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PST’s Premier League Best XI

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We asked each of our writers to select their Best XI from the Premier League in the 2017/18 season.

[ MORE: PST’s 2017/18 season reviews ]

It’s safe to say stars from Manchester City dominated, but there are quite a few surprises in these squads too with varying formations used.

Below you can pick apart our lineups, and feel free to get involved in the comments section and send in your best XI’s too.


Joe Prince-Wright (4-3-3 formation) 

Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Virgil Van Dijk, Jan Vertonghen, Ashley Young
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Roberto Firmino


Nicholas Mendola (3-2-2-3 formation) 

Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi, James Tarkowski
Midfielders: Kante, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Leroy Sane


Kyle Bonn (4-4-2 formation)
Goalkeeper: Ederson
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, James Tarkowski, Marcos Alonso
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Fernandinho, Leroy Sane
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane


Matt Reed (3-4-3 formation)

Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen
Midfielders: Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Christian Eriksen, Riyad Mahrez
Forwards: Leroy Sane, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah


Dan Karell (4-3-3 formation) 

Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, James Tarkowski, Ashley Young
Midfielders: David Silva, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Leroy Sane

Vertonghen injured in warmups, out of Spurs season finale

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Oft-injured defender Jan Vertonghen was injured in warmups as Spurs got ready to host Leicester City on the final day of the Premier League season, and has been pulled from their starting lineup.

Vertonghen, who will be 32 years old as next season gets under way, has struggled with injuries in years past, but has had a relatively clean campaign this time around, playing 36 times in the Premier League, missing just a February game against Crystal Palace. He limped off with an ankle injury in the latter stages of a 1-0 win over Newcastle last time out, but was expected to fully recover for Sunday’s season finale.

[ WATCH LIVE: Tottenham vs. Leicester City ]

He will be hoping to earn his 100th cap for Belgium at the 2018 World Cup in Russia this summer, but now with the potential of a new muscle problem or a recurrence of his ankle injury from last time out, that could possibly be in doubt. Vertonghen was replaced by Victory Wanyama in the Spurs lineup against Leicester. There is no word as of yet on what the injury might be or how serious it is. It’s possible that, with little on the line for Spurs on the final day, that his withdrawal is simply precautionary.

With Vertonghen out of the lineup, Leicester City went ahead early and bagged a pair of goals inside the opening 20 minutes.

Belgium is in World Cup Group G and will open play on June 18 against Panama, with England and Tunisia also among their opponents.

Biggest snubs in Premier League Team of the Year

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With 11 players announced for the PFA Premier League Team of the Year on Wednesday, there is plenty of debate flying around about who deserved to make it and which players were snubbed.

[ MORE: USMNT to play England ]

Bearing that in mind, below is a look at some of the biggest snubs as five players from Man City made it in the team, three for Tottenham and one each from Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool.


Goalkeepers
David De Gea is a worthy selection in the PFA Team of the Year for the fourth-straight season, but Man City’s Ederson will have been a little disappointed. The Brazilian has made a huge difference to City’s defense and ever single defender seems more confident with him in goal, even if he takes risks with his exceptional range of passing. Nick Pope has also had a great season for Burnley after standing in for the injured Tom Heaton.

Defenders
You can’t argue with Kyle Walker at right back. He’s been solid all season long and although Antonio Valencia and Kieran Trippier have been steady, they don’t have the same attacking impact as Walker. As for central defenders, well, Nicolas Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen getting in wasn’t really a surprise such was the lack of competition in that area. Cesar Azpilicueta and James Tarkowski will feel hard done by, while Virgil Van Dijk has had a strong start to life at Liverpool since arriving at Anfield in January. Otamendi deserves it, but if Toby Alderweireld was fit and playing regularly then he may have been selected over Vertonghen. At left back there aren’t many options and if Benjamin Mendy was fit he would’ve been a strong contender. Ashley Young has been great this season and Andrew Robertson from Liverpool must have been close, such was Robertson’s strong second half of the campaign after becoming a regular.

Midfielders
The only other player you could say should’ve made this midfield is Fernandinho. His destructive style laid the foundation for Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva to be otherworldly (and get in the PFA Team), yet Christian Eriksen has been immense for Spurs and probably deserves to just edge in ahead of Fernandinho. Nemanja Matic‘s strong start should be noted, as to should N'Golo Kante plodding along nicely and Eden Hazard, on his day, ripping teams apart.

Forwards
Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane simply had to be in this team, and they are. Yet the other spot is a real tricky one. Sergio Aguero got the nod as the third striker and with the Argentine waiting seven seasons to get in a PFA TOTY, now was his time as he has 143 goals in 206 PL appearances. AKA the best minutes per goal rate in PL history. Yet when you look around the league, the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane will feel aggrieved to not get in this team. Perhaps Sane and Sterling could’ve been in midfield over Eriksen, while Firmino and Mane have been outshone by Salah’s goalscoring but have been hugely important in Liverpool’s fine season. You can only pick 11 players and you can make a solid argument that at least seven forwards deserved a spot…

Three things learned: Chelsea v. Tottenham

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LONDON — Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to end a 28-year wait for a win at their London rivals.

Alvaro Morata put Chelsea ahead in the first half but Christian Eriksen‘s stunner saw Spurs equalize right on half time and two calm finishes from Dele Alli in the second half set Spurs on their way to a historic win, their first in the Premier League era at Chelsea.

Here’s what we learned from a pivotal day in the top four race in a London derby at the Bridge.


DELE ALLI TAKES OVER FOR KANE

Both Christian Eriksen and Heung-Min Son had helped fill the void left by Harry Kane before Sunday. At Chelsea it was Dele Alli who stood tall as he scored twice in the second half to turn the game on its head.

Dele, 21, scored a sublime first goal on his 100th Premier League appearance for Tottenham as he collected a long ball over the top as delicate as an ice sculptor chiseling the final detail of their latest masterpiece before finishing with aplomb.

His second was a predatory strike, straight out of Kane’s locker, as he hung around in the box and waited for a loose ball to break to him before finishing to make it 3-1.

Eriksen’s equalizer right on half time was crucial as the Danish playmaker spanked home from distance and helped drag Spurs back into the encounter. But it was Alli who did the most damage as he regained the form which saw him win the PFA Young Player of the Year award in each of his first two season in the PL.

After being left out of England’s starting lineups for their recent internationals, Alli seems to have got the message loud and clear. He delivered a timely reminder why he is rated as the top attacking midfield talent 21 and under in Europe.

He stood tall when Tottenham needed him most to all but secure their top four spot as Spurs are the only PL team who remain unbeaten in 2018 with eight wins and three draws. On course for a third-straight top four finish as they will now certainly bring Champions League action into the new White Hart Lane next season, Kane’s goals have been a big part of their success. But Dele Alli, Eriksen and Son have all stepped up when Kane has been missing and on Sunday it was Alli’s turn.


TOTTENHAM RUB SALT IN CONTE’S WOUNDS

This wasn’t the final nail in Antonio Conte‘s coffin at Chelsea, but it was one of the final nails.

Chelsea have now lost five of their last seven games and although they impressed in the first half against Tottenham, they squandered several chances with Marcos Alonso and Willian denied and seemed to be in total control of the game until Eriksen’s stunner on half time.

As for Conte, the Italian coach hasn’t wanted to be around in West London all season long and this defeat for fifth-place Chelsea means they are now eight points off the top four with seven games to go. In other words, Chelsea’s hopes of finishing in the top four are over.

Chelsea’s season is now all but over as their focus will switch to winning the FA Cup. Of course they will try and win their remaining games but this was a massive blow for Conte and should only accelerate either his own departure from Stamford Bridge or at least the plans for life without him from this summer on.

Just under 12 months on from securing the PL title, Conte’s second, and probably his last season, at Chelsea is descending into a huge disappointment.


MORATA REGAINS MOJO

Early on he lost a few aerial challenges against Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen and there were rumblings of discontent among the home supporters. Overall, Alvaro Morata has his mojo back.

The Spanish striker made the most of a mistake from Hugo Lloris to calmly nod Chelsea ahead as he continued his good run of form following a back injury and a dip in confidence which threatened to derail his debut Premier League season.

When Romelu Lukaku went to Manchester United and Morata went to Chelsea in the summer, the debate was around who got the better deal. There’s no question that Lukaku has had a better season than Morata in terms of goals (he has 25 in all competitions to Morata’s 14) or his importance to his team.

But long term, could Morata deliver more than Lukaku?

His hold up play, like Lukaku’s still needs to improve, but he was winning flick ons and making much more of a nuisance of himself than he had done previously. He could have got a shot away early in the second half before Spurs and Dele Alli turned on the magic as a lack of confidence reared its head again, but Morata is showing signs of recovery which will be a positive for Chelsea next season.

With two goals in his last two games, Morata is back to the player Chelsea and Conte thought they had signed to not only replace Diego Costa up front but to improve in that area.

Harry Kane hailed as “best in the world”

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Harry Kane is out with an ankle injury until next month but that doesn’t mean the plaudits stop pouring in for the Tottenham Hotspur and England star.

Kane, 24, is the second-highest goalscorer in the Premier League this season with 24 but it’s unlikely he will won a third-straight Golden Boot after Mohamed Salah‘s four-goal blitz against Watford last time out to put him on 28 goals for the season.

Still, Kane’s displays this season have once again underlined his huge importance to Spurs as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men are pushing for a top four finish and in the FA Cup semifinals as well as pushing Juventus all the way in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 before crashing out in agonizing fashion.

Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ after South Korea’s 2-1 defeat at Northern Ireland in a friendly on Saturday, Tottenham forward Heung-Min Son believes his teammate is the top player on the planet right now.

“Harry Kane is, of course, very important for England because he’s the best player in the world,” Son said. “This is football, so sometimes you get injuries, but as Tottenham we need to play without Harry.”

As for another one of Kane’s Tottenham teammates, Jan Vertonghen praised Kane’s all-round play and isn’t exactly looking forward to playing against him when Belgium take on England in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup this summer.

“For me Harry is one of the top two strikers in the world because he has all the ability,” Vertonghen said. “You can have a plan against Harry and he will find something. Hopefully England and us have already qualified (by June 28) and he gets a rest.”

Spurs will be trying to rush Kane back to full fitness as soon as they possibly can and will surely have one eye on him being ready for their FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United on Apr. 21 at Wembley.

The next step for Kane and Spurs is to win some silverware and it will certainly be a lot tougher for Tottenham to win the FA Cup and secure Champions League qualification if they don’t have their leading man back as soon as possible.

England will rely heavily on him this summer at the World Cup with Gareth Southgate set to name him captain of the Three Lions and given Kane’s form, his name is now being mentioned alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kane led Europe’s top five leagues in terms of goals in 2017 and he deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as Messi and Ronaldo. Is he the best player in the world on current form? He has to be in the conversation as the most impactful. Kane is a goal machine who also has an eye for a pass and makes everyone around him better.

Tell me a weakness in Kane’s game. I’ll wait.