Andre Ayew is the most fouled EPL player

The Premier League is known for being fast-paced and ferocious, with many talented players being unable to live up to its physicality.

Tottenham have committed the most fouls this season (184), closely followed by Crystal Palace (177) and Manchester United (169), with Chelsea (176), Arsenal (165) and West Ham (162) being targeted the most.

So, Sportsmail – with an infographic from Oulala – looks at which Premier League stars make up the top 10 most fouled players this season…

1) Andre Ayew – Swansea City – 37 fouls suffered

The summer signing from Marseille has made a stunning start to life in Wales, scoring six goals and assisting one in the Premier League.

Skilled and intelligent, it’s easy to see why the opposition feel the need to bring him down when he’s running at the defence.

 

2) Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal – 35 fouls suffered

The Chilean is one of the most talented players in the English top flight, so automatically becomes a target for the opposition.

Blessed with blistering pace and balance, Sanchez is a nightmare for defences and has been on the receiving end of some nasty tackles since joining Arsenal.

But don’t be fooled by his small frame, the 26-year-old is one of the most intelligent attackers in the league and is smart in drawing fouls from on-rushing defenders.

 

3) Sadio Mane – Southampton – 35 fouls suffered

The Saints uncovered a real gem when they completed a deal to sign the Senegalese winger from Red Bull Salzburg and now have the likes of Manchester United courting their star.

Mane has been fouled 35 times this season alone, as Premier League defenders struggle to deal with his direct running and ability on the ball.

The 23-year-old was fouled so much during last season, that he requested larger shin pads to protect his legs from bruising tackles.

 

4) Ross Barkley – Everton – 32 fouls suffered

The England international continues to grow in the Premier League and played a starring role on Saturday as Everton thrashed bottom-side Aston Villa.

The playmaker’s driving runs through the middle of the park cause numerous problems for the opposition, who have no other option but to hack him

 

5) Eden Hazard – Chelsea – 30 fouls suffered

The Belgian’s manager Jose Mourinho publicly came out last season and asked for his star man to receive more protection from referees after becoming a weekly target.

But despite Hazard’s form waining this campaign, the 2015 PFA Player of the Year, is still in the top ten for the most fouled players during the 2015-16 season.

Sunday will be interesting when Chelsea, who have been fouled the most, face the side who have committed the most fouls, Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

6) Willian – Chelsea – 29 fouls suffered

The Brazilian has been Chelsea’s stand-out performer this season but is now finding himself being roughed up by defenders.

But his rivals are wary of fouling him or his team-mates anywhere near the penalty box, with Willian netting six free-kicks this season, showing his prowess from set-piece situations.

 

7) Odion Ighalo – Watford – 27 fouls suffered

The Nigerian has been the Hornets main man for goals and has netted an impressive seven in his debut Premier League season so far.

Troy Deeney and Ighalo are nuisances for opposition, with their physical approach causing all kinds of problems, and defenders are made to fight fire with fire.

 

8) Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City – 26 fouls suffered

The winger, alongside Jamie Vardy, has been in sensational form for Claudio Ranieri’s high-flying Foxes this season – scoring seven goals and assisting six.

But now Mahrez finds himself being closely watched as Leicester top the Premier League, meaning the opposition see him as a No 1 target.

The winger was quick enough to skip past some wild Newcastle challenges on Saturday, as they attempted to hack him down at St James’ Park.

 

9) Aleksandar Mitrovic – Newcastle United – 25 fouls suffered

The fiery striker has already shown he can give as good as he gets since joining Steve McClaren’s side from Anderlecht over the summer.

The target man could have been sent off just seconds into his debut against Southampton before being shown a straight red against Arsenal.

But he’s found himself a target this season, with centre backs attempting to get under his skin and Leicester’s Robert Huth was lucky not be punished after grabbing the 21-year-old by the throat on Saturday.

 

10) Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace – 24 fouls suffered

The 23-year-old has been criticised in the past for going down too easily but the tricky winger can be a handful for full backs.

Zaha is excellent at drawing in a defender and winning a foul, including earlier in the season when he came off the bench to earn a late penalty for Palace against Watford at Vicarage Road – which Yohan Cabaye slotted home.