The Arsenal midfielder and Liverpool star are the standout performers in this mid-season assessment, although Everton are the most represented team with three players
With Christmas almost upon us, we know that Arsenal will be top of the tree on December 25 but which individuals have decorated the season with shining performances according to our player ratings?
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and Stoke City shot-stopper Asmir Begovic have impressed the most between the sticks, each boasting three man-of-the-match performances.
However, the Toffees keeper gets the nod thanks to Everton’s record of just one league defeat across Europe’s top five leagues – only Roma and Bayern Munich boast better.
Pablo Zabaleta is our right-back as the Argentine boasts three ‘top’ ratings this season and three assists from deep.
Everton are again represented in defence with Leighton Baines taking the mantel at left-back. The 29-year-old has again lit up Goodison Park with his control of the left flank and brilliance from set-pieces – notably his free-kick double in a 3-2 win over West Ham in September.
It speaks volumes that the England international has remained above his positional rivals despite missing the last month with a toe injury, although his back-up, Bryan Oviedo, has also picked up two ‘top’ ratings in his absence.
Alongside Baines is yet another of Roberto Martinez’s stalwarts in Phil Jagielka. The centre-back has also racked up three man-of-the-match ratings, and he is joined by the surprise selection of the XI; Hull City’s Curtis Davies.
Moving on to midfield, the two obvious candidates for the centre of the park are Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil.
The duo have been inspirational as Arsenal defied pre-season expectations to set the pace at the top of the Premier League table for the majority of the season.
The Wales international is the standout performer of the campaign with six ‘top’ ratings after hitting a staggering 13 goals in all competitions.
Ozil, meanwhile, leads the league assists tally with seven – taking just 14 minutes to register his first after completing a club-record deadline-day £42 million move from Real Madrid.
Andros Townsend sits on the right wing, beating off competition from Santi Cazorla and the revitalised Samir Nasri, with his attention-grabbing attacking play at White Hart Lane.
The Tottenham man has boasted the highest average completed dribbles per game all season, and is not afraid to test the opposition goalkeeper with an average of 3.3 shots per game – with just Philippe Coutinho producing more.
Eden Hazard – with the second highest completed dribbles per game – sits on the left flank after rediscovering his best form for Chelsea following a lull during the second half of last season.
The Belgian has hit six goals and four assists in the Premier League this term – his highlight being two goals and one assist in the 4-3 win over Sunderland earlier in December.
Along with Ramsey and Ozil, the two easiest and most obvious choices for this mid-season assessment were Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero up front.
The Uruguayan has produced stunning display after stunning display all season with a return of 19 goals in just 12 appearances to lead the scoring charts – his four-goal haul and two-goal-and-three-assist masterclass against Norwich City and Tottenham, respectively, the main attractions.
Aguero, meanwhile, has hit a more modest, but just as impressive, 13 goals in 15 appearances for City – which includes scoring in all but two of his side’s home games this term as they racked up 7-0, 6-0 and 6-3 victories over Norwich, Tottenham and Arsenal.
|BEST PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYERS XI