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Ranking the top 10 Premier League players in each position

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With the new Premier League season upon us, it’s time to look forward to the superstars in action in 2016-17.

[ MORE: Every PL season preview ]

Below is a ranking of the top 10 players in each position on the pitch ahead of the new campaign.

[ MORE: Best XI’s for PL teams ]

Agree? Disagree (most likely)? Hit us up in the comments section below to discuss the picks.


Goalkeepers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: David De Gea of Manchester United celebrates the opening goal scored by Juan Mata (not pictured) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Watford at Old Trafford on March 2, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
  1. David De Gea
  2. Petr Cech
  3. Hugo Lloris
  4. Joe Hart
  5. Thibaut Courtois
  6. Jack Butland
  7. Fraser Forster
  8. Kasper Schmeichel
  9. Adrian
  10. Tom Heaton

Right backs

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal leaps to control the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
  1. Hector Bellerin
  2. Nathaniel Clyne
  3. Kyle Walker
  4. Danny Simpson
  5. Antonio Valencia
  6. Seamus Coleman
  7. Michail Antonio
  8. Branislav Ivanovic
  9. Cedric
  10. Joel Ward

Center backs

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on September 26, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
  1. Toby Alderweireld
  2. Virgil van Dijk
  3. Wes Morgan
  4. Jan Vertonghen
  5. Laurent Koscielny
  6. John Terry
  7. Eric Bailly
  8. Vincent Kompany
  9. John Stones
  10. Jose Fonte

Left backs

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Luke Shaw of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on September 27, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
  1. Luke Shaw
  2. Danny Rose
  3. Ryan Bertrand
  4. Aaron Cresswell
  5. Nacho Monreal
  6. Christian Fuchs
  7. Charlie Daniels
  8. Patrick van Aanholt
  9. Aleksandar Kolarov
  10. Cesar Azpilicueta

Central midfielders

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Paul Pogba of Manchester United looks on during Paul Scholes' Testimonial Match between Manchester United and New York Cosmos at Old Trafford on August 5, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
  1. Paul Pogba
  2. N'Golo Kante
  3. Eric Dier
  4. Mousa Dembele
  5. Ilkay Gundogan
  6. Aaron Ramsey
  7. Fernandinho
  8. Granit Xhaka
  9. Danny Drinkwater
  10. Cheikhou Kouyate

Wingers

Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City FC
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City FC
  1. Kevin De Bruyne
  2. Alexis Sanchez
  3. Riyad Mahrez
  4. Anthony Martial
  5. Eden Hazard
  6. Sadio Mane
  7. Willian
  8. Leroy Sane
  9. Michail Antonio
  10. Andros Townsend

Attacking midfielders/Playmakers

Mesut Ozil, Arsenal FC
Mesut Ozil, Arsenal FC
  1. Mesut Ozil
  2. Dele Alli
  3. Dimitri Payet
  4. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
  5. David Silva
  6. Philippe Coutinho
  7. Gylfi Sigurdsson
  8. Christian Eriksen
  9. Roberto Firmino
  10. Dusan Tadic

Strikers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
  1. Sergio Aguero
  2. Harry Kane
  3. Jamie Vardy
  4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  5. Romelu Lukaku
  6. Daniel Sturridge
  7. Diego Costa
  8. Shane Long
  9. Odion Ighalo
  10. Jermain Defoe

Chelsea’s Willian eager to stay in Premier League

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Chelsea and Brazil star Willian has revealed he is eager to stay in the Premier League, even if that’s not with Chelsea.

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Willian, 31, has revealed that contract talks have stopped for now during the suspension for the coronavirus pandemic, and his future is uncertain as his current deal at Chelsea expires this summer.

The likes of Tottenham and Arsenal have been linked with a move for Willian, who almost joined Spurs in 2013 but instead joined Chelsea in a last-second change of heart.

Willian told ESPN Brazil  that he wants to stay in the Premier League and he feels he is now at his peak.

“My wish is to stay in the Premier League, but I’m not ruling out playing in other leagues,” Willian said. “I’m going to play until the end of the season and then see what happens. I’m very used to life in England. I’m not thinking about going back to Corinthians at the moment. My aim is to stay in Europe. I feel that I’m at my peak at the moment. Players improve throughout their careers and I think I’m currently at my peak.”

It is not secret that Mourinho and Willian get on very well, which will intrigue Tottenham’s fans…

“I got on very well with Mourinho, learnt a lot under him and we’ve remained friends,” Willian said. “We still message each other a lot, but I don’t see him often. I haven’t managed to meet up with him since he came back to London.”

His form for Chelsea has been a little erratic this season but Frank Lampard has spoken fondly about Willian time and time again and it is quite clear Chelsea would like to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge for at least another season.

With so many young wingers around (Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount to name a few), Willian can help ease them into the first team but there’s no doubting plenty of Premier League clubs will be eager to snap him up on a free transfer this summer, or whenever the transfer window reopens.

Tottenham would seem like a particularly good fit for Willian. He would link up with Jose Mourinho, the manage who bought him to Chelsea, and his experience would be vital at Spurs as they aim to finally secure some silverware. Tottenham need to prioritize buying new defenders but if Willian is available for free, you can’t turn that deal down, even if he turned Spurs and Daniel Levy down in 2013…

Arsenal would make sense too but you’d have to say Tottenham are the frontrunners given the connection between Willian and Mourinho. Of course, he could stay at Chelsea, but with Pedro also out of contract it does feel like a changing of the guard as Lampard will put his faith totally in new signing Hakim Ziyech, Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi next season.

With $2.7 billion reserves, FIFA has ‘duty’ to aid virus-hit soccer

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FIFA says it has a “duty” to use its vast financial reserves to assist a football industry ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic wiping out games and creating unexpected economic hardship in the world’s biggest sport.

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The spread of COVID-19 has impacted the wealthiest clubs, with Barcelona and Juventus players taking wage cuts; those in smaller countries, with Slovakian champion Zilina entering bankruptcy; and national football federations, with Uruguay furloughing hundreds of staff.

Having amassed reserves it last reported at $2.745 billion, FIFA has the resources to give much-needed financial help to the game at many levels. Now the organization has provided more details around the need agreed two weeks ago by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and his vice presidents to explore a “support fund” for the sport.

“FIFA is in a strong financial situation and it’s our duty to do the utmost to help them in their hour of need,” world football’s governing body said in a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

“FIFA is working on possibilities to provide assistance to the football community around the world after making a comprehensive assessment of the financial impact this pandemic will have on football.”

FIFA is exploring the mechanism to provide the financial lifeline to the football industry with the six regional confederations and member associations to ensure there is an announcement “in the near future.”

“The football community around the world is experiencing, to a greater or lesser extent, serious financial problems on account of the coronavirus outbreak,” FIFA said. “This threatens to disrupt and impair the ability of FIFA’s member associations and other football organizations such as leagues and clubs to develop, finance and run football activities at all levels of the game, including professional, non-professional, youth and grassroots.

“It is foreseen that in many parts of the world a considerable number of persons involved in football including both men and women players will be left in extremely difficult economic conditions.”

FIFA already operates a “Forward” development program to redistribute its wealth to member associations. In the 2015-18 cycle, investment dedicated to the scheme was $1.079 billion, of which $832 million had been approved and committed to member associations, confederations or regions, according to the last published financial results.

Premier League TV schedule: April 4-5

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We have 16 hours of Premier League programming coming your way this weekend and here is your TV schedule for April 4-5

This Saturday and Sunday we will have eight hours of programming coming your way each morning from 6 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN on your TV.

With the current 2019-20 Premier League season suspended until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have a lot of programming treats planned for you in the coming weeks and will keep up fully updated with a TV schedule posted every single week.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

Remember, during the season you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today, Sky Sports News, NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Below is your full Premier League TV schedule and stream links for Saturday and Sunday as we have classic matches, Goal of the Season, Behind the Badge, a focus on Liverpool v. Man City and much more coming up.


FULL TV SCHEDULE FOR NBCSN

Saturday, April 4
6-6:30 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Matt Le Tissier [STREAM]
6:30-7 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – John Barnes [STREAM]
7-7:30 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Sol Campbell [STREAM]
7:30-8 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Ryan Giggs [STREAM]
8-9 a.m. ET: PL Goals of the Season: 2001-02 [STREAM]
9-10 a.m. ET: PL Goals of the Season: 2002-03 [STREAM]
10-10:30 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Liverpool v. Tottenham, Feb. 2015 [STREAM]
10:30-11 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Chelsea v. Man United, Feb. 2012 [STREAM]
11-11:30 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Tottenham v. Chelsea, Jan.  2015 [STREAM]
11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET: Classic Match: Man United v. Arsenal, Aug., 2011 [STREAM]
12-12:30 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 1 [STREAM]
12:30-  p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 2 [STREAM]
1-1:30 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 3 [STREAM]
1:30-2 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 4 [STREAM]

Sunday, April 5
6-7 a.m. ET: PL season in review 1998-99 [STREAM]
7-8 a.m. ET: PL season in review 1999-00 [STREAM]
8-10 a.m. ET: Match of the Week, Man City v. QPR, May 2012 [STREAM]
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET: Match of the Week, Everton v. Liverpool, Nov. 2013 [STREAM]
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET: Match of the Week, Chelsea v. Arsenal, Oct. 2014 [STREAM]

VIDEO: Top 25 moments in Premier League history

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It’s time to take a trip down memory lane and countdown the top 25 moments in Premier League history.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

There have been so many memorable goals, incidents, performances and players throughout the league’s history and back in 2017 we celebrated its 25th anniversary by counting down our top 25 moments.

From Wayne Rooney’s bicycle kick, the arrival of Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, Leicester’s title win and Man City’s dramatic last-gasp success, there are so many wild moments packed into this video.

In truth, it was so tough to narrow down the best moments in PL history to just 25 moments.

Click play on the video above to replay some of the greatest moments in history.