Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are all outside the top five of the Power Rankings at the halfway stage.
In Power Rankings, we award points from 0.5 to 10, decided by an algorithm based on bookmaker odds and winning margins.
Now at the halfway point, the table highlights the craziness of the Premier League so far this season.
With last season’s top four of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United losing an incredible 23 games between them, West Ham, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Watford make up the top five of the Power Rankings having capitalised on the struggles of the established elite to beat the odds on several occasions already this term.
West Ham and Stoke in particular have suffered from inconsistency themselves, negating some of those surprise wins, but the Power Rankings table truly highlights the extent to which the gap between the top six and the rest has been decreased this season, with even Arsenal only 11th in this alternative table having stuttered rather than powered their way to the top of the Premier League.
Here are the points hauls of all the teams over the two Christmas fixtures…
Stoke City – 10: Having beaten Manchester United on Boxing Day and then edged a seven-goal thriller at Everton on Monday, Stoke were undoubtedly the biggest winners over Christmas. Mark Hughes’ side have also beaten Manchester City, Chelsea, won at Southampton and drawn at Tottenham at the halfway point of the season, earning them plenty of bonus points in Power Rankings. Unfortunately for the Potters, defeats to West Brom, Watford and Crystal Palace at the Britannia Stadium represent a real missed opportunity and mean the Capital One Cup semi-finalists are only ninth in the actual Premier League table.
Tottenham – 8: Also winning both of their games over Christmas were Tottenham, who followed up a comfortable 3-0 win over Norwich with an impressive 2-1 win at Watford on Monday. Outside of the top five in the Power Rankings, all of whom have defied expectations to some degree, Tottenham’s Power Rankings tally at the halfway point is bettered only by Manchester City, with only two defeats in 19 games suggesting Mauricio Pochettino’s side are equipped for a genuine Premier League title challenge, though it is worth pointing out that their odds are often more generous than Arsenal’s, for example.
Southampton – 7: They were beaten at West Ham on Monday, but an astonishing 4-0 win over Arsenal on Boxing Day earned Southampton seven points, the third highest total from the two games. However, their overall position of 14th in the Power Rankings reflects their under-achievement in general this season.
Liverpool – 5: Claiming a 1-0 win at Sunderland on Wednesday evening, Liverpool joined Stoke and Tottenham as the only sides to win both of their fixtures over Christmas. The 1-0 win over Leicester City on Boxing Day was particularly welcome after a draw and two defeats from the three games prior, but the Reds have largely underwhelmed this season and are in the bottom half of the Power Rankings with wins at Manchester City and Chelsea the only real highlights of their Premier League campaign so far.
Swansea City – 5: A 1-0 win over West Brom and 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace represented an excellent Christmas period for Swansea as they made it three games unbeaten under the caretaker management of Alan Curtis. However, the south Wales side are fourth from bottom in both the Power Rankings and Premier League having taken a huge step back this season.
West Ham – 5: Some West Ham fans may view the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Boxing Day as two points dropped considering the team’s fine away form this season, but a 2-1 win over Southampton on Monday earned the Hammers a bonus point, moving them further clear in the Power Rankings and two points closer to fifth-placed Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Manchester City – 4.5: Manuel Pellegrini’s side remain third in the Premier League having managed only a 0-0 draw at Leicester City on Tuesday evening which was worth only half a point in the Power Rankings, but a comprehensive 4-1 win over Sunderland on Boxing Day was worth four, making the Citizens the top-ranked team of those expected to challenge for the title before a ball was kicked.
Norwich City – 4: A 3-0 defeat at Tottenham on Boxing Day may have knocked some teams’ confidence, but Norwich immediately bounced back with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Monday to keep them clear of the bottom three in both the Power Rankings and Premier League.
Watford – 4: With Guus Hiddink taking charge for the first time, many Watford fans may have feared it was the wrong time for their side to be going to Stamford Bridge, yet the Hornets were once again excellent as they recorded a 2-2 draw. They were beaten in dramatic circumstances by Tottenham on Monday, but Quique Flores’ side continue to prove themselves and are fifth in the Power Rankings following a first half of the season which few would have predicted back in August.
Arsenal – 3: Presented with the chance to go top of the Premier League, Arsenal blew it in some style on Boxing Day evening as they were thrashed 4-0 at Southampton. However, Arsene Wenger’s men did take over at the summit two days later with a routine 2-0 win over Bournemouth. Despite that, the Gunners are only 11th in the Power Rankings, partly due to the over-achievement of other teams but mainly they have won only six of their 19 games by more than one goal and only four by more than two. Rarely have the north Londoners really turned on the style this season.
Everton – 3: They will have been devastated to lose a seven-goal thriller to Stoke City in stoppage time on Monday, but Everton benefitted from an even later winner two days before that when Tom Cleverley’s header earned them a dramatic 1-0 win at Newcastle United. The Toffees are mid-table in both the Power Rankings and Premier League.
West Brom – 3: Narrowly beaten at Swansea City on Boxing Day, West Brom maintained their mid-table position with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Monday. Tony Pulis’ side have claimed some impressive results, beating Arsenal and winning three times on the road, explaining their decent Power Rankings tally, but they are more or less playing to par at the halfway stage of the Premier League season.
Crystal Palace – 2.5: A 0-0 draw at Bournemouth on Boxing Day was certainly a point gained, but a goalless stalemate against Swansea City at Selhurst Park on Monday represents the latest of several disappointing results at home this season. However, five wins and two draws from nine away games leaves the Eagles third in the Power Rankings and fifth in the Premier League, well in contention for a European place.
Leicester City – 2: Many people predicted the wheels would fall off for Leicester after they were beaten at Liverpool on Boxing Day, but Claudio Ranieri’s side once again proved wrong their doubters with a credible 0-0 draw against Manchester City on Tuesday evening. The Foxes are only fourth in the Power Rankings, however, with Crystal Palace, West Ham and Watford the only top-10 sides they have beaten so far this season. The East Midlanders’ great success has been in dropping very few unexpected points.
Chelsea – 1.5: Back-to-back draws against Watford and Manchester United may not have been the start Guus Hiddink dreamed of back in charge of Chelsea, but it still represents an improvement in form for the Blues, who have suffered a wretched first half of the season. Their incredible under-achievement leaves them second from bottom in the Power Rankings, with only the struggles of Aston Villa saving them from even greater humiliation.
Aston Villa – 1: Having recorded a second straight draw in holding West Ham on Boxing Day, Aston Villa were comfortably beaten at Norwich City on Monday to leave their task in escaping relegation from the Premier League looking close to impossible. The Villans are 11 points from safety at the halfway point of the season and will surely be playing in the Championship come August.
Bournemouth – 1: A 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace at Dean Court on Boxing Day represented a decent result for Bournemouth considering the away form of the Eagles, but Eddie Howe’s side rarely looked like causing a shock at Arsenal on Monday. However, the Cherries can feel more than satisfied with their first half of the season, especially considering their injury problems.
Manchester United – 1: There were signs of improvement in Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday evening, but it came on the back of another wretched display from Louis van Gaal’s side in a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City on Boxing Day. They are sixth in the Premier League, still within a chance of challenging for the title, such has been the inconsistency of others, but the Red Devils’ position of 13th in the Power Rankings is a truer reflection of their performances so far this season.
Newcastle United – 0: There have been intermittent signs of a Newcastle revival, with wins over Tottenham, Liverpool and Norwich City hinting at their potential as a team and explaining their mid-table position in the Power Rankings, but back-to-back 1-0 defeats at the hands of Everton and West Brom over Christmas leaves the Magpies two points from safety where it really matters in the Premier League.
Sunderland – 0: With a home game against Liverpool to come, Sunderland will be desperate to avoid joining their North-East rivals as the only other team to lose both of their Christmas fixtures. The Black Cats are once again relying on a turnaround in the second half of the season to avoid slipping into the Championship.
|Team||Power Rankings Points||Official Points|
|1. West Ham||59.5||29|
|2. Stoke City||49.5||29|
|3. Crystal Palace||48.5||31|
|4. Leicester City||48.5||39|
|6. Manchester City||41||36|
|9. West Brom||38||23|
|13. Norwich City||32.5||20|
|14. Manchester United||32||30|
|17. Swansea City||24||19|
|20. Aston Villa||16||8|