Chelsea’s 7-point lead atop the Premier League table still feels relatively safe, even if Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United continue their table-surging form.
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That makes a set of Power Rankings, designed to combine table situation with form, even tighter, and Spurs have really made life difficult for our rankers.
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The bottom of the table is even closer, with four teams within a single point of the final spot of safety in the Premier League.
Here are this week’s rankings.
| ||20 (19)||Sunderland: “Hello darkness, my old friend.|
I’ve come to talk with you again.”
| ||19 (18)||Crystal Palace: Big Sam Allardyce has famously “never been relegated”, but at this point it looks like he may go down with a better squad than he’s had at a lot of other stops. We’ll see.|
| ||18 (17)||Swansea City: Reinforcements are coming, but the back line is still wobbly.|
| ||17 (20)||Hull City: Tigers looking a lot better under Marco Silva, even in a 2-0 EFL Cup semi loss to Manchester United.|
| ||16 (15)||Watford: The Hornets have not won a league game since Dec. 10, its only PL win since mid-November.|
| ||15 (16)||Middlesbrough: Aitor Karanka’s side looks like a group that can beat the drop, but Boro needs to turn a draw into a win at some point soon.|
| ||14 (11)||Southampton: Claude Puel’s unit is struggling, losers of four-straight in Premier League play. Saints are, however, a result away from the EFL Cup final.|
|13 (14)||Leicester City: The Foxes’ 3-0 loss to Chelsea feels worse than it is, as Leicester has looked better in recent weeks.|
| ||12 (9)||Bournemouth: The 3-0 lead against Arsenal turned into a draw, and the Cherries backed it up with a 3-1 loss to Hull City. Down they go.|
|11 (10)||West Ham United: The Dimitri Payet saga keeps the Irons from rising even higher in the Power Rankings. Michail Antonio is fantastic.|
|10 (12)||Stoke City: The Potters haven’t made the leap to a top-end club, but continue to win most games they should.|
| ||9 (8)||West Bromwich Albion: No shame in getting crushed by red-hot Spurs, though it may serve as a reality check for Tony Pulis and Co.|
| ||8 (13)||Burnley: Three wins in four, with the outlier being a close loss to Man City. Enjoy the high life, Clarets!|
|7 (6)||Manchester City: The mighty have indeed fallen, and how bad might it look after another match against Spurs?|
|6 (7)||Everton: That win over Man City is going to linger for a while, and don’t forget the Toffees took care of Arsenal not too long ago. Six with a bullet?|
| ||5 (4)||Arsenal: It remains hard to get a read on the Gunners, who are still aching for a statement win since back-to-back losses against Man City and Everton.|
| ||4 (3)||Liverpool: The EFL Cup setback doesn’t push them in our rankings, but the Reds were second-best -- not by a ton -- to United on Sunday. That’s enough for a flip-flop.|
| ||3 (4)||Manchester United: The better team in the draw against Liverpool.|
| ||2 (2)||Tottenham Hotspur: Took everything in our power not to boost them, but a 7-point gap is a lot. Beat Man City this week and we’ll revisit the issue.|
|1 (1)||Chelsea: Costa situation is a problem, but you wouldn’t know it from the steadied ship that ushered hosts Leicester to a 3-0 defeat.|