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Mohamed Salah & three Manchester City stars feature in Dream Team’s best XI of the season so far

THE elongated nature of Gameweek 20 allows us time to reflect upon the Dream Team season so far.

What better way than the construction of the best XI of the campaign?


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Stars of the show

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Stars of the showCredit: Dream Team

GOALKEEPER: Andre Onana (£3.6m)

The Cameroon international has led the way in his position for a while now but it still comes as something of a surprise when viewing the Stats Centre.

Onana’s form has been shaky at best since his transfer to Manchester United, more so during the Red Devils’ failed Champions League group campaign.

However, Erik ten Hag’s side haven’t actually conceded that many goals on the domestic front and Onana’ s nine clean sheets (all comps) is the highest tally among Dream Team goalkeepers.

The 27-year-old has also made the most saves (98) which is a concern for the Old Trafford faithful but a profitable source of points for Dream Team gaffers.

Onana is currently 22 points clear of his closest rivals at the top of the rankings among keepers with 122 overall.

Look at the stats, not his performances...

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Look at the stats, not his performances…Credit: Rex

DEFENDERS

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.7m) – 169 pts
  • Kieran Trippier (£5m) – 162 pts
  • Pedro Porro (£3.7m) – 148 pts

The perfect illustration of the need for attacking impotence in your back line.

This trio have combined for 27 assists already in 2023/24 with Liverpool’s homegrown hero the pick of the bunch with 11.

Obviously clean sheets have played a role too – Alexander-Arnold has contributed to nine this term – but it’s no coincidence these three defenders make up the podium for big chances created among assets in their position.

They’re all among the top five defenders for bonus points as well with Trippier having delivered a whopping 67 accurate crosses, the most among all players.

If you didn’t already know the benefit of selecting defenders who contribute in the final third, now you do!

Just as important to Newcastle's attack as their defence

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Just as important to Newcastle’s attack as their defenceCredit: Reuters

MIDFIELDERS

  • Bukayo Saka (£5.9m) – 204 pts
  • Phil Foden (£5.3m) – 198 pts
  • Jarrod Bowen (£5.6m) – 193 pts
  • Anthony Gordon (£3.8m) – 161 pts

An all-English midfield – it’s coming home!

Arsenal’s resident ‘star boy’ has become the most-popular player in the game during Erling Haaland’s (£7.9m) injury and it’s a measure of his pedigree as a Dream Team asset that he’s continued to tick over nicely despite looking in need of a rest in recent weeks.

Saka is one of just two players to have celebrated his double century at this stage of the season, he’s scored nine goals and registered 12 assists.

But Manchester City’s own academy success story has been hunting down his international team-mate at a rapid rate of late.

Foden has racked up 49 points across his last five outings and is therefore one of the game’s most in-form players – only Bruno Guimaraes (£3.8m) has earned more bonus points this season.

The 23-year-old has bagged ten goals but he’s not the top-scoring midfielder, that honour belongs to Bowen.

Granted, West Ham’s No20 has played plenty of minutes as a centre-forward this term, which has undoubtedly help him score 14 goals.

There are rumours the Hammers’ main man will recover in time to face Sheffield United on Sunday – potentially life-saving news for the 13.8% of Dream Team bosses who didn’t transfer him out ahead of Gameweek 20.

Gordon completes the quartet having bagged nine points against Manchester City on Saturday.

The Newcastle winger averages 5.4 points-per-game this season and he’s supplemented his 15 goal involvements with 48 tackles.

14 goals and counting

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14 goals and countingCredit: PA

FORWARDS

  • Mohamed Salah (£6.7m) – 212 pts
  • Erling Haaland (£7.9m) – 195 pts
  • Julian Alvarez (£4.3m) – 172 pts

Liverpool’s Egyptian hero remains Dream Team’s outright leader at the time of writing although his time away at the Africa Cup of Nations presents his rivals with an opportunity to catch up.

A modern Dream Team legend, Salah has raced to 18 goals and nine assists – it could be argued he deserves more of the latter given he’s created 18 big chances, the highest tally among all players.

The 31-year-old is on course for another 40+ goal involvement season despite his mid-season departure to AFCON – what a player.

Haaland’s stint on the sidelines has seen him drop down to fourth in the rankings but the stat to focus on is his points-per-game average of 9.8, the highest in the game.

Needless to say, the Norwegian poacher’s return from injury will be the next major turning point in the Dream Team campaign.

Plenty of firepower

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Plenty of firepowerCredit: AP

Last but not least, it’s Haaland’s understudy.

Alvarez started the season as a No10 but has spent the last few weeks as Manchester City’s centre-forward, a luxurious role to fulfil.

The Argentina international was a bit-part player in 2022/23 but he’s been a central figure this time around, as evidenced by his tally of 11 goals and ten assists.

Whether his playing time will suffer once Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne (£6.4m) resume normal service as regular starters remains to be seen but Alvarez’s efforts throughout the first half of the season deserve proper recognition.

Joao Pedro (£3.8m) narrowly misses out having plundered 169 points for Brighton.


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