With the clubs of the Premier League playing twice last week, I was expecting some changes to our Power Rankings from last week. Aside from the top five clubs and Crystal Palace, that happened, with most of the rankings shuffling up a bit over the course of the week.
As always, these rankings try to only take into account the action that happens in league play, and relative placement is based on the caliber of the opponents from week-to-week and the results. If a lower club loses to a top club they aren’t punished as harshly, but the inverse may result in tumble down the rankings (if there’s room). And while the top half of the rankings nearly match the league table exactly, this won’t always be the case.
Note: Records presented as W-D-L
Results as of matches played through 2 March 2019
|Rank||Team||Record||Last Week||Change||Table Pos|
|9||West Ham United||11-6-12||10||1↑||9|
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||8-6-14||16||1↑||15|
Behind the Rankings
Break Up the Clarets! Nevermind
Last week, I highlighted Burnley because they hadn’t lost since Boxing Day. They followed that praise up with a two-loss week, first 2-0 to Newcastle United midweek and 3-1 to Crystal Palace over the weekend. Dropping all six points during the week probably eliminates their chance at a top ten finish – especially with this week’s match with Liverpool looming – and they’ve dropped back down to 16th in the league and only five points clear of the relegation zone. A goal differential that is fourth-worst in the league won’t help matters.
Speaking of relegation, Fulham and their one win in 2019 (1-0-8 overall) has all but assured that they will be heading back down to the Championship after only one season. Huddersfield Town – who won their third match of the season against last season’s Championship winner Wolverhampton Wanderers this week – is sure to join them. Cardiff City is currently in position as the third regation candidate, meaning that two of the three clubs that came up are heading right back down. I still give Cardiff about a 50/50 chance of saving themselves, though others aren’t nearly as optimistic as I am.
Losing Twice in a Week is Bad
Joining Burnley, Fulham, and Cardiff City as double losers this week is my favorite club AFC Bournemouth. After losing 5-1 at Arsenal midweek, the Cherries are now 3-0-11 away from Dean Court on the season, and haven’t won on the road since 27 October against Fulham (0-0-9 during that stretch). I expect, however, that this will change this week with a trip to Huddersfield on the agenda, but… you never know.
After the shellacking at Emirates, I was expecting a similar result when Manchester City made their way to the coast on Saturday. To my – and probably a lot of others’ – surprise, the cherries kept City off the board for 55 minutes, and held on to only lose 1-0. Losses to top clubs is expected for a club expected to finish mid-table, but with only one game in their last nine against clubs in the top 10 – a home game against Tottenham Hotspur in the penultimate match of the season – I hope they can come through and get a top ten finish, maybe even top eight.
Until next time…