Perfect 10 for Antonio Conte in the Sack Race Power Rankings

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 15 December 2016, 11:56

The penultimate round of Premier League matches before Christmas saw nearly all the big guns collect three points, with Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Tottenham and Man Utd each victorious, however it was a different story for Arsenal who lost ground to the Blues after sinking to a defeat at Everton.

Meanwhile, down at the other end of the league ladder it was defeats across the board for struggling Sunderland, Hull, Swansea, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace.

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Numbers in brackets indicate previous ranking

20. (20) Mike Phelan (Hull) - It’s hard not to feel sorry for Phelan whose troops fell to their 10th defeat of the season, with their goal difference now a wretched -21, with a whopping 35 goals conceded. The Tigers need to get something away to West Ham on Saturday, ahead of a tricky run of matches where they come up against the likes of Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal within their next 9 games.

19. (16) Bob Bradley (Swansea) - Swansea failed to build on their victory over Sunderland after suffering a comprehensive defeat at the hands of West Brom. The Swans, who are 3 points adrift of safety, have now leaked in 3 or more goals in 6 of their 9 games under Bradley.

18. (18) David Moyes (Sunderland) - The Black Cats remain rooted to the foot of the table after losing for the third time in 4 games. It was by no means a bad performance against in-form table-toppers Chelsea, and Moyes can take a few positives from the game ahead of Saturday’s home fixture against Watford.

17. (17) Alan Pardew (Crystal Palace) - Palace looked to be heading for prized point against United but again they switched off in the closing stages, conceding in the 88th minute. Pardew will be frustrated with the performance of the referee, but the fact is that his side have now lost 7 of their last 9 games, while they’ve only 1 clean sheet in 21 games.

16. (15) Aitor Karanka (Middlesbrough) - Boro were never in it as they slumped to a second defeat in 4 days, which leaves the club dangling precariously above the relegation zone in 17th. Karanka’s men still only have 13 goals to their name, a league low, but this could change in their next fixture against one of the league’s worse defences (Swansea).

15. (19) Slaven Bilic (West Ham) - Bilic’s boys showed a new found resilience as they held on to beat travel-shy Burnley 1-0, registering their first victory in 7. It’s now 4 points from 2 games for the Irons who are up to 15th, 4 points clear of the drop zone. They will now expect to accumulate more points against Hull and Swansea.

14. (13) Sean Dyche (Burnley) - Prior to the West Ham game the Clarets would have fancied their chances of recording points on the road for only the second time this season. However, they have now lost six, registering just 1 point away from their own patch, and scoring only once.

13. (12) Claudio Ranieri (Leicester) - In the space of 4 days Leicester went from spanking Man City to stuttering on the south coast at Bournemouth, losing 1-0. Ranieri’s men still only have a solitary point from their travels, and something needs to change fast, otherwise they are in big trouble.

12. (7) Walter Mazzarri (Watford) - It’s now 3 defeats in 4 for Watford who have slipped down to 11th following a 2-0 loss at City. The Hornets had just 36% possession and only 2 shots on target. But they now have 2 winnable games against the struggling duo of Sunderland and Palace.

11. (10) Claude Puel (Southampton) - Given their troubles on the road the Saints would have taken a point at Stoke before the game kicked-off, but after the hosts went down to 10 after just 23 minutes, Puel’s men really should have taken all 3 points. Despite dominating possession, they created few direct chances and will be very disappointed at the outcome. 14 goals in 16 games highlights their attacking struggles.

10. (9) Mark Hughes (Stoke) - Stoke deserve credit for registering a draw despite playing with 10 men for 70 minutes. The Potters dealt with Southampton’s crosses with ease and, bar a glaring Jay Rodriguez miss, never looked like conceding - a fully deserved the point.

9. (14) Ronald Koeman (Everton) - Everton grabbed their first win in 6, thus easing the pressure on boss Koeman who had come under-fire following a run of 1 win in 11 league & cup games. The Toffees impressively came from a goal down to beat Arsenal 2-1, as they inflicted a first defeat upon the Gunners since the opening day. The Merseysiders must now build on this result.


8. (11) Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) - It’s now 3 wins in 5 games for Howe’s troops, who are excelling on home soil, with the 1-0 victory over champions Leicester their 5th in 7 games in front of their own fans. Will now be full of confidence ahead of the south coast derby on Sunday.

7. (8) Pep Guardiola (Man City) - Guardiola oversaw a much needed City win - a 2-0 defeat of Watford - which brought a halt to back-to-back losses to Chelsea and Leicester. The Citizens remain in 4th, 1 point behind Liverpool and Leicester, although Chelsea are still seven points ahead.

6. (6) Tony Pulis (West Brom) - The Baggies continue to bounce after bagging their 4th win in 6, courtesy of a 13-minute Saiomon Rondon hat-trick, with all three goals headers. Sterner tests lie ahead with United at home followed by Arsenal and Southampton on the road.

5. (5) Jose Mourinho (Man Utd) - Mourinho’s men made it back-to-back league wins for the first time since August after beating struggling Palace 2-1. The Red Devils are now unbeaten in seven, but six points off the top-4.

4. (4) Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham) - Inconsistency has plagued Spurs in recent weeks - their last 5 games: WLWLW. On Wednesday they cruised to a 3-0 victory over Hull, and in truth it should have been more. As a result, Poch’s troops have now found the back of the net in their last 16 straight league games at the Lane.

3. (2) Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) - Arsenal’s 14 game unbeaten run came to an end after they suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Everton. The Gunners took the lead, but then looked lastlustre, allowing the Toffees to come back into the game, before leaking in a costly late goal.

2. (3) Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) - Liverpool grabbed their first win in three after recording a dominant 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough. The Reds have now jumped above Arsenal on goal difference, although Chelsea have a six-point lead at the top.

1. (1) Antonio Conte (Chelsea) - Conte’s men hit the perfect 10 after registering a slender 1-0 victory at struggling Sunderland. The Blues now have now opened up a six-point margin at the summit, and there is every chance of their winning streak continuing against Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke.


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Darren Moore
Darren Moore
(Doncaster Rovers)
1st March
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