EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 26
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.
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)
|1||Lukasz Fabianski (Stay)||West Ham United|
|2||Alisson Becker (Stay)||Liverpool|
|3||David De Gea (Stay)||Manchester United|
|4||Ben Foster (Stay)||Watford|
|5||Ederson Moraes (Stay)||Manchester City|
|6||Hugo Lloris (+1)||Tottenham Hotspur|
|7||Bernd Leno (-1)||Arsenal|
|8||Martin Dubravka (Stay)||Newcastle United|
|9||Jordan Pickford (New!)||Everton|
|10||Kepa Arrizabalaga (-1)||Chelsea|
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)
|1||Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Stay)||Crystal Palace|
|2||Matt Doherty (Stay)||Wolves|
|3||Trent Alexander-Arnold (Stay)||Liverpool|
|4||Kyle Walker (+1)||Manchester City|
|5||Ricardo Pereira (-1)||Leicester City|
|6||Ashley Young (+1)||Manchester United|
|7||Cesar Azpilicueta (-1)||Chelsea|
|8||DeAndre Yedlin (Stay)||Newcastle|
|9||Pablo Zabaleta (Stay)||West Ham|
|10||Martin Montoya (Stay)||Brighton & Hove Albion|
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 move: Adam 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)
|1||Andy Robertson (Stay)||Liverpool|
|2||Ben Chilwell (Stay)||Leicester|
|3||Luke Shaw (+1)||Manchester United|
|5||Jose Holebas (+1)||Watford|
|6||Lucas Digne (-1)||Everton|
|7||Adam Smith (+1)||Bournemouth|
|8||Marcos Alonso (-1)||Chelsea|
|9||Sead Kolasinac (Stay)||Arsenal|
|10||Ben Davies (Stay)||Tottenham|
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)
Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders
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)
|1||Fernandinho (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||Bernardo Silva (Stay)||Manchester City|
|3||Georginio Wijnaldum (+1)||Liverpool|
|4||David Silva (-1)||Manchester City|
|5||Paul Pogba (+1)||Manchester United|
|6||Declan Rice (-1)||West Ham|
|7||Lucas Torreira (Stay)||Arsenal|
|8||Joao Moutinho (Stay)||Wolves|
|9||Harry Winks (+2)||Tottenham|
|10||Moussa Sissoko (+2)||Tottenham|
|11||Ruben Neves (-1)||Wolves|
|12||N'Golo Kante (-3)||Chelsea|
|13||Ander Herrera (Stay)||Manchester United|
|14||Etienne Capoue (Stay)||Watford|
|15||James Milner (+3)||Liverpool|
|16||Abdoulaye Doucoure (Stay)||Watford|
|17||Ashley Westwood (+2)||Burnley|
|18||Idrissa Gueye (-3)||Everton|
|19||Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (+1)||Southampton|
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)
|1||Raheem Sterling (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||Heung-Min Son (Stay)||Tottenham|
|3||Eden Hazard (Stay)||Chelsea|
|4||Leroy Sane (Stay)||Manchester City|
|5||Sadio Mane (Stay)||Liverpool|
|6||Roberto Firmino (Stay)||Liverpool|
|7||Anthony Martial (Stay)||Manchester United|
|8||Diogo Jota (Stay)||Wolves |
|9||Christian Eriksen (+4)||Tottenham|
|10||David Brooks (-1)||Bournemouth|
|11||Jesse Lingard (-1)||Manchester United|
|12||Felipe Anderson (Stay)||West Ham|
|13||Nathan Redmond (+2)||Southampton|
|14||Dele Alli (Stay)||Tottenham|
|15||James Maddison (+1)||Leicester|
|16||Ryan Fraser (-5)||Bournemouth|
|17||Gylfi Sigurdsson (Stay)||Everton|
|18||Matt Ritchie (Stay)||Newcastle|
|19||Roberto Pereyra (Stay)||Watford|
|20||Michail Antonio (Stay)||West Ham|
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)
|1||Sergio Aguero (+1)||Manchester City|
|2||Mohamed Salah (-1)||Liverpool|
|3||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Stay)||Arsenal|
|4||Harry Kane (Stay)||Tottenham|
|5||Marcus Rashford (Stay)||Manchester United|
|6||Raul Jimenez (Stay)||Wolves|
|7||Callum Wilson (Stay)||Bournemouth|
|8||Alexandre Lacazette (+1)||Arsenal|
|9||Salomon Rondon (-1)||Newcastle|
|10||Wilfried Zaha (New!)||Crystal Palace|
All statistics via WhoScored.com.