2014-15 Premier League Power Rankings

Chiesa to Manchester United
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Who’s next for Manchester United if Sancho stays at Dortmund?

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The transfer rumor mill is usually buzzing this time of year, but it’s nearly a cacophony following Michael Zorc’s announcement that Jadon Sancho will be staying at Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Liverpool announces new left back ]

Reports say Manchester United is not quitting on the idea of Sancho at Old Trafford, but here are some other targets if the Red Devils have to look away from the English phenom.

Federico Chiesa, Fiorentina

Linked with United for some time including a Monday nod from Football-Italia, Chiesa’s approximately $80 million price tag is high but half of what Dortmund is asking for Sancho.

The versatile playmaker has often been linked with Juventus, though Fiorentina is loathe to do business with The Old Lady unless absolutely necessary after big sales of Roberto Baggio and Federico Bernardeschi to Juve in the past.

The 22-year-old already has 17 Italian caps and scored 10 goals with six assists for La Viola this season in Serie A play, career bests in both.

Douglas Costa, Juventus

This one could become even more feasible if Juve latched onto Chiesa.

Juve desperately needs to get younger and Costa doesn’t figure to fit into the plans of Andrea Pirlo, a month away from his 30th birthday.

Costa works better on the right side and would be a worker bee looking to set up Rashford and Martial or cut back for Bruno Fernandes. He boasts double-digit assist seasons in the Bundesliga (Bayern), Serie A (Juve), and Ukraine (Shakhtar Donetsk).

TURIN, ITALY – MAY 19: Douglas Costa (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Raul Jimenez, Wolves

This one still feels like a long shot of long shots given the players’ age and status at Wolves, but the El Tri star has been linked with United in the past.

Jimenez doesn’t solve the wing issue presented by Sancho staying at BVB, and you’d fancy the Red Devils to go after one of Wolves’ wingers before Jimenez.

But Solskjaer enjoys Marcus Rashford at left wing and could use Anthony Martial at right wing a bit more often than center forward. Throw in Mason Greenwood and the boss would have a lot of permutations to use around Bruno Fernandes in a front three or four.

Ivan Perisic, Inter Milan

Mentioned as part of a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez, that’s less on the cards after the Chilean accepted a Man United payoff to move to Inter for free.

The 31-year-old favors the left wing and Inter would be happy to offload him after Bayern declined its option to buy the loanee who managed seven goals and 10 assists in just over 1600 minutes.

That’s pretty good output for a part-time player who kept some tread on the tires.

Perisic to Manchester United
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JULY 15: Ivan Perisic of Croatia (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

James Rodriguez, Real Madrid

If you’re sensing a thread amongst most of these players, it’s no surprise considering United has a wage scale to meet the needs of many wantaways.

Real desperately wants to get something for Colombian star James, who at 29 played less than 800 minutes for La Liga’s champions this season.

His two-year loan stint at Bayern also saw him as a part-time player, but like Perisic a productive one. James scored 15 times with 20 assists over two seasons with the Bavarians.

Kingsley Coman, Bayern Munich

This would cost a lot of dough.

The 24-year-old has been a part of nine-straight league winners between Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, and Bayern.

Okay that’s cheating a bit considering his Ligue 1 crowns came off a handful of appearances over two seasons at the Parc des Princes.

But the left and right winger might be on for a change of scenery with Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane set to dominate the preferential places at Bayern.

Premier League Power Rankings: Big climbers galore as momentum kicks in

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Well, there are a bunch of streaky teams out there as we enter the final five weeks of the Premier League season. Arsenal has made a run to the top two, Manchester United aren’t far behind and Leicester City are absolutely flying to try and save themselves from relegation.

All of that means our rankings of power are looking drastically different compared to the last edition.

[ Archive: Premier League Power Rankings ]

In case you are new around here, each week we put our neck on the line to analyze the strength of each Premier League team. Forget about the official league standings (here they are in case you actually do want them) that doesn’t mean squat.

The Power Rankings take into account the strength of schedule, injuries, suspensions, playing well but still losing and plenty of other variables. The W-D-L bracket shows each PL team’s current record and you can now see how many spots each team has moved, up or down, from week-to-week.

Let’s get to it!

RANKING
Up/Down

source:

1 UP 1 Arsenal: Eight wins on the spin is the Gunners’ best run since 2004. They are flying and could finish second and win an FA Cup. Is that a good season? I think so. Huge game vs. Chelsea this Sunday. (20-6-6)
source:  2 UP 1 Manchester UnitedYes, LVG’s boys lost to Chelsea but they impressed and handled injuries well and should have got a point. Six wins from their  last seven means they will finish in the top four, surely. Next up: Everton away. (19-8-6)
source:  3  UP 1 Chelsea: Mourinho loves a defensive masterclass and he has churned out four-straight wins by a one-goal margin without Diego Costa. Superb. Arsenal away this Sunday. Can they show the Gunners which team rules London? (23-7-2)
source:  4 DOWN 3  Liverpool: Two defeats in their last three PL matches and a damaging FA Cup semifinal defeat to Villa means Liverpool’s season is ending with a whimper. Their top four hopes are still alive, but barely. WBA away this week. (17-6-9)

source:

5 UP 14 Leicester CityHands up who saw this coming? Yep, didn’t think so. The Foxes are flying, have won three-straight and are within a point of getting out of the bottom three. The biggest jump in a single week in Power Ranking history. HUGE, HUGE game at Burnley. (7-7-18)
source:  6 UP 4 Everton:  The Toffees have finally found some form in a season to forget. Martinez’ men are unbeaten in five and are one win from being in the top 10. United at home this weekend. (10-11-12)
source:  7 UP 2 Tottenham Hotspur:  Spurs are clinging on to their top four dreams but an inconsistent few weeks has cost Pochettino’s men. Massive game at Saints this week as the Argentine boss heads back to his old club. (17-6-10)
source:  8 DOWN 3 Southampton: Same could be said for Saints as inconsistency has crept in. They just can’t seem to find their shooting boots. Big chance to climb ahead of Spurs in the race for the Europa League this weekend. (17-5-11)
source:  9 DOWN 3 Manchester City: Oh dear, it really has unraveled in the past three weeks for Pellegrini with three defeats in five. City are holding onto fourth but could still blow it. Villa at home this week. (19-7-7)
source:  10 UP 1 Aston Villa: Speaking of Villa, they stunned Liverpool to reach the FA Cup final but all focus must now switch to staying up. They are four points above the drop zone with five games left. (7-7-15)
source:  11 UP 1 Stoke City: The Potters are going for a record PL points tally and to better their best-ever finish of 10th last season. Good win vs. Saints, next up is Sunderland. (13-7-13) 
source:  12 DOWN 4  Crystal PalaceThe Eagles were flying until old boss Tony Pulis clipped their wings when his WBA side came to town. Pardew is still happy with his side who are safe from relegation. Can they finish in the top 10? (11-9-13)
source:  13 DOWN 6 West BromPulis steered the Baggies through a rough period to bag that big win at his former club. They should be safe for another season now. Liverpool at home will be a tough one this weekend. (9-9-15)
source:  14 Swansea City: The Swans suffered their first defeat in five at Leicester and missed the injured Gomis badly. Still, a fine season for Monk’s men. Newcastle away should be another win… (13-8-12)
source:  15 Burnley: If they could score goals, they’d be flying but the Clarets have now gone 389 minutes without hitting the back of the net. Can Dyche’s boys prevail in the relegation six-pointer vs. Leicester? Their survival will likely depend on it. (5-11-17)
source:  16 UP 2 QPR: Chris Ramsey’s side are running out of time but they are just two points from safety. They simply have to be out-of-form West Ham at home on Saturday. They have to. (7-5-21)
source:  17 West Ham:  Speaking of the Hammers, things are going from bad to worse for “Big Sam” as they have just one win in 11. Surely he’s leaving this summer? Anyway, five games to go in a season that promised so much. (11-10-12)
source:  18 UP 2 Sunderland: That Tyne-Wear derby win is keeping Dick Advocaat’s head above water. Just. A defeat to Stoke could be bad news this weekend if other results go against the Black Cats. Not a good time in the north east right now. (5-14-13)
source:  19 DOWN 6 Hull City:  Further down the coast, Hull have lost three on the spin and have no win in seven. Steve Bruce must be very worried. They are out of the bottom three on goal difference and must beat Palace this weekend. (6-10-16)
source:  20 DOWN 4 Newcastle United: Six defeats in a row for the Magpies, plus fans refusing to turn up, spells bad news for interim boss John Carver. They still aren’t safe from relegation but should be okay. Just. (9-8-16)

 

Premier League Power Rankings: New team on top with nine games to go

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Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been on a roll with Chelsea and Manchester City struggling a little as the top two no longer look impenetrable. With nine games to go the business end of the season is here as everything is to play for at the top and bottom of the PL. Finger nails are getting shorter and sleepless nights more frequent.

[ Archive: Premier League Power Rankings ]

In case you are new around here, each week we put our neck on the line to analyze the strength of each Premier League team. Forget about the official league standings (here they are in case you actually do want them) that doesn’t mean squat.

The Power Rankings take into account the strength of schedule, injuries, suspensions, playing well but still losing and plenty of other variables. The W-D-L bracket shows each PL team’s current record and you can now see how many spots each team has moved, up or down, from week-to-week.

Let’s get to it!

RANKING
Up/Down

source:

1 UP 1 Liverpool: After winning eight of their last nine, there’s no doubt who the form team in the PL is. Liverpool host fierce rivals Man United at home on Sunday. A win takes them above United and into the top four. (16-6-7)
source:  2 DOWN 1 Arsenal: The Gunners are unlucky to lose top spot in our rankings after five-straight wins. Their UCL exit to Monaco was a bitter pill to swallow but they’re just one point behind Man City in second. Newcastle away this weekend. (17-6-6)
source:  3  – Manchester United: Seven wins from their last nine and a 3-0 thumping of Spurs was their best display this season. Can Wayne Rooney lead them to derby success at Anfield? (16-8-5)
source:  4 DOWN 1 Chelsea: The Blues are limping to the title rather than striding forward with purpose. Mourinho’s men were knocked out of the UCL by PSG and looked nervy at home to Saints. A slip up at Hull this weekend will blow the title race open. (19-7-2)

source:

5 UP 1 Southampton: Koeman’s boys are still hanging around in the top six and looked lively vs. Chelsea last time out. Very winnable home match vs. Burnley. (15-5-9)
source:  6 DOWN 2 Manchester City:  Two defeats in their last three has left City’s title hopes in ruins, as they also crashed out of the UCL to Barca. Pellegrini looks a worried man. Must beat WBA this Saturday. (17-7-5)
source:  7 UP 2 West Brom: Talking of WBA, the Baggies are in fine form after Pulis took charge. Three wins from five have them well clear of danger. (8-9-12)
source:  8 Crystal PalaceThe Eagles are non-movers and have won two of their last three to keep Alan Pardew’s impressive start as boss going. Can they knock off Stoke this Saturday? (8-9-12)
source:  9 DOWN 3 Tottenham Hotspur: Pochettino’s boys had been going along quite nicely. But a nervy win at QPR was followed up by a drubbing at he hands of Man United. Must beat Leicester if their top four dreams are to become a reality. (15-5-9)
source:  10 Everton:  One step forward, two steps back for the Toffees. Roberto Martinez is a great manager, more on that here, but Europa League has definitely harmed the Toffees. Must beat QPR this Sunday. (7-10-12)
source:  11 UP 8 Aston Villa: Wow. What a difference a few victories make. After two-straight wins Tim Sherwood’s team is looking completely different. Not out of relegation trouble yet, but a win vs. Swansea would help the survival bid. (7-7-15)
source:  12 UP 1 Stoke City: The Potters have steadied the ship and won three of the last four before their woeful display vs. WBA. Palace at home this weekend as they look to seal their best ever PL finish of 10th place. (12-6-11)
source:  13 UP 7 Hull City: Steve Bruce’s side are once again hard to beat as they’ve lost just one of their last five and conceded three goals in the process. Can the stun Chelsea this week? (6-10-13)
source:  14 DOWN 3 Swansea CityPlenty of industry in south Wales but performances have lacked a little bit of flair of late. Can they overcome a stubborn Villa side away? (11-7-11)
source:  15 UP 2 Burnley:  Beating Man City has to be their best-ever win as a PL club. Sean Dyche’s men have a fighting chance of survival given Sunderland’s woes. Saints away is toughie this weekend. (5-10-14)
source:  16 DOWN 2 Newcastle United: Bit of a rudderless ship are Newcastle. Their usual trick of excelling up until Christmas and then collapsing has repeated itself. No danger of relegation, but will likely lose to Arsenal (9-8-12)
source:  17 DOWN 5 West Ham: The Hammers have gone right off the boil as uncertainty around Sam Allardyce’s future remains. No win in six and three-straight defeats but Sunderland up next. (10-9-10)
source:  18 QPR:  Another London club struggling is QPR with eight defeats from their last nine. A heavy defeat at Palace last week (even though Phillips scored this screamer) proved how poor they are. Still hope for the R’s but time is running out. (5-4-14)
source:  19 DOWN 3 Leicester City The Foxes are slowly drifting away as they are seven points from safety at the bottom. Can anything save them now? spurs away this weekend. (4-7-17)
source:  20 DOWN 5 Sunderland: Gus Poyet lost his job and now Dick Advocaat is in as a short-term replacement. The Dutchman has a heck of a job on his hands after Sunderland’s 4-0 home defeat to Villa. Relegation is in the air around the Stadium of Light. (4-14-10)

 

Premier League Power Rankings: Liverpool, Arsenal flying high

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Ladies and gents, we have a new top two in our rankings of power this week.

Arsenal and Liverpool are on a roll and with Chelsea and Manchester City stumbling, they are no longer the form teams. Take a look below to see who else is steaming into the upper echelons as the business end of the season is just around the corner.

[ Archive: Premier League Power Rankings ]

In case you are new around here, each week we put our neck on the line to analyze the strength of each Premier League team. Forget about the official league standings (here they are in case you actually do want them) that doesn’t mean squat.

The Power Rankings take into account the strength of schedule, injuries, suspensions, playing well but still losing and plenty of other variables. The W-D-L bracket shows each PL team’s current record and you can now see how many spots each team has moved, up or down, from week-to-week.

Let’s get to it!

RANKING
Up/Down

source:

1 UP 4 Arsenal: The Gunners have won three on the spin, five of their last six and have shored things up at the back. Can they climb into the top four by beating Spurs in the North London derby? Wilshere may be celebrating with a cigar… (12-6-5)
 source:  2 UP 3 LiverpoolThe recovery is on. No defeats in seven and five wins in that spin says the Reds are back to their best. Plus, Sturridge is back. Can they beat Everton in the Merseyside derby to keep it going? (11-5-7)
source:  3  – Chelsea: Still top of the actual standings, Chelsea missed Diego Costa and Fabregas vs. Man City and were lucky to get a draw. Trundling along just fine, but not red-hot. Not at all. Aston Villa up next. (16-5-2)
source:  4 DOWN 4 Manchester City: No win in three games see City fall from top to fourth in our rankings. Manuel Pellegrini’s men improved vs. Chelsea, but they need Yaya Toure and Bony back from AFCON. Fast. Hull at home this weekend. (14-6-3)

source:

5 UP 1  Tottenham Hotspur: With three wins from four, Spurs are sneaking up towards the top four. A win vs. bitter rivals Arsenal on Saturday would see them momentarily in the UCL places. Plus Kane re-upped, which is huge. (12-4-7)
source:  6 DOWN 4 Southampton:  Saints are still in fourth, but a damaging home defeat to Swansea hurt. They dominated play but couldn’t find a goal. Can they beat struggling QPR this weekend to stay fourth? (13-3-7)
source:  7 UP 1 Manchester UnitedThe Red Devils have won two-straight but that was against basement boys QPR and Leicester. A trip to West Ham this weekend will be tough going. Oh yeah, LVG’s in trouble with the FA. (12-7-4)
source:  8 UP 2 Crystal PalaceAlan Pardew’s revolution continues. Even though the Eagles went down to Everton, they are looking much better going forward. That said, they’re only four points above the drop. Leicester away this week. HUGE. (5-8-10)
source:  9 UP 2 West Brom: The Baggies are becoming tough to beat, but Spurs put on a clinic as the 3-0 scoreline flattered them. If Pulis can find a pure finisher, WBA would easily stay up. Burnley away this week. MASSIVE. (5-7-11)
 source:  10 UP 8 Everton: Relief. The Toffees won for the first time in seven matches at Palace. That has set them up nicely for the Merseyside derby this Saturday. Tim Howard is back in training too. (6-8-9)
source:  11 UP 3 Swansea CityThe Swans performed a perfect smash and grab away at Saints with Jonjo scoring a screamer. Can they beat Sunderland at home to keep climbing? (9-6-8)
source:  12 DOWN 5 West Ham: A 2-0 defeat at Liverpool is nothing to be ashamed of, but the Hammers are drifting away from the top four slightly. Can they stun Man United? (10-6-7)
source:  13 Stoke CityBack-to-back wins for the Potters as Jon Walters scored a perfect hat trick to see off QPR. Newcastle away this week. (9-5-9)
source:  14 UP 2 Newcastle United: Speaking of Newcastle, the Magpies got a massive 3-0 win at Hull as John Carver is in charge until the end of the season. Is he the right man to take over permanently? (8-6-9)
source:  15 UP 2 Sunderland: Staying in the north east, the Mackems got what they wanted. Goals. Jermain Defoe scored and Poyet’s boys beat Burnley. Can they beat Swansea to climb into midtable? (4-11-8)
source:  16 DOWN 4 Leicester CityStill bottom, the Foxes were soundly beaten by United and lost a close one to Stoke. Will they drag Palace into the relegation battle this weekend? Need a win. Big time. (4-5-14)
source:  17 DOWN 8 Burnley:  All is not lost for Sean Dyche’s men despite two-straight defeats. They have kept hold of Danny Ings and will fancy their chances vs. WBA at Turf Moor. (4-8-11)
source:  18 DOWN 3 QPR: What a week in west London. Harry Redknapp walked out, as the R’s are managerless and still without a point in 11 away games. Can they stun high-flying Saints? The home fans at Loftus Road will be crucial. (5-4-14)
source:  19 Aston Villa: Villa’s miserable time continues as the pressure mounts on Paul Lambert. The 5-0 drubbing at Arsenal was embarrassing. They beat Chelsea at home last season… can they do it again on Saturday? (5-7-9)
source:  20 Hull City:  Talking about pressure, Steve Bruce is under plenty too as his side were booed off in the defeat to Newcastle. Three defeats on the spin and Man City away next. Oh dear… (4-7-12)

 

Premier League Power Rankings: Liverpool, Saints climbing; can Chelsea go top?

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It is time to fire up the Power Rankings for their first outing of 2015.

Over the past few weeks the Premier League games have been coming thick and fast, as the rankings of power have shifted all over the place.

Jose Mourinho’s men can’t sneak back to the top spot ahead of Manchester City, while the likes of Southampton and Liverpool continue to surge. At the bottom, it is looking like a bleak winter for Newcastle, Sunderland and up to nine other teams embroiled in an almighty relegation scrap. Let’s see how that impacts our 1-20.

[ Archive: Premier League Power Rankings ]

In case you are new around here, each week we put our neck on the line to analyze the strength of each Premier League team. Forget about the official league standings (here they are in case you actually do want them) that doesn’t mean squat.

The Power Rankings take into account the strength of schedule, injuries, suspensions, playing well but still losing and plenty of other variables. The W-D-L bracket shows each PL team’s current record and you can now see how many spots each team has moved, up or down, from week-to-week.

Let’s get to it!

RANKING
Up/Down

source:

1 Manchester City: The Citizens are still on top, and now they have Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany returning plus Wilfried Bony has arrived. Tough test against Arsenal this weekend. (14-5-2)
source:  2 UP 8 Southampton: Saints are flying. Wins over Arsenal, Everton and Man United, plus a draw with Chelsea, shows what a good team they are. But, injuries mounting up and Newcastle away on Saturday. (12-3-6)
source:  3  DOWN 1 Chelsea: Okay, so the Blues are still in top spot in the actual standings… but they are going through a tricky patch. A draw at Southampton and a hammering by Spurs was followed by an unconvincing home win over Newcastle. Swansea away next. (15-4-2)
source:  4 UP 1 Arsenal: Three wins from their last four, the Gunners are doing okay. Injuries are stacking up but as long as they have Alexis Sanchez, they’ll have a chance vs. City. (10-6-5)

source:

5 UP 11  Liverpool: Unbeaten in five, the Reds look more solid and Daniel Sturridge is almost back. Brendan Rodgers will be hoping the ‘do it for Stevie G’ mantra will kick his squad back into a top four battle in 2015. Huge climbers, Villa away this week. (9-5-7)
source:  6 UP 5 Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs had won four of their last six before getting shocked at Palace. Pochettino’s boys are on the right path. Can they keep it going vs. Sunderland? (10-4-7) 
source:  7 DOWN 3 West Ham: The Hammers are without a win in four, hence why they slide down the rankings. Narrow defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea shouldn’t see Big Sam hit the panic button. Hull at home next up. (9-6-6)
source:  8 DOWN 5 Manchester United: Talking of panic buttons, LVG may be a little closer to pushing his. After talk of a title charge, United followed up draws at Spurs and Stoke with defeat to Saints. QPR away next. Tricky. (10-7-4)
source:  9 Burnley: Unbeaten in three and fresh from beating QPR, the Clarets are steady in ninth. Massive clash at home vs. Palace this Saturday. (4-8-9)
source:  10 UP 7 Crystal Palace: Speaking of Palace, they’re on the up too as Alan Pardew’s first match in charge was a superb 2-1 win over Spurs. Undefeated in three, can they climb further up the table and our rankings? (4-8-9)
source:  11 UP 3 West Brom: Another new boss has had a big impact, as the Baggies are unbeaten in two and pulling clear of danger. Can they hold onto Berahino? He will be key vs. Everton this week. (4-5-7)
source:  12 UP 8 Leicester City: Huge climbers after two wins from three for the bottom climb who have now dragged plenty of teams into the relegation scrap. Can the Foxes continue their charge vs. Stoke? (4-5-12)
source:  13 DOWN 7 Stoke City: The Potters did okay against Man United, but they just look so short of goals up top and were bad against Arsenal. Tough trip to Leicester. (7-5-9)
source:  14 UP 4 Swansea City: Bony has been sold to Man City, but Garry Monk’s side should still finish in the top 10 and their bank balance is looking good. Without a win in three, now Chelsea come to town. Upset? (8-6-7)
source:  15 QPR: The R’s lost away, for a record 10th straight time to open up a PL season and Harry Redknapp’s side are struggling. Still, just one point from safety. (5-4-12)
source:  16 DOWN 8 Newcastle United:  The Magpies have plummeted since Pardew left town for Palace. Caretaker boss John Carver may not get the position full time as Remi Garde is the favorite. (7-6-8)
source:  17 DOWN 1 SunderlandThe Black Cats are so goal shy it is ridiculous. Swapping Jozy Altidore for Jermain Defoe could be an inspired move… or a very expensive one. Spurs away next. (3-11-7)
source:  18 DOWN 11 Everton: The Toffees have fallen fast and furiously in our rankings, with no wins in five after four defeats on the spin. A draw vs. City will boost confidence but they are in the relegation battle. No doubt. (5-7-9)
source:  19 DOWN 6 Aston Villa: Villa have scored just 11 goals this season. 11. No wins in their last six and have failed to score in their last three. Liverpool at home, as the pressure builds on Lambert once again. (5-4-7)
source:  20 Hull City: Not much better for Hull, but at least they’ve snatched a few narrow wins lately. Steve Bruce badly needs a few top signings in January and a win vs. West Ham. (4-7-10)