Say what you want about this Premier League season, but it is certainly shaping up for a dramatic stretch run.
The race at the top of the table continues to be tightly packed. Arsenal will not fade, and Manchester City and Chelsea won't let them run away with things.
Meanwhile, the race to avoid the bottom of the table is just as close.
Needless to say, this does not lend itself to having a clear pecking order for the power rankings. Here is how I see things shaking out as we head into Week 21.
1. Manchester City (44 points)
The Citizens remain a point behind Arsenal in the table but No. 1 in the power rankings. I'm not sure if the Citizens can win the Premier League, but I do know that they have more potential to distance themselves from the field.
The Citizens have a soft schedule upon return to Premier League action and must start to improve their consistency.
2. Arsenal (45)
Arsenal have shown the ability to withstand injuries and setbacks this season as the Gunners have remained at or near the top of the table. Once again, that is going to be tested.
Arsenal will have to play the rest of this season without the services of the injured Theo Walcott:
3. Chelsea (43)
Chelsea's inconsistent attack has been in good form as of late. Jose Mourinho's side has picked up seven combined goals in their past three matches across all competitions.
They had scored just two combined goals in the three matches prior to that stretch. If the Blues can keep their attack rolling, this team will challenge for the title.
4. Liverpool (39)
Liverpool responded to grabbing the top spot in the EPL table by losing back-to-back outings against Manchester City and Chelsea.
The Reds have rebounded to beat their past two opponents in all competitions by the combined score of 4-0. Still, the Reds will have to prove they can handle top-flight competition before we get carried away on any title conversations.
5. Everton (38)
Everton have missed a chance to climb up the table. They've gone just 1-1-1 in their past three Premier League matches, and that stretch has come against Sunderland, Southampton and Stoke City, which is not exactly a murderers' row of opponents.
6. Tottenham Hotspur (37)
Now that the dust has settled after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham are in sixth and are just two points behind Liverpool for a spot in the top four.
Still, Tottenham are coming off of a 2-0 loss to Arsenal in a match where they were clearly outclassed. This team will be limited by talent issues no matter who the coach is.
7. Manchester United (34)
Manchester United threatened to make a run up the table. They won four straight and looked ready to extend that run.
Then the Red Devils dropped a 2-1 contest to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup following that loss.
The defending league champs are going to have a hard time even making the top four of the EPL.
8. Newscastle United (33)
Newcastle United have dropped three straight matches across all competitions, and they return to EPL play by hosting Manchester City.
During their three-match losing streak, Newcastle have scored just one goal. They are going to be in serious trouble with that kind of anemic scoring pace trying to battle with Manchester City.
9. Swansea City (21)
Swansea City have had a solid start to the new year. On Jan. 1, they lost, but it was an admirable effort in a 2-3 defeat to Manchester City. They then went into Old Trafford and knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup.
Now they will return to action in the Premier League with another match at Old Trafford against the Red Devils.
10. Hull City (23)
Hull City were trying to build on momentum captured in a 6-0 win over Fulham. In the end, that offensive outburst appears to be more of a function of Fulham's nosedive than Hull City's ascension.
In their last EPL game, Hull City were easily blanked 2-0 by Liverpool.
11. Southampton (27)
Southampton could be in serious trouble. The Knights were one of the Premier League's early surprises. That was spurred by a fabulously stingy defense. That defense is fading.
In their past four EPL matches, Southampton have gone 1-0-3. In the three losses, they have allowed eight goals.
12. Aston Villa (23)
Aston Villa earned their first win in nearly a month with a 1-0 triumph over Sunderland.
Although a victory over Sunderland isn't exactly going to send the fanbase into a delirious celebration, it was a much-needed result for the slumping side.
13. Stoke City (22)
Coming off of a two-match stretch in EPL play where they lost both and allowed a combined eight goals, Stoke City posted a solid 1-1 draw with Everton. They followed that up with a 2-1 win over Leicester City in the FA Cup.
Now, let's see if Stoke can build on this as they are set to face both Liverpool and Chelsea in their next three matches.
14. West Bromwich Albion (21)
West Brom are reportedly close to hiring a new boss. That much we know, and that's about it:
Well, we also know this team threw away any momentum from their fourth EPL win of the season by falling 0-2 to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.
15. Cardiff City (18)
Cardiff City pulled themselves up from the bottom three, and they are being led by a manager who is undefeated on the job:
With West Ham rolling into Cardiff City Stadium for Cardiff's next Premier League contest, they have a chance to keep this new positive momentum rolling.
16. Crystal Palace (17)
Crystal Palace's recent play indicates the former cellar dwellers have what it takes to avoid finishing the season in the bottom three.
Palace had a solid showing in a 0-1 defeat at Etihad against Manchester City and then earned a point with a 1-1 draw against Norwich. They will now return to Premier League action with an away match against Tottenham and will do so off of a 2-0 triumph over West Brom in the FA Cup.
17. Sunderland (14)
Sunderland are hanging in and not giving up on the season. They are locked in the basement of the table, but they are showing signs of improvement.
Sunderland are 1-1-1 in their past three EPL games, and that includes a win over Everton.
18. Norwich City (20)
Norwich City have done an excellent job of displaying their true form in recent play.
In their past two matches, they have posted 1-1 draws. Those have come against Crystal Palace and Fulham.
Norwich are in 15th place in the table, but they will be hard-pressed not to fall lower as the year progresses.
19. West Ham United (15)
West Ham opened up 2014 with a golden opportunity to pick up three points and turn things around. Instead, they fell 1-2 to Fulham and this club's chances of pulling itself out of the bottom three are looking bleak.
20. Fulham (16)
Did Fulham finally hit bottom? After a stretch of play where they seemed intent on completely humiliating themselves, Fulham has won two of their past three Premier League matches. Of course, the one they lost was a 0-6 embarrassment to Hull.
With Sunderland up next for Fulham, the race for the bottom of the table will soon get a little clearer.
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