Premier League Week 34 Table: Updated EPL Outlook After Weekend Action

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistApril 13, 2014

SWANSEA, WALES - APRIL 13:  Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea attempts a shot on goal as goalkeeper Michel Vorm of Swansea is caught out of position during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

The Premier League plot continues to thicken with the season nearing its conclusion. Heading into Week 34, most of the EPL table is close, yet distant.

Only seven of the league's 20 clubs boast positive point differentials. The richer teams are separated from the EPL's bottom-feeders, who have fallen well out of contention. While an upset pops up here or there to keep things interesting, the top squads hold a strong grasp on the proceedings.

A few squads sit in between in no-man's land, but Week 34 did not help their cause. Many of them are simply hoping to keep up appearances with four weeks remaining.

With Week 34 in the books, here's an updated look at the EPL table heading into the upcoming slate.

EPL Table - Week 35
3Manchester City3222455470
6Tottenham Hotspur3418610060
7Manchester United33176101857
9Newcastle United3414416-1446
10Stoke City34111013-1043
11West Ham United3310716-737
12Crystal Palace3311418-1537
13Hull City3310617-636
14Aston Villa339717-1434
15Swansea City348916-533
16West Bromwich Albion3361512-1133
17Norwich City348818-2732
19Cardiff City347819-3429


Liverpool, Chelsea Fight for First

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers congratulates Philippe Coutinho as he is substituted during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Pho
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool and Chelsea created some breathing room atop the EPL table as they fight for first place.

The Reds deserve the credit, as they bested third-place Manchester City in a pivotal matchup on Sunday. Liverpool generated a six-point swing by defeating the Blues with a Philippe Coutinho goal during the 78th minute.

The clutch victory puts the red-hot Reds in the driver's seat. According to ESPN's Paul Carr, their title odds bolted up to 52 percent with their 10th straight victory:

Chelsea, meanwhile, held their own with a 1-0 victory over Swansea. Despite accumulating 26 shots on goal, they needed 68 minutes before Demba Ba broke the scoring drought with the match's only score.

According to the Premier League's Twitter page, Chelsea captain John Terry said his squad kept its eye on Liverpool's earlier game. Yet he doesn't mind that his rivals also emerged victorious:

On April 27, Liverpool and Chelsea will compete in a match that is almost certain to bear major title implications. Perhaps Terry would prefer each club enter the contest at its strongest to formulate an epic contest.


Middle Teams Stumble

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12: Kim Bo-Kyung of Cardiff lifts the ball over the tackle of Jack Cork of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Cardiff City at St Mary's Stadium on April 12, 2014 in Southampton, Englan
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Southampton fell on the receiving end of the weekend's most surprising loss, falling 1-0 to 19th-place Cardiff City. Despite the Saints dominating time of possession, Juan Cala found the net during the second half to secure the monumental upset. 

With Everton and Manchester United lingering as two of their final four opponents, the Saints are in danger of ending their campaign on a down note. Meanwhile, Cardiff boosted their chances of avoiding relegation with their first victory since March 8. 

Now nine points behind Manchester United, whose fixture with Hull City was postponed, Southampton has likely plateaued in eighth place, although they could fall behind Newcastle United and/or Stoke City. Those two clubs met on Saturday, with Stoke City getting the upper hand in another 1-0 affair. Erik Pieters shot what appeared to be an attempted cross, yet it turned into the match's lone goal to keep Stoke in the top 10.

One of the EPL's biggest overachievers, Newcastle has fallen off the map with four consecutive losses. They're now three points ahead of Stoke in ninth place.