2015-16 Premier League Power Rankings

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Premier League Power Rankings, Vol. XI: Leicester, Spurs, and the New Normal

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The Premier League’s Power Rankings are going to look an awful lot like the table this late in the season, but there’s still a few differences to sort out.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

For example, Chelsea is thriving but still not leaping up the table, while Watford and Bournemouth are struggling but have faced tough runs on the docket.

Let’s just get into it.

TEAM RANKING Up/Down
source: 1 Leicester City: Double dog dare you to put anyone other than the (pretty much) champs here. It’s happening people. Call Walt Disney. Make a sequel to the “The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon” starring Christian Fuchs.
source: 2 Tottenham Hotspur: You can only play who’s on your schedule, but Spurs have only taken two of nine points from Liverpool, Arsenal and West Ham (with wins over Villa and Bournemouth smushed in between). That’s not going to catch the Foxes.
source: 3 UP 2 Arsenal: The most infuriating legit team in sports? Elite talent with maddening inconsistency.
source: 4 Manchester United: Just think: if the Red Devils hadn’t puked against West Brom, they’d be on a five-match win streak and challenging Arsenal for third. Louis van Gaal could be spending again. Third time’s the charm?
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5 UP 3 Manchester City: Haven’t beaten anyone of high consequence in a while, but no one’s rising to greet them in fourth. And they are doing big things in the UEFA Champions League. How will they do against PSG?
source: 6 DOWN 2 West Ham United: Still on an unbeaten run in form, but a pair of 2-2 draws against Crystal Palace and Chelsea aren’t the stuff of Top Four runs (even if the Hammers were cheated by a rough red card vs. Palace).
source: 7 UP 4 Liverpool: The Saints loss stings, but Jurgen Klopp has the Reds pointed in the right direction. Let’s see what happens Thursday when he meets his old club in Germany.
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8 UP 1 Chelsea: Quick — which team in the PL is on the best form, besides Leicester? Fourteen of 18 points. And Conte’s in the house (after the Euros).
source: 9 DOWN 3 Southampton: Recovered from a poor three-match run to beat decent squads in Stoke and Liverpool, and deserved a point against Leicester. Still, Saints have blown a chance to leap next level.
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10 DOWN 3 Stoke City: Blew a chance to knock on the door of the Top Five when they lost a 2-0 lead to Swans and settled for a point. That and the draw with Saints drops them below the St. Mary’s set.
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11 UP 4 Swansea City: Club is looking a lot better, though not at the heights of last season. Ten points clear, the relegation race is a memory.

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12 UP 1 West Bromwich Albion: Look, Tony Pulis has his sides play about as entertaining as a player piano that only knows “It’s a Small World”. But the Baggies are still in the PL, and will be.

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13 DOWN 3 Bournemouth: Lost its three-match winning streak with decisive losses to Spurs and Man City, showing there’s still quite a gap between haves and have-nots (or have-not-quite-yets. The Cherries have plenty of upside).
source: 14 Everton: Probably the most disappointing side not in a relegation fight, and that’s saying a lot because Chelsea.
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15 DOWN 3 Watford: Their four-match losing skid has come against high-flying competiton. Maybe re-read the Bournemouth write-up two boxes up.
source: 16 Norwich City: Credit Alex Neil for saving the season, and Dieumerci Mbokani for having a horrifying week but still rising to the occasion against Newcastle.

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17 Sunderland: It’s a shame that Big Sam’s crew was in such a poor spot before they reinforced the side in January, because the Black Cats have some real quality now. Just a tad snakebit.
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18 UP 1 Crystal Palace: Needed every bit of West Ham’s undeserved red card to pick up a point, but still haven’t won in the PL during 2016. Alan Pardew has been exposed again.
source: 19 DOWN 1 Newcastle United: You look at their lineup and wonder how this happens. With a match-in-hand and both Palace and Swansea on the docket, it’s not over, but still an extreme longshot.
source: 20 Aston Villa: Real bad.

Premier League Power Rankings, Vol. X: Foxes top as Hammers surge

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With the final stretch of the 2015-16 Premier League season finally upon us, Leicester City sit atop our Power Rankings.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Foxes continue to win matches and maintain their lead at the top of the table, while the real fight looks to be for that coveted fourth position.

TEAM RANKING Up/Down
source: 1 UP 2 Leicester City: The Foxes miraculous run continues as Leicester sit five points clear at the top. The title is in reach…
source: 2 DOWN 1 Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane has ten goals in his last ten PL matches as Spurs continue to keep the pressure on Leicester.
source: 3 UP 3 West Ham United: Slaven Bilic has West Ham challenging for a Champions League spot as Dimitri Payet leads the free-flowing Hammers attack.
source: 4 UP 6 Manchester United: Marcus Rashford has become an overnight hero as a win in the Manchester derby sees United right in the thick of things in the top-four fight.
source: 5 DOWN 3 Arsenal: One win from their last four PL matches has the Gunners 11 points off the lead and six points behind rivals Tottenham.
source: 6 DOWN 2 Southampton: Saints overcame a two-goal halftime deficit to pull out a wild 3-2 win over Liverpool, with Koeman’s men looking to lock up a spot in Europe.
source: 7 UP 2 Stoke City: The Potters have gotten points from five of their past six matches as the new-look Stoke City could be playing in the Europa League next season.
source: 8 DOWN 3 Manchester City: Injuries and poor form have seen the Citizens stumble from title contenders to top-four hopefuls. Could Pep come to the Etihad without Champions League football?
source: 9 DOWN 2 Chelsea: The Blues remain unbeaten in the PL under Guus Hiddink as they have recovered from a horrendous start, now sitting 10th on the table.
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10 UP 5 Bournemouth: Eddie Howe has worked wonders at the Vitality Stadium as the injury-depleted Cherries are up to 38 points and surely safe for next season.
source: 11 DOWN 3 Liverpool: A terrible collapse against Southampton saw the Reds drop valuable points in their push for Europe.

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12 DOWN 1 Watford: Odion Ighalo‘s scoring has slowed a bit but the Hornets have still been able to find points when needed.

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13 UP 1 West Bromwich Albion: Saido Berahino is finally back in the side and showing flashes of his form from last season with the Baggies still in the hunt for a top-ten finish.
source: 14 DOWN 2 Everton: There have been calls for Roberto Martinez to be sacked in the summer as an extremely talented Toffees side has failed to live up to their potential.
source: 15 DOWN 2 Swansea City: Gylfi Sigurdsson has seven goals in 2016 as the Swans have won three of four to help their push towards safety.
source: 16 UP 2 Norwich City: Some solid performances have seen the Canaries climb out of the relegation zone, with their next three matches against sides also fighting for survival.

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17 DOWN 2 Sunderland: Jermain Defoe has six goals in his last ten appearances and must continue scoring to keep Big Sam’s men up.
 

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18 UP 1 Newcastle United: McClaren is out and Rafa is in, but the Magpies still sit in the bottom three. A huge point in the Tyne-Wear Derby could give the side some momentum.
source: 19 DOWN 2 Crystal Palace: Palace are still without a PL win in 2016, a run that is up to 13 matches now. Alan Pardew must figure things out quickly.
source: 20 Aston Villa: No words needed. Villa are glue.

 

Premier League Power Rankings, Vol. IX: Spurs go top

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Leicester City have been top of the table for the past five weeks, but Tottenham Hotspur overtake the Foxes in our latest Premier League Power Rankings.

A statement win over Manchester City has Pochettino’s men two points behind the leaders as Spurs are the hottest team in the league heading down the stretch.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

With the Premier League on hiatus this week, we break things down as only 12 matches remain before the trophy is lifted in May.

TEAM RANKING Up/Down
source: 1 UP 1 Tottenham Hotspur: Five wins on the spin (including a huge 2-1 victory over Man City last weekend) have Spurs second in the league and one of the top names in the title race.
source: 2 UP 3 Arsenal: A stoppage-time winner saw the Gunners defeat leaders Leicester and climb to within two points of the Foxes at the top of the table.
source: 3 DOWN 2 Leicester City: Leicester lose their top spot in the Power Rankings after the defeat at Arsenal, although they fought valiantly with ten men and still sit first in the league.
source: 4 UP 2 Southampton: Saints’ mercurial season has currently hit a high, as Ronald Koeman‘s men have won five of their last six and are just a point outside the top-five.
source: 5 DOWN 1 Manchester City: A late strike from Spurs keep City fourth on the table and six points behind leaders Leicester. They’re still in the race, but need to rattle off a series of wins.
source: 6 UP 3 West Ham United: The Hammers fought back from two goals down to earn a draw at Norwich, with Dimitri Payet looking better each week.
source: 7 UP 2 Chelsea: The Blues thrashed Newcastle 5-1 and are still unbeaten in the PL under Hiddink. Now just three points outside the top half of the table.
source: 8 UP 2 Liverpool: The Reds smashed six past lowly Aston Villa, and the win will be good for confidence. Liverpool sit eighth and must continue scoring to lock up a spot in Europe.
source: 9 UP 4 Stoke City: Record-signing Giannelli Imbula scored his first goal for Stoke as the Potters downed Bournemouth to end a three-game skid. Consistency will be key moving forward.
source: 10 DOWN 7 Manchester United: A lifeless United side lost at Sunderland for the first time in Premier League history. As of now, LVG still has a job…
source: 11 Watford: Troy Deeney scored both goals in Watford’s win over Palace, as the captain continues to impress in his debut PL season. The Hornets have quietly been one of the best stories of the year.

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12 DOWN 5 Everton: Kept scoreless at home in a loss to West Brom, the Toffees drop into the bottom half of the league. For such a talented side, they should be much higher up the table.

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13 DOWN 1 Swansea City: Swansea fell to a red-hot Southampton side, but have shown improvement under Francesco Guidolin. They should have enough to stay up.
source: 14 UP 3 West Bromwich Albion: In a Tony Pulis classic, the Baggies got an early goal and shut things down to earn a 1-0 win at Everton. Always in the mix for an upset.
source: 15 DOWN 1 Bournemouth: With just 13 points at home all season, the Cherries must start finding results at the Vitality Stadium to keep their distance from the drop.
source: 16 UP 3 Sunderland: The Black Cats got an improbable win over Manchester United, but are still in the bottom-three. A point below safety, does Big Sam have enough to survive?
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17 DOWN 2 Crystal Palace: A loss at home to Watford sees the Eagles winless in nine PL matches. After sitting fifth at New Years, Palace has now dropped all the way to 13th on the table.
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18 UP 2 Norwich City: The Canaries gave up a two-goal lead and settled for a draw, safe from relegation only on goal differential. Norwich are in trouble, but luckily not as much trouble as the two teams below.
source: 19 DOWN 3 Newcastle United: A 5-1 loss at Chelsea has Steve McClaren‘s men back in the drop zone as the Magpies must find some magic down the stretch to stay in the PL.
source: 20 DOWN 2 Aston Villa: Villa were embarrassed when they conceded six goals at home to Liverpool, essentially putting a nail in the coffin that was already being lowered into a Championship grave.

Premier League Power Rankings, Vol. VIII: Taking stock before a massive weekend

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There’s a trick with the idea of power rankings in a league with a balanced schedule, and that’s identifying who’s performed the best in recent matches without looking at what lies ahead.

That’s something that could’ve kept someone from holding Leicester City down their given list.

Yet the idea of power rankings is to identify who is faring the best right now, and would be picked to finish first should a given season’s slate start today. Still, you can’t ignore the table as it stands and the likely fate of a season.

[ MORE: All of this season’s Premier League Power Rankings ]

TEAM RANKING Up/Down
source: 1 Leicester City: Learned from the late December gauntlet, where they went 2-1-1 against Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Man City. This time, the Foxes have beaten the Reds and City, and can make it 3-0 against Arsenal on Sunday. Believe.
source: 2 UP 5 Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs are riding high after beating up four struggling clubs, and face a massive test in a Man City side that, well, hasn’t beaten anyone of form or merit in a while, either.
source: 3 UP 9 Manchester United: It really is a season of “What ifs?” for Louis Van Gaal‘s crew, which has lost just once since Boxing Day. Making lots of dough, too.
source: 4 DOWN 1 Manchester City: United’s derby rivals need to get off the mat after their shockingly lethargic 3-1 loss to Leicester City. Bring on Spurs.
source: 5 DOWN 3 Arsenal: Beating Bournemouth snapped a four-match winless skid. A defeat of Leicester on Sunday is as close to “must” territory as you can get with this much left in a season. Will they take part in the MLS All Star Game as reigning PL champions?
source: 6 UP 8 Southampton: Ronald Koeman‘s side looks a lot like the Saints we remember from last season, having four wins and a draw in its last five matches including a 1-0 win that included a long while with 10 men.
source: 7 UP 4 Everton: Back-to-back 3-0 wins for the Toffees have Roberto Martinez’s men within six points of fifth place.
source: 8 UP 7 West Ham United: Last weekend’s failure to break down 10-man Saints is alarming, but Slaven Bilic‘s side is legit. Still, they need to erase performances like that, and the 2-1 loss to Newcastle a few weeks back. Great look to lock up Dimitri Payet for the long term.
source: 9 UP 8 Chelsea: Badly need to turn draws into wins, but the embarrassment of being booed after the Jose Mourinho sacking has turned into cheers for, well, actually doing their jobs. With Kurt Zouma out, is it already Miazga time at Stamford Bridge?
source: 10 DOWN 2 Liverpool: Five points from their last six matches should have them further down the list, but frankly no one’s daring us to put them above the Reds. But Daniel Sturridge could help them rise.
source: 11 DOWN 6 Watford: Four losses in six, but deserved better in a 1-0 loss to Spurs. That followed a win and a draw, so perhaps the Hornets have steadied themselves.
source: 12 UP 6 Swansea City: Unbeaten in four, but the 1-1 draws against West Brom and Crystal Palace weren’t what they could’ve been.

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13 DOWN 7 Stoke City: At the risk of over-simplifying, turns out Geoff Cameron is really important to the Potters. Stoke is 1W-1D-3L since the USMNT defender went down, and has allowed three goals in losses to Leicester, Manchester United and Everton. The win? Against struggling Norwich City.
source: 14 DOWN 5 Bournemouth: Doing enough to survive this first season back in the Premier League.
source: 15 DOWN 11 Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew‘s Eagles are wandering through the desert right now, with losses to Villa and Bournemouth contributing to a six-match run with a single point. Now closer to 19th than 4th.

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16 UP 3 Newcastle United: Jonjo Shelvey looks like an inspired signing, and the former Swans midfielder has assists in four matches for the Magpies. Up next is a trip to Chelsea.
source: 17 DOWN 7 West Bromwich Albion: The Baggies have scored one goal in their last four matches, and Tony Pulis‘ charges are just six points above the drop zone.

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18 UP 2 Aston Villa: Still dead last with a dire schedule looming, you can’t say Remi Garde’s players have quit. Points in four of five including wins over Norwich and Palace.
source: 19 Sunderland: Injuries are piling up around the Stadium of Light, and Sam Allardyce may need USMNT back DeAndre Yedlin to be a big part of their push for safety. At least big January signing Wahbi Khazri looks legit.
source: 20 DOWN 4 Norwich City: The backline looks quite leaky again, as their five-match losing skid includes the following score lines: 2-0, 3-0, 5-4, 3-0, 3-1.

Premier League Power Rankings, Vol. VII: Watch out for Watford

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Week 17 of the Premier League season is upon us, as teams get ready for the final match before Christmas.

In what has been a wildly unpredictable season, just six points separate fifth place (Tottenham) and thirteenth place (West Brom).

[ MORE: Mourinho’s final interview ]

After this weekend, every team will be in action on Boxing Day before finishing up 2015 with one final match before the New Year, which officially marks the halfway point of the season.

TEAM RANKING Up/Down
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Leicester City: The Foxes stay top after a 2-1 win over Chelsea. While Jamie Vardy‘s record scoring streak may have ended, Riyad Mahrez continues to impress as one of the best players in the league. A tough trip to Everton awaits on Saturday.
source: 2 Arsenal: A win is a win, even if it was over lowly Aston Villa. Olivier Giroud continues to score, with six goals in his last six matches for the Gunners. HUGE match against Manchester City on Monday.
source: 3 UP 1 Manchester City: It took 90+ minutes, but City took all three points against struggling Swansea. A win at Arsenal on Monday could be the match you look back at if City wins a trophy in the spring.
source: 4 UP 4 Crystal Palace: The Eagles got their first-ever PL win over Southampton last weekend as Pardew’s men sit in position for a place in Europe. A very exciting team to watch, Palace may just challenge for a top-four spot.
source: 5 UP 2 Watford: Three wins on the spin have the Hornets all the way up to seventh on the table. Odion Ighalo has scored in three straight matches and has 10 goals on the season as Watford has flown under the radar.
source: 6 Stoke City: Despite being branded as the new, sexy Stoke, the Potters are still grinding out hard-nosed results, conceding just 2 goals in their last 7 matches in all comps. They’ll have to stay strong with a visit from Palace this weekend.
source: 7 DOWN 2 Tottenham: Spurs’ unbeaten streak in the PL was snapped at 14 matches after falling to Newcastle at White Hart Lane. A trip to struggling Southampton could get them back on track.
 

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8 DOWN 5 Liverpool: After losing to Newcastle, Liverpool was nearly beaten at home by West Brom if not for Divock Origi‘s 96th minute equalizer. Klopp’s men need a result against a red-hot Watford side if they want to stay in the top half of the table.
source: 9 UP 3 Bournemouth: Up the Cherries! Consecutive wins over Chelsea and Man United have Eddie Howe‘s men riding the highest of highs. If they can make it three in a row against West Brom on Saturday, the South Coast will explode.
source: 10 UP 5 West Brom: A good draw at Liverpool, but Tony Pulis will be upset his side didn’t take all three points. The Baggies are unbeaten in four and are an extremely frustrating side to play against.
source: 11 DOWN 2 Everton: A disappointing draw against Norwich in which the Toffees really should have put the match away early. A clash against leaders Leicester won’t do them any favors, although Romelu Lukaku has scored in seven straight.
source: 12 DOWN 2 Manchester United: After losing to Bournemouth, United are winless in their last five in all comps. The criticism on Louis Van Gaal is at an all-time high, and anything but a win at home over Norwich this weekend will be unacceptable.
source: 13 UP 3 Newcastle: Would you look at that, consecutive wins over Liverpool and Spurs have the Magpies out of the relegation zone. Steve McClaren‘s side has some newfound life, and will fancy their chances to continue trending upwards with a match at home against Villa on Saturday.
source: 14 DOWN 3 Southampton: Losers of three of their last four in the league, Saints have hit a rough patch. Koeman’s men sit 12th on the table, and could continue to slide with matches against Tottenham and Arsenal on the horizon.
source: 15 DOWN 1 West Ham: The Hammers haven’t won in the league since October, but have managed to get points with four draws from their last five matches. Upcoming tilts against Swansea and Villa could be a good time to get back to winning ways.


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16 UP 2 Norwich City: The Canaries battled back to earn a draw at Everton, and even threatened to take all three points. The performances have been solid, but Norwich needs to find some wins to climb above the relegation zone.
source: 17 DOWN 4 Chelsea: What can you say about Chelsea? Losses to Bournemouth and Leicester have the Blues just one point above the drop, and cost Jose Mourinho his job. You would think the champions should beat Sunderland at home this weekend, but honestly, who knows with this team.

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18 UP 1 Swansea City: In their first match without Garry Monk, Swans were robbed of a point after a late stoppage-time winner for Man City. However, they showed signs of life, and will have to truck on against West Ham this weekend as the club has yet to name a new manager.
source: 19 DOWN 2 Sunderland: After a brief stay in safety, the Black Cats are back in the relegation zone. Big Sam needs his boys to dig deep, with matches against Chelsea, Man City, and Liverpool all before the New Year.
source: 20 Aston Villa: Still six points behind 19th place Sunderland, Villa remains glued to the bottom of the table. The upcoming schedule isn’t the toughest, so Remi Garde will be hoping to somehow find a few results.