If you are looking for a tightly contested race in the sports world, the English Premier League is the place for you.
It can’t get much closer than it is on the top of the EPL table right now, with a mere two points separating the top three teams (Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea). Furthermore, if you look down the standings, there is only one point that separates Everton from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.
It’s even close at the bottom of the table with relegation hanging in the balance, and there are plenty of dangerous clubs throughout the league.
With that in mind, let’s dig into an updated Premier League power rankings through Matchday 22 for all 20 teams.
1. Manchester City (50 points)
Manchester City may be looking up at Arsenal in the standings right now, but things have taken a dramatic turn for the better after a shaky start to the year.
They haven’t lost a match since Nov. 10 against Sunderland and handled business against Cardiff City 4-2 in the most recent contest.
What’s more, as David Mooney of ESPN FC points out, arguably the EPL’s best team will be getting even healthier going forward:
However, from a City point of view, the second leg of the Capital One Cup semifinal could be a good opportunity to get some recently injured players back to fitness—Sergio Aguero has yet to start since his return, so he could be in line to play an hour or so, while Stevan Jovetic is reported to be ready to make a comeback.
2. Chelsea (49 points)
Chelsea’s impressive defense showed up once again in their 3-1 victory over Manchester United in a contest that surely had fans of the Blues fired up.
The win was the fifth in a row for the EPL’s third-place team. While Eden Hazard has drawn plenty of headlines, it was Samuel Eto’o who sunk Manchester United with a hat-trick. If he can continue to play at an elite level alongside Hazard and the formidable defense, the rest of the EPL will be on notice.
3. Arsenal (51 points)
Arsenal deserve plenty of credit for battling through a litany of injuries, but losing Theo Walcott for an extended period of time certainly hurts.
Mesut Ozil is trying to establish a consistent level of production as well, but all Arsenal continue to do is win. In fact, the Jan. 18 victory over Fulham marked the fifth consecutive game that they have come out with a critical three points.
For now, the EPL’s top team standings-wise checks in at the No. 3 position.
4. Tottenham Hotspur (43 points)
Things could have gone south for Tottenham Hotspur following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas, but fortunately for their fans, they have not.
The Spurs have had some issues on the defensive end, but another victory over Swansea was a critical way to follow up the win against Crystal Palace. If Tottenham Hotspur can somehow pull off the win in the upcoming game with Manchester City, they could find themselves close to the top of the table.
5. Liverpool (43 points)
Liverpool continue to hang around the top of the standings, but a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa did nothing to help their cause at cracking the top three. Picking up wins is the only way this squad is going to find itself competing for a title.
As long as Luis Suarez continues to play like the superstar he is, though, it is always a possibility.
6. Everton (42 points)
Everton may be the surprise team of the Premier League, but even with their impressive play of late, a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion has to be seen as a disappointment.
At the very least, though, it stretched their unbeaten streak to four games. However, the upcoming schedule will get difficult, meaning Everton will either play their way into contention or see themselves tumble down the standings.
Still, it’s hard to argue against the club with the fewest losses in the EPL.
7. Manchester United (37 points)
Manchester United are certainly looking up at a number of teams in the table for their status as one of the most famous clubs in the Premier League.
A 3-1 loss to Chelsea means Man United have lost two of the last three times they stepped on the pitch. They could certainly use some midfielders out there, but the potential return from injury of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie would be an even bigger boost.
Time is running out on Manchester United to make a serious push toward the top of the standings considering how many strong teams are ahead of them.
8. Newcastle United (36 points)
Newcastle United were able to stop some of their recent bleeding with a much-needed 3-1 victory over West Ham United.
The frustrating thing from their perspective is the reality that the talent is in place to play with many of the top teams, but inconsistency has led to crippling losses. Perhaps they can use the win over West Ham to establish some type of momentum.
9. Aston Villa (24 points)
Just when things were looking down for Aston Villa, an impressive 2-2 draw with Liverpool injects some optimism into the club.
The defense battled with Suarez throughout the match, and Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke found the back of the net. Establishing more consistency from the goalscorers up front will be critical if the draw is going to turn into any type of momentum.
10. Southampton (31 points)
Southampton are a mid-tier squad at this point in the Premier League, and it shows with the inconsistency of their results.
A 2-2 draw with lowly Sunderland won’t help matters much going forward.
11. Norwich City (23 points)
Look everyone, a win.
Norwich City picked up their first victory in eight games with a 1-0 result against Hull City. However, there were multiple draws mixed in that stretch, and there is enough talent in place that picking up victories shouldn’t be as much of a struggle going forward.
However, Norwich City struggle to score more than almost anyone in the Premier League, which is certainly a concern.
12. West Bromwich Albion (22 points)
The question now becomes whether West Bromwich Albion can avoid relegation.
A 1-1 draw with Everton will help matters in that respect, and as long as there isn’t a complete collapse, they shouldn’t have too much to worry about. Still, like many teams near the middle or bottom of the table, goalscoring isn’t West Bromwich’s forte.
It may need to be if they want to climb higher in these power rankings.
13. Hull City (23 points)
Norwich’s first win in quite some time came at the expense of Hull City, who certainly can’t be happy about the 1-0 defeat.
Sure, not many thought this team would compete near the top of the table, but there is a razor-thin margin between their current spot at No. 11 and a fall all the way to the 16 range. If the inconsistent defense shows up in the near future, though, there is room to climb in the standings.
14. Stoke City (22 points)
Losing to Crystal Palace is never in the cards of a game plan if you want to climb in the Premier League power rankings, but that is exactly what Stoke City did in their most recent match.
Stoke City find themselves squarely in the middle of a crowd in the table, but the struggling defense and lack of multiple consistent goalscoring threats are concerning. To make matters worse, the schedule doesn’t get any easier in the near future.
15. Sunderland (18 points)
Sunderland took their momentum from a Jan. 11 victory over Fulham and turned it into a 2-2 draw with the likes of Southampton.
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that result from Sunderland’s perspective, but another three-point result would have helped in their efforts to create some separation from the relegation zone.
It took a while for Sunderland to even pick up a victory, but if they continue to play well, they may be able to play their way out of the bottom three of the standings.
16. Crystal Palace (20 points)
Checking in at a narrow two points ahead of Sunderland in the table but behind them in the power rankings are Crystal Palace.
The good news for Crystal Palace is they played their way out of the bottom of the standings in the table with a critical 1-0 victory over Stoke City. The argument can be made that Crystal Palace deserve to be higher in these rankings, but the play has been too inconsistent of late to trust the latest result.
Another win or two would be critical with so many clubs bunched near the bottom of the standings.
17. Swansea City (21 points)
Another tough-to-swallow loss against one of the better teams in the Premier League has Swansea City dreading the relegation discussion that may be headed their way.
Swansea City played better than the 3-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur would indicate, but at the end of the day, it was another defeat. It seems like ages ago that this inconsistent club knocked off Manchester United 2-0.
18. Fulham (19 points)
Fulham’s defense has been arguably the worst in the entire Premier League, and it again failed to show up against Arsenal.
What’s worse, the offense didn’t show up either, which is why the final score was 2-0. If the defense is fixed quickly, Fulham could very well be on their way to relegation even with the offensive firepower they have on the roster.
19. West Ham United (18 points)
Just when things were looking up for West Ham United after an impressive 2-0 victory over Cardiff City, they dropped a toughly fought match to Newcastle United 3-1.
Sure, not many expected West Ham to actually beat Newcastle, but the loss hurts in the race to avoid relegation. Andy Carroll’s return will at least help going forward.
20. Cardiff City (18 points)
Cardiff City have the unfortunate recognition of being last in the table and last in these power rankings.
Yet another loss was the result of their most recent match against Manchester City, as the defense allowed four goals to counteract the two that Cardiff managed to scrape together. There is definitely some young talent in place here, but it has yet to come together consistently on the pitch.