With the season coming to a close, Sky Sports have named their team of the year, based on stats from WhoScored.com, and there are some surprising inclusions.
The team has been selected using the website’s statistical based rating system, and while there are several expected names in there from the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, there are some shocks to be found.
With Jose Mourinho’s side currently top of the Premier League, and almost certain to be be crowned champions come the end of the season, it’s hardly surprising that an impressive four players from their side feature in the line-up.
The most obvious two are Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, who have both impressed throughout the season, while Cesc Fabregas also features despite his dip in form over the second half of the campaign.
Defender Branislav Ivanovic, who features in a rather surprising defensive line up, joins them to make up the Chelsea contingent. The Serbian sits alongside West Ham United man James Tomkins and Manchester United defender Phil Jones, with Gael Clichy at left back.
Jones, in particular, is the more unexpected of those two names, given United’s defensive troubles this season, while many will question how Chelsea captain John Terry hasn’t made the side given his impressive performances.
In goal is another shock, with Sunderland keeper Costel Pantillimon the highest performer despite his side’s troubles at the wrong end of the table. The former Manchester City man didn’t enjoy the best of starts at the Stadium of Light, but has since firmly established himself as the number one in the North East and is clearly performing based on these stats.
Elsewhere, there aren’t any surprises in filling out the remaining spots. Arsenal duo Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla come into the midfield, with the Chilean having been in inspiring form during his first season in England and Cazorla being a key player for the Gunners once more.
Up front, Sergio Aguero partners Costa to finish off the side. The Argentine has suffered with injuries this season as his side have struggled, but has still been leagues ahead of his counterparts. Having said that, some will be shocked not to see Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane in the XI.
So then, a side full of stars plying their trade at the top half of the table, with Sunderland keeper Pantillimon probably the most surprising inclusion. How many of these players make the official Premier League team of the season remains to be seen.