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The premise of this article raises an obvious question. How do we define a starter?
Multiple definitions could apply. Few provide a precise picture of what truly makes a starter.
For instance, most would consider defender Nemanja Vidic a starter for Manchester United. The Serbian, however, is recovering from an injury and has made only four league starts for United this season.
Andre Santos, meanwhile, has started Arsenal's last three Premier League matches. Few, however, would consider him a first-choice player for the Gunners, regardless of the club's current struggles.
For our purposes, then, we've defined a starter as a player who has started at least half of his club's matches.
Every Premier League club (apart from Reading and Sunderland) has played 10 matches, so a "starter," in our admittedly arbitrary definition, is a player who has started five league matches this season.
With the definition of starters settled, the rest is simple.
For the most part, we simply followed the stats. We used WhoScored.com's ratings for every Premier League player, but the ratings weren't the exclusive deciding factor (as you will see in one case).
All WhoScored.com ratings were accurate as of Nov. 6, 2012.