Premier League Player Power Rankings: Hazard Soars, Giroud Rises, Cabaye Falls
Welcome to the latest edition of our Premier League player power rankings!
Last week's FA Cup action took centre stage, so this is the first piece in the series of 2014. With 16 days between the rankings, a lot has changed: Injuries to Ross Barkley, Wayne Rooney and Aaron Ramsey have made our choices difficult, while plenty of new players came to the fore.
Who made the cut, who moves up and who drops out? Read on to find out.
Plenty to name this week as we edge toward a serious reshuffle in the rankings.
Phil Jagielka and Gareth Barry were brilliant again, and they're first in line to re-enter the top 10 soon enough.
Fernandinho continued his strong season, Adam Lallana was a game-winner and Chelsea's centre-back pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill impressed once more.
Ross Barkley drops from contention due to a broken toe.
10. Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle
Last Week: 6
Yohan Cabaye's performance against Manchester City was disappointing, and we've come to expect much more.
In fact, he's been far from his usual creative, dominant self for around a month, and that's reflected in Newcastle United's current three-game losing streak.
He drops, and deservedly so.
9. Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City
Last Week: 10
It wasn't pretty, but Manchester City squeezed out an important victory at Newcastle United on Sunday.
The club have now won 15 games in a row (in all competitions), and while the attacking lights of Alvaro Negredo and David Silva shine, Pablo Zabaleta and his defensive crew have been a major success story themselves.
With Vincent Kompany back, they look borderline impregnable.
8. Olivier Giroud, Arsenal
Last Week: 9
Olivier Giroud played very, very well on Monday night against Aston Villa.
It was a performance we've been expecting for a while now, as the Frenchman was dangerously close to slipping out of our rankings for the first time ever.
He had the beating of Villa's centre-backs all evening in the air and scored a well-taken goal to seal a 2-0 advantage.
7. Per Mertesacker, Arsenal
Last Week: 8
Per Mertesacker was dominant once again on Monday night, winning everything that came his way and forcing Christian Benteke into wider, deeper areas for joy.
It stands as yet another great performance by the German, and while he didn't collect a now-customary clean sheet, he'll be happy with a gritty win.
Arsenal go back to the top of the table.
6. Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal
Last Week: 4
Aaron Ramsey missed the game at Villa Park with a troublesome niggle, but he's expected to return to the fold this weekend.
In his absence, Jack Wilshere stepped up to grab one goal and one assist, leading Arsenal to a critical victory and ride out a late onslaught.
"Rambo" falls for now, but we await his impact versus Fulham to give proper assessment.
5. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Last Week: 2
Wayne Rooney missed Manchester United's victory over Swansea City at the weekend and will hope to be back this Sunday.
He's been sent on a "warm-weather break," per The Mirror, to heal a troublesome groin injury that's dogged him all year.
In his absence, Danny Welbeck stepped up and Adnan Januzaj flourished, but there's no replacing this man.
4. Romelu Lukaku, Everton
Last Week: 5
Romelu Lukaku's questionable recent record in front of goal continued this weekend, as yet another blank made it one goal in eight showings.
His game isn't all about hitting the back of the net, though, so we'll forgive him for that. However, he's been stuck on single digits for quite some time now.
Improvement is needed, or the Belgian may just drop out of our top 10. He only moves up because of the blight of injuries hitting our other players.
3. Eden Hazard, Chelsea
Last Week: 7
Eden Hazard put in another ferocious, game-winning display against Hull City on Saturday.
The KC Stadium is a tough place to go, and the Tigers are comfortable defending deep, but the Belgian isn't fussed by a lack of space to work in—he simply creates his own.
His goal, to open the scoring, was incredible.
2. Seamus Coleman, Everton
Last Week: 3
Seamus Coleman performed adequately once again this weekend, playing strongly from right-back and helping his side to another clean sheet.
That said, the Goodison Park crowd were distraught when the Irishman fluffed a chance on goal, as his new goalscoring pedigree demands he score once per game.
Don't worry, Seamus. We value your work in other areas of the pitch, too!
1. Luis Suarez, Liverpool
Last Week: 1
No changes here, then.
Luis Suarez continues as our No. 1 after a two-goal showing against Stoke City, and while he wasn't the main offensive weapon in buildup play (Raheem Sterling was), he finished off two excellent chances in clinical fashion.
That's 22 for the season for the Uruguayan. Bet England can't wait to face him in the FIFA World Cup.
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