The Runner Sports

Premier League Power Rankings: Round 28/29

With a two-round week in the Premier League, we’ll be combining round 28 and 29 into a mega Premier League power ranking.  There are a lot of results to shift through as there were twenty matches and some shocking results to accompany Leicester growing their lead in the Premier League table.

1.) Leicester City: 2-2 draw against West Brom/1-0 win at Watford (Last Week: 2)

Leicester City is the obvious selection for the top spot in this week’s Premier League power ranking.  Despite “only” picking up four of a possible six points, they saw fellow title challengers slip even further.  The draw against West Brom makes more sense with the knowledge that N’Golo Kante was out with an injury and Leicester responded nicely with an away win at Watford over the weekend.

 

2.) West Ham: 1-0 win against Tottenham/3-2 win at Everton (LW: 8)

You might not see a more impressive four days out of a Premier League club this year.  On Wednesday, West Ham defeated a Tottenham club that was the previous top in this Premier League power ranking and Saturday, they came from behind to win away at Everton.  The away win at Everton is particularly impressive given the fact that West Ham was down 2-0 going into the 78th minute.  The pair of wins firmly cements West Ham as a top four contender as they are only three points away from third place.

 

3.) Chelsea: 2-1 win at Norwich/1-1 draw against Stoke City (LW: 4)

Chelsea continues their climb up both the real table and the power rankings with a four-point week.  Yes, Norwich City is horrible, but picking up three points on the road in the Premier League is always important.  The draw against Stoke hurts as Chelsea conceded in the 85th minute and a win would have seen them move up into eight in the table.

 

4.) Tottenham: 1-0 loss at West Ham/2-2 draw against Arsenal (LW: 1)

This was always going to be a difficult double of London Derbys for Tottenham, but coming away with only a point isn’t good enough.  Tottenham should have gotten all three points against a ten-man Arsenal club that had been playing quite poorly coming into the match.  The gap at the top of the table is now five points as Tottenham dropped three more points than Leicester City did between the two rounds.

 

5.) Liverpool: 3-0 win against Manchester City/2-1 win at Crystal Palace (LW: 10)

The second most impressive double of the week goes to Liverpool, yet the win over Manchester City is probably leaving fans wondering why it couldn’t have been done in the League Cup final.  In their two league matches with Manchester City, Liverpool has won by the aggregate score of 7-1.  Again, the Crystal Palace win doesn’t do much for this power ranking as they are so horrible, but three points on the road is always valuable in the league table context.

 

6.) Manchester City: 3-0 loss at Liverpool/4-0 win against Aston Villa (LW: 3)

Just when Manchester City’s season appeared to finally be gaining momentum, they go out and drop that stink bomb against Liverpool.  With an old, injury prone squad, it makes sense that Manchester City is wildly inconsistent.  With that said, dropping points this frequently doesn’t win titles and now that they find themselves ten points back, Manchester City officially is losing their grasp on the title.  The good news is that City was able to take care of business against the sinking ship of Aston Villa, who has conceded fifteen goals in their last four matches.

 

7.) Stoke City: 1-0 win against Newcastle/1-1 draw at Chelsea (LW: 11)

Stoke City continue their bid for a spot in Europe next season with a solid four-point week.  The win against Newcastle should be expected at this point, but the draw at Stamford Bridge against a surging Chelsea is impressive.  Scoring a late goal and picking up a point was huge against a club battling in a similar position on the table.

 

8.) West Brom: 2-2 draw at Leicester City/1-0 win against Manchester United (LW: 13)

At 39 points, West Brom is approaching the conversation for a Europa League spot, which is shocking considering how impotent the club was early in the season.  West Brom were the beneficiaries of a red card against Mata in the United match and Kante, possibly Leicester City’s most important player, out with an injury.  The pairing of Salomon Rondon and Berahino has been fantastic for West Brom and the club should only continue their upward trajectory with these two in the lineup.

 

9.) Arsenal: 2-1 loss against Swansea/2-2 draw at Tottenham (LW: 5)

One point against Swansea and Tottenham is unacceptable for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.  The draw against Tottenham is understandable, especially considering Francis Coquelin was sent off with a red card. The loss at home to Swansea is shocking.  Swansea, who was battling relegation, came into the match having not won since January.  Arsenal lost in typical fashion as they dominated the ball, but were caught on the counter.

 

10.) Everton: 3-1 win at Aston Villa/3-2 loss against West Ham (LW: 6)

Another week, another opportunity for Everton to lose points late in a match.  Everton was up 2-0 with only ten minutes remaining before West Ham bombarded the Everton net with goals.  How different this season could have been if Everton could hold on to late leads.

 

11.) Manchester United: 1-0 win against Watford/1-0 loss at West Brom (LW: 7)

An up and down week for United see them fall behind West Ham on the league table.  Watford is a nice team to beat, but United needed, at least, a point against West Brom to keep the good times rolling.  The surprising thing about the match against West Brom is that United was only able to secure a narrow lead in possession with 52.7% per whoscored.com.  West Brom has been one of the worst clubs in the league in that stat, yet United, because of a foolish red card by Mata wasn’t able to control the match like they should have.

 

12.) Bournemouth: 2-0 win against Southampton/3-1 win at Newcastle (LW:16)

And with that, Bournemouth could have secured their place in the 2016/17 Premier League.  Six massive points put Bournemouth eleven points clear of the drop zone with nine matches to go and the Premier League’s smallest club can begin planning the party.  Both victories are very impressive and important as Southampton had been playing decent soccer and Newcastle were a fellow relegation candidate.

 

13.) Southampton: 2-0 loss at Bournemouth/1-1 draw against Sunderland (LW: 9)

One point against bottom half of the table clubs sees Southampton drop out of Europa League position.  These were two matches Southampton needed to gain at minimum three points and possibly all six.  Very disappointing.

 

14.) Swansea City: 2-1 win at Arsenal/1-0 win against Norwich (LW: 17)

Two of the biggest wins, probably in Swansea City’s history, also see the club put some breathing space between them and the relegation zone.  An away win at Arsenal was huge as Swansea broke out of a prolonged slump to finally win a workmanlike match.  Like Bournemouth’s victory over Newcastle, Swansea’s win over Norwich was a six-point swing at the bottom of the table. In neither match did Swansea dominate, but combine the results and Swansea fans should be ecstatic.

 

15.) Sunderland: 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace/1-1 draw at Southampton (LW: 12)

Difficult to assess the Sunderland performance this week as they did pick up points from both matches, yet were outplayed in long stretches of both.  The bottom line is two additional points puts Sunderland one point out of the drop zone.  What we do know for sure is American DeAndre Yedlin might be one of their best players.  Yedlin has received 7.0 ratings or better on whoscored.com in six of his ten 90-minute league appearances this season.

 

16.) Watford: 1-0 loss at Manchester United/1-0 loss against Leicester City (LW: 14)

A very difficult week saw Watford lose hard fought battles against two top clubs.  Watford played both matches fairly even against the first and sixth teams in the table and the club’s fans can take heart in that fact.  Watford isn’t getting relegated this season, so these results ultimately don’t matter considering this is a newly promoted club.  With a summer to consolidate, Watford should be able to push on toward a possible run at Europe next season.

 

17.) Crystal Palace: 2-2 draw at Sunderland/2-1 loss against Liverpool (LW: 20)

Palace moves up in the rankings based on their competition all losing twice.  Playing a surging Liverpool side tough is a nice moral victory if such a thing exists in the Premier League.  The single point is a disappointment, but it also puts them nine up on the relegation zone.

 

18.) Newcastle: 1-0 loss at Stoke City/3-1 loss against Bournemouth (LW: 15)

With a game still in hand, Newcastle had an opportunity to escape the relegation zone and really put themselves in a decent position.  Instead, Newcastle dropped a fairly even match against a quality Stoke club and laid an egg in a must-win match against Bournemouth.  Steven Taylor opened the scoring in the Bournemouth match with a very Newcastle-like own goal and it would just get worse from there.

 

19.) Norwich City: 2-1 loss against Chelsea/1-0 loss at Swansea (LW: 18)

Norwich’s struggles continue, as the club hasn’t won a match since the beginning of January.  The losses this week were both by a narrow margin, but we are entering a period of the Premier League calendar when close losses aren’t good enough when you are in the relegation zone.  Norwich needs to pick up points however they can going forward.

 

20.)  Aston Villa: 3-1 loss against Everton/4-0 loss at Manchester City (LW: 19)

With another two losses, really any hope of survival may have slipped through Aston Villa’s fingers.  The end to this long difficult season is mercifully in sight.

John Harbeck

Ohio sports and all things soccer.If you like my writing follow me @JHarbeck5 on twitter

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