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English Premier League Power Poll, Week 29

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterMarch 13, 2013

English Premier League Power Poll, Week 29

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    What the Premier League lacked in quantity last weekend, it made up for in quality. Not that all the best action happened at the top of the table.

    The relegation race provided the best drama over the weekend, with Queens Park Rangers winning again and Aston Villa climbing out of the drop zone with a victory of their own.

    Farther up the table, Liverpool edged Spurs in a thrilling see-saw match at Anfield that also served as a showdown between Player of the Year candidates Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale.

    How did all the drama affect this week's edition of the B/R English Premier League Power Poll? Keep reading to find out.

    Click here for the league table, here for recent results and here for upcoming fixtures.

How It Works

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    Nine B/R personalities rated all 20 Premier League clubs on the power rankings system. In other words, the voters judged teams not only based on their place in the standings, but on how well they are playing at the moment.

    A first-place vote counted as 20 points, a second-place vote as 19—and so on.

    In each slide, "Points" refers to the number of points accumulated by each team via the voters. "Previous" refers to each team's ranking in the previous edition of our poll.

    The voters this week were:

    Aliko Carter: B/R front-page editor. @AlikoCarter

    John Greely: B/R world football assistant editor. @johnwgreely 

    Adam Hirshfield: B/R deputy editor. @ahirshfield

    Dan Levy: B/R national lead writer. @DanLevyThinks

    Karl Matchett: B/R world football full-time writer. @karlmatchett  

    Sean 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

Complete Rankings

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    QPR continued their move up the table, Sunderland slipped closer to the bottom, Liverpool surged toward the summit and Manchester United remained comfortably ahead of the pack in this week's rankings.

    The full rankings appear below.

    1. Manchester United

    2. Manchester City

    3. Liverpool

    4. Tottenham Hotspur

    5. Chelsea

    6. Arsenal

    7. West Bromwich Albion

    8. Everton

    9. Newcastle United

    10. Fulham

    11. Swansea

    12. Queens Park Rangers

    13. West Ham United

    14. Norwich City

    15. Aston Villa

    16. Southampton

    17. Stoke City

    18. Wigan Athletic

    19. Sunderland

    20. Reading

20. Reading

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    Points: 18

    Previous: 20

    Result: Lost 2-1 home to Aston Villa

    Fixture: At Man United, Saturday

    Brian McDermott is out following a run of four straight defeats that has seen Reading slip to 19th, level on points with bottom club QPR.

    Sam: Losing at home to Villa proved McDermott's tactical shortcomings will get the Royals relegated.

    Dan: Who wants that job now? What an odd time for a firing. (Mike's Note: Erm, a fascist, apparently.)

    John: With QPR's charge up the table (or at least, charge to near the rest of the pack), poor Reading may find themselves in dead last soon enough.

    Will: Goodbye, Reading.

19. Sunderland

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    Points: 28

    Previous: 13 (tie)

    Result: Lost 3-1 at QPR

    Fixture: Home to Norwich, Sunday

    Sunderland have lost four of five and are suddenly a trendy pick for relegation forecasters. Only six points separate the Black Cats from the drop zone.

    John: In the month after Christmas, Sunderland recorded three wins in five games, with the only losses coming to Liverpool and Tottenham. Since then, well...things haven't been quite the same.

    Sam: Rock bottom of the form table without a win since January. The Black Cats are looking over their shoulders.

18. Wigan Athletic

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    Points: 31

    Previous: 19

    Result: Did not play

    Fixture: Home to Newcastle, Sunday

    So let's get this straight. Wigan are favorites to meet one of the two Manchester clubs in the FA Cup final. Meanwhile, they're also among the favorites for relegation.

    Got it.

    Dan: With a favorable FA Cup semifinal draw, Wigan should end up playing in a final at Wembley while trying to avoid relegation. An odd season for sure.

17. Stoke City

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    Points: 44

    Previous: 13 (tie)

    Result: Lost 2-1 at Newcastle

    Fixture: Home to West Brom, Saturday

    Stoke have won just once in their last 10 matches—and that was at home to reeling Reading.

    Sean: That whole flirting-with-the-top-four thing really fell apart in a hurry. (Mike's note: Top four in long balls, am I right?!)

16. Southampton

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    Points: 53

    Previous: 17

    Result: Drew 0-0 at Norwich

    Fixture: Home to Liverpool, Saturday

    Artur Boruc's penalty save ensured a miserable day at Norwich didn't turn out to be a losing one as well.

15. Aston Villa

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    Points: 65

    Previous: 18

    Result: Won 2-1 at Reading

    Fixture: Home to QPR, Saturday

    With Wigan idle in the league, Aston Villa took advantage by beating fellow strugglers Reading to jump out of the relegation zone.

    It's possible, however, that Wigan gained even more momentum with that 3-0 thumping of Everton in the FA Cup.

    Sam: Two wins from four games and two unlucky losses in between. Surely things aren't starting to look up for Villa? That would be madness.

14. Norwich City

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    Points: 67

    Previous: 16

    Result: Drew 0-0 home to Southampton

    Fixture: At Sunderland, Sunday

    Norwich are nine points clear of the relegation zone. So why does that not seem like enough of a cushion?

    Sam: Sustained heavy spells of pressure against Saints and squandered a chance to win it. Many think they're in the relegation mixer; I am one of them.

    John: Norwich only have two losses in eight matches since a Jan. 1 defeat. Granted, those losses were by a combined 9-0 score. Oh, and they also only have a single win in that span. Wait, wasn't I trying to find something positive to say?

13. West Ham United

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    Points: 70

    Previous: 11

    Result: Did not play

    Fixture: At Chelsea, Sunday

    West Ham are one of five teams locked on 33 points in the middle of the table. The Hammers have the joint-most wins (nine) of that group.

12. Queens Park Rangers

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    Points: 85

    Previous: 15

    Result: Won 3-1 home to Sunderland

    Fixture: At Aston Villa, Saturday

    After two wins in a row, Harry Redknapp has QPR on course for an escape act. This one would be one of Harry's finest tricks yet.

    Will: Harry Houdini?

    Dan: In their last nine matches, QPR are 3-2-4, earning 13 points. In their first 20 matches, they earned 10 points. They have nine matches to go, including away tilts at Villa, Fulham and Reading and home matches against Wigan, Stoke and Newcastle. At this point, I bet they find a way to stay up.

    Sean: I'm on the bandwagon. Yes. They. Can!

    John: Redknapp doin' Redknapp stuff. Move along.

11. Swansea City

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    Points: 89

    Previous: 8

    Result: Lost 2-1 at West Brom

    Fixture: Home to Arsenal, Saturday

    Swansea's league form has been indifferent of late, but it's no matter. The Swans must still be enjoying their Capital One Cup triumph.

    John: The good: Swansea have won three straight at home. The bad: they've lost three straight on the road. We'll call it a wash.

10. Fulham

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    Points: 92

    Previous: 10

    Result: Did not play

    Fixture: At Spurs, Sunday

    Fun fact: With 33 points, Fulham are in the top half of the table (10th place), yet only nine points above the relegation zone.

9. Newcastle United

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    Points: 109

    Previous: 12

    Result: Won 2-1 home to Stoke

    Fixture: At Wigan, Sunday

    John: Despite this season already being written off as a lost cause, Newcastle have actually turned things around quite a bit over the last few weeks, with four wins in the last six matches.

8. Everton

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    Points: 114

    Previous: 7

    Result: Did not play

    Fixture: Home to Man City, Saturday

    Everton's last league match was a 3-1 win over Reading. But the Toffees will be feeling that 3-0 cup loss to Wigan for some time.

    Dan: If FA Cup matches counted in these standings they would be last this week. 3-0 to Wigan? Tim Howard needs to heal, fast.

7. West Bromwich Albion

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    Points: 120

    Previous: 9

    Result: Won 2-1 home to Swansea

    Fixture: At Stoke, Saturday

    West Brom this season are a study in contradictory extremes.

    The Baggies have won more matches (13) than Liverpool (12) or Everton (11) and the same as Arsenal, but have lost more games (12) than Stoke (10) and Norwich (10) and only two fewer times than QPR (14).

    Sean: Top four is still unlikely, but it's hard to ignore how consistently just above-average the Baggies have been.

    Sam: Maddeningly inconsistent, but there's a lot to like about what Steve Clarke has done with this side. Kudos.

6. Arsenal

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    Points: 136

    Previous: 6

    Result: Did not play

    Fixture: At Swansea, Saturday

    Mission: Impossible at the Allianz on Wednesday followed by…er, another tough one for the Gunners at Swansea.

    It was almost better that Arsenal didn't play last week. Less chance for more negativity.

    Sean: Nobody talk to me until early May when I wake up and Arsenal are magically back in the Champions League next season. It's Arsene Wenger—he always pulls it off...right? Guys?

5. Chelsea

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    Points: 138

    Previous: 4

    Result: Did not play

    Fixture: Home to West Ham, Sunday

    Chelsea recovered from a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2 with Manchester United…in the FA Cup. In the league, they're still 19 points off the pace and facing a fight to finish in the top four.

4. Tottenham Hotspur

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    Points: 142

    Previous: 3

    Result: Lost 3-2 at Liverpool

    Fixture: Home to Fulham, Sunday

    Jan Vertonghen didn't just have a great game Sunday against Liverpool. He's had a great season for Spurs.

    Sean: He's been (rightfully) overshadowed by Gareth Bale's incredible form, but Vertonghen is proving to be quite the savvy steal for AVB.

    John: Spurs threw away a win at Anfield with two uncharacteristic mistakes, but there's no reason to panic at the end of a 12-match unbeaten streak. Beating Fulham this weekend is a must.

3. Liverpool

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    Points: 156

    Previous: 5

    Result: Won 3-2 home to Spurs

    Fixture: At Southampton, Saturday

    So Spurs can be beaten—and it turns out Gareth Bale isn't the only in-form player in the league. Step forward, Luis Suarez.

    Karl: Not the best performance, but definitely the best result of the season.

    John: Look who's back! Aside from a fluke loss to West Brom, the Reds' last six matches have all produced excellent results. Beating a scorching Tottenham side is Rodgers' best win so far.

    Will: Things are starting to click for Brendan Rodgers. Phillippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge are both looking like very smart January buys.

    Sam: Four wins in a row (all comps) and the Reds are looking pretty suave. The more the Coutinho-Luis Suarez partnership grows, the more people have to fear.

    Sean: Luis Suarez has more goals than Gareth Bale or Robin van Persie this season. Well played, Suarez, well played.

2. Manchester City

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    Points: 160

    Previous: 3

    Result: Did not play

    Fixture: At Everton, Saturday

    Manchester City still have lost only once in the league this calendar year. Yet they still trail Manchester United by 12 points in the table.

1. Manchester United

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    Points: 173

    Previous: 1

    Result: Did not play

    Fixture: Home to Reading, Saturday

    Have they lifted the trophy yet? No? Soon then.

    John: While David de Gea's big toe may have saved United from an embarrassing FA Cup collapse, that result has no bearing here. Man Utd still No. 1 by a mile.

    Sam: Five wins in a row with Reading to visit Old Trafford next. It's good to be king.

    Dan: The most drama around this team is who will still be there next year. Rooney? Sir Alex?

     

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