Premier League: 2012/13 all-star XI
With the Premier League season coming to an end, who have been the standout performers?
With the 2012/13 Premier League season coming to an end there have been many stars that have impressed this season.
Here we look at the stand-out performers from the season thus far and make a Premier League team of the year:
Goalkeeper - Simon Mignolet, Sunderland
The Sunderland shot-stopper has turned in some magnificent performances for the Black Cats this season, made even more impressive considering he is shielded by a defence containing Titus Bramble and John O'Shea.
His athleticism and domineering presence have caught the eye this campaign. Should Sunderland survive, the Belgian must be hugely credited.
Right-back - Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City
Though Manchester City have largely under-performed this season, the same cannot be said of their Argentine full-back. Zabaleta has been solid defensively whilst continuing to provide an attacking threat in every game he has played in, showing the sort of consistency City have lacked this term.
Centre-back - Jonny Evans, Manchester United
The Northern Irishman has established himself as regular in the Manchester United side this season, proving to be a reliable and composed option in the heart of the leaders' defence.
Earlier in the season it was shown that Evans had the highest points-per-game average of anyone in the League. Impressive considering he was merely a squad player last year.
Centre-back - Jan Verthonghen, Tottenham
Verthongen has been a rock at the back for Spurs, helping to lead their charge for a top-four finish with his leadership and vision, having quickly settled in North London following his move from Ajax.
He has also contributed four league goals, whilst also appearing equally adept at centre-back or covering at left-back.
Left-back - Leighton Baines, Everton
Another summer of speculation came and went - this time Bayern Munich and Manchester United his suggested suitors - but Baines remained loyal to the Toffees and produced another season of stunning performances. He has five goals and five assists to his name this season.
Right-wing - Juan Mata, Chelsea
Chelsea's little maestro has been in superb form throughout this season despite their busy schedule. His goals and assists - as well as his sublime passing ability and tantalising trickery - have been vital for the Blues, particular considering the inconsistent form of many of their other attacking players.
Centre-midfield - Marouane Fellaini, Everton
The towering Belgian has steered Everton towards a challenge for a European spot with 11 goals. His strength and height have added a different dimension to an attack composed of slick passers and dribblers, who offer very little in the way of size.
However, it remains unlikely the frizzy-haired fan favourite will remain at Goodison Park next year unless European football is secured.
Centre-midfield - Michael Carrick, Manchester United
In contrast to the attacking midfield players already mentioned on the list, Carrick has been a defensively astute member of the Manchester United team, whilst also presenting an impressive pass accuracy of just below 90%. Though his contribution has been understated, he has been a vital member of United's team.
Left-wing - Gareth Bale, Tottenham
The Welsh wing wizard has been placed, by some, in the same bracket as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and his scintillating pace and his eye for goal have made him the hottest property in Europe this summer, with Real Madrid waiting to pounce.
An impressive 17 goals in 32 games, including a hat-trick against Aston Villa, will have helped his cause significantly.
Striker - Luis Suarez, Liverpool
Whether you love him or hate him, nobody can doubt the ability of the Uruguayan, who leads the Premier League scoring charts with 22 goals.
He has almost single-handedly hauled Liverpool into a respectable seventh position as the rest of his team-mates have appeared extremely average. His majestic dribbling make him the bane of every Premier League defender's life.
Striker - Christian Benteke, Aston Villa
Perhaps a controversial choice ahead of Robin van Persie, but I feel his remarkable performances in spite of being in a team embroiled in a relegation battle, in addition to this being his debut season in England, warrant his selection.
The bustling centre-forward has hit 15 goals in 28 games since his arrival at the tender age of 22, justifying Paul Lambert's (much criticised) decision to select him ahead of the more experienced Darren Bent.
Ben Foster, West Brom
Ashley Williams, Swansea
Emerson Boyce, Wigan
Frank Lampard, Chelsea
Yaya Toure, Manchester City
Robin van Persie, Manchester United
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