EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 31March 19, 2019
EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 31
Just five Premier League games took place this past weekend, with the FA Cup quarter-finals taking centre stage and forcing the postponement of half the schedule.
We've still delivered a fresh edition of the EPL 100—we'd never let you down there—but we should warn you in advance: The action is limited.
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 games—so in this case, 15 (or more) out of 30, or 16 out of 31 (depending on how many games each team has played).
Players who have appeared in multiple positions (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah and Bernardo Silva) 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 has been the best in each position this season. So if a Team of the Season was crowned this early, the No. 1s in each category would be our choices.
Four of our goalkeepers were in action this weekend—two at the top and two at the bottom.
At the top, Alisson Becker was at least partially culpable for Fulham's equaliser, coming out to meet Virgil van Dijk's soft header in a strange stance that allowed Ryan Babel to nip in.
He doesn't move down, though, as Lukasz Fabianski conceded three to Huddersfield Town (though he did make one excellent save to prevent it from being four).
At the bottom, Kepa Arrizabalaga impressed despite letting in two, doing about as well as he possibly could against Everton once his defence had caved in.
He pushed Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty straight back to the midfielder to slot home, but it's hardly fair to criticise him for it; if a goalkeeper gets anything on a free strike from 12 yards at all, he's done well.
Biggest rise: Kepa Arrizabalaga (+1)
Biggest fall: Rui Patricio (-1)
|1||Alisson Becker (Stay)||Liverpool|
|2||Lukasz Fabianski (Stay)||West Ham United|
|3||Bernd Leno (Stay)||Arsenal|
|4||David De Gea (Stay)||Manchester United|
|5||Ben Foster (Stay)||Watford|
|6||Ederson Moraes (Stay)||Manchester City|
|7||Hugo Lloris (Stay)||Tottenham Hotspur|
|8||Martin Dubravka (Stay)||Newcastle United|
|9||Kepa Arrizabalaga (+1)||Chelsea|
|10||Rui Patricio (-1)||Wolves|
When Martin Montoya settles into his armchair and opens the B/R app to read this article, perhaps holding a mug of coffee, there's every chance he sprays a mouthful over his phone. He didn't even play, yet he moves down two?
It's harsh, but that's how the EPL 100 rolls sometimes.
DeAndre Yedlin was a positive force for Newcastle United against Bournemouth, bagging an assist for the last-gasp equaliser, while Seamus Coleman got to grips with Eden Hazard pretty well as Everton beat Chelsea. They both skip ahead of the Spaniard.
Biggest rise: DeAndre Yedlin, Seamus Coleman (+1)
Biggest fall: Martin Montoya (-2)
|1||Trent Alexander-Arnold (Stay)||Liverpool|
|2||Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Stay)||Crystal Palace|
|3||Matt Doherty (Stay)||Wolves|
|4||Kyle Walker (Stay)||Manchester City|
|5||Ricardo Pereira (Stay)||Leicester City|
|6||Cesar Azpilicueta (Stay)||Chelsea|
|7||Ashley Young (Stay)||Manchester United|
|8||DeAndre Yedlin (+1)||Newcastle|
|9||Seamus Coleman (+1)||Everton|
|10||Martin Montoya (-2)||Brighton & Hove Albion|
An impressive half of our left-backs took to a Premier League pitch at the weekend, but there's only one change: Matt Ritchie's volleyed equaliser against Bournemouth moving him above Ryan Bertrand.
Andy Robertson, Lucas Digne and Ben Chilwell were the other three to play, but none played well enough to move up (if possible) or did poorly enough to move down.
Biggest rise: Matt Ritchie (+1)
Biggest fall: Ryan Bertrand (-1)
|1||Andy Robertson (Stay)||Liverpool|
|2||Luke Shaw (Stay)||Manchester United|
|3||Lucas Digne (Stay)||Everton|
|4||Ben Chilwell (Stay)||Leicester|
|6||Sead Kolasinac (Stay)||Arsenal|
|7||Jose Holebas (Stay)||Watford|
|8||Danny Rose (Stay)||Tottenham|
|9||Matt Ritchie (+1)||Newcastle|
|10||Ryan Bertrand (-1)||Southampton|
So Virgil van Dijk is human, huh? The Dutchman's part in Fulham's goal on Sunday was regrettable; his soft backwards header sold his goalkeeper a little short and allowed Ryan Babel to steal in and score.
Anyone expecting him to move down as a result of that, though, should remember the Liverpool star has still been far and away the best centre-back in the Premier League this season. One error doesn't change that.
A little further down, Michael Keane jumps into fourth after another commanding display at the heart of the Everton defence, while Nathan Ake proved so difficult to handle from set-pieces Newcastle literally had to manhandle him to stop him.
Biggest rise: Nathan Ake (New!)
Biggest fall: Toby Alderweireld, Issa Diop (-1)
|1||Virgil van Dijk (Stay)||Liverpool|
|2||Aymeric Laporte (Stay)||Manchester City|
|3||John Stones (Stay)||Manchester City|
|4||Michael Keane (+1)||Everton|
|5||Toby Alderweireld (-1)||Tottenham|
|6||Antonio Rudiger (Stay)||Chelsea|
|7||Victor Lindelof (Stay)||Manchester United|
|8||Fabian Schar (Stay)||Newcastle|
|9||Jannik Vestergaard (Stay)||Southampton|
|10||Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Stay)||Arsenal|
|11||Jan Bednarek (Stay)||Southampton|
|12||Jan Vertonghen (Stay)||Tottenham|
|13||Shane Duffy (Stay)||Brighton|
|14||Willy Boly (Stay)||Wolves|
|15||Kurt Zouma (Stay)||Everton|
|16||Lewis Dunk (Stay)||Brighton|
|17||Conor Coady (Stay)||Wolves|
|18||Nathan Ake (New!)||Bournemouth|
|19||Issa Diop (-1)||West Ham|
|20||Ryan Bennett (Stay)||Wolves|
Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders
Georginio Wijnaldum and Declan Rice were far from their best this past weekend, but with Paul Pogba on FA Cup duty, there's no player to capitalise on that. They're lucky.
Wijnaldum wasn't the only Liverpool midfielder who stuttered a bit; sharing the pitch with him was Fabinho, who hasn't been his usual, assured self recently. Some of his tackling against Fulham was sloppy.
It's always interesting when Idrissa Gueye and N'Golo Kante meet, as so many consider them to be very similar players, and they both did well at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Biggest rise: Mutiple (+1)
Biggest fall: Multiple (-1)
|1||Fernandinho (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||Bernardo Silva (Stay)||Manchester City|
|3||David Silva (Stay)||Manchester City|
|4||Georginio Wijnaldum (Stay)||Liverpool|
|5||Declan Rice (Stay)||West Ham|
|6||Paul Pogba (Stay)||Manchester United|
|7||N'Golo Kante (+1)||Chelsea|
|9||Joao Moutinho (Stay)||Wolves|
|10||Moussa Sissoko (Stay)||Tottenham|
|11||Lucas Torreira (Stay)||Arsenal|
|12||Harry Winks (Stay)||Tottenham|
|13||Ruben Neves (Stay)||Wolves|
|14||Idrissa Gueye (+1)||Everton|
|15||Etienne Capoue (-1)||Watford|
|16||Abdoulaye Doucoure (Stay)||Watford|
|17||Ilkay Gundogan (Stay)||Manchester City|
|18||Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Stay)||Southampton|
|19||Granit Xhaka (+1)||Arsenal|
|20||Ashley Westwood (-1)||Burnley|
With five goals in his last four Premier League games, Sadio Mane is one of—if not the—in-form player in the division right now.
He's stepping up consistently in the same way Mohamed Salah did last season, scoring vital goals that secure Liverpool points. He's up to 17 for the season in the league alone, a phenomenal tally.
Rising four is James Maddison, who netted a peach of a free-kick against Burnley as well as delivering three key passes. Richarlison's 12th goal of the campaign earns him a similar bump.
Biggest rise: James Maddison, Richarlison (+4)
Biggest fall: Jesse Lingard (-3)
|1||Raheem Sterling (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||Sadio Mane (+1)||Liverpool|
|3||Eden Hazard (-1)||Chelsea|
|4||Mohamed Salah (Stay)||Liverpool|
|5||Heung-Min Son (Stay)||Tottenham|
|6||Leroy Sane (Stay)||Manchester City|
|7||Diogo Jota (Stay)||Wolves|
|8||Ryan Fraser (+1)||Bournemouth |
|9||James Maddison (+4)||Leicester|
|10||David Brooks (Stay)||Bournemouth|
|11||Anthony Martial (-2)||Manchester United|
|12||Christian Eriksen (-1)||Tottenham|
|13||Nathan Redmond (-1)||Southampton|
|15||Gylfi Sigurdsson (Stay)||Everton|
|16||Felipe Anderson (Stay)||West Ham|
|17||Jesse Lingard (-3)||Manchester United|
|18||Gerard Deulofeu (-1)||Watford|
|20||Dele Alli (Stay)||Tottenham|
Salomon Rondon is having a fantastic season. Playing as the central striker for Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United isn't easy, and he's fulfilling three different roles at once—pressure relief, chance creation and goal threat.
He's added a thunderous dead-ball strike to his repertoire in 2019, so fans weren't surprised to see him net from 25 yards against Bournemouth. That, in addition to his all-round showing, is enough to lift him above Marcus Rashford.
Biggest rise: Salomon Rondon (+1)
Biggest fall: Marcus Rashford (-1)
|1||Sergio Aguero (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||Harry Kane (Stay)||Tottenham|
|3||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Stay)||Arsenal|
|4||Callum Wilson (Stay)||Bournemouth|
|5||Raul Jimenez (Stay)||Wolves|
|6||Alexandre Lacazette (Stay)||Arsenal|
|7||Salomon Rondon (+1)||Newcastle|
|8||Marcus Rashford (-1)||Manchester United|
|9||Roberto Firmino (Stay)||Liverpool|
|10||Jamie Vardy (Stay)||Leicester|
All statistics via WhoScored.com.