In honour of basketball’s NBA All Star Game this evening, fanatix thought it would be great if there was something similar in the Barclays Premier League. Instead of East and Western Conferences, we’ve split the league by North and South.
Who do you think would win the Premier League All Star Game between our teams – and have we picked the right players in each side?
Asmir Begovic (Stoke City): The towering Bosnian may be playing in front of a watertight Stoke defence but Begovic has still shone this season, keeping nine clean sheets in the league. The 25-year-old may get a big move in the summer and narrowly beats the error-prone Joe Hart to the Northerners’ number one jersey.
Pablo Zabaleta (Man City): After being in and out of the Champions’ team last season, the Argentine has firmly established as City’s – and the Premier League’s – finest right-back. Comfortable on the ball, strong, quick and equally comfortable in defence and attack, Zabaleta comfortably beats Man United rookie Rafael to the right-back spot.
Johnny Evans (Man United): Not the most glamorous name on this list but the Northern Irishman is currently ahead of Nemanja Vidic in Sir Alex Ferguson’s thinking, and that’s good enough for us.
Vincent Kompany (Man City): Manchester City’s title-winning captain-fantastic has arguably not hit the heights of last season but he remains a formidable centre-half. Judging by his tweets, the Belgian also has a brain cell or two – a rare quality for such a fine footballer.
Leighton Baines (Everton): The former Wigan man has been superb for Everton this term, driving the Toffees’ assault on the top four from left-back. His left peg is unrivalled and – whisper it quietly – but the 27-year-old has surely surpassed Cole as England’s finest full-back.
Marouane Fellaini (Everton): The big-haired Belgian is another major reason for Everton’s fine form this season and has flourished behind the front-man for David Moyes’ side. We’ve got him playing deeper for the Northern XI but, such is his frame and talent, the 25-year-old is comfortable across the midfield.
Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle): A surprise inclusion perhaps but it is no coincidence that Newcastle have started winning now that Cabaye is fit again. The Frenchman is a wonderful technician, capable of scoring stunning long-range goals. But his main talent is keeping the game ticking over.
David Silva (Man City): The Spaniard is blessed with vision and technique that few others in the Premier League possess. Silva is able to unlock the meanest of defences and was instrumental in City’s title-winning team from last season.
Wayne Rooney (Man United): Rooney has found himself in the unusual position of playing second fiddle to Robin van Persie this term but the England striker remains a fine player. The former Everton forward will always work for the team and is a deadly finisher.
Luis Suarez (Liverpool): The Uruguayan has come of age this season and is now considered one of the most accomplished players in the Premier League. Suarez is able to create a chance from nothing and has improved his finishing immeasurably.
Robin van Persie (Manchester United): The Dutchman is surely a key factor is United’s domestic dominance this season. Van Persie is simply devastating given a yard of space and there is not a better finisher in Europe.