Premier League Power Rankings – Week 4

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: West Ham United's Robert Snodgrass, Aaron Cresswell, Felipe Anderson and Fabian Balbuena deliberate over a free-kick during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at London Stadium on September 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

4/38ths through this fresh season and some balance is being restored to the Premier League. Eight of the current top ten sides finished in the top half last season. While Watford and Bournemouth are looking good so far, this is also uncharted territory for them. Teams such as Newcastle and Wolverhampton have shown that they are going to be a real nuisance, and West Ham have to eventually get out of first gear. There are certainly some midtable teams moving around, and one BIG surprise near the top, so here is where every Premier League team stands heading in the first international break of the 2018-19 season.

Premier League Power Rankings – Week 4

Biggest Winners: TIE Southampton (+2) and Cardiff (+2)

Southampton picked up their first win the year and Cardiff looked like an actual Premier League side against Arsenal. Only fitting that these were the two biggest achievements of the weekend.

Biggest Losers: Burnley (-3)

Things have quickly gone from bad to worse. Out of the Europa League and poor in the Premier League, Burnley need some positive news. Can Sean Dyche provide the spark to get Burnley through this rough patch or will the club look to replace him to get them going?

 

The Rankings

1. Liverpool (-)

The quest for perfection lives on! To be honest, Liverpool looked the better team, and Leicester’s goal was because of a bonehead error by the Reds’ goalkeeper Alisson. Error aside, Liverpool scored two goals early and cruised after that. Leicester are certainly the best side Liverpool have faced, but the big test comes next weekend at Tottenham. If that wasn’t enough, Liverpool face Chelsea and then Manchester City soon after. They will not keep their perfect record intact, but wins against the “Top Six” could go a long way to staying atop the Premier League.

2. Manchester City (-)

A less-than-convincing performance last week to one that was just flat out confusing. Champions Manchester City hosted lowly Newcastle and only managed a 2-1 victory. The best team last season by a mile, at home, guaranteed most of the ball, and the game never really seemed secured. Most people will chalk it up to Rafa Benitez’s ability to defend against the best teams in the Premier League, but it was still odd to see City struggle to break down an opposition. Having Kevin De Bruyne out will hurt, but Manchester City need to make sure they don’t have a repeat of the Wolves draw against lesser opposition.

3. Chelsea (+1)

Bournemouth proved a valiant foe but Chelsea are just too good. Hazard looks fantastic after resting for the opening few games and Marcos Alonso might be best attacking left-back in the world. They seem a little shaky at the back sometimes, but having David Luiz start will do that. Expect Chelsea to win the next two games with Cardiff City and West Ham, before hosting Liverpool as their first big test.

4. Watford (+1)

Oh goodness. Watford took care of business at home against Tottenham! They went down after an own goal and came back against a top team. That result will surely be tested when Manchester United visit next weekend. The comparisons to Leicester City a few years back might be premature, but this is already Watford’s best start to the Premier League in their history.

5. Tottenham (-2)

Managed to have two-thirds of possession, almost double the number of passes and more than three times as many corners. That stat line sounds like a solid win for any team, but Tottenham managed to fall to Watford 2-1. This may have been the first match where it was apparent Spurs need another difference maker. Next week they host Liverpool, where a win would prove that their loss to Watford was a fluke.

6. Manchester United (+1)

Things looked much better against a very weak Burnley squad, who currently sit 19th. Lukaku plays off of confidence so two goals at the weekend will certainly help him going forward. There was definitely less inflammatory news about Jose Mourinho this week, so that is also welcome. United will be pushed when they travel to Watford next Saturday. It should be a statement game for either team, and Manchester United will feel they need it more, after their loss to Tottenham.

7. Arsenal (-1)

Cardiff City should not have given Arsenal so much trouble. A back-and-forth game finished 3-2 in favour of the Gunners, but the talking points are largely negative. Lucas Torreira looked good and Unai Emery finally played Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang together as forwards. Woah, they both scored. Maybe Emery will stick with that lineup adjustment, and Arsenal may just be okay. The worries come in defence and in goal, where Emery wants his players to build out from the back, but the current players aren’t equipped to handle that. Petr Cech looks like a fish out of water whenever he has the ball at his feet and he is lucky Cardiff couldn’t capitalize. The game against Newcastle could be a real thorn if Cech remains between the sticks.

8. Everton (-)

Nothing to see here; move along. Everton had a great opportunity to pick up three points with Huddersfield coming to Goodison, but failed to do so after conceding in the first half. They did battle back and equalize a few minutes later but could not find a winner. The Toffees are still undefeated but draws against Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Wolves are just costing them valuable points. West Ham are still without a point, and Everton will be hoping it doesn’t come at their expense next weekend.

9. Leicester City (+1)

A loss against Liverpool without star forward Jamie Vardy is okay. It was a good opportunity for other players to step up and try to prove themselves. Leicester will also take credit for scoring the first league goal against Liverpool.

10. Bournemouth (-1)

Bournemouth had their fair set of chances against Chelsea Saturday. They didn’t make them count and were promptly finished after Pedro’s goal. Their brilliant start could get back on track when they play Leicester City next weekend. Both teams are aiming to stay in the top half of the table.

11. Wolverhampton Wanderers (-)

For now, wins against West Ham United do not count. It took Wolves 93 minutes to find the back of the net. Adama Traore should also be starting for the Wolves, he is too valuable in the attack to leave out. Wolverhampton host Bunley in what needs to be three points, before traveling to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.

12. Fulham (-)

Beat Burnley 4-2, then give up a 2-0 lead in the second half against Brighton. Fulham might just be the rollarcoaster team neutrals of the Premier League want to root for. Nobody knows when they will come out and dominate or capitulate. The road ahead does not get any easier, with a trip to Manchester City next Saturday on the cards.

13. Brighton and Hove Albion (+1)

Props to Brighton for battling back against Fulham. Glenn Murray saves the day again, and the Seagulls earned a much-deserved point. They host Spurs in three weeks, so will need to pick up maximum points next weekend at Southampton.

14. Crystal Palace (-1)

What happened to the team that narrowly lost to Liverpool? Losses to Watford and now Southampton are worrisome and the team will need Wilfried Zaha back in the side ASAP. They travel to Huddersfield with an opportunity to bounce back next weekend.

15. Southampton (+2)

The Saints won a game! Danny Ings scored! Things are looking up right now for the club, and Southampton could actually be in the top of the table with a win next weekend. Brighton are coming to visit, and they could do just that.

16. Cardiff City (+2)

Cardiff City gave Arsenal a good go on Sunday and should be given some credit for doing so. They finally scored their first Premier League goal(s) of the season, and now the hunt is on for their first win. Unfortunately for Cardiff, games against Chelsea and Manchester City will make that nearly impossible.

17. Newcastle (-1)

Unfortunately, there are no points given for making top teams struggle against you. Newcastle will frustrate just about every team this season, but a loss is a loss. Eventually, they will need to pick up points if they want to remain in the top-flight next season.

18. Burnley (-3)

What else could go wrong for Burnley? Knocked out of Europa League on Thursday at home and they lost against Manchester United 2-0 on Sunday at home. This week should be a reset period for the club, as they will need to regroup and get their season going quickly. Their fairytale season last year is long gone.

19. Huddersfield (-)

Scoring against Everton away is great, but conceding right away wasted a good start. Huddersfield look to be close at times to finally winning a game but are currently sitting in the bottom three with only two goals scored. Hosting a struggling Crystal Palace could be the perfect match to finally get their season started.

20. West Ham United (-)

West Ham looked like they were going to pick up their first point of the season against Wolves until a late winner by Adama Traore stole all three. West Ham should have hit the panic button multiple times and the need a real turnaround if staying in the Premier League is going to be a possibility.

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