The Premier League is now nearing its conclusion, so it’s no surprise that attention has turned to the awards season and the debate about who will be named in the coveted PFA Team of the Year for 2017/18. The team traditionally features a goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards, so who is expected to make the grade this time around?
David de Gea has already made four appearances in the season-end PFA teams, and he is likely to compete with Ederson for the single shot-stopping spot. De Gea tops the charts for clean sheets with 15, one ahead of his rival, and has produced a series of excellent displays, despite it being a less-than-vintage year for Manchester United. Ederson has finally solved Pep Guardiola’s goalkeeping dilemma after enjoying an excellent debut season following a £35 million switch from Benfica last summer.
Man City have rotated through four central defenders this term, but Nicolás Otamendi has been the standout and is a strong shout to take one of the two CB berths. In terms of raw statistics, Huddersfield’s Shane Duffy has impressed, but the team is usually weighted towards silverware winners and top teams. City’s Kyle Walker has been arguably the best right-back, while Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso has been in superb form at left-back. Another possible inclusion is Spurs’ Jan Vertonghen.
Manchester City are currently on course to win the Premier League by a huge margin, and attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been central to their success. The Belgian has more assists (14) and completed more through balls (31) and crosses (199) than any other player in the league. City have so many world-class midfielders, and many will press a claim for being selected, but expect Leroy Sané to be one of the choices out wide. The young German has been in scintillating form all season. Spurs’ Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min, City’s David Silva and Raheem Sterling, and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard are among the other contenders.
Mo Salah is a shoe-in for one of the two forward roles in the team, though he could also be named as right-midfielder such is his versatility. The Egyptian has scored a staggering 28 goals in 30 games in the Premier League, racking up four in the recent victory over Watford. Spurs’ Harry Kane is the other leading candidate for one of the two forward berths. The 25-year-old striker continues to score in the world’s best league on a regular basis, notching 24 this season. For those betting on the Premier League at Stakers.com, both Salah and Kane offer strong reasons to back either Liverpool or Spurs in individual matches and the over 2.5 goals market, as they so often find the net. Sergio Agüero is another possibility for a striking role in the team after scoring another 21 goals this season.
The PFA Team of the Year 2017/18 is likely to be named in late April, when the Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year will also be announced.