EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 31

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMarch 19, 2019

EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 31

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    GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

    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.


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    Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

    Four of our goalkeepers were in action this weekendtwo 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)


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

Right-Backs/Right Wing-Backs

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    Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

    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)


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

Left-Backs/Left Wing-Backs

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    James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

    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)


    Top 10 LBs/LWBs
    1Andy Robertson (Stay)Liverpool
    2Luke Shaw (Stay)Manchester United
    3Lucas Digne (Stay)
    4Ben Chilwell (Stay)
    5Jonny (Stay)Wolves
    6Sead Kolasinac (Stay)
    7Jose Holebas (Stay)
    8Danny Rose (Stay)Tottenham
    9Matt Ritchie (+1)Newcastle
    10Ryan Bertrand (-1)Southampton


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    Marc Atkins/Getty Images

    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)


    Top 20 CBs
    1Virgil van Dijk (Stay)
    2Aymeric Laporte (Stay)Manchester City
    3John Stones (Stay)Manchester City
    4Michael Keane (+1)Everton
    5Toby Alderweireld (-1)Tottenham
    6Antonio Rudiger (Stay)Chelsea
    7Victor Lindelof (Stay)
    Manchester United
    8Fabian Schar (Stay)Newcastle
    9Jannik Vestergaard (Stay)Southampton
    10Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Stay)Arsenal
    11Jan Bednarek (Stay)Southampton
    12Jan Vertonghen (Stay)Tottenham
    13Shane Duffy (Stay)
    14Willy Boly (Stay)Wolves
    15Kurt Zouma (Stay)Everton
    16Lewis Dunk (Stay)Brighton
    17Conor Coady (Stay)Wolves
    18Nathan Ake (New!)Bournemouth
    19Issa Diop (-1)West Ham
    20Ryan Bennett (Stay)

Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders

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    Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

    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)


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

Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

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    Marc Atkins/Getty Images

    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)


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


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    Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

    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)   


    Top 10 Strikers
    1Sergio Aguero (Stay)Manchester City
    2Harry Kane (Stay)
    3Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Stay)Arsenal
    4Callum Wilson (Stay)Bournemouth
    5Raul Jimenez (Stay)Wolves
    6Alexandre Lacazette (Stay)
    7Salomon Rondon (+1)Newcastle
    8Marcus Rashford (-1)Manchester United
    9Roberto Firmino (Stay)Liverpool
    10Jamie Vardy (Stay)Leicester



    All statistics via WhoScored.com.