EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 26

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterFebruary 11, 2019

EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 26

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Welcome to the latest edition of the EPL 100. Advance warning: It's a bit weird.

    First of all, the timeframe it measures is abnormal as it takes into account last Wednesday's match between Everton and Manchester City, but not Monday night's Wolves-Newcastle United encounter.

    Second, there are some odd movements; Chelsea's devastating loss at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday has torpedoed many of their players' stock and forced them below those who either didn't play well, or didn't play at all. We'll mark* those as we go for clarity.

    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, 13 (or more) out of 26. That rules out the likes of Fabinho for the time being.

    Players who have appeared in multiple positions (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah) are categorized by the spot they've played in 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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    Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

    We were blessed with a series of excellent goalkeeping displays across the Premier League this week.

    Lukasz Fabianski and Ben Foster were kept typically busy, Hugo Lloris crowned a brilliant performance against Leicester City with a penalty save and Ederson Moraes dealt well with what Chelsea were able to throw at him.

    He's not in the top 10 yet as he's only clocked seven starts this season, but if Tom Heaton keeps up the the form he's shown since the turn of the year, he'll feature here as soon as he's eligible.

    Biggest rise: Jordan Pickford (New!)

    Biggest fall: Bernd Leno, Kepa Arrizabalaga (-1)

                    

    Top 10 Goalkeepers
    RankPlayerClub
    1Lukasz Fabianski (Stay)West Ham United
    2Alisson Becker (Stay)Liverpool
    3David De Gea (Stay)Manchester United
    4Ben Foster (Stay)Watford
    5Ederson Moraes (Stay)Manchester City
    6Hugo Lloris (+1)Tottenham Hotspur
    7Bernd Leno (-1)Arsenal
    8Martin Dubravka (Stay)Newcastle United
    9Jordan Pickford (New!)Everton
    10Kepa Arrizabalaga (-1)
    Chelsea

Right-Backs/Right Wing-Backs

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    PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka was presented a tough challenge in the form of Felipe Anderson this weekend. The Brazilian's speed and movement tested his one-on-one defending ability to the limit.

    That he came out of that battle looking OK, plus the fact Matt Doherty plays Monday night and Trent Alexander-Arnold got just 13 minutes off the bench, means the No. 1 spot is his to keep for another week.

    *Weird move: Ashley Young is the first of three players to move up despite either not playing, or not playing very well. If you're wondering how that works, it's because the player they're moving above was absolutely dreadful. In this case, it's Cesar Azpilicueta's disastrous display against Manchester City at fault.

    Biggest rise: Kyle Walker, Ashley Young (+1)

    Biggest fall: Ricardo Pereira, Cesar Azpilicueta (-1)

           

    Top 10 RBs/RWBs
    RankPlayerClub
    1Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Stay)Crystal Palace
    2Matt Doherty (Stay)Wolves
    3Trent Alexander-Arnold (Stay)Liverpool
    4Kyle Walker (+1)
    Manchester City
    5Ricardo Pereira (-1)Leicester City
    6Ashley Young (+1)
    Manchester United
    7Cesar Azpilicueta (-1)Chelsea
    8 DeAndre Yedlin (Stay)Newcastle
    9Pablo Zabaleta (Stay)West Ham
    10Martin Montoya (Stay)Brighton & Hove Albion

Left-Backs/Left Wing-Backs

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    Marc Atkins/Getty Images

    Andy Robertson looked a lot like his usual self this weekend, and that played a part in Liverpool's convincing 3-0 win over Bournemouth. He even grabbed an assist for one of the goals.

    Luke Shaw has also seriously bucked up, and he rises to third after a good, solid showing against Fulham on Saturday. He hasn't received the headlines the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have, but his turnaround is comparable to theirs.

    *Weird moveAdam Smith moves up one despite being on the wrong end of that 3-0 scoreline at Anfield. That's because Marcos Alonso was that bad against Manchester City.

    Biggest rise: Multiple (+1)

    Biggest fall: Multiple (-1)

           

    Top 10 LBs/LWBs
    RankPlayerClub
    1Andy Robertson (Stay)Liverpool
    2Ben Chilwell (Stay)Leicester
    3Luke Shaw (+1)
    Manchester United
    4Jonny (-1)
    Wolves
    5Jose Holebas (+1)Watford
    6Lucas Digne (-1)Everton
    7Adam Smith (+1)Bournemouth
    8Marcos Alonso (-1)Chelsea
    9Sead Kolasinac (Stay)Arsenal
    10Ben Davies (Stay)
    Tottenham

Centre-Backs

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    This week's biggest central-defensive riser is Craig Cathcart, whose combination of clean sheet and a clever pass to create a goal against Everton in Watford's 1-0 win launches him into the ranking.

    All three of Tottenham's regular central-defensive options are now in the top 20, with Jan Vertonghen rising four and Davinson Sanchez, who scored his first goal for the club on Sunday, joining us in 19th.

    *Weird move: Despite not playing, Victor Lindelof and Ryan Bennett both move up one in response to the struggles of Michael Keane and David Luiz. You were probably expecting Antonio Rudiger to move down after shipping six goals, too, but there's quite a big buffer between he and those below him, so he hangs on.

    Biggest rise: Craig Cathcart (New!)

    Biggest fall: David Luiz (-4)

           

    Top 20 CBs
    RankPlayerClub
    1Virgil van Dijk (Stay)
    Liverpool
    2Aymeric Laporte (Stay)Manchester City
    3Toby Alderweireld (Stay)Tottenham
    4John Stones (+1)Manchester City
    5Victor Lindelof (+1)Manchester United
    6Michael Keane (-2)Everton
    7Antonio Rudiger (Stay)
    Chelsea
    8Ryan Bennett (+1)Wolves
    9Jannik Vestergaard (+1)Southampton
    10Jan Vertonghen (+4)Tottenham
    11Federico Fernandez (Stay)Newcastle
    12David Luiz (-4)Chelsea
    13Shane Duffy (Stay)Brighton
    14Lewis Dunk (-2)Brighton
    15Kurt Zouma (Stay)Everton
    16Craig Cathcart (New!)Watford
    17Conor Coady (-1)Wolves
    18Harry Maguire (-1)Leicester
    19 Davinson Sanchez (New!)Tottenham
    20Issa Diop (-2)West Ham

Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    If Bernardo Silva continues at his current rate, he'll not only be overtaking Fernandinho at the top of this pile, he'll also be entering his name into the Player of the Season conversation.

    Somehow his performance wasn't even the best emanating from this section, though—Georginio Wijnaldum's against Bournemouth was even better. He (and Fabinho) dominated that game, and the Dutchman scored a beautiful chip to cap things off.

    Paul Pogba supplied one hell of a showing, too, netting twice and swatting Fulham's midfield aside, making it a trio of top showings this week.

    Biggest rise: James Milner (+3)

    Biggest fall: N'Golo Kante, Idrissa Gueye, Jorginho (-3)

              

    Top 20 DMs/CMs
    RankPlayerClub
    1Fernandinho (Stay)Manchester City
    2Bernardo Silva (Stay)Manchester City
    3Georginio Wijnaldum (+1)Liverpool
    4David Silva (-1)Manchester City
    5Paul Pogba (+1)
    Manchester United
    6Declan Rice (-1)
    West Ham
    7Lucas Torreira (Stay)Arsenal
    8Joao Moutinho (Stay)
    Wolves 
    9Harry Winks (+2)Tottenham
    10Moussa Sissoko (+2)Tottenham
    11Ruben Neves (-1)Wolves
    12N'Golo Kante (-3)Chelsea
    13Ander Herrera (Stay)Manchester United
    14Etienne Capoue (Stay)Watford
    15James Milner (+3)Liverpool
    16Abdoulaye Doucoure (Stay)Watford
    17Ashley Westwood (+2)
    Burnley
    18Idrissa Gueye (-3)Everton
    19Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (+1)Southampton
    20Jorginho (-3)Chelsea

Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

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    Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

    With so many of our top 10 attacking midfielders and wingers playing well, there wasn't much cause for change. Eden Hazard didn't impress, but with Leroy Sane not featuring, he was never in danger of dropping down.

    Christian Eriksen's one-goal, one-assist performance led Tottenham to another crunch win—3-1 over Leicester City—and paved his way into the top 10. The Dane is this week's biggest riser, while the biggest slider is Ryan Fraser, who was part of a rough Bournemouth showing at Anfield and slips below Nathan Redmond and James Maddison.

    Biggest rise: Christian Eriksen (+4)

    Biggest fall: Ryan Fraser (-5)

              

    Top 20 AMs/Wingers
    RankPlayerClub
    1Raheem Sterling (Stay)Manchester City
    2Heung-Min Son (Stay)Tottenham
    3Eden Hazard (Stay)Chelsea
    4Leroy Sane (Stay)Manchester City
    5Sadio Mane (Stay)Liverpool
    6Roberto Firmino (Stay)Liverpool
    7Anthony Martial (Stay)Manchester United
    8Diogo Jota (Stay)Wolves 
    9Christian Eriksen (+4)Tottenham
    10David Brooks (-1)
    Bournemouth
    11Jesse Lingard (-1)Manchester United
    12Felipe Anderson (Stay)West Ham
    13Nathan Redmond (+2)Southampton
    14Dele Alli (Stay)Tottenham
    15James Maddison (+1)Leicester
    16Ryan Fraser (-5)Bournemouth
    17Gylfi Sigurdsson (Stay)Everton
    18Matt Ritchie (Stay)
    Newcastle
    19Roberto Pereyra (Stay)Watford
    20Michail Antonio (Stay)West Ham

Strikers

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    Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

    Consecutive home hat-tricks? That's one way to secure top spot in the rankings, Sergio Aguero.

    He managed three against Chelsea despite missing an absolute sitter in the first 10 minutes. This tally added to the treble he scored against Arsenal the week before.

    With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Callum Wilson, Raul Jimenez and Salomon Rondon all not playing, it shouldn't surprise that the only other changes come at the bottom: Alexandre Lacazette jumping up one and Wilfried Zaha rejoining us in the top 10.

    Biggest rise: Wilfried Zaha (New!)

    Biggest fall: Mohamed Salah, Salomon Rondon (-1)

          

    Top 10 Strikers
    RankPlayerClub
    1Sergio Aguero (+1)Manchester City
    2Mohamed Salah (-1)
    Liverpool
    3Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Stay)Arsenal
    4Harry Kane (Stay)Tottenham
    5Marcus Rashford (Stay)Manchester United
    6Raul Jimenez (Stay)
    Wolves
    7Callum Wilson (Stay)Bournemouth
    8Alexandre Lacazette (+1)Arsenal
    9Salomon Rondon (-1)Newcastle
    10 Wilfried Zaha (New!)Crystal Palace

                                

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    All statistics via WhoScored.com.