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CREAM OF THE CROP

Nicolas Pepe just misses out on Dream Team XI of the Season so far

2020/21 has been a wild season already.

Aston Villa beat Liverpool 7-2, Jose Mourinho masterminded a three-week title challenge, Mikel Arteta forgot everything Pep Guardiola taught him, Sheffield United battled their way to two points, and Marcelo Bielsa introduced his *unique* brand of football to a wider audience.

The unusual nature of the campaign has made Dream Team a tricky realm to navigate though some reliable performers have provided welcome reassurance.

With that being said, let’s swiftly run through the best possible XI of the season based on total points.


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Nearly man

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Nearly man

Before we begin, a quick nod to Nicolas Pepe (£4.5m) who was just a fraction short of making the team.

The Ivorian winger has produced surprisingly healthy returns given Arsenal’s woeful league form and a suspension that followed a red card against Leeds.

Pepe has done all his best work on Thursday nights, picking up a whopping 59 points in the Europa League alone.

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (£3.3m) 67 points

Only Emiliano Martinez (£3.1m) has kept more clean sheets than Chelsea’s new keeper despite the fact the Senegal international joined a few weeks into the season.

Mendy’s superiority is rendered mildly amusing when you consider that Kepa Arrizabalaga (£1.9m) is the outright worst keeper in the game with -3 points.

Defender: Reece James (£4.1m) 75 points

It stands to reason that Chelsea defenders would benefit from clean sheets in a similar fashion to Mendy.

The Blues’ right-back has risen £1.1m since the start of the season.

Defender: Kurt Zouma (£3.3m) 103 points

You’d have to be blind not to see the theme here.

Chelsea’s aerially dominant centre-back is the only defender to reach 100 points at the time of writing.

Zouma has chipped in with four very useful goals for Frank Lampard’s side.


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Blue bloods

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Blue bloods

Ben Chilwell (£4.1m) 95 points

More of the same.

The ex-Leicester left-back was purchased at considerable expense but has settled to life at Stamford Bridge quickly.

Joao Cancelo (£4.5m) 85 points

Wait a minute, he doesn’t play for Chelsea!

The Portuguese full-back has rediscovered the form he exhibited at Juventus this season, helping Man City to a club record six consecutive clean sheets earlier this month.

Phil Foden (£3.8m) 77 points

Man City’s blooming talent makes the cut despite spending a significant portion of the campaign on the bench.

Pep Guardiola has been more inclined to give Foden minutes this season but continues to rotate his host of attacking options on a regular basis.

The 20-year-old has four Star Man awards this season, a tally only bettered by Sadio Mane (£6.0m), Nick Pope (£3.5m) and Harry Kane (£7.4m).

Hop, skip and a.. goal

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Hop, skip and a.. goal

Jack Grealish (£4.6m) 88 points

Aston Villa’s talisman has the highest average rating of all Premier League players this season according to our ratings-providers WhoScored.

With five goals and six assists in the league, Grealish has an average rating of 7.98.

Bruno Fernandes (£5.6m) 131 points

Man United’s Portuguese midfielder has taken English football by storm since joining almost a year ago.

He’s almost the ultimate fantasy football player, someone whose game is based purely on effective output (goals and assists) and he even takes penalties!

Fernandes is in a league of his own among midfielders this season and is understandably the most popular player.

Mohamed Salah (£6.7m) 139 points

No player in Premier League history averages more goal involvements per game than Liverpool’s Egyptian King.

What is there left to say about Salah, an absolute phenomenon who has already done enough to be mentioned among the very best players of this era.

Addicted to goals

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Addicted to goals

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£4.7m) 130 points

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise package of the season.

Everton’s No9 has reached a new level under Carlo Ancelotti, adding more to his game than just his supreme aerial ability.

Calvert-Lewin’s points tally is particularly impressive as, like Grealish, he is mixing it with the big boys despite not having European commitments fulfil.

Harry Kane (£7.4m) 172 points

Jose Mourinho said he would help the Englishman ‘explode’ during his tenure at Spurs and the evidence suggests the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has done just that.

Kane is accustomed to Golden Boot races but this season he’s simultaneously aiming to be recognised as the league’s best playmaker as well.

With ten assists – most of them for Son Heung-min (£5.5m) – he is leading the likes of Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne (£6.5m) having also scored nine league goals.

It’s early days but it already looks as if Kane will finish 2020/21 as Dream Team’s top points scorer if he avoids serious injury.

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