Premier League 2012/13: Team of the Year
A look at the Premier League's best XI from the season so far
As the Premier League approaches its final quarter, we take a look at the outstanding players thus far who have graced the best league in world football.
Express your opinions below. Have we missed anyone out? Many players can fill one position so there is plenty of room for debate. Get in touch and let us know!
Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar | QPR
The former UEFA club Goalkeeper of the Year has been in sensational form this season for the basement boys. Earning many draws and picking up valuable points, he is the stand-out candidate to pick up the accolade ahead of the likes of Joe Hart and co. After a disappointing end to his Inter career, he has found his form again and is showing he is a world-class stopper.
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta | Manchester City
The Argentine international has arguably been City's best performer this season. Deputising as captain in Vincent Kompany's absence he has been a rock in defence and has also got forward regularly, pitching in with three goals.
Centre- back: Daniel Agger | Liverpool
He has proved that he's one of the best around. His no-nonsense approach and ball playing skills make him a vital player in his Liverpool side. He has an excellent understanding with Martin Skrtel and he is quick, fantastic in the air and has a wand of a left foot.
Centre-back: Ashley Williams | Swansea
Swansea's two seasons in the Premier League have seen this man help the team gain its well-earned plaudits. He has lead them to the Capital One trophy and kept several clean sheets. His ability to take the ball under pressure and pass it to set up attacks is one to be admired. The Welshman has had a terrific season which has highlighted interest from both Manchester giants.
Left-back: Leighton Baines | Everton
Many say he should be England's first-choice at left-back and this season has done him no harm. His expert set-pieces have allowed him to score seven goals in all competitions and assist many goals too. He is defensively sound and has re-built his deadly left-side partnership with Steven Pienaar, one of the best Europe.
Right-midfield: Theo Walcott | Arsenal
He has played as a striker for parts of the season and has came on leaps and bounds. His 18 goals have kept the Gunners in contention for the Champions League places and he has matured greatly since the departure of Robin van Persie. Arsenal fans will be relieved now he has signed a long-term contract.
Centre-midfield: Michael Carrick | Manchester United
The former Tottenham man has been brilliant for United this campaign. He has quietly gone about his work, allowing the more attacking players to gain the plaudits but this has certainly been his best season with the club to date. His range of passing is as good as anybody's around and his defensive side has improved too. He has started many counter attacks and Manchester United's 12-point advantage has a lot to do with him. Surely he is a must for England too?
Centre-midfield: Juan Mata | Chelsea
If you were awarding Player of the Season based on the first-half of the campaign, Juan Mata would surely have picked up the accolade. He started so brightly and rose to the top of the club's goalscoring charts. He has gone off the boil in recent games and Chelsea's form has faltered due to it. Oscar, Eden Hazard and Mata have wowed the league at times this season with their flair and creativity and the little Spaniard needs to recapture his form if Chelsea are to keep their Champions League qualification charge going.
Left-midfield: Gareth Bale | Tottenham
Words cannot describe his immense ability. The Welsh wizard has astonished fans all over the world as he continues to single-handedly win football matches for his team. He scores goals for fun and can create a chance from his own half. He has certainly come of age this season and has even been compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a big favourite to claim the Player of the Season award.
Striker: Robin van Persie | Manchester United
£24m for the Dutchman seems to be a bargain now. He has scored 23 goals as Manchester United chase the league and FA Cup double. Many pundits suggest he is the difference between the Manchester clubs this year and he is certainly the main man for Fergie's team. Another big contender for Player of the Season award and many felt he should have even made the FIFA World XI too.
Striker: Luis Suarez | Liverpool
He has proved yet again what a naturally gifted player he is. His fine displays light up the division week in, week out and it's not just his ability to find the net. He has been accused of diving and his attitude and fiery temper has got him in trouble but there is no questioning his quality. He is currently the top goalscorer with 28 goals, 21 of them coming in the Barclays Premier League.
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