Who makes it into our mid-season Premier League XI?
We’ve picked out the best performers so far
We’re almost at the half-way point of the Premier League season, with nine teams now having played 19 games.
Which players have stood out from the crowd so far in this unpredictable and unprecedented campaign?
We’ve picked out our team of the season to date. How many of these names would have got in your team?
Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez
Emi Martinez made the choice to leave Arsenal this summer in search of regular first-team action. His early form at Aston Villa suggests he made the right call.
Martinez has kept eight clean sheets in 15 league appearances for Villa so far. Dean Smith’s side also have the second-best defence in the league, having conceded only 13 goals. They’re up against it when they face Manchester City tonight though – we’ve got the Villans as 9/1 underdogs.
Right-back: James Justin
Leicester City potentially faced a major headache when Ricardo Pereira injured his ACL back in March. However, James Justin’s form means Pereira is no longer certain of his place in the side when he returns.
Whether he plays on the left or right side of defence, Justin has been superb for the Foxes, much to the delight of fantasy football players. The £5 million that Leicester paid to sign him from Luton Town in 2019 looks to be money very well spent.
Centre-back: Ruben Dias
After some wobbles in the early stages of the campaign, Man City look to be close to their best now. Summer arrival Ruben Dias has played a major role in their impressive form so far this term. He looks to be a much-needed leader at the back for Pep Guardiola’s side.
City have only conceded 13 goals in the top flight this term. Dias’ partnership with John Stones means Aymeric Laporte may need to settle for a place on the bench when he’s fit again.
Centre-back: Wesley Fofana
Wesley Fofana has been a revelation for Leicester at the heart of defence this season. Despite his inexperience, he doesn’t seem to have had any issues adapting to the Premier League since arriving for £31m from St Etienne.
Quick across the ground with a good reading of the game for someone so young, Fofana should only continue to improve in the years to come.
Left-back: Joao Cancelo
Like Justin, Joao Cancelo has played in both full-back positions with real style this season. After a mixed first season in England, the Portugal international is showing his class now.
Whether operating in the hybrid full-back/midfielder role that Pep Guardiola used Philip Lahm in at Bayern Munich, or as a more orthodox attacking full-back, Cancelo’s been key to City’s recent impressive form.
Defensive midfield: Tomas Soucek
Surely one of the most impressive January signings in recent years, Tomas Soucek helped West Ham United to beat the drop last season. Now he’s one of the main reasons they’re pushing for a European spot.
He’s added real presence in midfield alongside Declan Rice. The 27-year-old has a knack for scoring goals too – he’s already netted five league goals from midfield this term.
Central midfield: Kevin De Bruyne
When he’s on song, Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best player in the league. And he’s been on it much more often than not this term. When City were in their early-season slump, they looked like a one-man side, with everything going through the Belgian.
Now the rest of the team is firing, De Bruyne is knitting the play together with trademark precision. He’s directly contributed to 13 league goals this season, scoring three himself and setting up 10 more.
Central midfield: Bruno Fernandes
It looks like Manchester United could mount a genuine title challenge this term – they’re 8/13 to beat Fulham and go top tonight. No player has played a bigger contribution to their impressive form than Bruno Fernandes.
He’s quickly become the heartbeat of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, scoring 11 goals and registering seven assists so far. If he can keep it up, this United team could continue to surprise people. United are 7/1 to win the title.
Right-wing: Son Heung Min
Mohamed Salah might lead the Premier League scoring charts with 13 goals so far, but we had to find room for Son Heung-Min in our side.
Son is only just behind Salah with 12 goals, but he’s also chipped in with six assists too. The South Korea international is devastating on the break and his link-up with Harry Kane will be vital if Tottenham Hotspur are to seal a top-four spot at 11/10.
Left-wing: Jack Grealish
Aston Villa have only played 15 games so far this season, but that’s more than enough for Jack Grealish to make the left wing spot here his own. The highlight so far was Villa’s 7-2 destruction of Liverpool, but Grealish is a joy to watch almost every time he’s on the pitch.
He’s got five goals and seven assists, but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. He’s averaged a league-high 3.7 key passes and 2.9 successful dribbles (third-most in the division) per 90 mins. Opposition teams don’t know how to stop him – Grealish has been fouled 4.9 times per 90 mins, far more than any other player.
Striker: Harry Kane
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is unlucky to miss out here, but Harry Kane’s ability to score and create goals sees him take the number nine shirt in our side. Kane’s added another dimension to his game this season, playing provider almost as often as he’s the focal point of Spurs’ attacks.
He’s scored 12 goals and set up 11 so far. The England captain is 5/2 joint-favourite to finish as top scorer, level with Salah. Thierry Henry and De Bruyne’s record of 20 assists in a season is within reach too.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.