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Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 12

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We told you this weekend could provide big tumult in the power rankings, as several clubs in close proximity tangled in the Premier League, and the matches delivered in a big way.

[ ARCHIVE: Premier League club power rankings ]


20. Fulham — Much better against Liverpool than recent opposition, but still on pace to break the Premier League record for goals allowed.
Last week: 20
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

19. Huddersfield Town — A nice point against West Ham, but it’s difficult to look at the match and think the Terriers would’ve managed a point from performances of that ilk more than once in a great while.
Last week: 19
Season high: 18
Season low: 20

18. Burnley — Still capable of solid performances, but the attack looks like a relegation candidate more often than not.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

17. Crystal Palace *New season low* — A victim of the schedule? Sure, but there’s little to like about the attack as even Wilfried Zaha appears shaken in confidence.
Last week: 14
Season high: 6
Season low: 17

Zaha (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

16. Cardiff City — Aided in a big way by Dale Stephens red card, but the Bluebirds are looking less and less like the automatic relegation team of early weeks.
Last week: 16
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

15. Southampton — Probably deserved all three points against Watford, but looking ready to take the next step despite a miserly start points-wise.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 17

14. Newcastle United — Rafa Benitez‘s men are the pound-for-pound defensive champions of the league. Only six teams have allowed fewer goals, and only one is lower than 7th on the table (Wolves, 11th).
Last week: 16
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

13. Brighton and Hove Albion — Two-straight losses following the 2-1 defeat at Cardiff, in what draws Bournemouth as the top disappointments of the week.
Last week: 10
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

12. West Ham — Manuel Pellegrini‘s men had to work hard to get a point from Huddersfield Town, and is hoping Samir Nasri can help fill the hole left by Andriy Yarmolenko‘s injury. A big ask?
Last week: 13
Season high: 9
Season low: 20

11. Watford — Hornets looking more and more like early over-performers. 
Last week: 12
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

10. Wolves — Gave Arsenal all it could handle, but fans should be demanding more from a club which thrives against big clubs but has not performed against several seemingly lesser sides.
Last week: 13
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ruben Neves. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

9. Leicester City — To take four of six points with a trip to their owner’s funeral in Thailand sandwiched in between is a serious achievement.
Last week: 9
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

8. Bournemouth — Eddie Howe will be raging with his Cherries for their performance at Newcastle United, a lost chance to sit a point back of Arsenal.
Last week: 8
Season high: 6
Season low: 12

7. Manchester United — Count our own Joe Prince-Wright among those tired of the excuses for Jose Mourinho’s struggles at Old Trafford. The gulf between his men and Man City is huge.
Last week: 6
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

6. Everton — Two weeks to prepare for a visit from Cardiff, and then the away Merseyside Derby. If the Toffees manage a draw at Liverpool, it’s not unreasonable to think they should nab 10 from their next 12 points.
Last week: 7
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

5. Arsenal — Beat Everton in September, and that will keep the Gunners ahead of the impressive Toffees… for now.
Last week: 4
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

4. Chelsea — Surely the draw vs. Everton is a case of a decent opponent and Europa League lag, but championship winners generally find a way to get the winner at home.
Last week: 3
Season high: 1
Season low: 5

3. Liverpool — It seems unrealistic to expect blowouts each week, but the Reds’ 2-0 win over a defensively-weak Fulham was tepid at best.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

2. Spurs *New season high*Despite injury and form problems for pretty much all of its biggest stars, Spurs sit three points back of second, are two rounds from the League Cup final, and aren’t dead in the Champions League. Yes, Spurs were by far second-best in a Sept. 15 home loss to the Reds, but it’s been two months.

Their next two league matches are home to Chelsea and away to Arsenal, so the heights could be brief, but what Spurs have done in the face of wild injuries is impressive.
Last week: 4
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

1. Man City — For everyone mentioning the absence of Paul Pogba for United in the derby, City was missing Kevin De Bruyne. This team is hearkening back to Pep’s best Barcelona teams, without a Lionel Messi in the bunch.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

Chelsea’s Hazard feeling ‘wear and tear’ of frequent fouling

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The best, most skillful players are always the ones who suffer the greatest physical harm by way of constantly being fouled, so it’s little wonder Eden Hazard admits to “feeling the wear and tear” as he approaches his 28th birthday.

[ SUNDAY PREVIEW: Manchester derby; Chelsea, Liverpool go for 12 ]

Hazard ranks second among the most frequently fouled players in the Premier League — behind only Wilfried Zaha, who has played more minutes — over the past two-plus seasons (since 2016-17). First Zaha, and now Hazard, have made public pleas for referees to better protect players from frequent, hard fouling, even in the game’s opening seconds or minutes — quotes from the Guardian:

“For me that would be better. For the referee, though, it can be hard to show a yellow card in the first minute. Everywhere it is the same for me.”

“I’m 27 now and starting to get older, so I have to take more care of my body. I am feeling the wear and tear. I have been playing football as a professional for more than 10 years now. It is part of the game, I guess. I am not happy but it’s part of football. The referee tries to do his job and I try to do mine. I guess when I am on the floor I can win free kicks, so every free kick with Chelsea is a chance to score more goals.”

To Hazard’s point, he has missed plenty of time over the years due to various mildly serious injuries. Fortunately for the Belgian superstar, he’s managed to avoid the kind of serious, career-threatening injury that might otherwise rob the world of his brilliant play-making and goal-scoring talent.

Watch Live: Crystal Palace v. Tottenham

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Crystal Palace host Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) in a feisty London derby.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Palace are in a need of a positive result before the international break after six games without a win, while Tottenham will aim to stay in the top four as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men battle through injuries.

In team news Palace are without their star Wilfried Zaha due to injury, which is a huge blow, as Jordan Ayew and Andros Townsend are tasked with creating chances.

Spurs start young center back Juan Foyth after his nightmare debut last weekend, while Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier are only fit enough for the bench.


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In-form Morata leads Chelsea past Palace

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  • Chelsea lead 1-0 at break through Morata
  • Sides split last season series
  • Blues go 2nd

Alvaro Morata scored in each half as Chelsea overcame a second half scare to waltz past Crystal Palace 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday

Pedro scored Chelsea’s other goal to put the Blues second on the table, two points back of Man City and ahead of Liverpool on goal differential.

Andros Townsend scored Palace’s goal as the Eagles stay 14th with eight points.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Wilfried Zaha showed some threat inside the Chelsea box in the third minute, but that was the visitors only moment of real early threat (and even possession).

Chelsea knocked on the door over the next stanza of play before Morata knocked it off its hinges when Pedro bounced a pass to the top of the six.

The second half was Chelsea with a wealth of possession and dominance, only to be undone in a way that defines the cliche “out of nothing.”

Townsend got past David Luiz and onto a James McArthur through ball to stun the Blues with a 53rd minute drive.

Luiz tried to make amends when an on-target header in the 63rd minute, but Wayne Hennessey pushed it out for a corner. Luiz popped the ensuing header over the table.

Morata continued his redemption tour of sorts with a smooth finish across goal in the 66th minute, Eden Hazard getting an assist moments after subbing into the game.

Pedro scored minutes later, and Morata missed a hat trick in stoppage time when his chipped breakaway attempt failed to clear Hennessey’s reach.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

League Cup wrap: Chelsea, Arsenal outlast upset bids

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Six of eight quarterfinalists’ slots have been earned in the League Cup, with Arsenal and Chelsea each dodging Wednesday upset bids.

[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]

Burton Albion and Bournemouth won Tuesday matches, with Leicester City-Southampton and Man City-Fulham still on the docket.

Chelsea 3-2 Derby County

All the fireworks came in the first half, with the visiting Rams responsible for two goals on each side of the scoreboard. Chelsea loanee Fiyoko Tomori and Richard Keogh both posted own goals that Derby answered through Jack Marriott and Martyn Waghorn.

But Cesc Fabregas deposited a Davide Zappacosta pass into the goal before halftime, and Chelsea survived to reach the quarters.

Marriott’s goal was assisted by another Blues loanee, Mason Mount, as Frank Lampard‘s feverish bid to upset his former club came up just short.

Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool

Stephan Lichtsteiner and Emile Smith-Rowe scored on either side of halftime, but the Gunners did not cruise to the win. Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi was sent off in the 56th minute, and Paudie O’Connor scored a 66th minute goal to put the Tangerines back in the mix. O’Connor then saw red himself in the 84th.

West Ham United 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs made a statement at the London Stadium, having played Man City just 48 hours prior. Heung-Min Son scored twice, and Fernando Llorente added a 75th minute goal four minutes after Lucas Perez pulled one back for the Irons.

Middlesbrough 1-0 Crystal Palace

Lewis Wing’s goal was enough for Tony Pulis to get one over on his former Premier League employers, as Palace left several big names out of the Starting XI including Wilfried Zaha, Luka Milivojevic, and Patrick Van Aanholt.