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29th Dec 2016

There’s only one Manchester United player in our Premier League team of the season so far

Chelsea dominate this XI...

Robert Redmond

After the next round of fixtures, the Premier League season will have reached the half-way point.

Chelsea currently have a six-point lead over second place Liverpool, and looked primed to win back the title they lost to Leicester City last season.

There’s currently a six-point gap between Manchester United in sixth and Everton in seventh. Jose Mourinho’s side, after a difficult spell in September and October, are only four points away from Arsenal in fourth.

The league’s top six looks to be set in stone for the second half of the season, and as such they dominate our team of the season so far. We’re sure you won’t have any issue with any of these picks.

Leaders Chelsea have five players in our team, Liverpool have two and Arsenal and Manchester United have one each.

For a goalkeeper, we’ve opted for Thibaut Courtois.

The Chelsea ‘keeper has kept 10 clean sheets during his team’s 12-game winning streak. While such an accolade is a collective achievement earned by all of Antonio Conte’s defence, it’d be criminal to ignore Courtois’ contribution.

Jordan Pickford has also been very impressive for Sunderland, despite the team struggling at the bottom of the table.

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We’ve opted for a back-three of David Luiz, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk.

Luiz has been quietly excellent since returning to Stamford Bridge from Paris Saint-Germain. His game now appears devoid of the occasional brain fart which marked his last spell at Chelsea.

Van Dijk looks good enough to play for any team in the division. The Southampton defender has been almost flawless since signing from Celtic last summer and could be on his way to Manchester City for a massive fee at the end of the season.

And Matip is already a key player for Liverpool and cost £47.5m less than John Stones.

Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Premier League

In midfield, we’ve selected Ander Herrera and N’Golo Kante.

Manchester United have significantly improved since Herrera finally became a regular starter and the Spanish midfielder is now an undisputed first-team player for Jose Mourinho. An intelligent, technically gifted but disciplined and hardworking player.

No Premier League XI of any description would be complete without Kante. The Chelsea midfielder is one of the most effective players in the league.

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League

Ahead of those two, we’ve selected Eden Hazard, Philippe Coutinho and Kevin de Bruyne.

Hazard is arguably in better form now than he was when Chelsea won the league two years ago, and he was comfortably the best player in the division.

The Belgian is given a freer role by Conte than he was by Mourinho and has scored nine goals in 17 league games.

Coutinho racked-up five goals and five assists in 13 appearances before injuring his ankle in the 2-0 win over Sunderland at the end of November. Liverpool have kept winning in his absence, but the Brazilian is arguably their talisman and best player.

To his right, we easily could’ve selected Sadio Mane, who has played brilliantly for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season and made a mockery of suggestions he wasn’t worth his £34m transfer fee.

That being said, we’ve picked De Bruyne, who has the potential to be the best player in the league.

The Manchester City winger has nine assists and two goals so far this season, a tally he should improve on in the second half of the season.

Manchester City FC v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League

The two forward positions go to Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa.

Sanchez has 12 goals and six assists this season and has been a revelation since being moved from the wing to the striker’s position, acting as the team’s first defender with his relentless pressing, and their main attacking outlet.

The Chilean has been so impressive that Arsenal’s previous first-choice striker, Olivier Giroud, only made his first league start of the season on December 26.

And Costa has been flawless. The Chelsea forward appears to have given up on his WWE antics and decided instead to just score goals and lots of them

Costa has 13 goals so far this season, and is arguably the best striker in the league.

Honourable mentions to both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero.

Here’s our Premier League XI of the season so far:

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