The festive period is well and truly underway in English football as fixtures come in thick and fast. Gameweek 17 saw 23 goals being scored and while the tally is lesser than the previous two gameweeks, there still have been impressive performances with the highlight being champions Leicester City’s spirited second-half comeback with 10-men against Stoke City.
The last three gameweeks has seen Alexis Sanchez rule the power rankings and whether he has been dislodged in this gameweek needs to be found out.
Further, a few players have improved upon their ranking in their quest to reach the top.
The main criteria for ranking the players is their contribution to goals, either by scoring them or creating them, as this is the ranking of attackers.
When players have a similar number of goals and assists, the importance of the goal/assist, the consistency in performances and the minutes per goal/assist is considered to rank them.
So, a player scoring/assisting in three consecutive games will have a higher ranking than a player picking the same number of goals/assists in one game and drawing blanks in the rest. Similarly, a player scoring winning goals, having better minutes per goal/assist will occupy a higher position
Let’s first take a look at the watch-list for this gameweek.
Gameweek 16 ranking – 9th
The German wizard has seen a dip in form in the past two games and coincidentally Arsenal have lost both the games. Ozil went missing after Manchester City took the lead in a performance similar to the one against Everton. Arsene Wenger will be hoping for a quick return to form to boost their title bid.
Now, let’s take a look at the top 10 attackers for this gameweek.
#10 David Silva
Gameweek 16 Ranking – N/A
Match performance – one assist and picking up of form
Nicknamed “Merlin” at Manchester City, David Silva is finally turning on the screws in the last few games. He was part of City’s resurgence in the second-half as the Citizens won a game after trailing at half-time in four years.
Silva was the architect of the equalising goal as he lobbed a delightful ball for Leroy Sane to pounce upon and score. This goal at the beginning of the second-half set the tempo for City. The consistent performances see Silva enter the top 10 for the first time.
#9 Cesc Fabregas
Gameweek 16 ranking – 7th
Match performance – insignificant substitute display
Cesc Fabregas had to contend with a place on the bench as Nemanja Matic was preferred to him despite scoring the match-winning goal against Sunderland in the previous gameweek. The Spaniard came on as a substitute but did not make any significant attacking contribution.
Fabregas stays in the top ten owing to the crucial nature of his one goal and two assists as well as tallying them up at a rate of a goal/assist every 75 minutes over the last four gameweeks.
#8 Chris Brunt
Gameweek 16 ranking – 4th
Match performance – none to show for
Chris Brunt’s contribution to West Bromwich Albion’s games is coming in alternate games since gameweek 16. After picking up a couple of assists last week, Brunt could not affect the game as Manchester United ran away 2-0 winners.
The West Brom vice-captain needs to be more consistent in his performances if he has to stay in the top ten. However, for this gameweek, he only sees a drop in position.
#7 Divock Origi
Gameweek 16 ranking – 5th
Match performance – missed half-chances and end of scoring streak
Divock Origi’s four-match scoring streak in the league came to an end against Everton as he failed to score in a frantic derby. The Belgian had a difficult afternoon with his only scoring chance arriving from a Nathaniel Clyne ball into the box which he scuffed wide.
He was eventually replaced by a fit-again Daniel Sturridge who went on to play a crucial part in the winning goal for Liverpool. Sturridge’s fitness implies there will be competition now for Origi to start games going forward.
#6 Adam Lallana
Gameweek 16 ranking – 3rd
Match performance – first blank in three gameweeks
Adam Lallana has looked like a man possessed in recent gameweeks with his newfound end-product to go along with his skill thrilling everyone. However, he came up short in the Merseyside derby against Everton as Liverpool
Lallana could not create or getting into scoring positions in a high-intensity game and was eventually replaced by Emre Can to provide fresh legs.
#5 Diego Costa
Gameweek 16 ranking – 8th
Match performance – one game-winning goal and a one-match suspension
Last week’s game against Sunderland was one of the rare Chelsea games where Diego Costa did not score or assist a goal, However, normal operations resumed this gameweek as Costa scored the winning goal as Chelsea registered their third consecutive 1-0 win.
The league’s leading top-scorer scored the game’s solitary goal by getting in between Scott Dann and Martin Kelly and headed home from a beautiful aerial pass by Cesar Azpilicueta. However, he picked up his 5th yellow card of the season earning a one-match suspension and thereby will be missing the next game against Bournemouth.
#4 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Gameweek 16 ranking – 10th
Match performance – two goals and bossing the league at 35
After making his first entry into the top 10 at the last rung last gameweek, Zlatan has risen in this week’s rankings with a spectacular brace to secure Manchester United’s victory at West Brom.
The Swede opened the scoring for United by getting the better of Craig Dawson to meet Jesse Lingard’s cross and nodded home. Zlatan doubled his tally in the second-half with a deflected goal that beat the keeper and ended in the far corner. The goals lift Zlatan to the top half of the rankings as his performances continue to defy his age.
#3 Christian Eriksen
Gameweek 16 ranking – 2nd
Match performance – a non-goal display in a gritty win
Christian Eriksen is another player picking up goals/assists in alternate games while drawing blanks in the others. He scored twice in games against Swansea and Hull while failing to contribute against Manchester United.
It was similar against Burnley with the difference being Tottenham won the game unlike the loss to United. In spite of drawing a blank, Eriksen keeps his place in the top half of the ranking.
#2 Sadio Mane
Gameweek 16 ranking – 6th
Match performance – one late goal and Merseyside Derby decider
The Senegalese international continues to fully justify his price tag with a match-winning goal late into injury time to propel Liverpool back to second place and secure the bragging rights in the Merseyside derby against Everton.
A high-octane match was decided by Mane as he demonstrated his awareness to react first when substitute Daniel Sturridge’s effort rebounded off the post, sparking celebrations in the Liverpool end. Mane has been one of the consistent performers in the league this season, and the goal lifts him to 2nd place in this week’s rankings.
#1 Alexis Sanchez
Gameweek 16 ranking – 1st
Match performance – one assist and a painful loss
Alexis Sanchez tops the power rankings for one more gameweek with his consistency warding off competition in spite of Arsenal suffering back-to-back losses against Everton and Manchester City. In both games, Arsenal scored a single goal and the Chilean was involved in both.
Sanchez helped open the scoring against Manchester City at Etihad by making a clever run into space between midfield and defence. On receiving the pass, he turned and threaded a beautiful ball to Theo Walcott to score the goal. However, things went downhill after that as City scored twice after the break to take three points. Sanchez’s assist ensures that he retains the top spot.