EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 20

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 29, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: General view as Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his sides fifth goal with Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on December 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Premier League football at Christmas. It's relentless, isn't it?

At the time of year when many leagues, notably Germany and Spain, take at least a week off to recuperate and participate in festivities, England opts to up the ante, cramming as many fixtures in as humanly possible, dizzying and dazzling spectators in the process.

We have updated our lists to take into account the latest two gameweeks of action. They are divided into seven position groups and based solely on performances in the Premier League in 2017-18.

To be eligible, a player must have taken part in at least half the games his team has played.


Goalkeepers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23:  Ederson of Manchester City in action during the Premier League match between Manchester City and AFC Bournemouth at Etihad Stadium on December 23, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Manchester United were uncharacteristically sloppy in defence over the last two gameweeks, and that brought about the concession of four goals in two matches for David De Gea—a rather uncommon sight.

Ederson Moraes, on the other hand, kept two clean sheets, both with ease, and it means the Brazilian is now very close to stealing top spot off his cross-city rival. Watch this space.

           

Biggest rise: Jordan Pickford (+2)

Biggest fall: Lukasz Fabianski (-3)

Top 10 Goalkeepers
RankPlayerClub
1David De Gea (Stay)Manchester United
2Ederson Moraes (Stay)Manchester City
3Nick Pope (Stay)Burnley
4Thibaut Courtois (Stay)Chelsea
5Jordan Pickford (+2)Everton
6Kasper Schmeichel (-1)
Leicester City
7Rob Elliot (New!)Newcastle United
8Jonas Lossl (New!)
Huddersfield Town
9Lukasz Fabianski (-3)Swansea City
10Petr Cech (-1)Arsenal

Right-Backs/Right Wing-Backs

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Victor Moses of Chelsea reacts after a missed chance during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge on December 26, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Image
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Victor Moses takes advantage of injuries and iffy form elsewhere to surge up to third. He's really started to find his groove of late, making Chelsea's right side a serious threat.

Outside of the Nigerian's rise, little else has happened in this category, largely because none of Antonio Valencia, Kiko Femenia, Matthew Lowton or Cedric Soares took to the pitch over the Christmas period.

                        

Biggest rise: Victor Moses (+2)

Biggest fall: Multiple (-1)

Top 10 RBs/RWBs
RankPlayerClub
1Kyle Walker (Stay)Manchester City
2Antonio Valencia (Stay)Manchester United
3Victor Moses (+2)Chelsea
4Joe Gomez (-1)Liverpool
5Kiko Femenia (-1)Watford
6Matthew Lowton (Stay)Burnley
7Hector Bellerin (Stay)Arsenal
8Jonjoe Kenny (+1)Everton
9Cedric Soares (-1)Southampton
10Kieran Trippier (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur

Left-Backs/Left Wing-Backs

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Marcos Alonso of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge on December 26, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Le
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Like his colleague Moses, Marcos Alonso is enjoying a much-improved patch of form. He has to play every game as there's no back-up for him, so down periods are to be expected, but when he's hot, he's winning games for Chelsea thanks to set-piece wizardry and solid defensive work.

Falling in the Spaniard's wake is Ashley Young, who while still impressive in some areas (notably crossing), has struggled defensively along with every other Manchester United player in the last week.

              

Biggest rise: Marcos Alonso (+3)

Biggest fall: Ashley Young (-2)

Top 10 LBs/LWBs
RankPlayerClub
1Fabian Delph (Stay)Manchester City
2Marcos Alonso (+3)Chelsea
3Sead Kolasinac (Stay)Arsenal
4Ashley Young (-2)Manchester United
5Ryan Bertrand (-1)Southampton
6Stephen Ward (Stay)Burnley
7Ben Davies (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
8Chris Lowe (+1)Huddersfield Town
9Alberto Moreno (-1)Liverpool
10Christian Fuchs (Stay)Leicester City

Centre-Backs

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23:  Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur is closed down by Phil Bardsley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor on December 23, 2017 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

The top four here is static, but below is where the fun begins. Only Christian Kabasele (19th) held his position, with everyone else rising, falling, entering or departing during this manic period.

Nicolas Otamendi helped Manchester City to two clean sheets and performed a superb, acrobatic goal-line clearance against Newcastle United to bail his colleagues out. Jan Vertonghen went one better, denying Shane Long a tap-in with an eye-popping goal-line clearance of his own.

            

Biggest rise: Davinson Sanchez (+7)

Biggest fall: Phil Jones & Chris Smalling (-7)

Top 20 CBs
RankPlayerClub
1Cesar Azpilicueta (Stay)Chelsea
2John Stones (Stay)Manchester City
3Andreas Christensen (Stay)Chelsea
4Ben Mee (Stay)Burnley
5Nicolas Otamendi (+2)Manchester City
6James Tarkowski (-1)Burnley
7Jan Vertonghen (+4)Tottenham Hotspur
8Antonio Rudiger (+4)Chelsea
9Davinson Sanchez (+7)Tottenham Hotspur
10Jamaal Lascelles (-1)Newcastle United
11Christopher Schindler (+2)Huddersfield Town
12Nacho Monreal (-4)Arsenal
13Phil Jones (-7)Manchester United
14Kurt Zouma (+3)Stoke City
15Lewis Dunk (+3)Brighton & Hove Albion
16Zanka (+4)Huddersfield Town
17Chris Smalling (-7)Manchester United
18Harry Maguire (-4)Leicester City
19Christian Kabasele (Stay)Watford
20Shane Duffy (New!)Brighton & Hove Albion

Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) hugs Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (R) applauds after the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield in Liverpool, north wes
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Fernandinho moving down two feels bonkers, given he's playing just as well as ever, but Philippe Coutinho's incredible form of late demands he moves into second.

Steven Defour and Abdoulaye Doucoure swap spots in sixth and eighth, with the former's free-kick at Old Trafford likely to live long in the memory of Burnley fans.

Eric Dier moved back into midfield following Davinson Sanchez's return to fitness and immediately upped his game, tidying things up nicely as Tottenham destroyed two opponents in succession, Burnley and Southampton.

             

Biggest rise: Multiple (+2)

Biggest fall: Multiple (-2)

Top 20 DMs/CMs
RankPlayerClub
1David Silva (Stay)Manchester City
2Philippe Coutinho (+2)Liverpool
3N'Golo Kante (Stay)Chelsea
4Fernandinho (-2)Manchester City
5Nemanja Matic (Stay)Manchester United
6Steven Defour (+2)Burnley
7Jack Cork (Stay)Burnley
8Abdoulaye Doucoure (-2)Watford
9Cesc Fabregas (+1)Chelsea
10Aaron Ramsey (-1)Arsenal
11Mikel Merino (Stay)Newcastle United
12Vicente Iborra (Stay)Leicester City
13Aaron Mooy (Stay)Huddersfield Town
14Tiemoue Bakayoko (Stay)Chelsea
15Georginio Wijnaldum (Stay)Liverpool
16Mario Lemina (Stay)Southampton
17Tom Cleverley (-1)Watford
18Eric Dier (+2)Tottenham Hotspur
19Harry Winks (-2)Tottenham Hotspur
20Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (New!)Liverpool

Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Jesse Lingard of Manchester United celebrates scoring the 2nd Manchester United goal with Luke Shaw during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on December 26, 2017 in Mancheste
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling and Eden Hazard are machines. They always play either well or superbly, scoring, assisting and creating with regularity.

Jumping up into the top 10 is Jesse Lingard, who has become a key feature of this Manchester United attack and bailed them out of embarrassment with a two-goal cameo against Burnley.

Mesut Ozil and Juan Mata both enjoyed at least one excellent game over the festive period, while Dele Alli's mini-renaissance has been a welcome sight for Tottenham fans who had likely begun to worry over his lack of form.

              

Biggest rise: Jesse Lingard (+6)

Biggest fall: Richarlison (-4)

Top 20 AMs/Wingers
RankPlayerClub
1Kevin De Bruyne (Stay)
Manchester City
2Mohamed Salah (Stay)Liverpool
3Raheem Sterling (Stay)Manchester City
4Eden Hazard (Stay)Chelsea
5Leroy Sane (Stay)Manchester City
6Christian Eriksen (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
7Riyad Mahrez (Stay)Leicester City
8Jesse Lingard (+6)Manchester United
9Mesut Ozil (+4)Arsenal
10Marcus Rashford (-2)Manchester United
11Sadio Mane (-1)Liverpool
12Anthony Martial (-1)Manchester United
13Richarlison (-4)Watford
14Alexis Sanchez (New!)Arsenal
15Juan Mata (+3)Manchester United
16Heung-Min Son (-1)Tottenham Hotspur
17JB Gudmundsson (-4)
Burnley
18Marc Albrighton (New!)Leicester City
19Pascal Gross (Stay)Brighton & Hove Albion
20Dele Alli (New!)Tottenham Hotspur

Strikers

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his hat-trick goal to make it 5-1 during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on December 26, 2017 in London, England.
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Consecutive hat-tricks ensure Harry Kane not only keeps his spot at the top but extends his lead over all others by a significant margin. Eighteen goals already. Incredible.

Roberto Firmino also enjoyed himself last week, turning in big performances against both Arsenal and Swansea City. Things are relatively tight among the six strikers below Kane, so two excellent showings on the spin can result in a huge climb like his.

Laurent Depoitre has been a revelation for Huddersfield Town this season, and if he continues to plunder goals at a semi-regular rate he will be seen as one of the signings of the season come May.

                  

Biggest rise: Roberto Firmino (+6)

Biggest fall: Gabriel Jesus (-3)

Top 10 Strikers
RankPlayerClub
1Harry Kane (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
2Sergio Aguero (Stay)Manchester City
3Roberto Firmino (+6)Liverpool
4Alvaro Morata (-1)Chelsea
5Romelu Lukaku (Stay)Manchester United
6Gabriel Jesus (-3)Manchester City
7Jamie Vardy (-1)Leicester City
8Alexandre Lacazette (-1)Arsenal
9Wilfried Zaha (-1)Crystal Palace
10Laurent Depoitre (New!)Huddersfield Town

                                           

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All statistics via WhoScored.com 

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