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Premier League Power Rankings: Week Three

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Not too many movers in this week's table, but the big winners are Arsenal, who scoot up to third at Manchester City's expense. With Liverpool so far behind them, Tottenham Hotspur don't suffer a drop in the standings after their shock home loss to Wigan, but they're now far closer to the Europa League group than the Champions League. Everton's loss to Aston Villa drops them behind Newcastle United, who more or less held steady. At the very bottom of the table, Bolton take advantage of Stoke slipping up by drawing against Birmingham City, a result that sees them jump two spots. Meanwhile Wigan have begun to close the gap between themselves and Blackpool for the bottom spot, the deficit narrowing to four points from one.

Figure 1: Premier League Power Rankings, Week Three

More detail after the jump.

  1. Chelsea: -1 GS, -2 GC, +1 pt (=). The Blues weren't at their attacking best, but their defensive record just keeps improving: they're the only side not to have conceded a goal yet. However, they've faced the weakest schedule of any Premier League team, so it remains to be seen just how good the team really is.

  2. Manchester United: +1 GS, -2 GC, +1 pt (=). An easy 3-0 victory at home to West Ham was just what the doctor ordered for Sir Alex Ferguson's team after the mess at Craven Cottage in week two. However, Wayne Rooney's form continues to disappoint, and with the Red Devils so reliant on their star striker it's hard to be terribly encourage by their performance to date.

  3. Arsenal: = GS, = GC, +1 pt (+1). Arsenal are expected to beat teams like Blackburn 2-1 on the road, and that's exactly what they did with a solid effort. The Gunners are getting a lot out of Theo Walcott on the right wing, and his dazzling form may help mitigate the probable loss of Robin van Persie for the next few weeks.

  4. Manchester City: -4 GS, = GC, -4 pts (-1). Oh dear. After such am impressive game against Liverpool last week, a shutout loss to Sunderland wasn't exactly in the plans for Roberto Mancini's side. Carlos Tevez's shocking first-half miss against one of the division's weaker side may well have cost City dearly. The defence still looks strong, and if not for a late penalty against the Black Cats City would join Chelsea as one of the only two unscored-upon teams remaining.

  5. Tottenham Hotspur: -4 GS, =GC, -3 pts (=). What's more embarrassing than not scoring against Wigan? Losing at home to them. Not only did Spurs fail to find the net against the league's most porous defence, they also gave the Latics numerous chances to score. Eventually, Hugo Rodallega deigned to do so. Fortunately for Tottenham, they had such a large buffer between themselves and Liverpool that they remain fifth by a three-point margin.

  6. Liverpool: -1 GS, -1 GS, +1 pt (=). Liverpool's attack continues to have its problems, but with Fernando Torres not yet back to his best that's hardly a surprise. The Spaniard scored his first goal of the season this weekend, so there's a chance he could revitalise the team going forward. Meanwhile Liverpool's defence made a strong recovery from their thrashing against City, holding off West Bromwich without any trouble.

  7. Aston Villa: -1 GS, -3 GS, +2 pts (=). Villa fans were breathing huge sides of relief as their side bounced back from the debacle at St. James' Park to beat Everton at home. Villa's defenders did themselves a huge credit in holding back a blue storm; Luke Young put the midlands side ahead early and Villa spent the rest of the game playing counterattacking football.

  8. Newcastle United: -1 GS, -2 GS, -1 pt (+1). Newcastle continue to climb the standings, their 1-1 draw to Wolves away yet more proof that they're a solid Premier League side. With a reasonably dangerous attack and a defence that hasn't had any awful games, Newcastle may well be on the fringes of European contention, although that says more about the quality of teams around them than about that of the Magpies.

  9. Everton: -3 GS, +1 GC, -2 pt (-1). The Merseysiders had a chance to make a huge statement with an away game at Villa Park but ended up beaten by a tough Aston Villa side. Although the Toffees came close several times, they failed to score, leaving David Moyes's men with just one point and some serious questions to answer. The quality will shine through soon enough, though.

  10. Fulham: +1 GS, +1 GC, = pt (=). Away to Blackpool should be one of the easiest fixtures of the year, but the Cottagers contrived to make a bit of a mess of things and were lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw, their second in a row. Four goals scored and conceded in three games give Fulham the air of a pretty average team, but they're still much more dangerous at home than on the road.

  11. Birmingham City: +2 GS, +2 GC, = pt (=). Birmingham failed to take advantage of a two goal, one man lead against Bolton, giving away two soft goals in the final 20 minutes of Sunday's match. Alex McLeish's side weren't expected to score too often, but they've managed six goals so far. The flip side? One of last year's sturdiest defences has now conceded five goals in just three games.

  12. Blackburn Rovers: -1 GS, -1 GC, -2 pts (=). Nothing too exciting from Rovers this week, doing about what was expected as they suffered a 2-1 reversal at home to Arsenal. The team will struggle towards goals but should prove fairly difficult to break down - Arsenal's second was a fluke rather than any fault of the defenders.

  13. Sunderland: = GS, -4 GC, +3 pts (=). A huge result against Manchester City sees Sunderland grab three points that few were expecting. While it would be silly to suggest that the Black Cats are anywhere near the hunt for a European spot, they're suddenly hot on Blackburn's heels for twelfth. Darren Bent continues to score goals when they're most needed.

  14. Bolton Wanderers: +3 GS, +1 GC, +1 pt (+2). A stirring comeback against Birmingham featured two goals from a 10-man Bolton team who are often lucky to score at all with eleven on the field. Owen Coyle's brand of football is a breath of fresh air compared to the traditional kick and rush Bolton are known for. Whether exciting play can lead to better results for the team is yet to be seen.

  15. Wolverhampton Wanderers: = GS, = GS, = pt, (-1). Wolves might consider themselves a little fortunate to have drawn against Newcastle this week but their overall performance certainly merited at least a point. They were their usual industrious selves in the 1-1 draw, and did very little wrong. They also did nothing to change the projection's opinions of them, which meant that Bolton squeak past them on goal difference.

  16. Stoke City: -1 GS, = GC, -1 pt, (-1). Congratulations are in order as Stoke become the first team to hold Chelsea to less than six goals so far this season. In fact, the Potters looked decidedly dangerous at times and forced a nervy second half from the champions before a late penalty gave the Blues a two-goal cushion. It's a pretty good result for the team, but it's also one less game in which to sneak a point.

  17. West Bromwich Albion: -3 GS, -2 GC, -1 pt, (=). The Baggies were supposed to be a high offence, weak defence team, but in two games this year they've conceded one goal or fewer and have found the net just once themselves. Their latest opponent was Liverpool, and Albion will be relatively pleased to have held their illustrious foes to just one goal. They're still out of the relegation zone, but only by two points.

  18. West Ham United: -2 GS, +2 GC, -1 pt, (=). Nobody will hold a 3-0 loss at Old Trafford against the Hammers... except me, apparently. Even accounting for strong opposition, routinely losing 3-0 away does a team no favours whatsoever, and Avram Grant's going to have a battle on his hands to avoid relagation.

  19. Blackpool: +2 GS, = GC, = pt (=). There's no shame in the #19 team facing Fulham and ending up with a draw, but Blackpool will regret not being able to finish off the Cottagers after they came from behind to lead 2-1 in the dying minutes of the game. At the end of the day, the point is nice but not much has changed for the Tangerines.

  20. Wigan Athletic: = GS, -3 GC, +4 pts (=). An away win against Spurs could be a freak result or it could help change the course of the season for the Latics. Keeping Tottenham off the scoresheet at White Hart Lane is an impressive result, especially considering that Wigan's defence had averaged five goals conceded per match before this weekend.

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