20th – Fulham
Fulham are where they deserve to be right now. With only 3 wins in 22 games, Fulham are destined for relegation back to the championship. Their play has been extremely poor; shooting accuracy is only 33% and they have only kept two clean sheets all season. The top scorer for the team Aleksandar Mitrovic has been great for the team, scoring 8 goals in all 22 games. But it’s simply just not enough. Fulham’s chances of remaining in the top flight are minimal and they are playing for pride at this point (if you could call it that). They must now look to the future transfer market to bring in some more talent. The only glimmers of hope for this team remain with Mitrovic and Andre Schurrle. Maybe the key to success is to build around them? T.H.
19th – Huddersfield
With the least amount of wins (2) and the least goals scored (13), it’s no surprise to find Huddersfield 19th in our power rankings. After an impressive debut season in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship, Huddersfield have failed to build on that success. During the summer, Huddersfield acquired several players, including Terence Kongolo from Monaco for around £20m but few players have shined for the club this season. The club look flaccid up front and often rely on star player Aaron Mooy for goals from midfield. But when Mooy is not firing, it’s hard to see where the inspiration is going to come from at the moment. J.O.
18th – Cardiff City
Cardiff have only secured one win in the last five games (which was a narrow and lucky win for Cardiff). It’s unbelievable that the top goal scorer for the club (Callum Paterson) is a defender and with an abysmal record of 4 goals. Something needs to change for the club. With 41 goals conceded this season, Cardiff need to head back to the drawing board and think of a new strategy if they wish to stay in the Premier League for another season. T.H.
17th – Newcastle
Even under the guidance of Champions League winning manager Rafa Benitez, Newcastle remain a team constantly threatened by relegation. Newcastle have a few consistent talents in the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie, and Salomon Rondon, but alongside Huddersfield and Cardiff, they share the worst squad depth in the division. Newcastle’s solid infrastructure, a connecting point to past glories, makes the current crisis all the more frustrating. But perhaps the recent record signing of MLS star Miguel Almiron could be the turning point. J.O.
16th – Southampton
Southampton are playing how you expect a mid-table team to play. Comfortable wins, expected losses, and a lot of draws (with 9 draws, more than any other team as it happens). Southampton sit 16th in the table just below Burnley and feeling great after recently beating Leicester City 2-1. Southampton have scored 23 goals this season as well as picking up 5 clean sheets and for what they have, they are doing well. Southampton are performing well after the departure of Van Dijk; it was believed their defence would fall apart. However, they have maintained a standard and
currently have a tackle success rate of 60%. For Southampton to do well, there is bound to be someone in their academy who is ready for a first team start; it could potentially spark new life into this Southampton side. T.H.
15th – Crystal Palace
Having beaten Manchester City and taken points off Manchester United and Arsenal, Crystal Palace have proven tough opponents for the top six this season. And considering their squad depth, it’s a bit disappointing to see them still being dragged into the relegation dogfight. Surely if they could replicate their form against the top six against the teams around them, they might’ve found themselves pushing for 7th place. Unfortunately this instability could create problems in the summer. A failure to show obvious progress could push their star players Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend, and Luka Milivojevic towards the exit come the summer transfer window. J.O.
14th – Burnley
Burnley have won 3 of their last 5 games; in each of those 3 games, Burnley
have scored 2 goals to secure the win. However, their last game at Fulham was very much in
their favour, as Fulham scored 2 own goals, helping Burnley to a comfortable win. They
are currently sitting 15th with 21 points and are not slowing down. With 23 goals in total this
season and 5 clean sheets, Burley could move into the top 12. Having qualified for Europe
last season, Burnley continue to prove their critics wrong. T.H.
13th – Brighton
As long as Glenn Murray remains prolific, Brighton should be safe from relegation and may even creep into the top ten come the end of the season. Brighton remain a part of that belt of unspectacular, but expectation exceeding teams around mid to low table. They lack the true fire power across the pitch to trouble the better teams but are obviously better than the stragglers below. Brighton possess a few talents in Jose Izquierdo, Davy Propper, and the aforementioned Murray (who currently sits joint fifth in the race for the golden boot), but don’t expect them to be challenging for spots anywhere above 9th place. J.O.
12th – Wolverhampton
I predicted to see Wolverhampton in the bottom three by the end of the season, but they sit 11th in the table with 29 points just behind Everton. They have won 8 games this season scoring at least 1 goal per match whilst also conceding at least 1 goal per match. Wolves surprisingly have not caused any errors which would lead to a goal, so the team are playing well, just getting very unlucky in some instances. They had no chance in their last match against the current champions, but that’s become standard now. Wolves will probably remain a mid-table team but they could push a little further with some luck. T.H.
11th – Bournemouth
Eddie Howe continues to build a strong legacy at Bournemouth, with the small south coast club currently occupying 10th place in the table. The most notable outgoing for Bournemouth during the January window was Jermain Defoe’s loan departure to Rangers. This shows how well the squad is progressing if a player of such reverence is being pushed out of favour. This season has also seen Callum Wilson gain his maiden cap for England, having scored ten goals in the league. In the market, Bournemouth have also shown their lofty intentions – they spent £25m on Jefferson Lerma, and £19m and £12m on Dominic Solanke and Chris Mepham respectively in the January window. Should they strengthen intelligently in the summer, Bournemouth could challenge for Europa League next season. J.O.