YESTERDAY, we published the best possible Dream Team XI of the season using only players from the bottom half of the Premier League table.
Today, we present the best XI with a new restriction: that no club can have more than one representative.
Let’s get into it…
GOALKEEPER: Emiliano Martinez (£4m)
Goalkeeper is the lowest-scoring position in Dream Team so it doesn’t make sense to select Nick Pope (£3.9m) or David de Gea (£3.7m) here because there are other Newcastle and Manchester United assets we need to make use of to ensure this XI is optimised.
Argentina’s No1 slots in nicely because with 94 points to his name he’s the seventh-best asset in his position, a ranking he could easily improve by two or three places before the season’s end.
Aston Villa’s significant upturn under Unai Emery has resulted in Martinez keeping eleven clean sheets in the league this term – only four keepers have more to their name at this stage.
DEFENDERS: Kieran Trippier (£5.4m), Ben Mee (£3.6m), Thiago Silva (£5m)
The Magpies’ first-choice right-back is in a league of his own among Dream Team defenders with 216 points overall, 63 more than his closest rival, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.7m), who doesn’t make the cut because Liverpool’s best-performer (you know who) has over 100 more points.
Trippier was ever-present throughout the first two thirds of the campaign when Newcastle racked up loads of clean sheets and his creative output (mostly from set-pieces) has ensured a tide of 7+ ratings and Star Man awards.
Most read in Football
Generally speaking, it’s been a disappointing season for defenders so there’s no sense in using up a precious Manchester City, Manchester United or Arsenal allocation in this position, which leaves the door open for Brentford’s reliable centre-back.
Mee has churned out 109 points to date, the same tally as John Stones (£6.2m), and his consistent performances have helped the Bees to a comfortable top-half finish.
Chelsea’s troubles in attack help us out in this exercise as it means we can confidently select their best defensive asset without missing out on substantial points elsewhere.
The Blues actually boast a very respectable defensive record this season; their total of 39 goals conceded is equal to Arsenal’s and is only bettered by Man City and Newcastle.
Prior to his injury, Silva was a class act amid faltering team-mates and he only dropped out of the top ten Dream Team defenders while sidelined – he’s now on 103 points.
MIDFIELDERS: Bruno Fernandes (£6.9m), Martin Odegaard (£4.5m), Solly March (£4.8m), Jarrod Bowen (£4m)
Marcus Rashford (£7.3m) has the second-highest points tally among all players this season but we crunched the numbers and found the optimum combination featured Man United’s midfield maestro instead – tough break for the England international.
Fernandes is one of only two players in his position on 200+ points and his battle with Kevin De Bruyne (£8.4m) for supremacy looks set to go down to the wire – you don’t need us to tell you why the Belgian isn’t present in this XI.
Arsenal’s captain has exactly the same number of points (187) as Bukayo Saka (£5.4m) at this stage and the only reason we opted for Odegaard is because he averages more points-per-game than his team-mate.
The Gunners had strong candidates for this team in defence but ultimately it had to be one of their two standout midfielders, who have both been among the top five assets in their position for the majority of the season.
Brighton’s enterprising midfield makes March (153 points) an easy selection, he edges out Kaoru Mitoma (£4.6m) by eight points, although the Japanese winger is likely to overtake his team-mate soon as it looked as if the Englishman pulled his hamstring in Game Week 33.
Just six midfielders are above the Seagulls’ No7 is the rankings: De Bruyne, Fernandes, Riyad Mahrez (£6.3m), Saka, Odegaard and Phil Foden (£5.3m).
West Ham’s No20 completes our midfield having earned 137 points despite his side’s underwhelming domestic campaign.
Bowen has taken full advantage of favourable match-ups in the Europa Conference League with over a third of his points having been registered on Thursday nights.
FORWARDS: Erling Haaland (£10.5m), Mohamed Salah (£8.8m), Harry Kane (£9.2m)
De Bruyne and all of City’s other successful assets never stood a chance when pitted against Haaland.
The prolific Norwegian’s tally of 419 points is 126 clear of his nearest competitor among all players – a ludicrous margin.
In truth, our forward line more or less takes care of itself with tried-and-tested goalscorers Salah (259 points) and Kane (256 points) once again delivering the goods despite their respective clubs’ problems in 2022/23.
Our team may be a tad top-heavy but that’s only because we followed the points!