EPL Power Rankings Week 9: Risers and Fallers After Matchday 8

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Mesut Oezil of Arsenal celebrates as he scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City at Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

With eight matchdays just about in the books, we're starting to get a pretty good idea of how the Premier League season will take shape. 

The title contenders are filtering to the top of the table. A few dominant teams in the early going are starting to show signs of weakness. One title contender in particular is in distress. And Sunderland just flat out stink. 

Let's take a look at this week's Premier League power rankings. 


1. Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilh
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Place on EPL Table: 1

Total Points: 19

Stock: Holding

Analysis: It's not so much amazing that Arsenal are atop the table this season because there has never been a clear-cut title favorite this year, and several top clubs switched managers this offseason.

No, what has been so surprising is that Arsenal have continued to win despite a rash of injuries this season that has seen Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky all sidelined, among others, at some point.

Mesut Ozil has clearly taken this team to another level, however, and it's time the Gunners were considered legitimate title contenders this season. 


2. Chelsea

Place on EPL Table: 2

Total Points: 17

Stock: Rising

Analysis: Chelsea have been excellent in the past month, taking 10 points from four games, including an away draw against Tottenham. Striker continues to remain a concern, but behind Jose Mourinho and an incredible amount of depth, the Blues continue to make their case as the Premier League's top side.


3. Manchester City

Place on EPL Table: 4

Total Points: 16

Stock: Rising

Analysis: How have Manchester City responded to a 3-2 loss against Aston Villa on September 28?

By beating Everton and West Ham by a combined score of 6-2, that's how.

The defense may be suspect and the Citizens continue to be a far better side at home, but City have weathered the rough patches and remain right near the leaders on the Premier League table. 


4. Liverpool

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool high fives Luis Suarez of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on October 19, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Eng
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Place on EPL Table: 3

Total Points: 17

Stock: Falling

Analysis: Liverpool have come back down to earth.

After winning their first three matches, they've taken just eight points from the next five, including a loss against Southampton and draws against Swansea City and Newcastle.

The difference seems to be the defense.

After keeping three clean sheets to open the season, Liverpool haven't managed to repeat the feat. For all of this team's attacking prowess—Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez continue to shine—the Reds can't contend as title contenders, or perhaps even as a top-four side, if they can't get the defense back on track. 


5. Tottenham

Place on EPL Table: 5

Total Points: 16

Stock: Holding

Analysis: The real test for Tottenham begins in November when the team will face a fixtures gauntlet, taking on Everton, surging Newcastle, Manchester City and Manchester United in consecutive weeks.

If the Spurs can come out of those fixtures with seven points or more, look out. 


6. Southampton

Place on EPL Table: 6

Total Points: 15

Stock: Rising

Analysis: Can you believe that Southampton have given up just three goals this season, which easily tops in the Premier League? Or how about the fact that they've beaten Liverpool and just drew with Manchester United at Old Trafford?

This is potentially a top-eight team, folks.


7. Everton

Place on EPL Table: 7

Total Points: 15

Stock: Holding

Analysis: Everton remain difficult to get a handle on.

They opened with three draws in games they should have won. They've beaten Chelsea. They nearly blew a three-goal lead against Newcastle. They were smoked by Manchester City. They recovered by beating Hull City, 2-1.

This is without question a very talented team, but how much quality they will show from week-to-week remains hard to pin down.


8. Newcastle

Place on EPL Table: 10

Total Points: 11

Stock: Rising

Analysis: Newcastle seem to need embarrassment to fuel performance.

They opened the season by getting crushed by Manchester City, 4-0. They recovered by taking seven points in their next three games. They gave up six combined goals to Hull City and Everton in losses. They recovered by beating Cardiff and drawing with Liverpool.

It's going to be a roller coaster of a season for the Magpies. 


9. Manchester United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  David Moyes the Manchester United manager speaks with Adnan Januzaj and Wayne Rooney of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on October 19,
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Place on EPL Table: 8

Total Points: 11

Stock: Falling

Analysis: Could the beginning of the David Moyes era have started off worse? Will the Moyes era soon be identified as the "Moyes error" and be cut short before the season even ends?

United have taken just four points in their last four matches.

Moyes can blame a tough early schedule, but the Red Devils have also dropped points to West Brom and Southampton. Taking just one point against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City is unacceptable. 

If the sky isn't falling over Manchester United, then it's certainly dangerously close to tipping over.


10. West Brom

Place on EPL Table: 12

Total Points: 10

Stock: Rising

Analysis: After a poor start to the season, West Brom have taken nine points in their next five games, which have included a win over Manchester United and draw against Arsenal.

They aren't a great team, but they are consistently taking points and should remain around the top 10 this season. 


11. Hull City

Place on EPL Table: 9

Total Points: 11

Stock: Falling

Analysis: After a three-game winning streak to end September, Hull have hit a snag in October, taking just one point in their past two matches. There's no shame in an away loss to Everton, but Hull look as though they are coming back to earth after a strong start. 


12. Swansea City

Place on EPL Table: 11

Total Points: 10

Stock: Holding

Analysis: Swansea have the talent to finish eighth on the table, but they haven't consistently shown it this season.

Getting Michu back on track—he has just two goals in eight matches after scoring 18 a year ago—would certainly help.


13. Aston Villa

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  Aston Villa player Christian Benteke celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Capital One Cup second round match between Aston Villa and Rotherham at Villa Park on August 28, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Phot
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Place on EPL Table: 13

Total Points: 10

Stock: Holding

Analysis: One week they are capable of beating Arsenal. The next three, they fail to earn a single point. Another week they are capable of beating Manchester City.

Having Christian Benteke back in the fold will provide a big boost for this topsy-turvy side.


14. West Ham

Place on EPL Table: 14

Total Points: 8

Stock: Holding

Analysis: One of the great mysteries of the Premier League season will be how this team beat Tottenham 3-0, especially considering they've managed just one other win this season.

The Hammers are good enough to avoid relegation, but not good enough to do much more than that. 


15. Stoke City

Place on EPL Table: 15

Total Points: 8

Stock: Holding

Analysis: Stoke City have just four goals—worst in the Premier League—but have still managed to earn eight points.

In other words, same ol' Stoke. 


16. Fulham

Place on EPL Table: 17

Total Points: 7

Stock: Pending

Analysis: With a win over Crystal Palace on Monday—certainly a very strong possibility—Fulham would jump anywhere from 11th to 14th on the table.

A second-straight win for the side would be a positive, especially in a season where the team has struggled to consistently string points together.


17. Cardiff City

Place on EPL Table: 16

Total Points: 8

Stock: Falling

Analysis: Good luck figuring out Cardiff.

The same team that stole four points from Manchester City and Everton managed just four points this year against West Ham, Hull, Fulham and Newcastle.

With two straight losses, Cardiff takes a hit in these rankings.


18. Norwich City

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  John Ruddy of Norwich City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Place on EPL Table: 18

Total Points: 7

Stock: Falling

Analysis: Nobody expected Norwich to beat Chelsea or Arsenal, but giving up a total of seven goals to the two teams in consecutive weeks is disappointing.

Only Newcastle (14) and Sunderland (20) have conceded more goals than Norwich's 13.


19. Crystal Palace

Place on EPL Table: 19

Total Points: 3

Stock: Pending

Analysis: Even if they beat Fulham, Crystal Palace will still be 19th on the table with six points. This team seems destined for relegation. 


20. Sunderland 

Place on EPL Table: 20

Total Points: 1

Stock: Holding

Analysis: Sunderland have given up 18 goals in their last six matches. Good grief.

A 4-0 loss to Swansea is surely not how Gus Poyet wanted to get his tenure started.


Follow TRappaRT on Twitter