TSN.ca Barclays Premier League Power Rankings: Week 1

TSN.ca Staff
8/22/2013 3:26:03 PM
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TSN.ca presents its first weekly power rankings for the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League staff. Rankings were weighted evenly between separate lists made by TSN Radio host and soccer analyst Gareth Wheeler as well as TSN.ca's soccer editors.

1. Manchester City (4-0 win over Newcastle United).

Highest ranking: 1

Lowest ranking: 2

Manuel Pellegrini promised a more open style of play and his new troops delivered. City beat Newcastle 4-0 in a game that really wasn't in doubt from David Silva's opening marker in the sixth minute. Sergio Aguero, who battled injuries last season, scored on a great run and Yaya Toure picked up the highlight goal of the game from a free-kick. It wasn't all positive for City, as defender Vincent Kompany left the game with injury and is expected to miss a few games. They will have to reshape their defence minus their captain, who does a great job marshalling the backline.

2. Manchester United (4-1 win over Swansea City).

Highest ranking: 1

Lowest ranking: 3

The Champions began their defence with a very convincing 4-1 victory over Swansea City. Robin van Persie picked up right where he left off with a two goal performance. Wayne Rooney's future with the team might still be in doubt, but even he looked good when he entered the game as a second half substitute. David Moyes' team has a rough opening schedule but were ready right out of the gate.

3. Chelsea (2-0 win over Hull, 2-1 win over Aston Villa)

Highest ranking: 2

Lowest ranking: 3

Jose Mourinho's new side earned victories over Hull City and Aston Villa in the opening week of the season. They looked exactly as good as advertised, especially in the first victory over Hull, but in both cases wasted chances that could have put both game more out of reach. Lots of players played well for Chelsea but Frank Lampard has probably been their best player over the six point start to the season.

4. Tottenham Hotspur (1-0 win over Crystal Palace)

Highest ranking: 4

Lowest ranking: 6

With Gareth Bale still on the roster but not available for action, Spurs earned a narrow 1-0 victory over newly promoted Crystal Palace. Tottenham had trouble finding space behind the Palace back-four and scored their only marker from the penalty spot. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jermain Defoe both had clear chances to put the game away but neither man did the job. Things could be tough going forward minus a finisher like Bale.

5. Liverpool (1-0 win over Stoke City)

Highest ranking: 4

Lowest ranking: 6

A dominant performance against Stoke City in their first game almost turned into a heartbreaking draw, but thanks to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet a late penalty did not crash the party. Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal for Liverpool who despite not getting the goal to ice the game, looked very solid picking up their first victory of the season.

6. West Ham United (2-0 win over Cardiff City)

Highest ranking: 5

Lowest ranking: 10

Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan ensured a happy opening day for the Hammers and their supporters. With a goal in the first 13 minutes, West Ham was able to take control of the contest and though they didn't score the put away goal until the 76th, were never really in danger of dropping the opening contest.

7. Aston Villa (3-1 win over Arsenal, 2-1 loss to Chelsea)

Highest ranking: 6

Lowest ranking: 10

Lost in all of the conversation about how bad Arsenal was in defeat is that Aston Villa dominated their 3-1 opening victory. Christian Benteke benefitted from two chances at the penalty spot, he converted one outright and followed up and buried the rebound on the other. A controversial Arsenal red card also handed Aston Villa an advantage in man power which they eventually turned into the third goal of the game. Villa lost their second game, a midweek contest to Chelsea, where they were once again better than expected.

8. Southampton (1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion)

Highest ranking: 5

Lowest ranking: 12

Rickie Lambert converted from the penalty spot to send his team to a deserved opening victory over West Brom. Before the winner was scored, Southampton controlled the majority of the play and looked close to scoring a few times before finally earning the penalty that won the game.

9. Everton (2-2 draw with Norwich City)

Highest ranking: 7

Lowest ranking: 11

Roberto Martinez' new side looked great in an offensive showdown with Norwich City that ended in a 2-2 draw. Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman scored for Everton in four minute stretch and looked to have secured a 2-1 victory. Steven Pienaar, Nikica Jelavic and Marouane Fellaini all looked great for the Toffees, which bodes well as long as all of those players are still with Everton at the end of the transfer window.

10. Fulham (1-0 win over Sunderland)

Highest ranking: 8

Lowest ranking: 13

The Cottagers had one chance to steal a 1-0 victory from Sunderland. In the 52nd minute, Pajtim Kasami nodded home a Damien Duff corner and Fulham hung on for the points. Defender Kieran Richardson left in the 19th minute with an injury which would be a massive blow if he was hurt long term. It wasn't a great performance but a victory, which is more important.

11. Norwich City (2-2 draw with Everton)

Highest ranking: 9

Lowest ranking: 12

After splashing a team record amount for Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Norwich watched their new man pay off with the game tying goal in a 2-2 draw with Everton. Opening goal notwithstanding, van Wolfswinkel was a major part of Norwich's offensive chances throughout the game. They should be happy with the point in their opening contest.

12. Stoke City (1-0 loss to Liverpool)

Highest ranking: 11

Lowest ranking: 17

Mark Hughes' new side is trying to play a more open and less physical style of play than has become the reputation of Stoke sides in the past. Though they failed to score, they also kept a very game Liverpool side from opening them up and had a chance to at least earn a draw on a penalty at the death. Keeper Asmir Begovic was solid for the Potters as he usually is when called into action.

13. West Bromwich Albion (1-0 loss to Southampton)

Highest ranking: 13

Lowest ranking: 14

Sometimes the difference between success and struggle is conceding a 90th minute penalty; such was the case for West Brom in the opener. For almost the entire game it looked as though they were going to escape with a point in a game where they were outplayed. Unfortunately Youssouf Mulumbu committed a foul in the area, leading to a penalty and the only goal in a 1-0 loss to Southampton. They were that close.

14. Swansea City (4-1 loss to Manchester United)

Highest ranking: 12

Lowest ranking: 16

The Swans looked ready to run with the Champs for the first 20 minutes of their match, before Robin van Persie opened the flood gates in a 4-1 defeat. New signing Wilfried Bony came on at halftime and eventually netted a consolation marker for Swansea in the 81st minute, but it was way too late to save Michael Laudrup's side from an opening defeat. Swansea needs to improve in the final third of the field.

15. Arsenal (3-1 loss to Aston Villa)

Highest ranking: 11

Lowest ranking: 19

Two penalties conceded, one red card committed and no real fire shown either offensively or defensively, would sum up how poorly the opening match went for the Gunners. Though some of the calls could be in question, there is no question that Aston Villa controlled everything in the 3-1 loss. The only amazing thing about the match is that six minutes in, Arsenal took the lead. The hope that goal created quickly dissipated into a rough opening day loss.

16. Sunderland (1-0 loss to Fulham)

Highest ranking: 15

Lowest ranking: 17

Many chances fell by the wayside for Sunderland in their opening 1-0 loss against Fulham. Jozy Altidore had multiple chances in on goal and Cabral was impressive, but neither could find the finish. Ji Dong-Won also had a late chance to even the score but headed the ball wide just as the clock ticked past the 90 minute mark. Paolo Di Canio's summer remodel looks after one game like it needs just a little fine tuning.

17. Crystal Palace (1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur)

Highest ranking: 13

Lowest ranking: 18

It is a credit to keeper Julian Speroni and the Crystal Palace back-four that they only fell 1-0 to Tottenham. Speroni especially was forced into action numerous times and was only beaten by Roberto Soldado from the penalty spot. It is an encouraging start for a newly promoted side that will have to learn to keep their defensive shape while still pushing the ball forward.

18. Newcastle United (4-0 loss to Manchester City)

Highest ranking: 16

Lowest ranking: 20

There are many that think Alan Pardew is already on the clock heading towards being the first manager fired this season, an opening 4-0 loss to Manchester City isn't going to help. His team never looked like winning in the opening match and Steven Taylor was sent off late in the first half compounding the problem. This was as bad a start to the season as possible for Newcastle, who had to fight hard to avoid relegation last season.

19. Hull City (2-0 loss to Chelsea)

Highest ranking: 16

Lowest ranking: 20

A few scattered chances were produced by Hull in their opener but for the most part they were overrun by Chelsea in a 2-0 defeat. Keeper Allan McGregor turned away a sixth minute penalty from Chelsea, which is probably the high point of the game for the Tigers.

20. Cardiff City (2-0 loss to West Ham United)

Highest ranking: 18

Lowest ranking: 19

It was a rough debut in the Premier League for Cardiff, as they were defeated 2-0 by West Ham. Nicky Maynard had the best look at goal for Cardiff but was not able to finish the chance that would have created a furious finish. Though they gave up a goal early in the first half and late in the second, the side from Wales did look decent, especially in defence in the interim.

David Silva Edin Dzeko (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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