Monday 18 December 2017

The Premier League team of the season so far includes three Leicester players

Jamie Vardy has been in sparkling form this season
Jamie Vardy has been in sparkling form this season

Carl Markham

As one of the most unpredictable seasons in Premier League history season moves towards the halfway point it seems a good point to assess which players have shone most at this stage of the campaign.

Carl Markham maps out his team of the season so far with players from current leaders Leicester, Watford and Crystal Palace featuring.

PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE SEASON SO FAR (4-3-3)

GOALKEEPER

David de Gea (Manchester United): Manchester United have the best defensive record in the league and the form of the Spain international, with nine clean sheets, has been key to that.

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DEFENDERS

Hector Bellerin (Arsenal): In his 14 league starts - he missed the 2-0 defeat to West Ham and 1-1 draw against Tottenham - Arsenal have conceded just seven goals.

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Arsenal's Hector Bellerin attempts to steal the ball from Stoke's Marko Arnautovic

Scott Dann (Crystal Palace): Much has been made of Palace's attacking prowess but in 16 matches they have conceded more than one just twice and Dann has played his part, while his goals in three games have helped the side earn seven points.

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Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann celebrates scoring their winning goal alongside Damien Delaney

Chris Smalling (Manchester United): Another major factor in United's defensive superiority this season, the England international has emerged as a genuine leader this season.

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Chris Smalling is the only Manchester United player to have started every game this season

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal): The ultra-consistent Spaniard, Arsenal's other full-back, has played every minute of every league match so far and that regularity has brought stability.

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Arsenal's Nacho Monreal in action with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha

MIDFIELDERS

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester): The Algeria international's brilliantly-taken goal in the 2-0 win over Chelsea epitomised his talent but he has offered so much more in the Foxes' charge to the top of the table with 11 goals in 15 appearances.

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Riyad Mahrez scores the second goal for Leicester

Danny Drinkwater (Leicester): One of Leicester's unheralded heroes, the midfielder has pulled the strings so well behind the Foxes two stand-out stars that manager Claudio Ranieri has tipped him for an England call up.

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Danny Drinkwater's Leicester last lost an away game in the league in March

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City): The Belgian has made a huge impact since arriving in the summer and his four league goals tell only part of the story as his work-rate and number of assists have made him an essential and influential part of Manuel Pellegrini's side.

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Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester City claimed three points against Swansea

STRIKERS

Jamie Vardy (Leicester): Fifteen goals in 16 appearances, including a new Premier League record of scoring in 11 consecutive matches, mean he is the hottest striker in the country.

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Jamie Vardy has been on fire this season for Leicester

Romelu Lukaku (Everton): After a slow start the Belgium international has exploded into a run of form which has seen him score in his last six matches to take his tally to 12.

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Romelu Lukaku is 6/1 to score two or more goals against Norwich

Odion Ighalo (Watford): Another surprise package, no-one expected Watford to do so well this season let alone see the Nigerian reach double-figures before Christmas.

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Watford's Odion Ighalo takes off his shirt to celebrate scoring his team's second goal

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