Our Power Rankings updated after matches played in the New Year results in a return to the top for our former long-term top club. But for the most part, the clubs of the Premier League remain stratified in their tier structure, with the Top 6 clear of the 7th place club by at least seven points, and the last club of the”muddled middle” four points ahead of the bottom six.
As always, these results try to reflect the week-to-week results, and only account for matches played in the Premier League. Most of the clubs are fairly closely aligned with their league table position, but losses to lower-ranked clubs – or wins against the higher-ranked ones – can move them dramatically out of position.
Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Results as of matches played through 3 January 2019
|Rank||Team||Record||Last Week||Change||Table Pos|
|9||West Ham United||8-4-9||10||1↑||10|
|11||Brighton & Hove Albion||7-5-9||12||1↑||13|
Behind the Tiers
The Big/Top Six
Another week, another shuffling among the clubs at the top, with only Manchester United and Arsenal staying where they were last week. Of course I had to move Manchester City back to the top after they handed Liverpool its first loss of the season. Liverpool still has the last laugh, however, as they stay at the top of the league table by four points even after the loss.
Chelsea, on the other hand, had no business drawing Southampton, our 18th-ranked club, especially at home. I understand that it was their fourth match in 11 days, but I expected them to get an easy three points against a team fighting to avoid relegation. Good on Southampton for grabbing some points at Stamford Bridge.
The Muddled Middle
Four clubs in the middle – AFC Bournemouth v Watford and West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion – faced off against each other and ended up drawing, only moving up when the Wolverhampton Wanderers lost unexpectedly to Crystal Palace. We call it the muddled middle for a reason, and the 7th-place club and 14th place club (on the league table) remain separated by only nine points. If they keep only garnering one point against each other, they will remain that way.
The Bottom Six
Everton is most likely a temporary visitor to the bottom six in our rankings, as they are currently 11th in the league table. The Toffees are in the midst of a 1-0-4 stretch, with that victory coming against Burnley, the club right below them in the rankings. The losses were to two clubs in the Top Six – Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur – and two clubs in the muddled middle – Brighton and Leicester City. They’ve had stretches this season where they looked like they might get into the Top 6 – they spent three weeks there the first part of December – but they just haven’t been that consistent lately.
Please tell me if you’ve read this here before, but Huddersfield Town remains the lowest scoring club i the league, though they did close the gap with Newcastle United after the Magpies failed to score against Man U. Still, they’ve scored 13 goals on the season, an average of 0.62 per match, a rate that is more than a tenth of a point off their low output last season (28 goals in 38 matches; 0.74 per match). There is still plenty of time left in the season, but time is starting to run out for the Terriers to get off the bottom of the league.
Until next time…