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FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER

The perfect Dream Team for 2021/22: Chelsea defence, Man City midfield, Liverpool forward line

We’re not even halfway through the season yet so it may be premature to hype up the title race but we could be in for a mouthwatering run-in this season.

Quite evidently, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool are in a bracket of their own in the Premier League this term.

Each of the three contenders are led by a world-class coach and boast squads containing several world-class players so naturally Stamford Bridge, Anfield and the Etihad have been home to plentiful Dream Team points already in 2021/22.

What’s particularly interesting is that each team specialises in a different position.

Klopp’s side are averaging three goals a game this season

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Klopp’s side are averaging three goals a game this season

There is no doubt that Chelsea are the kings of defence.

Edouard Mendy (£4.7m) and Reece James (£6.2m) are the outright best assets in their positions with 76 and 126 points respectively.

But it’s the sheer volume of Thomas Tuchel’s troops residing near the top of the rankings that make them the dominant force in their discipline.

Seven of the current top ten defenders represent the Blues – a frankly obscene monopoly.

Midfield is certainly a more open field but if you had to identify any team to single out it would be Man City.

Riyad Mahrez (£5.8m) leads the way in his position having racked up 86 points and he’s joined in the top seven by team-mates Phil Foden (£5.5m) and Bernardo SIlva (£3.3m).

Ilkay Gundogan’s (£4.0m) current Game Week haul of 15 points has taken him to the brink of the top ten – the German is just one point behind Declan Rice (£2.9m), breathing down his neck.

Jack Grealish (£4.4m), Kevin De Bruyne (£5.4m), Raheem Sterling (£4.2m) and Rodri (£3.0m) all have 42 points each meaning the reigning champions have eight midfielders on 40+ points – no other team has more than four!

Depth

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Depth

If you want to build a prosperous Dream Team forward line in 2020/21 the first place you should browse is Anfield.

Obviously Mohamed Salah (£8.0m) is by far and away the leading asset among all players this season – he’s scored 17 goals in all competitions for Liverpool already, not to mention eight assists.

The Egyptian King has a 52-point lead over his closest rival – the aforementioned James – and the gap is a whopping 81 points between him and the next-best forward, Cristiano Ronaldo (£8.0m).

Incredibly, the next two best forwards after Man United’s No7 are Salah’s team-mates, Sadio Mane (£5.3m) and Diogo Jota (£4.6m), who have 80 points each.

At one point this past weekend, the Liverpool trio were the top three goalscorers in the Premier League this season before Jamie Vardy (£3.7m) broke up the party with a brace on Sunday.

Between them, Salah, Jota and Mane have scored 34 club goals already in 2020/21 – not to mention the injured Roberto Firmino’s (£3.9m) respectable tally of six.

It goes without saying that Liverpool’s attackers have scored comfortably more goals than any other crop currently active in Dream Team.

Firepower

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Firepower

The specialist disciplines of Chelsea, City and Liverpool reflect their respective approaches to the game.

The European champions have built from a solid foundation of defence ever since Tuchel’s appointment while the wing-backs in the German’s 3-4-2-1 system have also provided the attacking thrust in recent months.

Pep Guardiola’s side value control and technical supremacy and have happily played without a recognised centre-forward for over a year now in order to fit in as many of their talented midfielders as possible.

Finally, while it’s true the full-backs are vital to Klopp’s tactics, Liverpool’s success in recent times has primarily been propelled by their prolific front three.

It would be wrong to turn away from the likes of Joao Cancelo (£6.1m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.8m) and Gabriel Jesus (£4.6m) but Dream Team bosses should definitely be aware of the pattern dictating the current season.

Chelsea in defence, City in the middle, Liverpool up top.