During the latest international break, we took a week off from updating our Power Rankings, instead taking a look at the champion and relegation standings in the Premier League. But we have since taken a look at what happened during Week 12 to update our rankings from two weeks ago to see where the clubs stand heading into the matches this weekend.
The movement in these week-to-week rankings is more driven by recent performance than overall season performance, so some clubs may appears higher in our rankings than they do in the league table (which is why I include the table position as a reference point). Over the course of the season, you should expect the clubs to align closely with where they fall on the table, but due to results two weeks ago, things got a little wonky.
Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Results as of matches played through 11 November 2018
|Rank||Team||Record||Last Week||Change||Table Pos|
|12||Brighton & Hove Albion||4-2-6||10||2↓||12|
|15||West Ham United||3-3-6||12||3↓||13|
AFC Bournemouth, newly christened as our latest Dark Horse candidate, is coming off two straight losses, which has sent them on a mini tumble down the rankings. As a Cherries fan, I hope they can turn their season around before it gets much worse, but they really need to start finding more success away from Dean Court. Three of their four losses have been on the road this season, including a 4-0 loss to Burnley (a club currently nine spots below them on the table), and last week’s loss to a Newcastle United club that entered the match with one win. They are back at home this Sunday, hosting Arsenal, so the hope is to come away with at least a point.
The Cherries are one of three clubs four points out of fifth place, and only find themselves ahead of the other two based of goal differential. The other two clubs – Watford and Manchester United – have both had up-and-down season of their own. The Hornets were an early surprise, winning their first four matches on the season, including a stunning come from behind victory against Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth match. In the eight matches since, however, they’ve gone an average 2-2-4 with a goal differential of -3. They still remain in position to improve on their 14th place finish from last year, but they need to start turning it around… though that may not start until after they host Liverpool this weekend.
Manchester United had looked to turn things around, heading into their match with Manchester City before the break. They were in the midst of a 3-1-0 stretch in Premier League play, and even managed to go on the road and defeat Juventus in the Champions League. But maybe that travel to Italy impacted their performance against Man City, a match where they came out flat and never really had much chance to grab a point. A match at Old Trafford against Crystal Palace on Saturday should get them on the right path again, but an upset could end up costing José Mourinho his job.
Finally, I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a look at the bottom of the power rankings and the struggles of our bottom team Fulham. The Cottagers return to action this weekend under a new manager, with Claudio Ranieri replacing the sacked Slaviša Jokanović. The sacking was a long time coming, with Fulham in the midst of a eight match winless streak (0-1-7), including losses in their last six matches. Ranieri gets a favorable first match as he returns to the bench, with the club hosting Southampton, who has had their own troubles this season. A win might not be enough for them to crawl out of the relegation zone (thanks to their league-worst -20 goal differential), but yet another loss could result in an even longer season for the patrons at Craven Cottage.
Until next time…