Hotspur — Rebounded nicely against Saints, but their lack of transfer purchases this summer is about to be put to the festive test.
Last week: 2
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

3. Arsenal — Don’t worry too much about the mistakes at Old Trafford; The back-to-back wins over Bournemouth and Spurs are impressive, and the latter feels like a milestone for the Unai Emery era.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

2. Liverpool — Got a scare early against Burnley but have won four since drawing Arsenal, and could really kick on should they get past Napoli in the Champions League to really get the good vibes rolling through Anfield.
Last week: 3
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

1. Man City — The leaders have conceded in four of five matches, and had to hold on for their Tuesday point at Watford. Some say Liverpool keeping pace with them will annoy them, but remember that Pep’s men are doing this while resting Sergio Aguero and nursing Kevin De Bruyne back to health.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

Premier League Weds. preview: Spurs, Man Utd get off the mat

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There are six Premier League matches on Wednesday’s docket, and they carry varying amount of intrigue.

[ MORE: 20 percent off Premier League Pass ]

Here are our best bets to prioritize your day of midweek soccer.


Wolves vs. Chelsea — [ STREAM ]
Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold

Unbeaten for so long, Chelsea is now just a point ahead of fifth place Spurs. Wolves also started well, but Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men have taken just one point from its last 18.

Everton vs. Newcastle — [ STREAM ]
Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold

The Toffees were stung by a last-second loss to rivals Liverpool at Anfield, and will be counting on a rebound performance against a Newcastle team it has beaten on five-straight occasions. As if Sunderland-raised goalkeeper Jordan Pickford needs any motivation to get back up following his derby error…

Fulham vs. Leicester City  — [ STREAM ]
Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold

Claudio Ranieri‘s last place Cottagers get a visit from the team he led to a miraculous Premier League title in what will be an extremely emotional encounter.

Burnley vs. Liverpool — [ STREAM ]
Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold

The Clarets have earned a result against the Reds in consecutive seasons, but are not having a good season thus far. Turf Moor will be bustling. Will Burnley give it life?

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton — [ STREAM ]
Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold

How will Spurs respond to their miserable second half North London Derby loss? And how will Saints react to the firing of Mark Hughes? Anything’s possible at Wembley Stadium.

Manchester United vs. Arsenal — [ STREAM ]
Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

No explanation needed here; Old Trafford has been a tough venue for Arsenal, but the Gunners’ form is remarkably stronger than their hosts. Arsenal won an FA Cup match at United three and a half years ago, but last won a league encounter at OT in 2006. And there was that 8-2…

Top Premier League storylines for Week 15

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It’s a quick turnaround from the weekend as the Premier League launches into a round of midweek fixtures on Tuesday and Wednesday — round 15 of the 2018-19 season.

[ MORE: Modric ends Messi, Ronaldo’s 10-year duopoly on Ballon d’or ]

Here are the five storylines we’ll be watching most closely over the next 48 hours…


Struggling Man United host surging Arsenal
Man United vs. Arsenal, 3 p.m. ET, Wednesday, on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

While Arsenal spent the latter days of Arsene Wenger‘s reign scraping and clawing their way to fourth-place finishes, Manchester United were still living the glory days of competing for, and winning, titles. Now, fast-forward a few years since Sir Alex Ferguson‘s retirement, and the Red Devils would bite your hand off if you offered them so much as a chance at finishing fourth come May. Following the club’s worst start in the PL era, fortunes haven’t improved all that much for Jose Mourinho’s side: just two points to show for their last three PL outings, while Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 12 and enter Wednesday’s trip to Old Trafford on the back of a 4-2 thrashing of Tottenham on Sunday.

Man City, Liverpool continue title race marathon
Watford vs. Man City, 3 p.m. ET, Tuesday, on NBCSN [ STREAM ]
Burnley vs. Liverpool, 2:45 p.m. ET, Wednesday, on NBC Sports Gold [ STREAM ]

Manchester City and Liverpool have combined to drop just two points between them over the last six rounds of fixtures. Those two points, dropped by Liverpool away to Arsenal, are the difference between first and second heading into this midweek round of games. Both will be away from home against eminently beatable opposition, as City visit 10th-place Watford (winless in four games, including three losses) while Liverpool will take on 19th-place Burnley (winless in their last seven games, including five losses).

Post-Hughes era begins at Southampton
Tottenham vs. Southampton, 3 p.m. ET, Wednesday, on NBC Sports Gold [ STREAM ]

Mark Hughes became the second PL manager to be fired this season when Southampton sent the former Blackburn, Man City, Fulham, QPR and Stoke boss packing. Saints sit 18th in the table with just nine points after 14 games, and have grown more and more desperate for a turn of luck with each passing week. Saturday’s draw with Manchester United might prove a decent place to begin, but it clearly wasn’t enough to save Hughes’ job. On the other side, Spurs will be just as desperate to bounce back from their north London derby defeat to Arsenal and move back into the top-four.

Harsh reality check for Wolves
Wolves vs. Chelsea, 2:45 p.m. ET, Wednesday, on NBC Sports Gold [ STREAM ]

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ return to the PL went just swimmingly for the first two months, at which point Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side sat seventh in the table. Since then, the harsh reality of competing in arguably the world’s most competitive league has set in with five defeats during their ongoing six-game winless skid. Heading into Wednesday’s visit from third-place Chelsea, Wolves sit a modest 12th place in the table, but their points total now closer to 16th place than they are to seventh.

Premier League Sunday: Arsenal hosts Cherries; Wolves aim to snap skid

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Two of the Premier League week’s three remaining matches take place Sunday morning, with potential movement at both ends of the table.

[ MORE: Chaos at Copa Libertadores final ]


Can Arsenal take advantage of Chelsea’s loss?
Bournemouth vs. Arsenal — 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

Arsenal can move within a point of the Top Four by winning at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday, but the hosts can breathe the rarefied air of sixth if they hold serve against the Gunners.

Bournemouth would move to within a point of the Gunners with a win, and the match is almost certain to entertain given both managers’ desire to play attacking football.

Terriers aim to get off the bottom versus inconsistent Wolves
Wolves vs. Huddersfield Town — 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s Wolverhampton Wanderers have hung with the big dogs so far this season, but haven’t always shown up once handed the role of favorites.

That’s what they’ll be when Huddersfield Town heads into the Molineux on Sunday, with Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez, and Joao Moutinho name quality players mostly absent from the Terriers set-up (with apologies to Aaron Mooy and Jonas Lossl).

Arsenal grabs late equalizer versus Wolves

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  • Cavaleiro puts Wolves ahead
  • Mkhitaryan gets fortunate equalizer
  • Arsenal unbeayen in 16

Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s 86th minute cross eluded the fray and sailed into the goal as Arsenal ran its unbeaten run to 16 matches with a 1-1 draw with Wolves at the Emirates Stadium.

Ivan Cavaleiro scored for Wolves, who sit 11th with 16 points. Arsenal is fifth with 24, three back of the Top Four.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal went down a goal for the fourth-straight match when Granit Xhaka gave the ball away to Cavaleiro, who worked a 1-2 with Raul Jimenez before putting Wolves ahead.

Nuno Espirito Santo deserves plenty of credit for a first half which saw Wolves take seven shots to Arsenal’s three despite having just 26 percent of the ball.

Wolves might’ve had the best chance to score in the second half, as Bernd Leno kept

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

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