Everyone loves a formation designed for attack, control and purpose, so why should this be any different?
GK: Nick Pope
Since the injury to Tom Heaton, Pope has kept six clean sheets; this is no mean feat for a goalkeeper, especially when one considers he plays for Burnley, a side one would expect to be under a deal of pressure.
Yet Burnley boast a resolute defence and Pope has been commanding and reliable between the sticks and deserves much more praise than he receives.
LB: Ashley Young
Again, a name few would expect to see in a team of the season, yet Young has been reliable for Jose Mourinho. The English international – who earned his first call up in several years recently – has been adventurous going forward, yet discipline in his defensive work.
CB: Ben Mee
There is a reason why two Burnley players feature: they have the third best defence in the league and do not boast the stellar names of Manchester City and Manchester United, who are the only teams to better their record.
Mee has been integral to Burnley’s defensive solidity; no-nonsense, tactically aware and his positioning is sound, Mee has stepped up in the absence of Michael Keane, who left for Everton last summer.
CB: Phil Jones
Jones’ defensive quality has rarely been questioned. His mistakes were a matter of fatigue and a lack of match sharpness, owing to his abysmal injury record.
That he is currently injured is no surprise, then. Yet he has been superb for Mourinho when he has been fit and has looked every inch the defender United know he can be. He simply needs to stave off injury if he is to realise his potential, though.
RB: Kieran Tripper
Spurs fans were rightly concerned when Kyle Walker swapped London for Manchester in a £50 million deal, but those aware of Trippier’s quality were quietly confident.
Indeed, the right-back has fashioned himself into a dependable and consistent option in Pochettino’s impressive defence.
LCM: Paul Pogba
Instrumental the way United play, Pogba has been superb this season. Full of guile, strength, vision, creativity and fight, the Frenchman is coming into his own after an inconsistent debut season at Old Trafford.
Shoring up the midfield, Fernandinho is elected. A key pillar of Manchester City’s success this season has been their defence and the Brazilian’s work-rate in the midfield and screening of the back-line has been essential.
City’s buccaneering play means he has to make up a lot of ground to balance the attack and defence, but his industrious nature ensure this harmony is achieved.
RCM: David Silva
The Spanish wizard has eight assists already this season and has been integral to the slick, vibrant and attractive style Guardiola has employed.
A shimmy there, a no look pass here, a mazy dribble a few second later, a defence splitting pass now: Silva has it all.
LAM: Kevin De Bruyne
If he continues his form, De Bruyne simply has to be POTY. His vision is indescribable, his feet are magic and his footballing intelligence is unparalleled. Words do not do his performances justice. He must continue to thrive if City are to claim a first title under Guardiola.
RAM: Mo Salah
Surely one of the bargains of the summer, Salah has been riveting for Liverpool this season. 10 goals and 2 assists already attests to the Egyptian’s brilliance.
Salah is full of verve and purpose and strikes fear into any defence.
ST: Harry Kane
He wins the battle between Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku – by an ease, too. Superior movement, better hold-up play, better finishing and a leader on the pitch, Kane is still the best striker in the league.
Written by Michael Jones
Follow Michael on Twitter @jonesmichael_97
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