Every round this season, we will rank the English Premier League teams based upon form, recent performances, and table standing. New signings and injuries will be taken into account.
1. Chelsea – The Blues are off to a fantastic start led by Hazard. Two matches this round and outside of about a 20 minute spell against Reading, they were in complete control the entire time. Impressive considering Newcastle are no slouches and Reading played very good football.
2. Manchester City – Lucky to draw Liverpool. City could very well have lost both their opening fixtures. However, they didn’t and as what has become normal for the Citizens, they have found ways to pull out results they possibly don’t deserve and have 4 out of a possible 6 points.
3. Swansea City – No team looks to be in better form early, albeit against the lower half of the table. Still, this is form rankings and I have to rate the Swans highly.
4. Everton – Coming off their brilliant win against United, they didn’t slip up and that is all they needed against an Aston Villa team looking out of sorts.
5. Manchester United – Had to claw and fight for a victory at home against Fulham. That’s not a habit Manchester United want to keep going but a victory nonetheless and van Persie announced himself to Old Trafford with the strike of the weekend.
6. Fulham – Putting two goals on United, even with a makeshift defense, is nothing to cry about. They were unlucky not to get a result.
7. Arsenal – Some might say this is a bad start for Arsenal, but they haven’t given up a goal in both their opening fixtures and if they can find goals from somewhere (anywhere???) they instantly become title contenders with the defense they have played. I do, however, expect that once goals do start to come, the defense’s form might still come down a bit. I don’t think we’ve seen the real Arsenal either way yet, which is why, at this point, I’m not sure if they will quite get there.
8. Newcastle United – Never looked to threaten Chelsea but the Blues are on a different level. I still think Newcastle look better than the teams below them on this list.
9. West Bromwich Albion – A win vs. Liverpool and a draw with Tottenham. West Brom fans couldn’t really ask for a better start.
10. Stoke City – Doing what they do best: defensive, tight draws. Held Arsenal without a goal which is always impressive no matter what Arsenal look like on the day.
11. Reading – Can’t penalize a team for not playing on the weekend. However, they get a slight bump for playing Chelsea really well in the midweek.
12. Tottenham – Still look out of sorts under AVB. One might wonder what the transfer deadline will bring for this club. They are looking to get rid of at least two of their best players, so my question is how do they replace them? A draw with West Brom isn’t helping fans from starting to panic.
13. Liverpool – The Reds gave the win away against City. But in reality, Skrtel’s error just cancelled out his brilliant header earlier in the game. So a result was fair considering City also had more of the ball on the road. They still get bumped up for drawing the champions.
14. Sunderland – Again, can’t penalize a team for not playing. They stay put at 14.
15. Wigan Athletic – Good result for Wigan against Southampton. Played horrendously against Chelsea in their opening fixture, so we are left wondering who the real Wigan is.
16. Southampton – This is somewhat of an anomaly for me. Southampton played so well against City on the road, then come back home for their first Premier League fixture on their ground and lay an egg against a seemingly bad team. Is Wigan better than we thought, or is Southampton worse than we thought, or is this just one of the curious results of the year?
17. West Ham United – Looked great at home last week, looked awful on the road at Swansea, seemingly nothing went right for West Ham.
18. Aston Villa – Villa put a goal on Everton’s defense which is more than United could say last week. Might be something to build on.
19. Norwich City – In the match-up of “worst looking teams to start the year”, neither came out on top in a 1-1 draw. Therefore, I change nothing about their rankings and they remain the same from last week.
20. Queens Park Rangers – See 19.