Patrice leaps for joy after hearing United are No.1 in this week's poll - Alex Livesey
After Manchester United emerged victorious from their recent encounters with Chelsea and Arsenal. they've shown their credentials to being England's top side.
SB Nation's Week 10 Premier League Power Rankings have been released and Manchester United have held the top spot after their 2-1 defeat of Arsenal last weekend. For much of the season, Chelsea have occupied the top billing in the poll but United ascended to the top after their defeat of the Blues at Stamford Bridge two weekends ago. Truth be told though, there is not much that separates the two sides at the moment and despite Manchester City's relative struggles as of late, the champions are clearly title-contenders as well. All have tremendous squads and the hope for United will be that the experience in the side, in regards to both the players and manager Sir Alex Ferguson, will be enough to hold off the other challengers when Matchday 38 concludes in May. The Red Devils have a favorable fixture list prior to the Manchester derby on December 9 so the next month is a big opportunity for them to jockey for position. Full attention will be on the Premier League for a few months as United have already clinched top spot in Group H of the UEFA Champions League with two fixtures to spare.
The form of West Bromwich Albion has been a surprise this season and the voters seem to be wondering if they are genuine European contenders. At the moment, it's difficult to imagine them contending with Spurs, Arsenal, and Everton for a top four spot but could the Baggies earn their way into Europa League qualification? The other big story in this group of teams is the mediocrity of the Gunners. Is this the season where Arsene Wenger's top four run ends? That would be quite sad for the Frenchman as his make-believe top four 'trophy' is the only thing he's won since 2005. So basically, he's won nothing in seven years.
Three teams seem quite obvious at the moment for the drop -- Southampton, Queens Park Rangers, and Reading. However, things can change in a hurry but the likes of Norwich City, Aston Villa, and Wigan Athletic have looked more like mid-table teams as of late rather than relegation contenders. It's amazing, really, that Mark Hughes has not been able to find at win with QPR. How much longer can Sparky last at Loftus Road?
As always, feel free to discuss the poll and where you think each team stands in the comments section below. Here is the ballot I submitted for this week's poll:
1. Manchester United
3. Manchester City
7. West Bromwich Albion
8. Newcastle United
10. West Ham United
12. Swansea City
13. Wigan Athletic
14. Stoke City
15. Aston Villa
17. Norwich City
19. Queens Park Rangers