It's getting lonely at the top, and more chaotic everywhere else.
The Manchester clubs separated themselves from the English Premier League pack this week, both in the table and the B/R EPL Power Poll. The rest of the pack, simply put, is a mess.
Where did your club rank in this topsy-turvy week? With so much movement in the poll, it's possible you won't know where to look.
For these rankings, the voters cast their ballots based on the "power rankings" style.
That means voters ranked each club based on which teams they thought were the best, keeping in mind recent results and the league table.
Seven B/R personalities voted in this week's poll. 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 time: The team's ranking in the previous poll. Click here for the previous rankings.
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.
Aliko Carter: B/R front-page editor. @AlikoCarterAdam Hirshfield: B/R deputy editor. @ahirshfield
Dan Levy: B/R national lead writer. @DanLevyThinksSean Swaby: B/R featured columnist coordinator. @seanswaby
Will Tidey: B/R world football lead writer and editor. @willtidey
Sam Tighe: B/R world football tactical analyst. @stighefootball
Michael Cummings: B/R world football lead writer and poll organizer. @MikeCummings37
Here is the complete poll. Click through the slides for more information on each team.
1. Manchester United
2. Manchester City
3. Tottenham Hotspur
4. West Brom
11. Norwich City
12. (tie) West Ham
12. (tie) Liverpool
14. Aston Villa
Last-place votes: 6
Last time: 20
Table: 20th, 5 points
Results: Lost 3-1 at Man United, drew 1-1 at Sunderland
Fixtures: Home to Villa, Saturday
Mark Hughes is out. Harry Redknapp takes his turn now.
Either way, QPR still don’t have any wins. It’s not looking good.
Dan: I recently called them the biggest waste of space in world football. I'm secretly in love with this club.
Last-place votes: 1
Last time: 16
Table: 19th, 9 points
Results: Lost 3-2 at Wigan, lost 1-0 at Villa
Fixtures: Home to Man United, Saturday
Reading have lost two in a row after a four-match unbeaten run. The going remains tough with this weekend’s trip to Old Trafford.
Last time: 15
Table: 16th, 13 points
Results: Lost 4-2 home to West Brom, drew 0-0 home to QPR
Fixtures: At Norwich, Sunday
Sunderland have been nearly unwatchable lately, and if current trends continue, Premier League audiences might not have to watch the Black Cats much longer.
Martin O’Neill’s team sit just one point above the relegation zone.
Will: Offensive viewing against QPR, just dull, dull, dull.
Last time: 13
Table: 14th, 14 points
Results: Lost 2-0 at Southampton, lost 2-1 at Stoke
Fixtures: Home to Wigan, Monday
After pushing for a Champions League place throughout last season, Newcastle have hit hard times this term. The Magpies are just two points above the relegation zone after losing four straight matches.
The last time that happened was 2008-09. We all know what happened later that season, right?
Last time: 18
Table: 18th, 12 points
Results: Won 2-0 home to Newcastle, drew 1-1 home to Villa
Fixtures: At Liverpool, Saturday
Southampton remain in the relegation zone but are unbeaten in four matches. During that stretch, Nigel Adkins’ men have taken eight points.
By comparison, Chelsea have collected three points over the same span.
Last time: 17
Table: 15th, 14 points
Results: Won 3-2 home to Reading, lost 2-0 home to Man City
Fixtures: At Newcastle, Monday
It’s three losses in four matches for Roberto Martinez’s Wigan, who nonetheless have entertained neutrals along the way.
Last time: 19
Table: 17th, 13 points
Results: Drew 0-0 home to Arsenal, won 1-0 home to Reading
Fixtures: At QPR, Saturday
Villa took advantage of some home cooking this week, drawing with Arsenal before beating Reading. After climbing five spots in our poll, Paul Lambert’s team is looking better, with or without Darren Bent.
Will: Signs of life at Villa Park... finally.
Last time: 7
Table: 10th, 19 points
Results: Lost 3-1 at Spurs, Lost 1-0 at Man United
Fixtures: Home to Chelsea, Saturday
West Ham lost twice this week but somehow managed to stay in the top half. Can the Hammers heap more misery on Chelsea at the weekend?
Last time: 8
Table: 12th, 16 points
Results: Drew 0-0 at Swansea, lost 2-1 at Spurs
Fixtures: Home to Southampton, Saturday
The eight-match unbeaten run is over. What’s next for the Brendan Rodgers revolution?
Last time: 11
Table: 13th, 16 points
Results: Drew 1-1 at Everton, drew 1-1 at Southampton
Fixtures: Home to Sunderland, Sunday
Chelsea were the last Premier League team to defeat Norwich. That happened way back on Oct. 6, when Roberto Di Matteo’s seat was merely lukewarm.
Last time: 12
Table: 11th, 17 points
Results: Lost 1-0 at Stoke, drew 0-0 at Chelsea
Fixtures: Home to Spurs, Saturday
Fulham pulled off the near-impossible this week, scoring zero goals and allowing only one in two matches.
Where’s the team that scored 25 and allowed 22 before this week?
Last time: 14
Table: 9th, 19 points
Results: Won 1-0 home to Fulham, won 2-1 home to Newcastle
Fixtures: At West Brom, Saturday
Stoke gained three places in the league table this week and now sit in the top half. Even more astounding: the Potters are only seven points away from the top four and the Champions League spots.
How did that happen?
Last time: 9
Table: 8th, 20 points
Results: Drew 0-0 home to Liverpool, won 3-1 home to West Brom
Fixtures: At Arsenal, Saturday
Swansea stopped West Brom’s high-flying run and are unbeaten in five matches. Up next is a potential statement game at Arsenal.
Last time: 5
Table: 7th, 21 points
Results: Drew 0-0 at Villa, drew 1-1 at Everton
Fixtures: Home to Swansea, Saturday
Depressing fact of the week No. 1 for Gooners: Through 14 matches, Arsenal are just one point ahead of Swansea—their opponents this weekend—and two ahead of Stoke and West Ham.
Depressing fact of the week No. 2 for Gooners: It’s impossible to argue that Arsene Wenger’s team are better than their record suggests.
Hey, at least Theo scored again.
Sean: The Gunners have scored 16 goals in four EPL matches (Southampton, Tottenham, Fulham, West Ham) and just eight in the other six. Their attack looks fluid and prolific on some days and lethargic and toothless on others.
Last time: 4
Table: 3rd, 26 points
Results: Drew 0-0 home to Man City, drew 0-0 home to Fulham
Fixtures: At West Ham, Saturday
Chelsea topped the table for eight straight weeks earlier this season. Now the Blues are winless in six matches and struggling under an unpopular new manager.
Will: Time for a new manager, surely.
Sean: Hey, Roman, how do ya like me now? Not very sincerely, Roberto.
Dan: This is going to be a long second half.
Last time: 6
Table: 6th, 22 points
Results: Drew 1-1 home to Norwich, drew 1-1 home to Arsenal
Fixtures: At Man City, Saturday
Everton have lost just twice this season—fewer times than all but two Premier League teams. Problem is, the Toffees have drawn seven matches—joint-most in the league.
Last time: 3
Table: 4th, 26 points
Results: Won 4-2 at Sunderland, lost 3-1 at Swansea
Fixtures: Home to Stoke, Saturday
The loss at Swansea ended West Brom’s four-match winning streak, but the Baggies are still fourth and remain level on points with Chelsea.
Sean: Anyone else just hear a balloon pop?
Last time: 10
Table: 5th, 23 points
Results: Won 3-1 home to West Ham, won 2-1 home to Liverpool
Fixtures: At Fulham, Saturday
Back-to-back wins have Spurs back in the top five. After moving up seven spots in our poll, they're our mover of the week.
Now it’s time to work on that goal differential.
First-place votes: 3
Last time: 1
Table: 2nd, 32 points
Results: Drew 0-0 at Chelsea, won 2-0 at Wigan
Fixtures: Home to Everton
City remain the league’s only unbeaten team and hold a superior goal-differential to Manchester United. But five draws in 14 matches are enough to send thrice-beaten United to the top of the table.
Dan: Hey, look. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a Mario Ballotelli goal in the EPL!
First-place votes: 4
Weeks at No. 1: First week
Last time: 2
Table: 1st, 33 points
Results: Won 3-1 home to QPR, won 1-0 home to West Ham
Fixtures: At Reading, Saturday
United returned to the top of the table with two wins this week despite not being overly impressive in either match.
No matter. The Manchester clubs are threatening to make the Premier League title race their own private party again this season.
Will: United are top, but still they're not playing that well.
Sean: United are the only EPL side with no draws. Go figure. I guess that's what happens when you have an occasionally leaky defense and an incredible attack.
Dan: They're doing just enough to win the games they are supposed to win right now.