English Premier League Power Poll: Week 5
Another week means more time at the top for Chelsea.
The Blues dispatched Stoke City, 1-0, in a tight match at Stamford Bridge over the weekend. The victory kept Roberto Di Matteo's team atop the English Premier League table—as well as the B/R English Premier League Power Poll for another week.
Click here for the league table, and read on for the full rankings.
For these rankings, we instructed the voters to vote based on the "power rankings" style.
That means voters cast their ballots based on which teams they think are best. Results and table position both matter, but the most important factor was which teams are best.
Eight B/R personalities voted in this week's poll, and all the votes were counted on a points system. A first-place vote counted as 20 points, a second-place vote as 19 and so on.
Explanation of terms
Points: The total number of points the team received via our voters' rankings. A first-place vote counted as 20 points, a second-place vote as 19 and so on.
Last-place votes: The number of last-place votes the team received from our voters.
First-place votes: The number of first-place votes the team received from our voters.
Last week: The team's ranking in the previous poll.
Table: The team's position in the English Premier League table, along with current points total. Click here for the full table.
Results: The team's results since our last rankings.
Fixtures: The team's upcoming matches.
Meet the Voters
Aliko Carter: B/R front-page editor. @AlikoCarter
John Greely: B/R front-page editor. @johnwgreely
Adam Hirshfield: B/R deputy editor. @ahirshfield
Dan Levy: B/R national lead writer. @DanLevyThinks
Brad Read: B/R world football newsletter. @ReadBrad
Sean Swaby: B/R featured columnist coordinator. @seanswaby
Will Tidey: B/R world football lead writer and editor. @willtidey
Michael Cummings: B/R world football lead writer. @MikeCummings37
Last-place votes: 7
Last week: 19
Table: 20th, 1 point
Results: Lost 1-0 at West Brom
Fixtures: Home to Newcastle, Saturday
Still winless, Reading now sit at the bottom of the table. The fight for survival has already started.
19. Queens Park Rangers
Last-place votes: 1
Last week: 18
Table: 19th, 2 points
Results: Lost 2-1 at Spurs
Fixtures: Home to West Ham, Monday
Queens Park Rangers showed encouraging signs again over the weekend against Spurs. The midfield duo of Esteban Granero and Alejandro Faurlin is really clicking, and the team is clearly improving.
And yet Rangers lost again. When will Mark Hughes (pictured) and company turn things around? Will they turn this around?
Dan: Are QPR the most talented bad team in the EPL or the least talented good team? Maybe they are the least talented bad team, which is what their record indicates.
18. Norwich City
Last week: 17
Table: 17th, 3 points
Results: Lost 1-0 at Newcastle
Fixtures: Home to Liverpool, Saturday
The loss of former manager Paul Lambert to Aston Villa has clearly hurt. Thing is, he's not doing much better in the Midlands.
17. Aston Villa
Last week: 13
Table: 14th, 4 points
Results: Lost 4-1 at Southampton
Fixtures: Home to West Brom, Sunday
Speaking of Paul Lambert, his new team just got crushed by previously winless Southampton.
Will: Anytime you lose 4-1 to a club that's just been promoted is a bad day at the office.
Last week: 20
Table: 16th, 3 points
Results: Won 4-1 home to Aston Villa
Fixtures: At Everton, Saturday
Speaking of Southampton, the Saints finally bagged their first win after playing well against both Manchester City and Manchester United in the opening weeks of the season.
Rickie Lambert now has four goals in his first season in the top flight.
Will: In Rickie they trust.
15. Wigan Athletic
Last week: 15 (tie)
Table: 15th, 4 points
Results: Lost 2-1 home to Fulham
Fixtures: At Sunderland, Saturday
For the first few weeks of the season, the talk around Wigan was that the Latics might not have to pull off another escape act next spring when the relegation scrap starts up.
But after taking just one point from the last nine available, Wigan are heading the wrong direction.
Last week: 15 (tie)
Table: 18th, 2 points
Results: Lost 2-1 home to Manchester United
Fixtures: At Norwich, Saturday
Liverpool lost again over the weekend, falling at home to rivals Manchester United. The Reds played well, though, and gained a spot in our rankings.
Will: Unlucky to lose to United, Liverpool showed signs of progress at Anfield.
Dan: I am openly rooting for Liverpool to win the Europa League and get relegated from the EPL. To quote every British announcer after Steven Gerrard scores a goal, "It has to be..."
13. Stoke City
Last week: 12
Table: 13th, 4 points
Results: Lost 1-0 at Chelsea
Fixtures: Home to Swansea, Saturday
Stoke broke a streak this weekend, finally losing a match after drawing their first four.
John: The new-era invincibles are finally defeated. Thankfully we've still got Sunderland to carry the torch.
Last week: 14
Table: 12th, 4 points
Results: Drew 1-1 at West Ham
Fixtures: Home to Wigan, Saturday
The king is dead. Long live the king. Sunderland are the newly undisputed masters of drawing matches in the Premier League. May their reign be long and full of draws.
Martin O'Neill's men made it four draws from four matches over the weekend, and a home date with Wigan this weekend presents another enticing opportunity to share the points.
Adam: Not only do they have four draws through four games, but they've also scored four goals and allowed four goals. So, fittingly, I decided to rank them...12th. Sorry, lads.
11. Swansea City
Last week: 6
Table: 11th, 7 points
Results: Lost 3-0 home to Everton
Fixtures: At Stoke, Saturday
If the prevailing metaphor for the start of Swansea's season was "bursting out of the starting blocks," it's fair to say the Swans have crashed over a hurdle just past the first turn.
Sean: At least they've stayed the table's upper echelon in the cool uniforms department.
Dan: That goal differential sure shrunk in a hurry.
10. West Ham United
Last week: 11
Table: 9th, 8 points
Results: Drew 1-1 home to Sunderland
Fixtures: At QPR, Monday
Kevin Nolan's dramatic late goal gave West Ham a draw at home to Sunderland (surprise, surprise) over the weekend, and the Hammers are looking more and more like regular contenders for a top-half place.
8. (tie) Tottenham Hotspur
Last week: 10
Table: 8th, 8 points
Results: Won 2-1 home to QPR
Fixtures: At Manchester United, Saturday
Andre Villas-Boas' new regime seems to be picking up steam after back-to-back wins over relegation candidates QPR and Reading.
A significantly stiffer test awaits at Old Trafford this weekend.
8. (tie) Newcastle United
Last week: 8 (tie)
Table: 10th, 8 points
Results: Won 1-0 home to Norwich
Fixtures: At Reading, Saturday
Demba Ba scored again, Newcastle won, and all is right in the North East. Now the Magpies need to start scaling the table.
Will: Ba is firing. Newcastle gained inspiration from the comeback at Everton, and I predict a charge now.
Last week: 7
Table: 6th, 9 points
Results: Won 2-1 at Wigan
Fixtures: Home to Manchester City, Saturday
Fulham secured a rare away win over the weekend, beating Wigan thanks in part to Hugo Rodallega's goal against his old mates.
6. West Bromwich Albion
Last week: 8 (tie)
Table: 4th, 10 points
Results: Won 1-0 home to Reading
Fixtures: At Aston Villa, Sunday
West Brom might be the league's most improved team. With another winnable match coming this weekend, it's hard to see when this team might fall back into mid-table obscurity.
Sean: That 3-0 shellacking of Liverpool looks less and less fluke-like with each impressive result.
5. Manchester City
Last week: 4
Table: 7th, 9 points
Results: Drew 1-1 home to Arsenal
Fixtures: At Fulham, Saturday
City's title defense has faltered early, partially because of an inability to keep clean sheets.
Through five matches, Roberto Mancini's team has allowed seven goals without recording a shutout.
Last week: 3
Table: 5th, 9 points
Results: Drew 1-1 at Manchester City
Fixtures: Home to Chelsea, Saturday
So the Gunners hold the defending champions to a 1-1 draw on the road…and lose a spot in our rankings.
Anyone care to explain how that makes sense?
Will: Wenger's team look to have added some mental toughness this season.
Sean: Early impressive form largely due to the Gunners' stout defense. Wait, what just happened? Sorry, I blacked out.
Last week: 5
Table: 3rd, 10 points
Results: Won 3-0 at Swansea
Fixtures: Home to Southampton, Saturday
Explaining Arsenal's drop has to begin with the rise of Everton, who won again this weekend, clobbering Swansea on the road.
With their lethal left side, the Toffees are a legit contender for the top four, but they'll have to hold onto Marouane Fellaini this winter.
Aliko: How long is Moyes going to be able to keep Fellaini at Goodison? January will be interesting.
Adam: They've come off their opening-match high, but they're still getting it done, including a cracker on the road this past weekend at Swansea.
Sean: Marouane Fellaini continues to prove B/R's resident analytics bloke Jeff Kneis' theory correct: the more outlandish the hair, the better the player.
2. Manchester United
Last week: 2
Table: 2nd, 12 points
Results: Won 2-1 at Liverpool
Fixtures: Home to Spurs, Saturday
Let's face it: United were fortunate to beat Liverpool on Sunday. Still, as the saying goes, champions make their own luck.
Sean: United continue to win by what some (OK, one) feel may be because of the luck of the...Scottish? #shelveyproblems
Dan: Sir Alex Ferguson's managerial decisions did not deserve a victory over Liverpool. When Rooney returns, will this cabal of superstars become too much for him to juggle? Alas, United have four wins in their first five matches.
First-place votes: 8
Last week: 1
Table: 1st, 13 points
Weeks at No. 1: 4
Results: Won 1-0 home to Stoke
Fixtures: At Arsenal, Saturday
Ashley Cole's late strike gave Chelsea a victory over Stoke and kept the Blues atop the table.
With the win, Chelsea also maintained first place in our poll and even came in as a unanimous No. 1.
Dan: For all the talk of offensive newcomers giving Chelsea new life, old man Petr Cech has four clean sheets in five matches.