EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 4

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterSeptember 13, 2017

Manchester City's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on September 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

As Manchester City and Liverpool kicked off at 12:30 p.m. BST on Saturday, a worldwide sigh of relief occurred in unison. Premier League football was back after an incredibly rude, untimely August interruption.

The first slate of fixtures following an international break always throw up some oddities, as squads are rotated according to how far certain players have travelled, and this weekend was no different.

We have updated our lists to take into account the fourth and latest weekend of action. It's divided into seven different position groups, and it's based solely on performances in the Premier League in 2017-18.

In order to be eligible, you have to have taken part in at least half the games your team has played. Therefore, those who have only featured in one of the four matches so far this season aren't included.

            

Goalkeepers

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  David De Gea of Manchester United celebrates after his side score their second goal during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Bet365 Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Stoke on Trent,
Alex Morton/Getty Images

Jonas Lossl loses his spot atop the goalkeeper rankings this week, with David de Gea usurping him. It's not that the Huddersfield man was bad; it's that his Manchester United counterpart was clearly better.

Neither managed clean sheets—the first time that's happened this seasonbut De Gea did shock the world with a stunning reaction save against Stoke City that saved his side a point.

One to note is Rob Elliot, who moves up five this week after a strong showing against Swansea City. He's really seizing his chance between the sticks. 

Top 10 Goalkeepers
RankPlayerClub
1David De Gea (+1)Manchester United
2Jonas Lossl (-1)Huddersfield Town
3Jack Butland (Stay)Stoke City
4Jordan Pickford (Stay)Everton
5Rob Elliot (+5)Newcastle United
6Ben Foster (-1)West Bromwich Albion
7Kasper Schmeichel (-1)Leicester City
8Lukasz Fabianski (Stay)Swansea City
9Thibaut Courtois (-2)Chelsea
10Asmir Begovic (New!)AFC Bournemouth

Right-Backs/Right-Wing-Backs

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Manchester City player Kyle Walker in action  during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Antonio Valencia hangs on to his first-place berth here, but he's fortunate to do so. The fact Joe Gomez didn't play and Allan Nyom conceded three is a major factor there.

Gomez not taking to the field for Liverpool's demolition at the hands of Manchester City simply protects his stock and keeps him in the top 10, while Kyle Walker's on the rise following his impressive return from suspension.

Despite Southampton's poor performance at the weekend, Cedric Soares was the lone bright spot from right-back and moves into the top three as a result.

Top 10 RBs/RWBs
RankPlayerClub
1Antonio Valencia (Stay)Manchester United
2Kiko Femenia (+3)Watford
3Cedric Soares (+1)Southampton
4Joe Gomez (-1)Liverpool
5Danilo (+2)Manchester City
6Allan Nyom (-4)West Bromwich Albion
7Tommy Smith (-1)Huddersfield Town
8Kyle Walker (+2)Manchester City
9Matthew Lowton (-1)Burnley
10Victor Moses (-1)Chelsea

       

Left-Backs/Left-Wing-Backs

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Ben Davies of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on September 9, 2017 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Ben Davies is out for Marcos Alonso's spot at the top!

The Welshman played one of the finest games of his Tottenham Hotspur career on Saturday at Goodison Park, keeping a clean sheet, assisting a goal and playing a big part in another. Next week we could be looking at a new No. 1.

Daley Blind was rested for Manchester United's draw with Stoke City, and that actually boosts his stock, as his replacement, Matteo Darmian, wasn't great.

Top 10 LBs/LWBs
RankPlayerClub
1Marcos Alonso (Stay)Chelsea
2Ben Davies (+2)Tottenham
3Daley Blind (Stay)Manchester United
4Chris Lowe (-2)Huddersfield Town
5Benjamin Mendy (New!)Manchester City
6Ryan Bertrand (-1)Southampton
7Stephen Ward (+1)Burnley
8Erik Pieters (New!)Stoke City
9Chancel Mbemba (Stay)Newcastle United
10Leighton Baines (Stay)Everton

          


Centre-Backs

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Kurt Zouma of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Bet365 Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Last week's top two centre-backsChristopher Schindler and Eric Baillyboth regressed in their performances this week, but the latter regressed more. It is thoroughly unlike Bailly to be caught ball-watching as a striker steals in front of him in the box, but that's what happened, and he's punished here for it.

Sead Kolasinac is still in the centre-backs category having played the majority of his minutes there, but he moves upward as a result of his strong performance at left-wing-back at the weekend. A strange one, but hopefully one more start on the flank next week will see him rightly moved over.

James Tarkowski has already scooped two Man of the Match awards for Burnley this season as he rises to take up Michael Keane's mantle. 

Top 20 CBs
RankPlayerClub
1Christopher Schindler (+1)Huddersfield Town
2Eric Bailly (-1)Manchester United
3Ben Mee (Stay)Burnley
4Kurt Zouma (+2)Stoke City
5James Tarkowski (+3)Burnley
6Sead Kolasinac (+5)Arsenal
7Zanka (-3)Huddersfield Town
8Cesar Azpilicueta (+6)Chelsea
9Jan Vertonghen (+8)Tottenham Hotspur
10Phil Jones (-5)Manchester United
11Ciaran Clark (+2)Newcastle United
12Sebastian Prodl (-3)Watford
13Toby Alderweireld (+5)Tottenham Hotspur
14Christian Kabasele (New!)Watford
15Phil Jagielka (Stay)Everton
16Jamaal Lascelles (New!)Newcastle United 
17Harry Maguire (-7)Leicester City
18Ahmed Hegazi (-12)West Bromwich Albion
19John Stones (New!)Manchester City
20Jack Stephens (New!)Southampton

         

Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders 

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Abdoulaye Doucoure of Watford celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Watford at St Mary's Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

There's a little shakeup at the top in this section, with Paul Pogba still reigning supreme but those just below him switching about. We could get a shift at the top in the coming weeks, with the Manchester United man set for a spell out through injury.

Abdoulaye Doucoure's ridiculously strong start to the season continued as he dominated the centre and scored a long-range effort at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday, while David Silva and N'Golo Kante also move up after similarly strong showings.

The biggest drop is Oriol Romeu's, who had a uncharacteristically poor day against Watford; Idrissa Gueye and Philip Billing struggled to make their usual impact, too.

Top 20 DMs/CMs
RankPlayerClub
1Paul Pogba (Stay)Manchester United
2Abdoulaye Doucoure (+2)Watford
3Nemanja Matic (-1)Manchester United
4David Silva (+1)Manchester City
5Aaron Mooy (-3)Huddersfield Town
6N'Golo Kante (+2)Chelsea
7Kevin De Bruyne (+7)Manchester City
8Steven Defour (-1)Burnley
9Nathaniel Chalobah (+5)Watford
10Jack Cork (Stay)Burnley
11Fernandinho (+9)Manchester City
12Mousa Dembele (-3)Tottenham Hotspur
13Philip Billing (-2)Huddersfield Town
14Mikel Merino (+2)Newcastle United
15Mario Lemina (Stay)Southampton
16Darren Fletcher (+3)Stoke City
17Gareth Barry (New!)West Bromwich Albion
18Idrissa Gueye (-1)Everton
19Jake Livermore (New!)West Bromwich Albion
20Oriol Romeu (-8)Southampton

             

Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11:  Michail Antonio of West Ham in action during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Huddersfield Town at London Stadium on September 11, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

It felt cruel that Henrikh Mkhitaryan wasn't awarded his sixth assist of the season on Saturday. After all, it was he who fired in the corner that Marcus Rashford netted fromalbeit after a knock-on and a header from Pogbaand he who slid Romelu Lukaku through on goal only to see him score at the second time of asking.

The Armenian was otherwise a little quiet, crowded out in possession, and it feels like that's the hallmark of his season: periods of time doing nothing and then an explosion of creativity and life.

Tom Cleverley has been moved into this section this week after playing in a more advanced role of late, and he's not the only new addition: Anthony Knockaert and Danny Welbeck both join the top 20, too.

It's been surprisingly hard to fill out 20 top performers in this section this season. Perhaps with the returns of Eden Hazard, Philippe Coutinho and more, things get a little easier soon.

Top 20 AMs/Wingers
RankPlayerClub
1Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Stay)Manchester United
2Christian Eriksen (+1)Tottenham Hotspur
3Mohamed Salah (+1)Liverpool
4Marcus Rashford (+1)Manchester United
5Sadio Mane (-3)Liverpool
6Richarlison (+4)Watford
7Raheem Sterling (Stay)Manchester City
8Dele Alli (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
9Juan Mata (Stay)Manchester United
10Anthony Martial (-4)Manchester United
11Tom Cleverley (+2)Watford
12Michail Antonio (+5)West Ham United
13Danny Welbeck (New!)Arsenal
14Riyad Mahrez (+1)Leicester City
15Nathan Redmond (-3)Southampton
16Elias Kachunga (-5)
Huddersfield Town
17Anthony Knockaert (New!)Brighton & Hove Albion
18Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Stay)Crystal Palace
19Bernardo Silva (Stay)Manchester City
20Matt Phillips (Stay)West Bromwich Albion

        

Strikers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With Roberto Firmino dropping from top spot after an understandably muted performance at the Etihad Stadium, we had a tough choice when it came to a replacement: Gabriel Jesus or Alvaro Morata? We've opted for Jesus, but it's tight; it's difficult to have both feet in either camp.

Romelu Lukaku stays in fourth after netting his fourth of the season, and then comes a slew of new entries, including star names Sergio Aguero, Alexandre Lacazette and Harry Kane.

Chris Wood, who hasn't played that much football but has netted in each of the two games he's played, enters at ninth. 

Top 10 Strikers
RankPlayerClub
1Gabriel Jesus (+2)Manchester City
2Alvaro Morata (Stay)Chelsea
3Roberto Firmino (-2)Liverpool
4Romelu Lukaku (Stay)Manchester United
5Harry Kane (New!)Tottenham Hotspur
6Sergio Aguero (New!)Manchester City
7Alexandre Lacazette (New!)Arsenal
8Jamie Vardy (New!)Leicester City
9Chris Wood (New!)Burnley
10Dominic Calvert-Lewin (-5)Everton

                 

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