The Premier League is ‘officially’ back! While last week was the actual opening weekend, fans were treated with the first real upset of the season this week. We are 2/38ths through the most entertaining league in the world and oh boy did the Premier League deliver this weekend! Not only were there goals galore, audiences were even treated to Harry Kane scoring his first August goal. While Manchester City, no doubt, were the favourites coming into the season after their dominance last season, the rest of the field is pretty shaken up.
Premier League Power Rankings – Week 2 (August 18-20)
1. Manchester City
No surprises here. Manchester City are the top team in the league, and it is going to take a mighty effort to prevent the Cityzens from repeating as Premier League champions.
In year’s past, Crystal Palace away would have been a banana skin for Liverpool, and they were by no means a guaranteed three points. This was a real test, and Liverpool appear to have passed. Virgil van Dijk proved his worth and Alison has yet to concede in two league games after their lofty £75 million and €75 million price tags.
The boss was very impressed with the big man 🇳🇱 https://t.co/YjO78XOGP7
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) August 20, 2018
3. Tottenham Hotspur
Two wins in two games. Harry Kane curse broken. Kieran Trippier is the new Gareth Bale. Tottenham haven’t looked like they needed any new signings – so far – and will look build a strong top four campaign.
Played host to Arsenal to Saturday and Marcos Alonso came to the rescue once again to capture three points. Newcastle, Bournemouth and Cardiff City in the next three games provide Chelsea with a chance for a flawless start five games in.
5. Manchester United
The Red Devils are not in trouble, yet. The loss against Brighton stings for sure, but it is not cause for too much concern. On paper, this squad is stacked with talent and have a legendary manager to lead them. United have a great opportunity to put any doubt about their mentality to bed when they host Tottenham this weekend. On the other hand, a loss could really damage Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United and put them in a tough situation.
Yes, Arsenal sit 17th in the table. Yes, they were blanked against Manchester City and failed to get a result at Chelsea. But Unai Emery and Arsenal have favourable fixtures upcoming in West Ham, Cardiff City, and Newcastle. A poor start against two ‘top six’ clubs could be overlooked with good results.
The Hornets have six points in two games after beating Burnley away and Brighton at home. Both results are looking quite good right now, and if Roberto Pereyra can continue his dominance, goals should not be a problem. They could challenge Everton for a seventh-place finish.
Roberto Pereyra’s game by numbers against Brighton:
Goals – 2
Take-ons completed – 5/10
Balls recovered – 12
Fouls suffered – 3
— Jake Sandy (@JakeSandyFC) August 11, 2018
After one of the better summers in their club’s history, Everton were able to bring in a haul of fresh faces. So far, Richarlison looks the best of the bunch, with two goals in the opening game and a strong performance against Burnley this past week. If Phil Jagielka hadn’t been sent off against Wolves, the Toffees might have been sitting pretty with six points.
9. Leicester City
Leicester will feel hard done by last week against Manchester United as they arguably played a better game, but this week were largely outplayed by Wolves. The Foxes did pick up 3 points but will be without striker Jamie Vardy after he picked up a red card for a bad tackle.
Starting their Europa League journey might have already shown its toll on the squad as Burnley have only taken one point in the opening two games. The loss to Watford was surprising, given Burnley’s strong defence and record at home.
The Cherries actually look quite good. Wins against Cardiff City and West Ham may not hold too much weight, but their first test could come with Everton visiting Saturday. If not, it will certainly come when they travel to Chelsea the game after.
12. Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton looked poor against Watford, but some of that may have been how good Watford were. They bounced in a big way with the upset of the weekend. They knocked off Manchester United at home, which has to be the result of the season thus far.
13. Crystal Palace
Palace continued the league wide trend of one win and one loss through two games. They shutout Fulham and were promptly were shutout by Liverpool at home. Wilfried Zaha is the man to watch, and his form could ultimately decide Crystal Palace’s fate.
14. Wolverhampton Wanderers
There was undoubtedly a lot of pressure on Wolves coming in to the season. They dominated the Championship last year and brought in plenty of quality players to bolster their squad. Their draw last week against Everton seemed impressive, but their loss to ten-man Leicester puts them in a bit of trouble.
Similar to Wolves, Newcastle had night and day performances over the two weeks. Their loss to Tottenham may have looked too bright because this week’s draw at Cardiff was beyond poor. Brazilian play maker Kenedy had a chance to win the game in stoppage time but had his weak effort saved.
The second of the newly promoted clubs, Fulham are still in search of a point after two games. Losses to Crystal Palace and Tottenham might look okay in May, but for right now Fulham need to bounce back. Championship Player of the Year Ryan Sessengnon also looks isolated and a bit off the pace.
Drawing to Burnley at home and losing to Everton away are okay for Southampton. They pulled off a miracle job last year and stayed up, barely. The signing of Danny Ings on loan may just prove its worth, after his first goal for the club against Everton.
18. Cardiff City
New boys Cardiff City looked dire after their opening defeat to Bournemouth, but after a stunning point Saturday against Newcastle, are looking slightly better. Still the weakest squad on paper, Cardiff have quite the uphill battle to stay up this season. Also, shout out to their keeper Neil Etheridge for his penalty save to secure the result.
Last week were shutout by a dominant Chelsea side, and this week were blown away by the Manchester City everyone expected to see this season. The reason Huddersfield Town sit ahead of West Ham is their upcoming fixtures. They host Cardiff next week before facing Crystal Palace, Fulham, and West Ham in the coming months. Those should provide more than enough opportunity to pick up points along the way.
20. West Ham
Last week’s tough assignment of Liverpool could have been just fine with a result at home against Bournemouth. But giving up the second goal in the 66th minute proved too much. The club must look ahead to a rough stretch of fixtures. In their next 11 games, West Ham play eight games against teams that finished in the top half last season. Manuel Pellegrini needs to turn things around quickly before they finish digging their own grave.