Premier League Player Power Rankings: Hattrick Hazard Stays Top, Sturridge Rises
Welcome to the latest round-up of our Premier League player power rankings, taking a look at the best and most in-form performers in England's top flight.
Last week saw Chelsea's Eden Hazard rise to the top, and it will be no surprise to see him remain there, though there is movement below him.
This time we welcome one new addition to the rankings, with one other player making way.
Dropping Out/Honourable Mentions
Adam Johnson made our top 10 last week, but he was unable to have an impact on his side this weekend and, with others performing well, he drops out for now.
Kevin Nolan deserves recognition for hitting the goal trail in recent weeks to help West Ham out of their tough situation at the bottom. He scored twice against Aston Villa to seal a 2-0 win on Saturday.
Jordan Henderson, Emmanuel Adebayor and Samuel Eto'o also deserve mentions for their recent displays. Raheem Sterling is another banging on the top-10 door after another mammoth performance.
10. John Terry, Chelsea
Last Week: 9
Chelsea club captain and centre-back John Terry joined the top 10 last week after a series of excellent performances.
Suffering a minor setback, he did not play at the weekend against Newcastle United, though it did not adversely affect his side, who kept a clean sheet.
Terry drops one place, then, though not through a poor performance.
9. Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City
Last Week: 7
Pablo Zabaleta played his part defensively in Manchester City's draw with Norwich City at the weekend, but the 0-0 draw wasn't the result anybody in blue hoped for.
Much of Norwich's late threat came down the opposite flank, so the Argentine was not lax in trying to prevent a late hit-and-run on his team. However, he was one of several who also didn't really provide the sort of attacking movement and creativity we've come to expect from him.
City's 0-0 result was a big disappointment as they chase the league title.
8. Steven Gerrard, Liverpool
Last Week: NEW!
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has found himself performing in a holding midfield role over the past month or so.
As expected, there have been some ups and downs along the way, but his performances of late have been of a standard befitting the England international captain and against Arsenal was perhaps one of his best yet.
A second-half penalty conceded was a blot on his otherwise near-perfect copybook, but the game was well over by then—Liverpool were already 5-0 up.
7. Per Mertesacker, Arsenal
Last Week: 6
This image shown is basically as close as Per Mertesacker got to either of the Liverpool forwards this weekend.
The German conceded a free kick after 30 seconds, Liverpool scored from it and it only went downhill from there.
Mertesacker has had a great season so far, but his lack of pace and ability to stop the runs of Daniel Sturridge and co. were brutally exposed on Saturday. He drops one place.
6. Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool
Last Week: 10
This week's big mover is Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who played a true centre-forward's role against Arsenal and was a big part of his team's ruthless display.
Sturridge scored one, could have had another and was heavily involved in much of his side's attacking play.
Since returning from injury, Sturridge has scored six goals in five games, giving him 15 in 17 for the league campaign.
5. Yaya Toure, Manchester City
Last Week: 5
Yaya Toure played a surprisingly more disciplined game against Norwich City than he did against Chelsea last week.
He was not really at his penetrative, powerful best in going forward, and City's overall attack suffered as a result, even though they made enough chances to win the game.
Toure doesn't drop any further in the rankings, but he's not troubling the top three at present either.
4. Olivier Giroud, Arsenal
Last Week: 3
As far as ineffective performances go, Olivier Giroud's against Liverpool was right up there.
It wasn't exactly his fault; Arsenal were shoddy in possession and second to everything, meaning the forward had very little supply line for most of the match at Anfield.
Even so, his inability to remotely trouble Simon Mignolet means he drops a place in our rankings.
3. Gary Cahill, Chelsea
Last Week: 4
Gary Cahill was the main man at the back for Chelsea in their routine win over Newcastle United with John Terry absent.
Cahill continued his recent good form with another solid showing and helped his team record another clean sheet.
It wasn't the busiest game he'll ever have as a defender, with Newcastle sitting deep and offering little support to the attack, but he did what needed to be done.
2. Luis Suarez, Liverpool
Last Week: 2
Luis Suarez didn't score for Liverpool in their 5-1 win over Arsenal at the weekend, but that was about the only thing he didn't do.
Suarez won the free kick for the first goal, was involved in the build-up to win the corner for the second, claimed an assist for the third, should have had another assist but for a miss from his strike partner Sturridge—and rattled the frame of the goal with an outrageous volley from 25 yards.
Playing on the right of the front three, he was selfless in his work rate and showed enormous quality once more.
1. Eden Hazard, Chelsea
Last Week: 1
No movement at all for Eden Hazard—the Chelsea wide forward rammed in a hat-trick against Newcastle in a scintillating individual display.
Great movement, excellent finishes and a composed penalty saw him score all the goals in a 3-0 home win.
Hazard remains top of the rankings, and as long as he is in this form, it is hard to see many teams stopping Jose Mourinho's men.