After last weekend’s action, there is no change at the top or bottom of our weekly Premier League Power Rankings, and this is how the rankings will remain until the clubs return to league play on next Tuesday (after taking a short break for Carabao and FA Cup action).
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 20 January 2019
|Rank||Team||Record||Last Week||Change||Table Pos|
|9||West Ham United||9-4-10||7||2↓||10|
|14||Brighton & Hove Albion||7-5-11||12||2↓||13|
Behind the Tiers
The Big/Top Six
After Arsenal defeated Chelsea on Saturday, our top six in the Power Rankings is again the “Big Six” clubs, especially after interloper Watford drew against Burnley and had to fall out of the top six after a brief one week appearance.
The only difference between our rankings here and the league table is where the individual clubs fall over in the league table, with Arsenal the only club that has their rank align with their league place. Manchester United is perhaps the biggest difference among those top clubs, primarily because they have now won seven matches in a row since manager José Mourinho was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjær on a caretaker basis.
Solskjær, however, is making a solid case for getting the permanent gig if the club can maintain this performance, and will have at least two Champions League matches over the next six weeks to add to league performance on his resume for the position. The recent run through the league has also moved them to three points behind Chelsea for that all important 4th spot (and a return to Champions League next season), so they have to hope the magic continues when they return to league play against Burnley on the 29th.
The Muddled Middle
As with most weeks, this is where the bulk of the movement happens in the Premier League. Watford maintains a one point lead over the Wolverhampton Wanderers on the league table, and is one of five clubs in the middle with nine wins on the season. The Hornets haven’t quite returned to the early season for that saw them win their first four matches, but they are unbeaten in their last four, albeit with three draws, including two against clubs near the bottom of the league.
The aforementioned Wolves returned to the winner’s circle this week over Leicester City, but they too have failed to quite live up to the hype this season after a blistering run through the Championship last season. Good teams competing for a top spot simply do not lose to Huddersfield Town at home, especially during a season like the one the Terriers are having this season. With only 15 matches left, the Wolves are probably safe from relegation, but if they end up finishing outside the top 10, it might be judged as a wasted season nonetheless.
Six Seven Six
With Burnley’s brief journey out of the bottom seven, we are back to having six clubs that will probably contain our relegated squads this season. The Terriers are three more scoreless matches away from averaging half a goal a match (currently 0.57 per), and with the next three coming against Everton, Chelsea, and Arsenal, it might become a reality.
If not for Fulham’s nearly as poor performance this season, Huddersfield could likely end up as the worst club ever to play a Premier League season. Luckily, both clubs will likely exceed Derby County’s 2007-08 season that resulted in only 11 points all season (the Terriers would have to lose their last 15 to match), but Sunderland’s 15-point 2005-06 season, Aston Villa’s 17-point 2015-16, or (again) Sunderland’s 19-point 2002-03 season could be challenged by either of the bottom clubs this season.
Until next time…