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17 May 2019 13:34

Australia women's national soccer team Samantha Kerr United States of America

FIFA World Rankings 2019: England Climb to 4th in April List as Belgium Stay Top

Here we run through the changes to our Premier League player form rankings following the matches in midweek. Manchester City trio Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero all occupied spots in the top-10 at the start of the week but skipped Wednesday's win over Cardiff and are therefore no longer eligible for placings this time around. Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool were among the sides not involved, so there was no change to the weighted WhoScored ratings of Sadio Mane, Idrissa Gueye, Virgil van Dijk and Lucas Digne. Digne remains the most in-form player in the Premier League but now has competition from Chelsea's Eden Hazard, who catapulted up 27 places following his display against Brighton on Wednesday. Hazard was our Premier League player of the week from the midweek action and now has three WhoScored Man of the Match awards in his last six league outings.

The Belgium international has played a direct hand in four goals in that time. Deeney has played a direct hand in seven goals in his last six league matches (four goals, three assists) and his WhoScored rating has only dropped below 7.00 once in that spell. Leicester were another side not involved in midweek and Wilfred Ndidi, who was the WhoScored Player of the Month for March in the Premier League, drops one place in the form rankings to fourth as a result of Deeney and Hazard's rise. The Manchester United striker returned to the side in Tuesday's defeat to Wolves but has four goals in his last six in the Premier League. To qualify each player must have featured in their side's last league game and started at least six of the last eight available. Belgian football has become renowned for its youth development, exporting players to Europe's top leagues and producing the country's 'golden generation' that went on to win a bronze medal at last year's World Cup in Russia after eliminating Brazil 2-1 in the quarter-finals. The new U-21 league seeks to consolidate Belgium's high-quality youth development by pitting elite U-21 players against each other as they seek to transition to the professional level. "This initiative was taken after no agreement was found last season to integrate the U-21 teams into the highest amateur series," said the Pro League. "The aim of this new competition is to guarantee the quality of encounters between the most promising players of the Pro League teams and is thus strongly committed to the crucial phase of post formation, the final link between youth training and the first teams of our clubs." Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne believes England's crop of promising teenage stars makes Gareth Southgate's men favourites to win Euro 2020, alongside world champions France. De Bruyne was part of the Belgium squad that beat England twice at last year's World Cup as both sides reached the semi-finals. The 27-year-old believes the emergence of Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi and club teammate Phil Foden, who made his first Premier League start in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Cardiff, makes Southgate's side strong contenders. De Bruyne scored just his second Premier League goal of an injury-ravaged season on Wednesday, with his meagre tally a stark contrast to his stellar displays as City romped to the title with a record 100 points last season. City could enjoy an even more successful end to the current campaign as they aim to become the first team in history to win the quadruple of the League Cup, FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League. "I try to be at the best level possible but I'm just trying to help the team win some titles. United States collected their first victory of the Women's International Hockey Federation Pro League season as they beat Belgium on penalties following a 1-1 draw. The advantage swung back and forth in the shootout before Ballenghien's miss for Belgium allowed Linnea Gonzales to score the winning penalty. Belgium captain Jill Boon said: "I think we played a really strong first quarter, then a little bit off in the second, but I think we were really threatening their goal in the third and fourth quarter and we really should have scored one or two goals extra. The Women's Pro League will continue on Sunday (March 31) with the Americans welcoming Olympic champions Britain to Spooky Nook. NICOSIA: Captain Eden Hazard marked his 100th cap for Belgium as the World Cup semi-finalists strolled to a 2-0 victory over Cyprus in a Euro 2020 qualifier. Cyprus beat the world's weakest team San Marino 5-0 last week, but the FIFA-ranked number one team was too strong for the islanders, who have had the misfortune to draw Belgium in both the last World Cup and Euro qualifiers. Two years ago, the Catholic church apologised for its role in the scandal, which affected about 20,000 children in the Belgian Congo, along with Burundi and Rwanda, which were governed by Belgium under a mandate from the League of Nations and the UN. Southampton welcome Premier League title contenders Liverpool to the St Mary's Stadium on Friday night as the season draws to a close. However, recent years have seen the Saints ravaged by bigger Premier League sides who have poached their biggest talents. Littered with incredible stars, Southampton finished the season in seventh place, just two points behind Liverpool. Below, talkSPORT.com looks at how Southampton could be lining up had they not been so ruthlessly raided, especially by Tottenham and Liverpool. The young Argentina international is currently playing second fiddle to Hugo Lloris in north London, although that could all change following the World Cup winner's recent woes. Like Gazzaniga, Clyne did not come through the Southampton academy, but he certainly made his name while with the Saints. Nigel Adkins brought him to the Premier League in 2012 and Clyne went from strength to strength, earning an England cap in 2014 as a reward for his excellent displays. A move to Liverpool in 2015 soon followed and Clyne initially excelled under Jurgen Klopp before an injury last season saw him lose his place to Trent Alexander-Arnold. His time in Spain can be summed up by his Champions League final performance in 2014. While this will come as a surprise to some fans, it proved to be the Premier League's gain as the Belgium international dominated Premier League strikers by maintaining an incredibly high tackle success rate. 13 Van Dijk is arguably the best centre-half in the world A 2015 summer signing from Celtic, van Dijk wasted no time in convincing Saints supporters they had found a worthy replacement for the recently departed Alderweireld. Under the guidance of Adkins and then Mauricio Pochettino, the left-back earned a spot in the 2013/14 PFA Team of the Year and his lucrative move soon followed. He became the first Kenyan to ever score in the Champions League when he netted against Barcelona in 2012, a memorable game as the Bhoys managed to win 2-1 despite having 16 per cent possession. A move to the Premier League followed in 2013 and the 27-year-old's sheer size and physical prowess made him a near indomitable figure at the heart of the Saints' midfield. Although injuries limited his time on the pitch in his first season, his performances across the next two under Ronald Koeman were so well-received it became nigh-on impossible for the club to keep him. His two seasons in the Premier League while a Southampton player were equally fruitful, joining Shaw in the PFA Team of the Year in 2013/14 before Liverpool acted quickly to beat Manchester United to his signature. A Southampton youth graduate from the age of seven, Oxlade-Chamberlain excited fans with his direct running and pace on the wings at St Mary's. His father, former England international Mark, told reporters he was keen for his son to join Arsenal after dominating League One defenders and the winger made the switch to the Emirates in 2011 for a reported £15million. Injuries and loss of form saw him slip in and out of the team before making the move to Liverpool in the summer of 2017 for £35million. Blessed with terrifying pace, the winger became the Saints' youngest ever player at the age of 16 years and 143 days and remained in the first team after scoring against Millwall and Stoke City. Although his early promise has since faded, the 30-year-old is still a Premier League player with Everton. Credited as one of the most creative players in his first season, the Wales international soon garnered attention from Premier League clubs. A change in position gave Bale a new lease of life and after plundering 31 league goals in the 2012/13 season, he moved to Real Madrid for a world record fee and has continued to dazzle supporters across the globe with his exciting style of play. He scored the fastest ever Premier League hat-trick at 2 minutes 56 seconds in a 6–1 win over Aston Villa in May 2016. The 26-year-old continued to score throughout the 2015/16 season, netting in wins against Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool and it was the Reds who spent big to lure him away from the south coast. See how Southampton get on against title chasing Liverpool on Friday, live on talkSPORT at 20:00 on 5 April. ​ England have climbed one place fourth in the latest FIFA World Rankings, leapfrogging 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia, while Belgium stay top ahead of world champions France. Having finished third at last summer's World Cup, Belgium have been top since September when they moved into joint first place with France. Les Bleus fell to second the following month, leaving Belgium as the world's number one international side ever since. After a disastrous 2018 in both the World Cup and Nations League, Germany are beginning to recover and have risen three places to 13th after an unbeaten start to 2019. San Marino remain the lowest ranked team in the world in 211th place. FIFA released the latest Women's Rankings last week, with the United States, Germany, England, France and Canada in the top five ahead of this summer's World Cup.