While most of the big boys in the Premier League avoided one another this week—the biggest matchup is Manchester City traveling to Newcastle on Sunday—there are still plenty of implications across the table in this week's matchups.
Will places atop the table be shuffled? Will top-four contenders flourish or flounder? Will the relegation zone look any differently heading into next week?
As always, there were winners and losers. Let's break down each alongside this week's updated BPL table.
|Premier League Table|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||21||4||9||8||23||28||-5||21|
|17||West Ham United||21||4||6||11||21||30||-9||18|
Big Winner: Sunderland
Both literally and figuratively, Sunderland was a big winner, absolutely creaming Fulham 4-1. The win not only propelled them up a spot on the Premier League table, it also put them just one point behind Cardiff City and West Ham.
Sunderland was paced by Adam Johnson's hat trick, while Clint Dempsey's return to Fulham on loan was less than memorable. The bottom of the Premier League table is getting tight, and Sunderland's big win over Fulham indicates that they won't be going into the relegation zone quietly.
Gus Poyet has this team moving in the right direction.
Big Winner: West Ham
Welcome back, Andy Carroll.
While the big striker didn't tally against Cardiff City, Carlton Cole and Mark Noble did, as West Ham earned a crucial 2-0 win against floundering Cardiff City. The win moved West Ham up to 17th place on the table, putting them past Cardiff City based on goal differential.
With Carroll now back in action, the Hammers will hope to make a second-half surge and avoid the beckoning relegation zone. Saturday's result was a good step in that direction.
Big Losers: Fulham and Cardiff City
No surprises here. Cardiff City sunk into the relegation zone after another loss, and they have now won just once in their last six matches. It's hard to imagine the sacking of Malky Mackay hasn't had an effect on this team, and Vincent Tan's already controversial ownership will hit a fever pitch with supporters if they are ultimately relegated.
Meanwhile, Fulham continue to disappoint. While they've taken six points in their last four matches, they've followed each win with an embarrassing loss. At this point in the season, Fulham are far from a sure thing to avoid relegation.