With almost one-quarter of the English Premier League season behind us, we can finally start to see how the clubs stack up against each other.
In the first few weeks of the season, some luck and fortunate scheduling could allow a poor team to rise up the league table. However, the deeper into the year we get, the better understanding we have for every squad.
Although things can still change over the next few months, the table is starting to get closer to an accurate representation of the clubs' abilities, despite a few exceptions.
With this in mind, here is a look at power rankings heading into Week 10 of the season. The team's actual place in the table is in parenthesis, courtesy of PremierLeague.com.
1. Arsenal (1)
Arsenal continued their assault on the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, marking the sixth time in nine matches they have scored at least twice in a match.
The club is getting scoring from a lot of different places, including Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil, which makes the attack incredibly difficult to stop. The players up front are also unselfish passers that only care about helping the team.
Amazingly, Arsenal still are not completely healthy and are only going to get better in the coming weeks and months. This could make the squad scary good, which will make it a challenge for anyone to top the current first-place team.
2. Chelsea (2)
A huge goal by Fernando Torres in the closing minutes gave Chelsea a win over Manchester City as they remain just two points out of first place.
Jose Mourinho has arguably the deepest squad in England and the manager is still trying to figure out how to utilize all of the talent. Without question, the Blues will keep getting better and remain near the top of the standings throughout the year.
3. Liverpool (3)
Although Liverpool have slowed down in recent weeks, they still remain one of the top competitors for a league title.
With Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez continuing to produce offensively, the only question is the defense that has struggled in the past few matches. As long as the back line plays to its ability, though, this group remains one of the best in the league.
4. Manchester City (7)
The loss to Chelsea continued a negative trend for Manchester City as they still struggle on the road.
Not only does the club have a win in all four home matches, but it has outscored opponents 13-2 in those contests. However, City only have four points in five road matches to go with a minus-one goal differential.
Still, this is an extremely talented offensive club who can put three or four goals on the scoresheet without much problem. This ability will help get a win over anyone in the league.
As long as Manchester City can find some consistency in the coming months, they should be able to move back to one of the top spots in the league.
5. Tottenham (4)
Although Tottenham have players capable of scoring, it certainly seems as though they miss Gareth Bale at times. Spurs are only tied for 10th in the EPL with nine goals this season.
Still, there are a lot of young stars in the making who are just learning how to play together. Considering how much they have already accomplished, this will be an elite squad by year's end.
6. Southampton (5)
Critics will continue to question how good Southampton really is, but there is no denying their defense. They have only allowed three goals in nine matches, which is the best mark in the league.
As long as the playmakers up front can get a single goal across the net, Southampton is always capable of coming away with three points.
7. Manchester United (8)
Very little has gone right for Manchester United in league play this season, but there is still reason to believe they will turn things around eventually.
Obviously, there is as much talent across the pitch as almost any club in the world. Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney form an excellent tandem on the attack, while the defense has a handful of experienced players who have had plenty of success in the past.
Additionally, United have had positive results in other competitions, including Champions League and the Capital One Cup.
The problem seems to be mental, as the players simply cannot avoid making big mistakes. Still, one can assume they will get better and go on a winning streak before too long.
8. Everton (6)
After a slow start to the year, Everton have performed very well lately with five wins in the past six matches.
Romelu Lukaku has been a gift this season since coming on loan from Chelsea, and his scoring ability will keep the squad in the mix for a top-four spot.
9. Newcastle United (11)
Every time it seems as though Newcastle is ready to do something well, they take a step back with a poor performance. Most recently, the club dropped a winnable match against Sunderland.
Loic Remy and Yohan Cabaye give the squad plenty of firepower on the attack, but they will need more consistency to move up in the standings.
10. West Bromwich Albion (12)
This might be a little high of a projection for West Brom, but the ability is there to finish high in the table. The problem is that the club is incapable of stringing together multiple solid performances in a row.
After earning four points against Arsenal and Manchester United, West Brom only managed a draw against Stoke before falling apart in a 4-1 loss to Liverpool.
These struggles could definitely lead them to their lowest finish in years.
11. Swansea City (9)
There is a lot of congestion among the middle clubs, and the standings can change dramatically every week based on the day. However, there have been more bad days than good for Swansea this year.
Michu and Wilfried Bony should combine to form an elite tandem, but neither have done much in the 2013-14 season. Although the club has done well in the Europa League, it will have to start focusing on the EPL going forward.
12. Hull City (10)
Hull City are learning that it is tough to get victories in the Premier League, but they continue to fight for points at every opportunity to sit on the top half of the table.
Unfortunately, it will take a lot more scoring in order to stay there for the rest of the year.
13. Aston Villa (13)
Christian Benteke might be the best young scorer in the EPL, but Aston Villa need other players to step up when he cannot contribute. That has not happened, and they have been held scoreless in the last three matches.
Needless to say, this is not going to lead to a lot of success at this level.
14. West Ham United (15)
Is this a good defensive club? A good offensive club? Both? Neither?
The answer to these questions seem to change on a daily basis, and we are left wondering what this team is capable of accomplishing. It appears we will still have to wait and see over a few more weeks.
15. Fulham (14)
Fulham continue to drop matches and struggle to even be competitive against the top clubs in the league. While they can still beat the bottom feeders, it is becoming clear that this is simply not a good team and they are not turning things around anytime soon.
16. Stoke City (17)
Looking back at the early part of the season, Stoke certainly could have a lot more than the eight points they currently have. However, all of these "almost points" add up after a while.
Stoke need to start earning victories when they have the chance, or else they could be facing relegation this season.
17. Cardiff City (16)
Cardiff were fortunate to earn a draw against Norwich City in their most recent match, which should tell you everything you need to know about this young club.
There might be enough fight in this team to avoid one of the bottom spots in the table, but it is hard to imagine too many victories coming at Cardiff City Stadium this season.
18. Norwich City (18)
Imagine where this club would be if it could take advantage of scoring opportunities. Norwich have a quality midfield who can control possession and create chances, but a poor attack has limited the club to only six goals on the year.
Unless this changes, it will be a frustrating season for Norwich supporters.
19. Sunderland (19)
Sunderland finally earned their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle, which takes them out of the last-place spot for the moment.
Still, the defense has allowed a league-high 21 goals and the team has not posted a clean sheet all year. Sunderland better enjoy the feeling of victory, because they will not see that too many more times.
20. Crystal Palace (20)
Since a win against Sunderland at the end of August, Crystal Palace have lost six straight matches, all by at least two goals. They simply cannot match up with the rest of the Premier League, and it seems likely they will be back in Championship before too long.
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