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Week 3 Power Rankings

01 September 2010

Just when we were starting to get a feel for the young season, the international break came along and disrupted things. Nonetheless, here’s where things stand after the third match day.

1. Chelsea (3-0-0, 9 points, +14 GD)
Last week: 1st | Result: Won 2-0 v. Stoke City
What’s happened to Chelsea, who couldn’t win 6-0 for the first time all season. The injuries suffered by Frank Lampard and John Terry that caused them to miss England’s two Euro 2012 qualifiers are a bit worrying, but the prognosis was good for both and Carlo Ancelotti has good depth at his disposal.
Next up: at West Ham (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

2. Arsenal (2-1-0, 7 points, +7 GD)
Last week: 3rd | Result: Won 2-1 at Blackburn
Ewood Park has been a rough place for the Gunners to visit in recent years, but they broke that hoodoo with a gutty win in Week 3. Now Arsène Wenger has to worry about Theo Walcott, as the in-form winger looks set to miss up to six weeks with the ankle injury suffered with England in Switzerland.
Next up: Bolton (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

3. Manchester United (2-1-0, 7 points, +5 GD)
Last week: 4th | Result: Won 2-0 v. West Ham
Wayne Rooney scored his first goal since March in United’s comfortable home win over West Ham, but it came with a giant asterisk on account of it being from the spot. Since then, however, Rooney turned in a pair of strong performances for England and appears to have gotten untracked finally in the new season.
Next up: at Everton (Saturday, September 11 – 7:45 am ET)

4. Wolverhampton (1-2-0, 5 points, +1 GD)
Last week: 6th | Drew 1-1 v. Newcastle
While Mick McCarthy’s men are much more likely to be fighting for Premier League survival than a Champion League spot come spring, it’s been a sensational start to the season for them. A result against Fulham on Saturday when Wolves visit Craven Cottage, would help allay concerns about a looming dropoff in form.
Next up: at Fulham (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

5. Bolton (1-2-0, 5 points, +2 GD)
Last week: 7th | Result: Drew 2-2 v. Birmingham City
Down two goals and down a man, Bolton showed some real fight in coming back to rescue a point against Birmingham City. The early vibes at the Reebok are good, as the fans are enjoying some encouraging results, but they could be in for a harsh comedown in the capital this weekend against Arsenal.
Next up: at Arsenal (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

6. Birmingham City (1-2-0, 5 points, +1 GD)
Last week: 8th | Results: Drew 2-2 at Bolton
The Blues have to feel as though they threw away two points at Bolton, leading by two and enjoying a man advantage. The past week’s rumored unrest at the club won’t help matters, but they can look to last season’s pair of draws against Liverpool as all the inspiration they need going into Sunday’s match.
Next up: Liverpool (Sunday, September 12 – 11:00 am ET)

7. Manchester City (1-1-1, 4 points, +2 GD)
Last week: 2nd | Result: Lost 1-0 at Sunderland
What should’ve been a comfortable away win at Sunderland turned into a nightmare thanks to a combination of Carlos Tévez’s diabolical miss, a hot opposing keeper, and another Micah Richards brain cramp. Suddenly, City’s hot start doesn’t look so great, and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back.
Next up: Blackburn (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

8. Liverpool (1-1-1, 4 points, -2 GD)
Last week: 12th | Result: Won 1-0 v. West Bromwich
It wasn’t pretty, but Fernando Torres popped up at a great time to get the goal the Reds needed to secure all three points against 10-man West Brom. With the Javier Mascherano situation now resolved, Roy Hodgson has had two weeks to figure out how to improve on Liverpool’s disastrous form in their previous league away match.
Next up: at Birmingham City (Sunday, September 12 – 11:00 am ET)

9. Tottenham (1-1-1, 4 points, +0 GD)
Last week: 5th | Result: Lost 1-0 v. Wigan
Calling Spurs’ home defeat to Wigan a shock wouldn’t be doing it justice, as the question on most fans minds entering White Hart Lane that day was probably by how many their club would win. Costly injuries to Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe while on international duty are a huge blow, but Luka Modric could return.
Next up: at West Brom (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

10. Fulham (0-3-0, 3 points, 0 GD)
Last week: 9th | Result: Drew 2-2 at Blackpool
Mark Hughes’s knack for earning draws hasn’t become a problem yet, but you’ll definitely hear some grumbling from Fulham supporters if their club fail to win all three points this weekend. It will be interesting to see how Mark Schwarzer performs in goal for them after his desired move to Arsenal failed to materialize.
Next up: Wolverhampton (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

11. Newcastle (1-1-1, 4 points, +3 GD)
Last week: 10th | Result: Drew 1-1 at Wolverhampton
The Toon Army probably would’ve felt much better about that point at Molineux if their expectations hadn’t been raised rather unreasonably by the thrashing of Villa the week before. It’s a sign of real maturity for Joey Barton that he refused to take the bait when Wolves made kicking lumps in him a priority.
Next up: Blackpool (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

12. Blackburn (1-0-2, 3 points, -1 GD)
Last week: 11th | Lost 2-1 v. Arsenal
Sam Allardyce felt aggrieved to have come away with nothing to show for a decent performance against Arsenal — the second straight time the Blackburn boss had experienced that emotion. It only gets tougher for Rovers, as they face the daunting task of trying to get something out of a trip to Eastlands.
Next up: at Manchester City (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

13. Aston Villa (2-0-1, 6 points -2 GD)
Last week: 14th | Result: Won 1-0 v. Everton
The win against Everton papered over the cracks that had emerged with that disastrous showing at Newcastle the previous week, but the result flattered the hosts. New boss Gerard Houlier is expected to take charge on Monday night, and he could be in for a rough re-introduction to the English game at the hands of Stoke.
Next up: at Stoke City (Monday, September 13 – 3:00 pm ET)

14. Wigan (1-0-2, 3 points, -9 GD)
Last week: 20th | Result: Won 1-0 at Tottenham
After the shambolic start to the season, Wigan being sent to the site of their 9-1 drubbing last season seemed like a cruel joke from the schedule makers, but the joke was on Spurs. Dave Whelan’s faith in Roberto Martínez looks well justified after an outstanding performance that should’ve seen the Latics win 2-0.
Next up: Sunderland (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

15. Sunderland (1-1-1, 4 points, 0 GD)
Last week: 18th | Result: Won 1-0 v. Manchester City
It looked pretty dire at intermission two weeks ago for the Black Cats, with the only positive news being Carlos Tévez’s remarkable letoff, but whatever Steve Bruce said or did at half time did the trick. Sunderland looked ridiculously better in the second half and while they didn’t create any real chances, that did get them three points.
Next up: at Wigan (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

16. Blackpool (1-1-1, 4 points, -2 GD)
Last week: 15th | Result: Drew 2-2 v. Fulham
Getting a point in their Premier League home debut was a nice bounceback for the Seasiders, even if it came against a Fulham side known for poor away performances. Loanee Luke Varney made an instant impact, causing a Fulham own goal and then scoring one himself, as Blackpool nearly celebrated a victory.
Next up: at Newcastle (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

17. West Brom (1-0-2, 3 points, -6 GD)
Last week: 13th | Result: Lost 1-0 at Liverpool
Roberto DiMatteo felt it unfair that his side left Anfield without anything to show for a solid effort last time out, as they were undone by a bit of skill from Fernando Torres. With suddenly injury-riddled Spurs coming to The Hawthorns on Saturday, they’ll have another chance at claiming a major scalp.
Next up: Tottenham (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

18. Everton (0-1-2, 1 point, -2 GD)
Last week: 17th | Result: Lost 1-0 at Aston Villa
One point from three matches and a showdown with United looming means Everton are staring down at the abyss of another season-wrecking start to their league campaign. At this point, David Moyes still could draw encouragement from a good showing at Villa Park and the fact they won this fixture 3-1 last season.
Next up: Manchester United (Saturday, September 11 – 7:45 am ET)

19. Stoke City (0-0-3, 0 points, -4 GD)
Last week: 16th | Result: Lost 2-0 at Chelsea
It’s been a fairly comfortable first couple of seasons in the Premier League for the Potters, but that joyride may be at an end. Suddenly, Stoke City find themselves pointless after three game played, and with up-and-down Aston Villa coming to the Britannia for a match where Tony Pulis has to feel pressure to get a result.
Next up: Aston Villa (Monday, September 13 – 3:00 pm ET)

20. West Ham (0-0-3, 0 points, -6 GD)
Last week: 19th | Result: Lost 2-0 at Manchester United
Avram Grant is at the top of every sack race watch list after some very poor showings from West Ham to begin the season, though to be fair, two of those losses came at Villa Park and Old Trafford. Let’s hope The Davids have better sense than to pull the trigger on a managerial change if the Hammers lose to Chelsea.
Next up: Chelsea (Saturday, September 11 – 10:00 am ET)

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