North XI v South XI - which end of England has the better players?

Featuring stars from Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Manchester United and Southampton.

North XI:

Formation: 4-3-3

GK - David De Gea

Whilst the Spanish stopper was not part of the a successful Manchester United side this term, he made huge advances in his development and performed more reliably than his rivals Simon Mignolet and Joe Hart.

RB - Seamus Coleman

Ordinarily, Pablo Zabaleta, surely one of the world’s finest fullbacks would see off the competition with ease but not this term. The Everton right back has been in sublime form and rightfully deserves his place in the North XI.

CD - Vincent Kompany

No Premier League best of team sheet would ever be complete without undoubtedly the best centre-back in the land and probably one of the best in the world at present in the Manchester City skipper.

CD - Martin Skrtel

This one is dubios – who sits alongside Kompany? In previous terms, Phil Jones would have been a contender, as would Johnny Evans but not this season. The Liverpool favourite makes it in, despite some questionable performances this term at the back for the Reds.

LB - Leighton Baines

Undoubtedly the best left-back in England, taking over from Ashley Cole for his country, the Toffees' fullback is as consistent in attack as he is in defence and his threat is only compounded by his experience.

CM - Steven Gerrard

The England captain has been a superb example yet again this term and, one slip aside, he must surely be regarded as a must-have for his leadership and commitment on the pitch, so I’ll make him my captain.

CM - Yaya Toure

There can be no doubt whatsoever that the Ivory Coast international is the most complete midfielder in the Premier League and, as such, must be in the team.

AM - Wayne Rooney

There are several contenders for my pivotal playmaker (my formation is 4-3-3 incidentally) and whilst David Silva, and Juan Mata would certainly make the team in seasons passed and Philippe Coutinho could have had a shout this term, the Red Devils’ No.10 was simply magnificent.

FW - Luis Suarez

There is absolutely no doubt that the top scorer in the league must be in the team, wherever he plays – I’ve got him designated to the wing, for practical purposes.

FW - Sergio Aguero

Likewise, City’s front man has been on fire this term, aside from some spells out injured and he must go into the team, as a striker.

ST - Daniel Sturridge

The second top scorer this term also resides on Merseyside and his development under Rodgers in the last 18 months has been nothing short of breathtaking.

South XI:

Formation: 4-3-3

GK - Wojceich Szczesny

In seasons passed Petr Cech would be a no-brainer between the sticks but this season the young Gunner’s stopper has been one of the most consistent and reliable performers in the league.

RB - Bacary Sagna

The soon-to-be departing Frenchman has been an admirable, consistent and comitted servant at the back for Arsenal over the years and this season was no exception to that rule.

CD - Gary Cahill

I am torn between two Chelsea centre-halves Cahill and John Terry but I will pick the younger of the two Englishmen this season, although Southampton’s Dejan Lovren is also unlucky to miss out but the parking of the bus tactics at Stamford Bridge this term saw Gary Cahill as a player able and willing to put his body on the line at all times.

CD - Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal’s best defender this term used to be considered something of a liability at the back but he has become one of the best defenders in the league in the last year and deserves his place in the team.

LB - Luke Shaw

Cesar Azpilicuata has been very impressive this term on his lesser preferred side but all plaudits have gone and must go to Saints and England starlet Luke Shaw who, at just 18 years of age, looks every inch a word beater.

DM - Nemanja Matic

Shaw’s colleague at St Mary’s Morgan Schneiderlin is unlucky to miss out but I think Chelsea’s January re-signing of Matic will pay dividends, judging by his solid and unequioval protection and domination in defensive midfield.

CM - Aaron Ramsey

In seasons gone by this would have been a laughable selection but this season the Welsh midfielder emerged as one of the most efficient and dangerous central midfielders in the league and there is no question the Arsenal hero is in the team.

AM - Oscar

Back at the bridge, the Brazilian was almost impossible to leave out for Jose Mourinho this term – his elegance, creativity and work rate have been absolutely exemplary.

RW - Mesut Ozil

A player who has been criticised at time for his work rate, there is no doubting the elegance and creativity of the Gunners’ record signing this term.

LW - Eden Hazard

There can be no doubt Eden Hazard is one of the most dangerous players in the world, probably well on his way to competing for awards with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo in the future. He has been nothing short of magical this season.

ST - Olivier Giroud

A perhaps slightly less magical player but, nonetheless, a diligent and effective centre-forward who has led the Gunners’ line well under immense pressure this season.

Winner: North XI

I think there is little doubt, given the attacking ammunition in the North XI team, as well as the experience and quality in midfield that the North would win on paper. The South XI possess some exceptional individuals too but it’s a very young side with potential that perhaps also lacks some steel at the back and, Hazard aside, not enough bite going forward.

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