Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.
More than a couple of shocks were thrown our way in gameweek two of the Premier League 2018/19 campaign, and as you would expect that’s had a significant effect on our weekly Premier League Power Rankings here at FST.
Every week we will rank the teams from best to worst to come up with a definitive ranking of how each team is actually performing. This takes into account the overall squad strength, actual results, strength of opponent, expected goals (xG), and performance. You can see gameweek 1’s Power Rankings here.
1. Manchester City
If we could rank Manchester City higher than first, we would. After their clinical and efficient dispatch of the new look Arsenal side in gameweek one, Pep Guardiola’s men truly upped the pressure on their potential title challengers with an absolute demolition job in their first home match of the season.
They ran rampant against Huddersfield, and even before Sergio Aguero’s 25th minute opener they could have had two or three goals. Eventually it ended 6-1 to the reigning champions, with Aguero bagging a hat-trick and Benjamin Mendy once again putting in a display of the highest calibre. They did get somewhat lucky to win by such an impressive margin according to the expected goals, but even then they achieved a huge 4.21 xG to Huddersfield’s meagre 0.66. It’s already looking unlikely that anybody can stop Manchester City. Turns out that losing Kevin De Bruyne isn’t such a big blow for The Citizens.
Retaining their position as the likeliest challengers to Manchester City’s crown is Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who produced another promising display as they ventured away from Anfield for the first time this season.
Their fixture wasn’t quite as easy as Manchester City’s hosting of Huddersfield, but they put in an assured performance at Selhurst Park. It might not have had the flourish of their demolition of West Ham last weekend, but they dominated Crystal Palace for much of the game. James Milner opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Mohamed Salah was brought down. Salah was brought down again in the second half, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s last ditch challenge earning him a red card for his troubles. Sadio Mane then wrapped up a comfortable and deserved victory for the visitors, and Liverpool still look like the only team close enough to Manchester City to mount a serious title challenge.
3. Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham retained their own position in our Power Rankings with a rather routine win at home to the newly promoted Fulham. They controlled the ball from start to finish and had a huge 25 shots on the Fulham goal, and while The Cottagers can take some positives from the game the result was never really in doubt.
Lucas Moura opened the scoring just before the break before Aleksandar Mitrovic responded early in the second half, but a stunning free-kick from Kieran Trippier put Spurs back in front before Harry Kane scored his first ever Premier League goal in August to round the victory off. It wasn’t a ground breaking performance from Mauricio Pocchettino’s men, but then again it didn’t have to be to see off their visitors, and if they keep up this level of play a top four spot should be well within their grasp.
Rounding off our top four of unchanged teams is Chelsea, and life is looking increasingly promising under Maurizio Sarri after a shaky start. They may have looked jaded in their Community Shield defeat, but last weekend they opened the Premier League campaign with a comprehensive win at Huddersfield. A much tougher test awaited them when they hosted Arsenal this weekend though.
That being said, it certainly looked easy as Chelsea went 2-0 up inside 20 minutes against the floundering Gunners, but they were quickly brought back down to earth as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi brought the scores level before the half-time whistle was blown. The second half was less eventful, but a late winner from Marcos Alonso will have boosted Chelsea’s confidence hugely. However, defensively there is a real cause for concern, and according to expected goals the hosts were very lucky to have taken anything from the game, ending with a xG of 1.66 to Arsenal’s 2.21.
5. Everton (up 2 places)
Marco Silva’s Everton reign continued it’s upward trajectory as they showed some steel to hold off Southampton at Goodison Park. The Toffees looked completely in control of the match as they put themselves 2-0 up before the break, with summer signing Richarlison bagging his third goal of the season in the process. Everton looked like they were coasting to victory after the Brazilian headed in their second, but the second half was a vastly different story. Danny Ings pulled one back for The Saints and showed some real desire to get back into the game, but Silva’s side held firm and saw out an impressive victory.
Arsenal maintain their 6th place standing after that unfortunate 3-2 loss at Stamford Bridge. Unai Emery is still awaiting his first victory as Arsenal manager, and there was real cause for concern after they went 2-0 down to Chelsea. However, the fight that the players showed to get a foothold back in the game will have pleased the travelling fans, and in the end they were very unfortunate not to pick up their first point of the season against Chelsea.
It’s been an incredibly difficult opening couple of weeks for The Gunners, but with a home match against West Ham coming up next weekend they will be expecting to get off the mark at The Emirates.
7. Manchester United (down 2 places)
Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Leicester in the opening match of the season was a gritty and determined performance from a side under huge scrutiny at the moment, but they did themselves no favours when they visited the Amex Stadium on Sunday.
Brighton, in fairness to them, have an excellent home record in the Premier League. In fact, last season they had the 8th best home record in the league and were only let down by their abysmal record on the road. However, they were never a particularly threatening side going forward, yet Manchester United’s defending made The Seagulls look like Barcelona on form. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof had a torrid afternoon as they tried and failed to control Glenn Murray and found themselves 2-0 down in the opening half an hour. Romelu Lukaku did manage to pull them back, but another Bailly mistake saw a penalty awarded to the hosts, which Pascall Gross duly converted. The Red Devils never even threatened to get back into the match in the second half, and Paul Pogba’s late consolation was more than they deserved.
According to expected goals they were slightly unfortunate on Sunday, but their performance warranted a defeat to an excellent Brighton side. Trouble has been brewing at Old Trafford, and that result will do nothing to ease the fans’ fears.
8. Watford (up 3 places)
Everybody expected Watford to take all three points last weekend when they hosted a Brighton side with a shocking away record, but The Hornets had their own away day problems to try and put to bed on Sunday. They visited Turf Moor having failed to win their last 11 Premier League away games, and without even an away goal to their name since Javi Gracia took charge.
That changed inside three minutes as Andre Gray struck against his former club, and while the James Tarkowski equaliser came quickly it was Watford who went from strength to strength. They came out in the second half fighting against a Burnley side who looked tired from their Europa League exploits, with Troy Deeney bagging a quick goal and Will Hughes making it 3-1 with 40 minutes left to play. The result never looked in doubt after that goal, and Watford can look back on a very impressive start to the new season.
Unchanged from last week’s position in 9th, Leicester managed to pick up a potentially valuable three points at home against the newly promoted Wolves. The 2-0 scoreline may have looked a comfortable one, but the reality was a bit different.
In fact, The Foxes were lucky to get anything from the game. They took the lead via a very fortunate own goal before James Maddison made it 2-0, but it could have been very different. Jamie Vardy was sent off with 25 minutes left to play in a game where Wolves dominated possession and had more shots than their hosts. Leicester were also beaten in expected goals, managing just 0.2 xG themselves compared to Wolves’ 1.08 total. However, the fact that they held on for the three points speaks volumes, so they retain their mid-table position in our Power Rankings.
10. Crystal Palace (down 2 places)
Crystal Palace suffer a fall of two places from last week’s Power Rankings, but that’s more due to the rise of Watford rather than anything Crystal Palace have done wrong. Yes, they lost 2-0 against Liverpool, but coming up against such formidable opposition was never likely to yield any points for The Eagles and it’s hard to punish them too much for what was an expected defeat.
They never really got a foothold in the game at Selhurst Park, and after a touch-and-go penalty decision went against them it seemed like the writing was on the wall for Roy Hodgson’s men. Hodgson claimed that his side deserved a point, but in all honesty they deserved exactly what they got – A comprehensive but not embarrassing defeat to an incredibly good side.
11. Bournemouth (up 1 place)
Bournemouth managed to pick up their second victory of the season when they visited a West Ham side who already appear on the brink of a revolution. It was an assured performance from The Cherries, who kept at it admirably despite going 1-0 down at the London Stadium, were spurred on by an inspired Callum Wilson performance. The injury plagued striker brought the scores level with a fine individual goal with half an hour left, and Steve Cook headed in the winner just six minutes later. A deserved three points again for Eddie Howe’s men, although he knows that there will be much greater challenges to face than Brighton and West Ham this season.
12. Brighton (up 6 places)
Brighton’s away woes continued on the opening day of the season, but they matched that with a splendid display at the Amex Stadium against Manchester United. The Seagulls are a side who often struggled in front of goal last season, but they showed none of those struggles as they picked up a deserved 3-2 win against their illustrious opponents.
Veteran striker Glenn Murray opened the scoring with a sublime flick and they capitalised on their dominance just two minutes later via the boot of Shane Duffy after some dreadful defending. They weren’t swayed when Romelu Lukaku halved the deficit either, instead going right back on the attack and winning a penalty that was converted by Pascall Gross. The second half saw them hold firm, and by the time Paul Pogba’s penalty went in it was far too late for the visitors to salvage a result.
13. Wolves (down 3 places)
Wolves’ hotly anticipated return to the Premier League has hit some early stumbling blocks, although the hopes are still high for them in the long run. A tough home game against Everton saw them pick up a point, but when they visited Leicester at the weekend they simply couldn’t take advantage of their dominance, even when The Foxes were reduced to ten men. The newly promoted club had more possession, more shots, and generated 1.08 xG compared to Leicester’s measly 0.2 xG. They deserved something from the game, but they simply weren’t clinical enough in front of goal and remain winless.
14. Burnley (down 1 place)
Burnley’s spectacular season last term is a feat unlikely to be repeated, and the chances of their dropping down the table will only increase as they juggle their Europa League commitments with the Premier League. It’s true that they deserved to win their opener against Southampton last weekend, but on Sunday their tiredness was on clear display as they fell to an unusually heavy 3-1 defeat at home to Watford.
They got off to a torrid start as former player Andre Gray scored for the visitors, and while James Tarkowski did bring it back to 1-1 just three minutes later their performance dropped as the game progressed. They were obviously a tired outfit, and the second half saw Watford gain a strong foothold and pick up a deserved three points.
15. Fulham (down 1 place)
The newly promoted Fulham were never likely to get anything at Wembley on Saturday, and while the performance of Brighton has seen The Cottagers drop a position they can certainly take some positives away from their 3-1 loss.
They generated 1.44 xG against Tottenham and managed to find the net for the first time this season, but more importantly their wide array of new signings did show early signs of gelling with the rest of the squad. Jean Michael Seri’s passing was excellent at times and Ryan Sessegnon showed that he has what it takes to step up to the top flight at his tender age. They may be pointless after two games, but we’re expecting them to prove as the season wears on.
16. Southampton (up 1 place)
Mark Hughes’ men may have lost at Goodison Park and they may only have one point from their first two games, but there are some vague signs of hope at Southampton. Rather than resign themselves to defeat after going 2-0 down they actually showed some fight to get back in the game. Danny Ings grabbed his first goal for his new club, and if he can steer clear of injury and build some momentum up he could be the solution to The Saints’ attacking woes.
They generated 1.77 xG against Everton and looked a far better side than the one that drew at home to Burnley last weekend, and if they can continue this improvement we could see them steering clear of the relegation battle.
17. Newcastle (down 2 places)
Newcastle picked up their first point of the season at Cardiff on Saturday, but it was a match to forget for everybody involved. In truth, it was a dour affair in Wales, with Newcastle ending the game with ten men and the only vaguely interesting parts of the match being Isaac Hayden’s red card and the late penalty that was saved by Neil Etheridge.
Newcastle’s disappointing showing was summed up perfectly by the performance of Kenedy. The youngster was lucky to have not been sent off in the first half as he kicked out at Camarasa, and in truth Newcastle fans will be wishing he was sent for an early shower. He failed to complete a single pass in the first half and barely improved in the second half, rounding off his afternoon with a dreadful penalty that cost Newcastle the win.
18. West Ham (down 2 places)
It was easy to forgive West Ham’s opening weekend defeat away to Liverpool, but the Hammers can already feel the tension mounting around the London Stadium after their showing on Saturday. They lost 2-1 to Bournemouth despite going a goal up through Marko Arnautovic, and while it is still early days for Manuel Pellegrini you get the feeling that a few more bad results will see a full scale protest rear it’s ugly head again.
Pellegrini was brought in after David Moyes apparently failed to do enough to earn a permanent contract, and a spending spree over the summer promised big things for the club. The new players will still be trying to adapt to the Premier League, but the early signs aren’t promising for West Ham.
It’s been an incredibly tough start for Huddersfield, but even against such illustrious opponents you would expect a Premier League side to do better than them. They were comprehensively beaten at Chelsea last weekend, but that will have seemed like a pleasant stroll in the park compared to the nightmare at the Etihad. They were demolished by the reigning champions, and after just two games they have already conceded nine goals.
Easier matches will come, but on the basis of their opening two games there are definite causes for concern at the John Smiths Stadium.
Still rooted to the bottom of our Power Rankings are Cardiff. They may have picked up their first point of the season on Saturday, but that performance has done little to convince us that they have what it takes to remain in the Premier League.
They had 25 minutes to take advantage of their extra man against Newcastle but abjectly failed to trouble the Magpies’ goal, instead almost conceding a late goal but for Kenedy’s inadequacies. They had just a single shot on target all match, and after two games in the top flight Neil Warnock has seen his side hit the target just twice.
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