Chelsea got their season back on track last weekend with an important, controversial win over rivals Arsenal.
The Blues ended their winless run and with Manchester City losing to West Ham at the Etihad, closed the gap to the top of the table to a much less daunting eight points.
Jose Mourinho's team this week travel to an awful, winless Newcastle team who followed last week's defeat to Watford with a Capital One Cup loss to Championship Sheffield Wednesday.
Arsenal travel to high-flying Leicester City, who pulled off another remarkable comeback at Leicester, while Manchester United should expect a relatively easy afternoon against Sunderland.
We all know who the best players are but defining those with the power to shape events in the Premier League is not so simple - so we've created The Independent's Premier League Power Rankings.
Ahead of every round of fixtures in the top-flight our team of experts get together to define the 17 players who hold the power.
Rather than being based on who the best or most talented footballers are, it's defined by current form, league position, next fixture and any other factors which could influence events.
Players move up and down the rankings, battling to be number one. Some will drop out and new entries will emerge. You might not agree (in which case let us know why) - but that's half the fun.
Three weeks into the season there are already some trends developing and we've seen some major changes in the players picked.
These are the 17 most important players in the Premier League right now...
Premier League Power Rankings - Game Week 7
Premier League Power Rankings - Game Week 7
1/16 17) Saido Berahino (West Brom) - re-entry
Tony Pulis says Baggies supporters have forgiven the 'naughty child' and that is good news all round. The young striker scored 14 Premier League goals last season and showed all of his predatory instinct to poke home the winner at Villa Park last weekend. He also seems to be forming a decent partnership with Salomon Rondon. Last fixture: W - 0-1 - Aston Villa Next fixture: Everton (h)
2/16 16) Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) - down 4
It just keeps getting worse for Jermain Defoe and Sunderland. He is still to score a goal this season and missed another excellent chance at Bournemouth, before being taken off by Dick Advocaat. It would be a major upset if the Black Cats won their first game of the season at Old Trafford. Last fixture: L - 2-0 - Bournemouth Next fixture: Man United (a)
3/16 15) Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) - new entry
Vincent Kompany may well return for the clash at White Hart Lane but even if he does there are still serious question marks over who should partner him in the centre. Eliaquim Mangala has never convinced and Otamendi, another £30m signing, didnt get off to the best start in his full debut as City were beaten by West Ham. If he can convince against Spurs then the place next to Kompany will be his. Last fixture: L - 1-2 - West Ham Next fixture: Tottenham (a)
4/16 14) Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) - new entry
Aston Villa haven't won in the Premier League since the opening day of the season, and laboured to victory over Championship rivals Birmingham in midweek. The common denominator in both of those matches was a winning goal by Rudy Gestede. The big striker has only started two of six League games this season - Tim Sherwood's first-choice isn't working, perhaps he should look at his alternative at Anfield. Last fixture: L - 0-1 - West Brom Next fixture: Liverpool (a)
5/16 13) Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) - up 1
Another week, another impressive performance and another goal for Wilson, who has five in six now this season. The Britannia Stadium has not been the fortress it has been in years past this season, and Wilson should be confident of getting on the scoresheet again. Last fixture: W - 2-0 - Sunderland Next fixture: Stoke (a)
6/16 12) Wes Hoolahan (Norwich) - up 2
After a match-winning performance against Bournemouth, Hoolahan was demoted to the bench for the draw with Liverpool with Alex Neil after a more solid look (it worked). But with Matt Jarvis not able to play against his parent club, and Norwich far more likely to want to play an open game, Hoolahan will again be the creative hub for the Canaries. Last fixture: D - 1-1 - Liverpool Next fixture: West Ham (a)
7/16 11) Odion Ighalo (Watford) - new entry
Three goals in two matches, contributing six points, is extremely impressive. What's more impressive is his record of 20 goals in his last 25 games in this calendar year. Ighalo has formed an especially potent partnership with club captain Troy Deeney. While the defending at St James' Park was abysmal last week, Ighalo was excellent. Last fixture: W - 1-2 - Newcastle Next fixture: Crystal Palace (h)
8/16 10) John Stones (Everton) - down 5
The plaudits continue to grow for the young English centre-back. Everton didn't win but they hardly looked like conceding either. Saido Berahino and Salomon Rondon should prove another test for Stones, but he's sure to pass it with flying colours. Last fixture: D - 0-0 - Swansea Next fixture: West Brom (a)
9/16 9) Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) re-entry
Rooney has four goals this season but none of them have come in the Premier League and he has barely even looked like scoring in the top flight. Luckily for the England captain he next faces a dire Sunderland team who have the worst defence in the Premier League. He must score. Last fixture: W 2-3 Southampton Next fixture: Sunderland (h)
10/16 8) Siem De Jong (Newcastle) - new entry
Supporters on Tyneside are starting to panic. No wins this season and successive home defeats to Watford and Sheffield Wednesday and more injuries than any other club in the League. Siem De Jong was bought for £6m last summer and has an eye for goal, with 75 in his previous five seasons for Ajax. But he has played just 11 matches in an injury hit career at St James' Park, scoring twice. It'd be good for him to start finding some fitness and form soon. Last fixture: L - 1-2 - Watford Next fixture: Chelsea (h)
11/16 7) Dmitri Payet (West Ham) - down 3
Wasn't the star at the Etihad, but still excellent as West Ham caused another shock on the road. Now Slaven Bilic's team have to improve their home form, where they have already lost to Leicester and Bournemouth this season. Norwich is a potential banana skin but if West Ham are serious about securing a top eight/six finish, they have to win. Last fixture: W - 1-2 - Man City Next fixture: Norwich (h)
12/16 6) Alexis Sanchez (Manchester City) - down 3
After a bright start against a completely out of form Branislav Ivanovic, Sanchez was eventually marked out of the game and barely a threat. He still looks tired after his Copa America exploits and just maybe Arsene Wenger rushed him back into action too early. He has no goals and one assist in eight appearances in all competitions this year - at the same stage of last season he already had four goals and an assist for the Gunners. Last fixture: L - 0-2 - Chelsea Next fixture: Leicester (h)
13/16 5) David Silva (Manchester City) down 3
Silva was a gaping miss for City when they lost against West Ham. As West Ham sat back and dug in, it was clear Manuel Pellegrini's side were massing that creative magic that only Silva can produce - they dominated the ball in the second half but only created one real chance. Spurs will be another tough test. Last fixture: L - 1-2 - West Ham Next fixture: Tottenham (a)
14/16 4) Eden Hazard (Chelsea) - down 3
Had looked out of sorts in the early stages of the season but with the pressure well and truly on against Arsenal, Hazard finally delivered. He started a bit tentatively but soon grew into the game, driving at the Arsenal defence all afternoon. He should have had a penalty and a goal has been chalked off, but the Belgian was truly back to his best. Last fixture: W - 2-0 - Arsenal Next fixture: Newcastle (a)
15/16 2) Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) - new entry
It seems harsh to already pin this kind of pressure on a player who has only just returned from a serious injury, but Liverpool, and Brendan Rodgers especially, desperately need Sturridge to start scoring. Liverpool needed penalties against a League Two side to notch their first win since 17 August and Christian Benteke is also out for the next two weeks, making him a doubt for the Merseyside derby. Rodgers is favourite to be sacked and is desperate for a result. Last fixture: D - 1-1 - Norwich Next fixture: Aston Villa (h)
16/16 1) Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) - up 5
It's all well and good performing against Stoke, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and West Ham. But now the Premier League's top scorer must prove his ability against a team with true title ambitions. Stopping Mahrez will be one of the first things Arsene Wenger will want to do, if the Algerian is to become a truly top player then he must find a way to get it done against the best. Last fixture: D - 2-2 - Stoke Next fixture: Arsenal (h)
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