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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

Tottenham edge past Crystal Palace

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  • Foyth scores first career goal
  • Sixth PL win in last seven for Spurs
  • No home win for Palace this season

Tottenham Hotspur beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday as young center back Juan Foyth scored a second half winner.

In soggy conditions in south London there was little between the teams but Foyth headed home the first goal of his career to give Spurs all three points and solidify their spot in the top four.

With the win Tottenham are in fourth on 27 points, while Palace are in 16th place on eight points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Palace started brightly and Spurs needed a fantastic defensive header from Lucas Moura to clear the danger after a smart move and cross from the left.

Townsend then got free on the left but drilled his shot into the side-netting, while Moussa Sissoko then cut in from Spurs’ left but his shot was blocked.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Kieran Trippier went off injured before half time, which will be a worry for England ahead of the international break, as Tottenham’s injuries continue to mount up.

Before half time Dele Alli went close with a header he got all wrong, Harry Kane smashed a shot on goal which Wayne Hennessey beat away and then James McArthur defended a cross bravely to put off two Spurs players.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

In the second half James Tomkins went close but his header was wide and Palace’s defender was then forced off through injury.

That would have a big impact on the game as Martin Kelly came on and then lost Kane who had his effort blocked but Foyth followed up to score his first goal for Tottenham and make it 1-0.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Late on Palace pushed forward in search of an equalizer but Hugo Lloris saved well from Jeffrey Schlupp, Townsend and especially Alexander Sorloth as Spurs held on for another tight win.

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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PL Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
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  • Spurs (24 points) sit 4th in PL table
  • Palace (8 points) in 14th
  • Spurs won both meetings 1-0 last season

Mauricio Pochettino is four months into perhaps his greatest miracle (thus far) as Tottenham Hotspur manager — keeping the club in the thick of the Premier League’s top-four race despite a series of debilitating challenges from outset. Has it been a complete departure from the last two or three seasons when Tottenham played some of the most attractive, entertaining attacking soccer in the world? It absolutely has, and perhaps that’s why they’ve been criticized for perceived regression. That’s without even mentioning the ongoing stadium situation.

Due in large part to injuries — coupled with serious fitness struggles following the World Cup — and the fact they failed to sign a single player during the summer transfer window, it becomes quite clear, quite quickly, how any start to the season would be seen as unimpressive should a single aspect of recent successes change. But — and here’s the important part — they just keep finding ways to win. Saturday’s trip to Selhurst Park (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC and NBCSports.com) — even to take on a struggling Crystal Palace side — will likely require a similar grind-it-out approach, given injuries to Jan Vertonghen (hamstring), Mousa Dembele (ankle), Eric Dier (thigh), Danny Rose (groin) and Victor Wanyama (knee), to those of recent weeks.

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Palace, on the other hand, are winless in their last six league games (two draws) and have slipped to within two points of the relegation zone. Admittedly, a run of fixtures against Arsenal, Chelsea, now Spurs, then Manchester United is going to be a tough period for any non-top-six side. The Eagles haven’t topped Spurs in a PL fixture in six tries, suffering defeat all six times — five of which came via a 1-0 scoreline.

What they’re saying

Pochettino, on unfounded criticisms of Harry Kane: “He is so obsessed with scoring that sometimes, when it is against him, he needs more freedom — not to be obsessed. But he is going to learn and he is starting to be really mature. Kane is English and sometimes you push him to the sky and paradise and then you put him on the outside. If Harry was Italian and playing for the Italian side, he would be a bit more protected because the Italian people are more protective of their players. It’s difficult to push them but when they are there, they try to keep them up there. It’s similar in Spain. Here, it is more up and down.”

Palace manage Roy Hodgson, on struggling to score goals: “I can’t in any way criticize or complain about what the players are trying to do either in training or in matches, and I’m sure that (the goals) will come when the ball goes in for us. But, as I say, we’ve scored three in the last games. “The only thing we can do is keep trying to give those performances, and hope that if there is any luck going, it goes our way”


Prediction

It’ll be something of a slog — perhaps with multiple goals for each side, given the lack of midfield options for Spurs — but they’re battle-tested and have given a fantastic account of themselves in recent weeks. At some point, the fatigue and grind will catch up to them, but not on Saturday.

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.

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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 ]