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After the second half collapse against Southampton last weekend, Aston Villa have remained still at 16th in the latest edition of SB Nation's Premier League Power Rankings. I encourage you to go over there and check out the whole thing, but here is what you can expect to see:
- Aston Villa kept pace above Southampton, despite the loss. If anything, that confirms the perception that Southampton have had a very difficult start to the season, and we'll have to wait a while to get a real idea of how good this team is.
- The "relegation places" are occupied by Norwich City, Queen's Park Rangers, and Reading. While QPR are at least comically incompetent, Norwich and Reading are forgettably mediocre, to the point where I occasionally forget to rank them, just because it seems like they're not even in the league.
- A bit higher up (but only a bit) you'll see a floundering Liverpool team. Brendan Rodgers' side could count the loss to Manchester United among a number of other games this season where they played well enough to win, but failed to capture maximum points. It's hard to see that continuing for long, but Liverpool supporters are hardly a forgiving sort.
- Next weekend's derby opponents, West Bromwich Albion, were ranked 7th. I have my doubts that they're actually this good, I think it's down to a particularly capable start to the season under new manager Steve Clarke. I think they may prove a slightly tougher task than Swansea City, but three points is a definite possibility.
- The top four are the top four. You could shake it up any way you wanted and I'd still be okay with it. Neither of the Manchester clubs have pulled away, and top-ranked Manchester United have yet to be terribly impressive, unless you count the second half against an unfocused Wigan (which I don't.) I'm very intrigued by this new-look Arsenal side, and I hope they can stick around as players like Jack Wilshere return from injury.