EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 15

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 7, 2018

EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 15

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    As if Friday wasn't the best day of the week already, we've got a treat in store to make this one even better: an EPL 100 that covers two gameweeks (last weekend and this week's midweek round), making for a pulsating edition.

    Two good showings can bring about big leaps for certain players, while two bad showings can send some plummeting. You'll notice patterns as you read through, with particular clubs' representatives (West Ham United and Manchester City, for example) prospering and some not so much.

    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, eight (or more) out of 15. That rules the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Riyad Mahrez, Andre Gomes, Ross Barkley and Pedro out for this edition.

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

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

Goalkeepers

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    Some of the Premier League's goalkeepers have hit form. We have a high-performing glut, stretching from Martin Dubravka in first to Ederson Moraes in sixth.

    Bernd Leno joins us in seventh after having finally started enough games to become eligible, although he does so after one of his poorest weeks for Arsenal yet. Handling issues and a soft goal conceded against Tottenham Hotspur don't negate his strong season to date, though.

    Jordan Pickford's bizarre error in the Merseyside derby drops him four spots. David De Gea's mistake against Arsenal sees him fall out of the top 10 completely. Joe Hart re-enters after two brilliant performances on the bounce.

    Biggest rise: Alisson Becker (+4)

    Biggest fall: Jordan Pickford (-4)    

                    

    Top 10 Goalkeepers
    RankPlayerClub
    1Martin Dubravka (Stay)Newcastle
    2Hugo Lloris (Stay)Tottenham
    3Lukasz Fabianski (Stay)West Ham
    4Alisson Becker (+4)Liverpool
    5Ben Foster (Stay)Watford
    6Ederson Moraes (+3)
    Manchester City
    7 Bernd Leno (New!)Arsenal
    8Jordan Pickford (-4)Everton
    9Joe Hart (New!)Burnley
    10Mat Ryan (Stay)
    Brighton

Right-Backs/Right Wing-Backs

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Trent Alexander-Arnold has launched himself back into form and is closing in on the top two. His deliveries from the right have become one of Liverpool's primary weapons in attack.

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka drops two places after a poor performance against Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday night. DeAndre Yedlin had a really tough week, getting overrun by West Ham and Everton, and also drops a couple of spots.

    Ricardo Pereira is improving defensively with every game, and adding that to his attacking play makes him one fierce right-sider.

    Biggest rise: Ricardo Pereira (+3)

    Biggest fall: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, DeAndre Yedlin (-2)

           

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

Left-Backs/Left-Wing-Backs

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    Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

    We have a change at the top: For the first time in eight editions, Marcos Alonso is not the No. 1 left-back.

    He put in two below-par performances in a row, struggling to impact offensively and costing his side defensively. That allows Andrew Robertson to take his place despite only playing one of the two games last week.

    Lucas Digne's steady rise continues; he's been so impressive he's been nominated for the Premier League Player of the Month award for November.

    Jose Holebas is trending the opposite way; after getting rinsed inside and out by Riyad Mahrez on Tuesday, he's down to eighth.

    Biggest rise: Luke Shaw (+2)

    Biggest fall: Jose Holebas (-2)

                 

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

Centre-Backs

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    News that Joe Gomez has fractured his foot is a big blow to Liverpool. He's been an outstanding performer this season, making great strides alongside the imperious Virgil van Dijk.

    Last week Shane Duffy rose eight spots as a reward for his great form. This week he drops six after a silly headbutt on Patrick van Aanholt that resulted in a straight red card. His partner, Lewis Dunk, impressed in his stead and receives a big boost, moving straight into the Irishman's old spot.

    Issa Diop put in two commanding performances, leading to a four-spot rise, and West Ham colleague Fabian Balbuena joins us in 20th after playing very well against Newcastle United.

    Biggest rise: Lewis Dunk (+10)

    Biggest fall: Shane Duffy, Craig Cathcart (-6)

            

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

Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders

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    Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

    Manchester City continue to occupy the top three spots in this section, but the order in which they do so has shifted again. Bernardo Silva was far from his best this past week—in fact, he was a little error-prone and sloppy at times—so Fernandinho nips in ahead of him.

    There's been some disgruntlement regarding how Fernandinho goes about his work in midfield for the Citizens, as his method of pinning opponents in their own half often consists of fouling cynically to prevent counter-attacks. Referees seem to be largely OK with it, though, so there's no reason to mark him down for it.

    Declan Rice was key to two good wins for West Ham, controlling from the centre, while James Milner put in his best Premier League performance for a while, ending a mini-slump in form. 

    Biggest rise: Declan Rice (+4)

    Biggest fall: Multiple (-2)

              

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

Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    There's a lot going on in this section this week: big moves, position changes for players, notable new entries and more.

    We'll start with the headline: Leroy Sane has finally started enough games to enter the rankings, and he begins at No. 4. His output (six goals and five assists in eight starts) has been almost incomprehensibly good, and Manchester City have truly found their groove since his permanent return to the XI.

    James Maddison and Felipe Anderson both excelled this week and are rewarded with a top-10 spot, while Christian Eriksen's return to fitness and form lands him a place in 13th.

    If you're wondering where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has gone, check the next slide.

    Biggest rise: Leroy Sane (New!)

    Biggest fall: Alexi Iwobi (Out)

              

    Top 20 AMs/Wingers
    RankPlayerClub
    1Raheem Sterling (Stay)Manchester City
    2Eden Hazard (Stay)Chelsea
    3Ryan Fraser (+1)Bournemouth
    4Leroy Sane (New!)Manchester City
    5Gylfi Sigurdsson (-2)
    Everton
    6Mohamed Salah (-1)Liverpool
    7Anthony Martial (+2)
    Manchester United
    8David Brooks (-1)Bournemouth
    9James Maddison (+4)Leicester City 
    10Felipe Anderson (+5)
    West Ham
    11Sadio Mane (-3)
    Liverpool
    12Lucas Moura (+2)Tottenham
    13Christian Eriksen (New!)Tottenham
    14Roberto Pereyra (-4)Watford
    15Willian (-4)Chelsea
    16Marc Albrighton (New!)Leicester City
    17Nathan Redmond (+1)
    Southampton
    18Robert Snodgrass (New!)West Ham
    19Solly March (New!)Brighton
    20Alex Pritchard (New!)Huddersfield Town

Strikers

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    Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

    They've been tussling with one another all season, and this week there's another swap at the top: Callum Wilson leaps ahead of Sergio Aguero after bagging two goals and one assist in his last two appearances.

    It's perhaps slightly harsh on Aguero, who is injured and can't defend his crown, but the Bournemouth striker's body of work for the campaign is now better, so he deserves the spot.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's recent run at the tip of Arsenal's formation sees him move to what many would consider to be his rightful section. He jumps in at third.

    Richarlison might consider himself to be rather unlucky in moving down three after scoring, but that's more a reflection of Aubameyang moving in. There's also the Brazilian's performance in the Merseyside derby, which was quiet, rather than the goalscoring one against Newcastle United.

    Biggest rise: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (+3)

    Biggest fall: Wilfried Zaha (Out)

                     

    Top 10 Strikers
    RankPlayerClub
    1Callum Wilson (+1)Bournemouth
    2Sergio Aguero (-1)
    Manchester City
    3Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (+3)Arsenal
    4Glenn Murray (Stay)Brighton
    5Harry Kane (Stay)Tottenham
    6Richarlison (-3)
    Everton
    7Alexandre Lacazette (Stay)Arsenal
    8Joshua King (Stay)Bournemouth
    9Raul Jimenez (New!)Wolves
    10Aleksandar Mitrovic (-1)
    Fulham

                                

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