EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 12

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 13, 2018

EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 12

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    OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

    We head into the final international break of the year on a Premier League high, with the Manchester derby concluding what was yet another electrifying weekend of top-tier English football.

    To help you chew over all the action and assess how every team and player got on, B/R returns with another edition of the EPL 100, ranking the best players in the Premier League by position.

    Only performances in the 2018-19 Premier League season affect this ranking. Reputations, cup performances and European showings matter not.

    To be eligible, players need to have started at least 50 per cent of the games—so, in this case, six (or more) out of 12. Some players like Riyad Mahrez and Pedro are teetering on the edge of that halfway mark, coming in and dropping out. We do our best to include them again in a sensible position when eligible.

    Players who have appeared in multiple positions (examples: Bernardo Silva, Richarlison) are categorized by the spot they've played most. If those values are level, they fall into the category they played most recently.

    The idea is for our rankings, on a week-to-week basis, to give you an idea of who the best in each position has been this season. So, if the "best in each position" award were given out this week or a Team of the Season was crowned this early, the No. 1s in each category would be our choices.


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    LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

    Martin Dubravka retains the No. 1 spot after producing several excellent interventions in Newcastle's win over Bournemouth this weekend. His run of clean sheets stopped, but he was vital to the three-point haul nonetheless.

    Hugo Lloris came up big for Tottenham when they needed him (again), launching him into third, while Jordan Pickford joins the party in sixth.

    The Everton shot-stopper started this campaign slowly, with his performance defined more by errors than anything else, but over the last six weeks, Pickford has bucked up considerably and single-handedly kept Chelsea at bay on Sunday at times in a scoreless draw.

    Despite keeping another clean sheet each, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Alisson Becker don't feature. It's very hard for the Chelsea and Liverpool keepers, respectively, to shine on a week-to-week basis as they're often left with little to do. Keeping a clean sheet doesn't always mean a goalkeeper played well, and in their cases, it's very often the suffocating defence in front of them that's most impactful.

    Biggest rise: Hugo Lloris (+3)

    Biggest fall: David De Gea (-3)      

    Top 10 Goalkeepers
    1Martin Dubravka (Stay)Newcastle
    2Lukasz Fabianski (Stay)West Ham
    3Hugo Lloris (+3)Tottenham
    4Rui Patricio (-1)Wolves
    5Ben Foster (-1)Watford
    6Jordan Pickford (New!)Everton
    7Joe Hart (Stay)Burnley
    8David De Gea (-3)Manchester United
    9Mat Ryan (Stay)Brighton
    10Ederson Moraes (-2)
    Manchester City

Right-Backs/Right Wing-Backs

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    Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

    There were a fair few strong performers at right-back this past weekend, but sadly that hasn't necessarily translated into a lot of movement in these rankings.

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka swaps with Cesar Azpilicueta after another good individual showing, while DeAndre Yedlin's contribution on the first of Hector Rondon's two goals bumps him up one.

    We have two new entries at the bottom of our top 10. Ricardo Pereira is now playing enough games at right-back to qualify, and Seamus Coleman is enjoying a good patch of form after his return from injury.

    Biggest rise: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, DeAndre Yedlin (+1)

    Biggest fall: Cesar Azpilicueta (-1)


    Top 10 RBs/RWBs
    1Kyle Walker (Stay)Manchester City
    2Matt Doherty (Stay)Wolves
    3Pablo Zabaleta (Stay)West Ham
    4Aaron Wan-Bissaka (+1)
    Crystal Palace
    5Cesar Azpilicueta (-1)Chelsea
    6Hector Bellerin (Stay)Arsenal
    7Trent Alexander-Arnold (Stay)Liverpool
    8DeAndre Yedlin (+1)
    9Ricardo Pereira (New!)Leicester City
    10Seamus Coleman (New!)Everton

Left-Backs/Left Wing-Backs

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    Harry Trump/Getty Images

    After three weeks on the slide, Jonny put in a super, combative performance against Arsenal and earned himself a two-place rise. He nips in ahead of Benjamin Mendy, who wasn't poor against Manchester United but seems to be lacking the attacking swagger we usually associate with him.

    Lucas Digne and Paul Dummett are a little unfortunate to be moving down—the former contributed to a clean sheet, the latter played well against Bournemouth—but Jose Holebas' goal rockets him above both of them and into sixth.

    Biggest rise: Jose Holebas (+3)

    Biggest fall: Luke Shaw (-2)


    Top 10 LBs/LWBs
    1Marcos Alonso (Stay)Chelsea
    2Andy Robertson (Stay)Liverpool
    3Ben Chilwell (Stay)
    Leicester City
    4Jonny (+2)
    5Benjamin Mendy (-1)Manchester City
    6Jose Holebas (+3)Watford
    7Luke Shaw (-2)Manchester United
    8Lucas Digne (-1)Everton
    9Paul Dummett (-1)Newcastle
    10Chris Lowe (Stay)


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    Federico Fernandez
    Federico FernandezIan MacNicol/Getty Images

    That swagger we spoke of with regard to Benjamin Mendy? Perhaps John Stones stole it. His performance levels have been through the roof this season, and he's completely owning the stage on the big occasion. He moves above Antonio Rudiger despite the German keeping a clean sheet.

    Issa Diop's steady rise up the rankings stops here, as he drops three after a poor performance against Huddersfield Town. He can thank Steve Mounie's profligacy for the fact one of his errors did not lead to a goal.

    One player whose performances may well have flown under the radar is Federico Fernandez. He's been excellent at the heart of Newcastle's defence—so much so that Jamaal Lascelles' absences no longer basically guarantee losses.

    Biggest rise: Conor Coady (+4)

    Biggest fall: Nathan Ake (-4)


    Top 20 CBs
    1Virgil van Dijk (Stay)
    2Aymeric Laporte (Stay)Manchester City
    3John Stones (+1)Manchester City
    4Antonio Rudiger (-1)Chelsea
    5Joe Gomez (Stay)Liverpool
    6Michael Keane (Stay)Everton
    7Toby Alderweireld (+1)Tottenham
    8Federico Fernandez (+3)Newcastle
    9Conor Coady (+4)Wolves
    10Issa Diop (-3)West Ham
    11Craig Cathcart (-1)Watford
    12Ryan Bennett (Stay)Wolves
    13Nathan Ake (-4)Bournemouth
    14David Luiz (Stay)Chelsea
    15Willy Boly (Stay)Wolves
    16Kurt Zouma (Stay)Everton
    17Jan Vertonghen (Stay)Tottenham
    18Shane Duffy (Stay)
    19Lewis Dunk (Stay)Brighton
    20Rob Holding (New!)Arsenal

Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders

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    Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

    Some might have expected Jorginho and Georginio Wijnaldum to be moving down the rankings this week. Neither were great, but for now, they're firmly entrenched in fifth and sixth, as one off day doesn't negate a generally excellent season so far.

    Idrissa Gueye is a big mover in the right direction, with the Senegalese impressing at Stamford Bridge on Sunday during Everton's 0-0 draw with Chelsea. The player he is often compared to, N'Golo Kante, was on the opposite side and was arguably outshone on the day.

    All three of Huddersfield Town's central midfielders are now in the top 20, highlighting what a good job they do in the middle. Creativity and work rate are not their issues.

    Biggest rise: Idrissa Gueye (+7)

    Biggest fall: Multiple (-2)


    Top 20 DMs/CMs
    1Bernardo Silva (Stay)Manchester City
    2David Silva (Stay)Manchester City
    3Fernandinho (Stay)Manchester City
    4Etienne Capoue (Stay)Watford
    5Jorginho (Stay)
    6Georginio Wijnaldum (Stay)
    7Lucas Torreira (+1)Arsenal
    8Idrissa Gueye (+7)Everton 
    9Ruben Neves (-2)Wolves
    10Abdoulaye Doucoure (-1)Watford
    11N'Golo Kante (-1)Chelsea
    12Declan Rice (-1)West Ham
    13Joao Moutinho (+1)Wolves
    14James Milner (-2)Liverpool
    15Mateo Kovacic (-2)Chelsea
    16Aaron Mooy (+1) Huddersfield Town
    17Philip Billing (-1)Huddersfield Town
    18Paul Pogba (Stay)
    Manchester United
    19Jonathan Hogg (New!)Huddersfield Town
    20Jonjo Shelvey (-1)

Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

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    GEOFF CADDICK/Getty Images

    It's still tight between the top two, but Raheem Sterling is still edging the battle. He didn't find the scoresheet against Manchester United, but his movement was sublime. It's enough to hold off a huffing, puffing Eden Hazard performance that looked good, but one that lacked end product.

    Richarlison has moved to the strikers' section as a result of his new role at Everton, creating a nice easy shift upward for several players in the top 10.

    His colleague, Gylfi Sigurdsson, turned in a rather different performance to what you'd usually expect, but it was excellent nonetheless. He focused on defensive duties, disrupting Jorginho's rhythm and playing a big part in the nullification of Chelsea.

    Roberto Pereyra dropped down after doing little versus Southampton. Riyad Mahrez jumped back in after he had enough starts to qualify, while Felipe Anderson rose again.

    Biggest rise: Mohamed Salah, Felipe Anderson (+5)

    Biggest fall: Will Hughes, Roberto Pereyra (-3)


    Top 20 AMs/Wingers
    1Raheem Sterling (Stay)Manchester City
    2Eden Hazard (Stay)Chelsea
    3Gylfi Sigurdsson (+2)Everton
    4Ryan Fraser (+3)
    5Mohamed Salah (+5)Liverpool
    6Roberto Pereyra (-3)Watford
    7Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Stay)
    8Anthony Martial (Stay)Manchester United
    9Sadio Mane (Stay)Liverpool
    10David Brooks (+1)
    11Willian (+3)
    12James Maddison (Stay)Leicester City 
    13Pedro (Stay)Chelsea
    14Riyad Mahrez (New!)Manchester City
    15Felipe Anderson (+5)West Ham
    16Helder Costa (+3)Wolves
    17Lucas Moura (-2)Tottenham
    18Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Stay)
    19Will Hughes (-3)Watford
    20Demarai Gray (New!)Leicester City


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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Last week we toyed with placing Sergio Aguero ahead of Callum Wilson but ultimately opted not to. This week there was no toying; it was an easy choice to make the switch.

    The Argentinian's tireless performance in the Manchester derby, one that yielded his eighth goal of the league campaign so far, secures him a spot at the summit.

    Richarlison transfers over and lands in third, with his seasonal score good enough to beat out almost everyone else, while Raul Jimenez—king of the lay-off assist—moves up to sixth after yet another selfless performance up top for Wolves.

    Biggest rise: Multiple (+1)

    Biggest fall: Glenn Murray (-3)


    Top 10 Strikers
    1Sergio Aguero (+1)Manchester City
    2Callum Wilson (-1)
    3Richarlison (New!)Everton
    4Alexandre Lacazette (-1)Arsenal
    5Wilfried Zaha (-1)Crystal Palace
    6Raul Jimenez (+1)
    7Marko Arnautovic (-2)
    West Ham
    8Harry Kane (Stay)Tottenham
    9Glenn Murray (-3)Brighton
    10Danny Ings (Stay)


    All statistics via WhoScored.com.