Top four stars dominate our predicted Team of the Year…
Based on multiple factors, here’s our rather ambitious attempt at predicting a Premier League Team of the Year for 2013/14!
Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez and Juan Mata all miss out; because we think this XI is set to hit top form from the first day of the season next weekend.
How do you think we’ve done…?
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet – Liverpool
Mignolet was easily one of the best goalkeepers in the league last season, encouraging Liverpool to shell out £9m for the 25-year-old this summer. A brilliant shot-stopper, we predict Mignolet will rise to the challenge of replacing the once brilliant Pepe Reina at Anfield.
Right-back: Rafael – Manchester United
Rafael is finally becoming the player Sir Alex Ferguson predicted he would when he signed him with his twin brother Fabio from Brazil in 2008. The 23-year-old is feisty, strong in the tackle, and dynamic going forward up the right-flank. He matured enormously last season, and looks set to start at right-back for United for many seasons to come.
Centre-back: David Luiz – Chelsea
With Barcelona preparing a £40m bid for the stopper, it’s pretty obvious to us that David Luiz is a special player. Arguably the most technically gifted centre-half in world football, Luiz shone alongside Thiago Silva for Brazil in the Confederations Cup earlier this summer. Under Jose Mourinho, Luiz will develop his defensive capabilities, too, and be crucial to Chelsea’s assault on the Premier League title.
Centre-back: Vincent Kompany – Manchester City
City’s captain fantastic: Vincent Kompany was easily the best centre-back in the country during his side’s maiden Premier League title victory in the 2011/12 season. Perhaps became complacent early on last term, but eventually formed an exciting partnership with youngster Matija Nastasic which saw his side finish second. We’re pretty sure he’ll be back to his imperious best.
Left-back: Nacho Monreal – Arsenal
Perhaps the surprise selection in this team, Monreal, albeit quietly, has been extremely assured since his January move to Arsenal last term. The 27-year-old Spaniard is entering the peak years of his career, and his ability on the ball fits Arsene Wenger’s slick style of football perfectly. Monreal’s all set to earn his stripes as one of the best left-backs in the league.
Centre-Midfield: Sandro – Tottenham
Tottenham badly missed the Brazilian battler last season, and we reckon he’ll form a formidable partnership in the middle with either Paulinho or Etienne Capoue. At 24-years-old, Sandro is finally starting to fulfil his undeniable potential, and will be a cornerstone of Tottenham’s top four pursuit.
Centre-midfield: Yaya Toure – Manchester City
City’s Ivorian beast is the perfect centre-midfielder. Strong as an ox, as good going forward as he is in defence, and has the ability to create and score goals with a slick pass of a ferocious shot. Alongside new signing Fernandinho, we think Toure will have another barnstorming season for City.
Right-Wing: Santi Cazorla – Arsenal
Cazorla was absolutely fantastic last year for the Gunners, and we think he’ll continue in the same rich vein. Completed more accurate through balls than any other player, attempted more dribbles than anyone bar Luis Suarez, and scored and assisted over ten goals each cutting in from the right and orchestrating Arsenal’s play. Seriously good player.
Attacking-Midfield: Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool
A number of players could fill this spot, but thanks to his jaw-droppingly good pre-season, we reckon Liverpool’s Brazilian magician is set to take the Premier League by storm. His unbelievable close-control, dribbling ability and eye for a killer ball means that the Reds could well have another Luis Suarez type transfer saga next summer.
Left-Wing: Eden Hazard – Chelsea
Gareth Bale would normally walk into this slot, but we reckon he’ll end up at Real Madrid before the end of August! Hazard, the Belgian flyer justified his enormous price tag last term, but with a full pre-season under his belt, and the guidance of Jose Mourinho, Hazard could well establish himself as the best player in the country; he’s that good. If that isn’t enough, he registered 13 goals and 25 assists in all competitions last season, too.
Striker: Robin Van Persie – Manchester United
The smart money’s on RVP winning the Premier league Golden-boot for a third year running. Suarez is banned for the first six games, and surely won’t perform as well for Liverpool as he did last term, after a summer of controversy. The 30-year-old Dutchman has bagged 56 league goals in the past two seasons, and hit an ominously good double for United in their pre-season Community Shield victory. David Moyes has already stated that Van Persie is his main man