Our Premier League Team of the Season
With the Premier League nearing its conclusion, here is our Team of the Season.
Some big names and consistent performers were unlucky to miss out, but here is the starting XI.
David De Gea
Hard to imagine the Spaniard was battling criticism when he first arrived in England, but has been a leading light in a disappointing year at Old Trafford. In a season that hasn’t exactly been vintage for shot-stoppers, the former Atletico Madrid man has been the pick of the bunch.
One of the easier choices of the team. Has been simply outstanding all season and Roberto Martinez has claimed the Donegal man is now an integral part of the set-up at Goodison Park.
Has scored six goals to accompany his marauding performances on the right flank and should he move to pastures new in the summer as has been suggested, the Toffees stand to make a tidy profit from the €60,000 he cost after moving from Sligo Rovers.
Not everyone’s cup of tea, but the former England centre back has been a rock for the Blues at the heart of the defence.
Has missed just two games in what is by far and away the meanest defence in the league (Chelsea have conceded 10 fewer goals than Everton and City, the sides with next best defensive records).
Vincent Kompany and Laurent Kosciely can count themselves unfortunate not to make the team, but unlike the City captain and Gunners defender, Terry has rarely put a foot wrong all season and commands the defence like few other defenders.
The attackers at Liverpool have taken most of the plaudits this season, but the Slovakian has been one of the key men for Brendan Rodgers this season. While his defensive partners have been chopped and changed, Skrtel has remained a constant and his no-nonsense style has endeared him to the Anfield faithful.
Has scored an impressive seven goals as well, including a vital goal against City last weekend.
Could follow in the footsteps of previous Southampton youth players to be sold on for a hefty fee, the left-back looks a cert to make Roy Hodgson’s World Cup party. His forays into the opposition half have become a feature with his blistering pace leaving opponents struggling in his wake, leading manager Mauricio Poccetino to suggest that the teenager wouldn't be out of place in the Real Madrid team.
Like all attacking full-backs, questions have been asked of his defensive attributes against top-class opposition, but so far he has not been found wanting.
Another Southampton success story this season. The playmaker has appeared in every game this season, earning rave reviews for his ability to find space and create opportunities for others, while only Yaya Toure, Steven Gerrard and Eden Hazard have scored more from midfield.
If he did nothing else, 18 goals from midfield is an incredible return, but the Ivorian has been a powerhouse in the middle of the park for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
When in the mood can dominate his opponents with his power, athleticism and surging runs towards through the middle.
The Liverpool captain may end a 24-year drought for domestic success on Merseyside and the midfield maestro has been at his very best in his new position sitting in front of the back four.
Gerrard has curbed his natural tendency to bomb forward to become the lynchpin in Brendan Rodgers favoured diamond midfield formation. A stellar season personally that may end with the one medal he has craved throughout his career.
Question marks were raised when Chelsea forked out £32m for the Belgian and made him one of the best paid players in the club, but it looks like a very shrewd move from the London club.
He has backed up his debut season with another outstanding campaign, with consistent performances throughout as is also by some distance the Blues top goal scorer with 14 goals.
What a difference a year makes. Almost a year to the day since taking a nibble on Branislav Ivanovic's arm, his subsequent suspension led and overall frustration led to speculation he was heading for the Anfield exit door, but the club refused to budge and his return this year has been nothing short of sensational.
29 goals in as many games – including Goal of the Season contenders - has grabbed the headlines, but has become a real team player and created opportunities for his team-mates.
Not only is the top goals corer, the Uruguayan also leads the way on the assists table.
Managing to claim any headlines when Suarez in the form of his life takes some going, but Daniel Sturridge has managed it after blazing a trail himself in front of goals.
Brendan Rodgers took what many believed was an over-priced gamble last year, but the former Chelsea striker has proven his undoubted potential with calm and composure in front of goals.
His cavalier penalty against Everton to claim the match ball was one of the few blots on his copybook and will be England’s main goal threat in Brazil this summer.