EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 31

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMarch 20, 2018

EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 31

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    The FA Cup took centre stage in England this week, with semi-final berths at stake, but humming along in the background were four Premier League games. Liverpool thrashed Waford, while AFC Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Everton all earned crucial victories.

    It hasn't generated much in terms of movement, but we do have a leadership change in one category.

    We have updated our lists to take into account the latest gameweek 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

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    ROLAND HARRISON/Getty Images

    Eight of our top 10 goalkeepers for the season were out of action this weekend, leading to zero changes in the category.

    Only Jordan Pickford (conceded one) and Jonas Lossl (conceded two) played, and their performances don't merit a move up.

    It gets better, we promise.

    Biggest rise: None

    Biggest fall: None

            

    Top 10 Goalkeepers
    RankPlayerClub
    1Ederson (Stay)Manchester City
    2David De Gea (Stay)Manchester United
    3Nick Pope (Stay)Burnley
    4Lukasz Fabianski (Stay)Swansea City
    5Hugo Lloris (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
    6Jordan Pickford (Stay)Everton
    7Thibaut Courtois (Stay)Chelsea
    8Mat Ryan (Stay)
    Brighton & Hove Albion
    9Kasper Schmeichel (Stay)Leicester City
    10Jonas Lossl (Stay)Huddersfield Town

Right-Backs/Right Wing-Backs

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    Wahey, some movement! Not a lot, but it's an improvement on the goalkeepers at the least.

    Joe Gomez returned to Liverpool's starting XI for the first time in weeks and did well, offering less in an attack in than Trent Alexander-Arnold, but still measuring in a few crosses.

    Gomez moves up to fifth, surpassing Kieran Trippier (who didn't play) and Kiko Femenia, whose team he helped beat 5-0 on Saturday.

    Biggest rise: Joe Gomez (+2)

    Biggest fall: Kiko Femenia (-2)

                

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

Left-Backs/Left Wing-Backs

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    Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

    Liverpool fans are about ready to christen Andrew Robertson the best left-back in Europe, and while we're not quite there ourselves, it is clear he's been the best in the Premier League so far this season.

    With only 18 starts to his name it wasn't an easy choice to elevate him to the No. 1 spot—it's hardly a huge body of work—but then, Ben Davies—the previous incumbent—has just 21. Robertson's been scintillating of late, endearing himself to the Anfield crowd with a serious of battling displays and brilliant low crosses.

    Biggest rise: Andrew Robertson (+1)

    Biggest fall: Ben Davies (-1)

            

    Top 10 LBs/LWBs
    RankPlayerClub
    1Andrew Robertson (+1)Liverpool
    2Ben Davies (-1)Tottenham Hotspur
    3Fabian Delph (Stay)Manchester City
    4Ashley Young (Stay)Manchester United
    5Marcos Alonso (Stay)Chelsea
    6Stephen Ward (Stay)Burnley
    7Sead Kolasinac (Stay)Arsenal
    8Ryan Bertrand (Stay)Southampton
    9Ben Chilwell (Stay)Leicester City
    10Charlie Daniels (Stay)Bournemouth

Centre-Backs

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    Tony Marshall/Getty Images

    Ouf our top 20 centre-backs, just four played. Two performed well, two didn't.

    Christopher Schindler struggled with the physicality of Christian Benteke, while Kurt Zouma's level fluctuated against Everton. On a more positive note, Virgil van Dijk was, well, Virgil van Dijk against Watford, and James Tomkins scored a vital goal in Crystal Palace's survival push.

    Biggest rise: Virgil van Dijk (+3)

    Biggest fall: Multiple (-1)

            

    Top 20 CBs
    RankPlayerClub
    1Jan Vertonghen (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
    2Cesar Azpilicueta (Stay)Chelsea
    3Nicolas Otamendi (Stay)
    Manchester City
    4James Tarkowski (Stay)Burnley
    5Ben Mee (Stay)Burnley
    6Jamaal Lascelles (Stay)Newcastle United
    7Andreas Christensen (Stay)Chelsea
    8Davinson Sanchez (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
    9Nacho Monreal (Stay)Arsenal
    10Harry Maguire (+1)Leicester City
    11Christopher Schindler (-1)Huddersfield Town
    12Lewis Dunk (Stay)Brighton & Hove Albion
    13Kurt Zouma (Stay)Stoke City
    14Virgil van Dijk (+3)Liverpool
    15Antonio Rudiger (-1)Chelsea
    16Alfie Mawson (-1)Swansea City
    17James Tomkins (+1)Crystal Palace
    18Phil Jones (-1)Manchester United
    19Shane Duffy (Stay)Brighton & Hove Albion
    20Federico Fernandez (New!)Swansea City

Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    The notable change in this section is the swapping of Mousa Dembele and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

    The latter has endured a rather difficult week or so, travelling to The Emirates and Anfield and seeing his team beaten a combined 8-0 over the two games. He hasn't even begun to play as well as he's capable of, and that sees him drop below Dembele.

    Further down, Lewis Cook bounced back from a poor showing against Tottenham Hotspur with an improved performance against West Bromwich Albion, so moves up one.

    Biggest rise: Multiple (+1)

    Biggest fall: Multiple (-1)        

    Top 20 DMs/CMs
    RankPlayerClub
    1David Silva (Stay)Manchester City
    2Fernandinho (Stay)Manchester City
    3N'Golo Kante (Stay)Chelsea
    4Nemanja Matic (Stay)Manchester United
    5Paul Pogba (Stay)Manchester United
    6Mousa Dembele (+1)Tottenham Hotspur
    7Abdoulaye Doucoure (+1)Watford
    8Aaron Ramsey (Stay)Arsenal
    9Eric Dier (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
    10Emre Can (Stay)Liverpool
    11Jack Cork (Stay)Burnley
    12Mario Lemina (Stay)Southampton
    13Wilfred Ndidi (Stay)Leicester City
    14Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Stay)Liverpool
    15Lewis Cook (+1)Bournemouth
    16Aaron Mooy (-1)Huddersfield Town
    17Georginio Wijnaldum (Stay)Liverpool
    18Jonathan Hogg (Stay)Huddersfield Town
    19Cesc Fabregas (Stay)Chelsea
    20Davy Propper (Stay)Brighton & Hove Albion

Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

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    LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

    This section is largely populated by the Premier League's top six, and when only one of them play, it leads to a distinct lack of movement across the board.

    The only switch we have is Sadio Mane and Mesut Ozil is flipping. The Liverpool man played very well against Watford, playing a part in several goals, but in the wake of Mohamed Salah's four-goal, one-assist showing, he's understandably been somewhat overlooked in the praise stakes.

    It's a marker of just how good Kevin De Bruyne's been this season that Salah's four strikes, taking his Premier League tally to 28 for the campaign, isn't enough to supplant him at the top.

    Biggest rise: Sadio Mane (+1)

    Biggest fall: Mesut Ozil (-1)

            

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

Strikers

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    PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

    Roberto Firmino was brilliant against Watford, a workhorse, a creator and a goalscorer, but he'll need a few more similar performances before he overtakes Harry Kane in these stakes.

    The only other player in the top 10 to play a Premier League game was Wilfried Zaha and it was hardly his best, with Christian Benteke arguably out-performing him for once.

    Biggest rise: None

    Biggest fall: None

             

    Top 10 Strikers
    RankPlayerClub
    1Harry Kane (Stay)Tottenham Hotspur
    2Roberto Firmino (Stay)Liverpool
    3Sergio Aguero (Stay)Manchester City
    4Romelu Lukaku (Stay)Manchester United
    5Jamie Vardy (Stay)Leicester City
    6Wilfried Zaha (Stay)Crystal Palace
    7Gabriel Jesus (Stay)Manchester City
    8Alvaro Morata (Stay)Chelsea
    9Glenn Murray (Stay)Brighton & Hove Albion
    10Chris Wood (Stay)Burnley

                 

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