Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 34

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We’re one week away from all Premier League clubs sitting on equal footing in terms of matches played, and may then have a true tale of favor in the battles for 17th place, seventh, and first.

[ MORE: Klopp on Messi match-up ]

But until then, we power rank.


20. Huddersfield Town — It’s a slow death followed by a long funeral procession, this one.
Last week: 20
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

19. Fulham — Showed enough quality to comfortably beat Everton, but how many players will stay at Craven Cottage through relegation?
Last week: 19
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

18. Cardiff City — The defeat of Brighton combined with the Seagulls’ diving form has Neil Warnock‘s men dreaming of safety; In a season with so many setbacks and the tragedy of Emiliano Sala, a place in the top flight for 2019-20 would be an immense achievement.
Last week: 18
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

17. Brighton and Hove Albion — What’s happened here? Points are going to be hard to come by the rest of the way, and Chris Hughton‘s men are in real trouble.
Last week: 17
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

16. Bournemouth — Had to feel good to hang five on Brighton, but the Cherries feel like they’ve hit their heights. Will Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson last the summer?
Last week: 16
Season high: 6
Season low: 14

15. Newcastle United — Rafa Benitez deserves a raise and a real transfer budget. At almost any other club, he’d get both without a debate. But…
Last week: 14
Season high: 11
Season low: 19

14. Southampton — Ralph Hasenhuttl admits that Saints have to be a developmental club, but he’s getting a heck of a lot of performance from such a unit.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

13. Crystal Palace — Nearly managed another notable result against Man City.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 17

12. West Ham United — Badly need a summer of rest and rejuvenation. Next season should be a legit Top Seven campaign.
Last week: 11
Season high: 6
Season low: 20

11. Burnley *New season high* The Clarets safety again underscores the import of Sean Dyche as a tiny club continues to grow in stability. 
Last week: 13
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

10. Leicester City — Losing to Newcastle at the King Power Stadium is a reminder that the style may look a little different under Brendan Rodgers, but it’s no surprise to many that simply changing managers won’t turn the Foxes back into a top contender. Wake us when you see a result Claude Puel was incapable of delivering. Remember: Puel helped Leicester beat Chelsea and Man City.
Last week: 9
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

9. Wolves — 
Last week: 6
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

8. Everton
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 15

7. Watford — Performed admirably with 10 men against Arsenal, but it’s also hilarious the hoops people are jumping through the excuse Troy Deeney‘s shot at Lucas Torreira.
Last week: 9
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

6. Manchester United — A win at Goodison would sure soothe the nerves of those wondering about that full-time appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Last week: 7
Season high: 3
Season low: 14

5. Chelsea — The Blues have a weekend to recover from Thursday’s Europa League second leg versus Slavia Prague before meeting in-form Burnley at Stamford Bridge.
Last week: 3
Season high: 1
Season low: 7

4. Arsenal — Navigating Napoli with some early certainly would be huge given two league matches by Wednesday.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

3. Spurs — Forget that Spurs advanced in the Champions League on aggregate: Can Mauricio Pochettino‘s men put in a better defensive shift versus Man City than the 4-3 loss at midweek when the two sides renew acquaintances in Manchester?
Last week: 4
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

2. Liverpool — The dream of a double more impressive than Man City’s is very real.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

  1. Manchester City — How does one rebound from Wednesday? Just how? Still the top dog in our rankings, but only just because getting six points from six against Spurs and Manchester United in under a week is a massive ask.
    Last week: 1
    Season high: 1
    Season low: 3

Top Premier League storylines: Week 34

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There is plenty of intrigue as the Premier League returns beginning Friday with Newcastle United’s visit to Europa-hopeful Leicester City (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

[ PL PREVIEW: Leicester v. Newcastle ]


Weary Chelsea seeks revenge against relatively rested Reds
Liverpool v. Chelsea — 11:05 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC and online via NBCSports.com [ STREAM ]

With all due respect to the Reds’ remaining opponent, it’s not crazy to say this is the last match in which a logical argument could be made for the hopeful champions losing points in league play. Maurizio Sarri‘s back line is pretty calm under pressure, and the Blues have the dogs to put the Reds in unhappy places. But Liverpool has two more days rest than the Blues, who play Thursday in the Czech Republic.

Red Devils aim for response to poor midweek attacking
Manchester United v. West Ham United — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC and online via NBCSports.com [ STREAM ]

West Ham has lost three of four, all by 2-0 score lines, and now visit a wounded Manchester United seeking to regain its form ahead of a big trip to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.

Man City seeks form rebound in visit to Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace v. Manchester City — 9 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com [ STREAM ]

Roy Hodgson‘s Palace men have challenged Man City before, and the reigning Premier League champions have not been in top form for some time. Can Hodgson help his former side Liverpool inch closer to a first Premier League crown?

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Away-challenged Arsenal meets confident Watford
Watford v. Arsenal — 3 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com [ STREAM ]

Every few steps forward seem to meet a step back for Arsenal, who will have to deal with Europa League play in trying to overcome last week’s loss to Everton. The Hornets, for their part, are brimming with confidence in their bid to win the PL’s seventh place.

Cardiff City takes its safety hopes to Turf Moor
Burnley v. Cardiff City — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com [ STREAM ]

Sean Dyche‘s improving Clarets can clinch Premier League safety with a victory against desperate Cardiff City, who would’ve circled this match as a prime chance to surge toward a great escape.

Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 33

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Who has the momentum heading into the final five (or six) matches of the Premier League season?

Let’s revisit our power rankings for a proper evaluation (as proper as power rankings can be, of course).

[ PL PREVIEW: Leicester v. Newcastle ]

It’s been a while since we last ranked ’em up and down, so look out for swings.

20. Huddersfield Town — Four points since the start of December.
Last week: 20
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

19. Fulham — Three points in 2019.
Last week: 19
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

18. Cardiff City — Wins away to Burnley and Brighton and absolutely necessary if the Bluebirds are to put legitimate pressure on anyone currently outside the relegation picture.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

17. Brighton and Hove Albion — A huge few days ahead for Chris Hughton‘s Seagulls, with Bournemouth and Cardiff City on the dial. A pair of losses would have them firmly in the mix to go down.
Last week: 14
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

16. Bournemouth **New season low**The Cherries have now lost consecutive matches on six separate occasions this season.
Last week: 13
Season high: 6
Season low: 14

15. Southampton — Five points above the drop and improving with a strong Wolves visiting this weekend.
Last week: 16
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

14. Newcastle United — The Crystal Palace loss stings, as safety could’ve felt assured even with a point.
Last week: 11
Season high: 11
Season low: 19

13. Burnley — Sean Dyche has done it again.
Last week: 18
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

12. Crystal Palace — Same as above, but substitute Roy Hodgson‘s name.
Last week: 15
Season high: 6
Season low: 17

11. West Ham United — Manuel Pellegrini is fine to feel aggrieved with the club’s injuries during his first spell in charge, but we bet he’d accept another season like it if Felipe Anderson stays in London.
Last week: 9
Season high: 6
Season low: 20

10. Watford — Will the remarkable FA Cup comeback drive Watford toward a 7th place finish?
Last week: 7
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

9. Leicester City — Brendan Rodgers can’t be blamed for an easy start to life as Foxes boss, something probably planned in the timing of Claude Puel‘s firing anyway, but the tests are coming very soon. Now in seventh, can he guide them through a gauntlet?
Last week: 10
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

8. Everton — Marco Silva‘s men very much delivering on investment and promise and just may deliver a Europa League spot.
Last week: 12
Season high: 5
Season low: 15

7. Manchester United — Moral victories won’t be feeling too positive across a fierce run-in.
Last week: 4
Season high: 3
Season low: 14

6. Wolves — The Burnley loss and FA Cup exit sting, but Nuno Espirito Santo has Manchester United’s number.
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

5. Arsenal — League speed bumps (away to Watford, home to Palace) surround tough UEL fixtures versus Napoli.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

4. Tottenham Hotspur — Things are again looking up for Spurs in both leagues — Premier and Champions — as their new building bays for more wins and some silverware.
Last week: 6
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

3. Chelsea — How long will success-driving Eden Hazard stay? And could the Blues handle life without him, given their mercurial seasons with him?
Last week: 5
Season high: 1
Season low: 7

2. Liverpool — The schedule looks better than Man City’s but their rivals remain in the driver’s seat.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

  1. Man City — This week’s visit to Palace is the easiest fixture for the next few weeks, and it isn’t easy!
    Last week: 1
    Season high: 1
    Season low: 3

Analyzing the relegation situation: One from six to go down

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Huddersfield Town and Fulham have already been relegated from the Premier League, but there is still an almighty scrap for at least six teams to stay out of the bottom three.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

Cardiff City is currently five points from safety with six games to go, so Neil Warnock‘s side are the favorites for the drop, but with some winnable games coming up in their run-in, is feels like the Bluebirds have another few surprise results up their sleeve.

[ PST Roundtable: Predicting the run-in

Below we take a look at the relegation situation, with Cardiff, Southampton, Brighton, Newcastle, Burnley and Bournemouth still involved in the scrap.


Cardiff City
Current position, points: 18th and 28 points
Fixtures remaining: 6 games – Burnley (A), Brighton (A), Liverpool (H), Fulham (A), Crystal Palace (H), Man United (A)
How many points needed: 12 points
Key in the run-in: Warnock’s men need to keep games tight and hope to nick points from set-piece situations. They must beat Burnley, Fulham and Brighton to have any chance of survival.


Southampton
Current position: 17th and 33 points
Fixtures remaining: 6 games – Wolves (H), Newcastle (A), Watford (A), Bournemouth (H), West Ham (A), Huddersfield (H)
How many points needed: 7 points
Key in the run-in: Saints have a pretty favorable run of games, on paper, with home matches against Bournemouth and Huddersfield must wins. The trip to Newcastle will likely determine if they’re going to continue their push away from the bottom three under Ralph Hasenhuttl, with Danny Ings‘ fitness key.


Brighton & Hove Albion
Current position: 16th and 33 points
Fixtures remaining: 7 games – Bournemouth (H), Cardiff (H), Wolves (A), Tottenham (A), Newcastle (H), Arsenal (A), Man City (H)
How many points needed: 7 points
Key in the run-in: Four home games left for Brighton, but they face Arsenal, Spurs and Man City, so the game against Cardiff looks massive in their battle against relegation. Not an easy schedule, and they need to get service to Glenn Murray if they’re going to pull clear.


Newcastle United
Current position: 15th and 35 points
Fixtures remaining: 5 games – Leicester (A), Southampton (H), Brighton (A), Liverpool (H), Fulham (A)
How many points needed: 5 points
Key in the run-in: This should be pretty straightforward for Rafael Benitez’s side. If they grab a win against Southampton or Brighton, they are pretty much safe. Some defensive injuries have left them short in recent weeks, but they will have enough to get them over the line.


Burnley
Current position: 14th and 36 points
Fixtures remaining: 5 games – Cardiff (H), Chelsea (A), Man City (H), Everton (A), Arsenal (H)
How many points needed: 4 points
Key in the run-in: What a few weeks for Burnley, as Sean Dyche‘s men may already be safe. That said, the Clarets will want one more win to make sure and if they don’t beat Cardiff it is tough to see where that will come from. Chelsea, Man City, Everton and Arsenal is a daunting last four games, but Burnley have put themselves in a great position.


Bournemouth
Current position: 13th and 38 points
Fixtures remaining: 5 games – Brighton (A), Fulham (H), Southampton (A), Tottenham (H), Crystal Palace (A)
How many points needed: 2 points
Key in the run-in: Eddie Howe‘s side have been in terrible form during the second half of the season, but their remaining games aren’t too tough. A win against Brighton or Fulham should do the trick but if they don’t, and the teams below them pick up a few wins in the next couple of weeks, all of a sudden Bournemouth will be looking over their shoulders a little.

Burnley ease past dismal Bournemouth (video)

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  • Second-straight win for Burnley
  • 1 win in 9 for Bournemouth
  • Clarets now two points behind Cherries

Burnley came from behind to win 3-1 at Bournemouth on Saturday, as the Clarets left the Vitality Stadium with a massive three points.

Ashley Barnes scored an early own goal to put Bournemouth ahead, but then Chris Wood and Ashley Westwood each scored in quick succession to put them ahead with Asmir Begovic not covering himself in glory in goal for Bournemouth.

Barnes then scored after another Begovic howler to seal the win, as Sean Dyche‘s side now move eight points clear of the relegation zone and are on 36 points, just two points behind Bournemouth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth took the lead inside four minutes as a free kick was flicked on by Jefferson Lerma and under pressure from Nathan Ake, Barnes nodded into his own net. 1-0.

David Brooks was causing plenty of problems cutting in from the right flank, but Burnley then struck back. A corner caught out Asmir Begovic as it looped to the back post and Wood nodded home to make it 1-1. Game on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Burnley were soon 2-1 up, as Dwight McNeil caused havoc on the left and his cross eventually found Westwood who struck an effort into the far corner to put the Clarets 2-1 up.

Before the break Bournemouth had a great chance to make it 2-2, but an unmarked Callum Wilson somehow nodded over from close range. Burnley went close on two occasions before the break as Begovic was almost caught out at his near post with a free kick, as the end-to-end nature continued.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Right at the start of the second half Barnes hit a shot goalwards which hit Ake on the arm and deflected wide, but no penalty kick was given.

Burnley did extend their lead, as Charlie Taylor‘s cross from the left was spilled by Begovic and Wood pounced to set up Barnes to slot home. 3-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The away side threatened to extend their lead further late on with some dangerous crosses, while Josh King nodded wide for Bournemouth.

Dominic Solanke, Ryan Fraser and Wilson went close late on, but Bournemouth couldn’t launch another of their famous late rallies and Burnley secured a big win in their battle against relegation.