Every week I will break down the balance of power in the English Premier League.
Record: 11-0-3, 33 points
League position: 1st
Streak: two wins
After a stunning loss away to Norwich City, the Red Devils rebounded quite nicely with wins over Queens Park Rangers and, more impressively, West Ham United to retake first place. They should roll over Reading this weekend, but the Manchester derby looms large.
Record: 9-5-0, 32 points
League position: 2nd
Streak: one win (unbeaten in fourteen)
Thwarted and kept off the score sheet at Stamford Bridge, the champs broke out of their scoring slump away to Wigan Athletic. Tough tests are ahead against to Everton and Manchester United.
Record: 8-2-4, 26 points
League position: 4th
Streak: one loss
All good things eventually come to an end, and Swansea killed off the Baggies’ four-game winning streak. But while the streak is over, WBA’s time in the upper echelons of the table is not. They’ll bounce back and will continue to contend for a top five spot.
Record: 7-2-5, 23 points
League position: 5th
What a week for Spurs! Two big wins over West Ham and Liverpool has AVB boys sitting fifth in the table and back in the Champions League discussion. When Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe are on form, Tottenham is a completely different team.
Record: 5-7-2, 22 points
League position: 6th
Streak: two draws (winless in three)
That loss to Reading has set them back a bit, with the Toffees being held to draws against Norwich City and Arsenal. David Moyes’ men have a tough stretch of games ahead, so we’ll find out if Everton is for real.
Record: 7-5-2, 26 points
League position: 3rd
Streak: two draws (winless in six)
Two clean sheets isn’t a bad start to the Rafa Benitez era, but the Blues have looked pretty uninspired in the offensive end since the Spaniard took over. A sign of things to come, maybe?
Record: 5-6-3, 21 points
League position: 7th
Streak: two draws (unbeaten in four)
Draws against Aston Villa and Everton saw the Gunners lack creativity and inspiration, and not for the first time this season. Arsenal needs to be more cut throat and decisive in the attacking third of the pitch.
Record: 5-5-4, 20 points
League position: 8th
Streak: one win (unbeaten in five)
We saw the best of both sides of the Welsh side this week: defensively solid against Liverpool, and offensively dangerous versus West Bromwich Albion. The Swans are flying high, but we’ve seen this before from them. How long before their wings get clipped again?
Record: 4-7-3, 19 points
League position: 9th
Streak: two wins (unbeaten in four)
Two wins in one week. What gives? The Potters have been on a tear, keeping it tight at the back (what else is new?) and scoring some goals, as well.
Record: 5-4-5, 19 points
League position: 10th
Streak: two losses (winless in three)
The Hammers have lost their way in recent weeks, a point underscored by their recent away losses to Tottenham and Manchester United. It doesn’t getting any easier for them with games ahead against Chelsea, Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Everton.
Record: 3-7-4, 16 points
League position: 13th
Streak: two draws (unbeaten in seven)
The Canaries continue to quietly chug along and climb the standings. After conceding a rash of goals to begin the season, Norwich has only given up three in their last seven matches.
Record: 4-5-5, 17 points
League position: 11th
Streak: one draw (winless in six)
Suddenly the Cottagers have forgotten how to win games and score goals. How badly do they miss Clint Dempsey right about now?
League position: 12th
Streak: one loss (winless in two)
A dreadful effort away to Tottenham confirmed what we’ve known since the start of this season: this is a team in limbo. Liverpool will be lucky to finish in the top half of the table.
Record: 4-2-8, 14 points
League position: 15th
Wigan was full value for its win over Reading, and was deserving of a point at home against Manchester City. All in all, not a bad week for the Latics who are missing a handful of players through injury.
Record: 2-7-4, 13 points
League position: 16th
Streak: one draw (winless in two)
Martin O’Neill’s men were pretty dreadful against Queens Park Rangers. With just 12 goals this season it’s hard to see where the Black Cats’ offence is going to come from in the coming weeks.
Record: 3-5-6, 14 points
League position: 14th
Streak: four losses (winless in five)
The goals have dried up for the Magpies, with just three goals in five games during November. Little wonder, then, that they only earned one point this month.
Record: 3-3-8, 12 points
League position: 18th
Streak: one draw (unbeaten in four)
The Saints are showing a bit of life and their clean sheet victory over Newcastle United was a pleasant surprise. It’s also encouraging to see someone other than Rickie Lambert scoring.
Record: 3-4-7, 13 points
League position: 17th
Streak: one win (unbeaten in two)
Two clean sheets in a row and four points will give the Villans a bit of a lift. Paul Lambert’s message is starting to trickle into the players’ minds. But it’ll be interesting to see how this Darren Bent controversy plays out.
Record: 1-6-6, 9 points
League position: 19th
Streak: two losses
Six dropped points against the likes of Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic doesn’t bode well for Reading’s chances of survival. If they’re going to beat the drop, Reading has to pick up something from teams in the bottom half of the table.
Record: 0-5-9, 5 points
League position: 20th
Streak: one draw (winless in fourteen)
Eight minutes of madness did them in at Old Trafford, but the Hoops looked defensively solid in earning a 0-0 draw away to Sunderland. Baby steps, but Harry Redknapp will have to pull a rabbit from his hat in order to keep QPR from being relegated.