The biggest change in Premier League power rankings since before the last FA CUP weekend comes in the top three. Reading continued to inch away from relegation, and Everton and Arsenal flip-flopped in this week's list. The bottom of EPL power rankings are once again dominated by a certain three-letter side that is running out of time to save their Premier League lives.
2012-13 Week 26 Premier League power rankings
20. Queens Park Rangers (20th in the league table, 17 points): I'll point out the obvious: QPR have to score goals if they're going to avoid relegation. It sure doesn't look good for them right now.
19. Wigan Athletic (18th in the league table, 21 points): Earning a point at Stoke is fine and all, but Wigan can't afford not beating the likes of Southampton at home.
18. Aston Villa (19th in the league table, 21 points): Blowing a two-goal lead at Everton, a defeat that included a goal at the death, was about as Villa-esque as it gets this season. It's almost as if they want to get relegated.
17. Southampton (16th in the league table, 24 points): All credit to Southampton for showing plenty of fight against United, but failing to knock off lowly Wigan sees them fall dramatically in power rankings. They're now just three points off the drop.
16. Reading (17th in the league table, 23 points): Hop on the Reading bandwagon, one and all. They're reminding me of how Wigan played during the second half of the 2011-12 campaign.
15. Norwich City (14th in the league table, 28 points): My faith in Norwich continues to dwindle. Sure, they can hold off quality teams at home. When's the next time they will earn a quality victory?
14. Newcastle United (15th in the league table, 27 points): How I feel about Norwich is the opposite of my feelings on Newcastle. Talent was never a question about them, and they showed a level of heart against Chelsea that was missing throughout the first half of the campaign.
13. Stoke City (10th in the league table, 30 points): Stoke won't be fighting for survival this season, but that doesn't make them anything other than a middle-of-the-road team, one that will continue to struggle finding the back of the net with any consistency.
12. Fulham (13th in the league table, 28 points): Fulham didn't enjoy the hottest start to 2013, but I like what I saw from them this past week. They were very unlucky to not pick up at least a point against United on Saturday. Not enough power outages, I guess.
11. West Bromwich Albion (9th in the league table, 34 points): Is there a single thing West Brom can do right at this point of the season?
10. Sunderland (12th in the league table, 29 points): It's hard to fault Sunderland for losing to a Reading side that's found new life as of late. I believe they'll be just fine.
9. West Ham United (11th in the league table, 30 points): All Andy Carroll jokes aside, beating Swansea is no easy task. With that said, imagine what could be in West Ham's near future if Carroll is able to stay healthy and get going?
8. Swansea City (8th in the league table, 34 points): This wasn't their best week of the season, but I still believe Swans are more talented than any team beneath them in this list. That's why I can't drop them.
7. Liverpool (7th in the league table, 36 points): Blowing a two goal lead. Having a goalkeeper who is guilty of one of the biggest miscues of the season. Liverpool aren't a top four side right now, and I feel foolish for thinking they might have been just a few weeks ago.
6. Everton (5th in the league table, 42 points): A Champions League team has no business dropping points to Villa at home. They've wasted multiple opportunities to move up in the league table over the past few weeks.
5. Arsenal (6th in the league table, 41 points): Arsenal managed to not find themselves down a goal early on against Stoke on Saturday. That's a trend that has to continue.
4. Chelsea (3rd in the league table, 46 points): Two weeks ago, I would have told you that Chelsea were without a doubt the third best team in the league. Now, I'm once again wondering if Rafa will survive with the Blues up through spring.
3. Tottenham Hotspur (4th in the league table, 45 points): OK, Gareth Bale. Your team's Champions League dreams now rest solely on your shoulders. No pressure.
2. Manchester City (2nd in the league table, 53 points): City are still far and away the second best team in the EPL, but their title hopes are fading fast. I'm not sure I can see United slipping all that much between now and May.
1. Manchester United (1st in the league table, 62 points): Kings of all power rankings once again, United reminded everybody on Saturday that you can't spell "ugly win" without "w-i-n." The league continues to be theirs to lose.
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