The best XI using only players outside the Premier League's top-six clubs


This season, the gap between the top six and the other 14 clubs in the Premier League is there for all to see.

Manchester United - who currently occupy sixth-place - are 11 points ahead of seventh-placed Watford.

To put that into context, Watford are only 14 points ahead of Cardiff - who are currently in the relegation zone.

To greater amplify that, the Hornets are 27 points behind league leaders, Liverpool, while they sit 22 points ahead of rock-bottom Huddersfield.

The top-six is very much in a league of their own.

But just momentarily, let’s forget all about Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd.

That’s because we’ve attempted to create the best possible XI from players that play outside the top-six.

After much deliberating, we *think* we’ve settled on the perfect line-up.

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Everton)

In truth, the Englishman is enduring a difficult season at Everton after his heroics in the summer for England.

His monumental error in the last minute of the Merseyside derby certainly won’t affect his confidence but he hasn’t quite looked the same goalkeeper in recent weeks.

Having said that, the 24-year-old is still extremely talented and has all the potential to become one of the best ‘keepers in world football.

Millwall v Everton - FA Cup Fourth Round

Right-back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace)

Many Premier League Fantasy Football players will know the wonders of Wan-Bissaka.

The Crystal Palace youngster was registered at just £4.0 million at the start of the season, along with the cheapest defenders on the game. But he’s missed just one league match this season for Palace, while he’s impressed with his defensive ability and pace.

Still only 21, don’t be surprised to see Wan-Bissaka join a top-six club in the not too distant future.


Centre-back: Harry Maguire (Leicester)

Another star in England’s World Cup campaign. Maguire became something of a national hero as he helped the Three Lions reach the semi-finals in Russia.

He was linked with a summer move to Manchester United but remained at Leicester, where he is continuing to impress.

The Foxes have conceded just 29 goals in their 23 league matches this season, fewer than Manchester United and Arsenal.

Leicester City v Southampton FC - Premier League

Centre-back: Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)

Bournemouth may face a fight to keep hold of Ake beyond this season. The Cherries signed the Dutchman from Chelsea for £20 million but it seems the Blues are keen to bring him back to Stamford Bridge.

With the ability to play out from the back with his left foot, there would be a lovely balance alongside the strength of Maguire in central defence.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

Left-back: Ben Chilwell (Leicester)

Recent reports have linked Chilwell with Man City suggesting just how much the left-back has been catching the eye this season.

The 22-year-old has already been capped five times by England and looks set to have a very promising future indeed.


Midfield: Declan Rice (West Ham)

Another player that has been linked with City recently. The 20-year-old may not have decided whether he will represent Ireland or England at international level but he’s certainly showing his worth in the Premier League.

He’s being dubbed to fill the boots of Fernandinho at the Etihad in the coming years but he seems more than happy to stay in east London for now.

West Ham United v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Midfield: Ruben Neves (Wolves)

Given his performances this season, it’s mad to think that Neves was playing in the Championship for Wolves last season.

The 21-year-old was signed from Porto for £15.8 million in the summer of 2017 and helped Wolves gain promotion to the Premier League.

He’s now formed a brilliant midfield partnership with Joao Moutinho and could well be attracting the attention of top European clubs in the summer.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Watford FC - Premier League

Midfield: Idrissa Gueye (Everton)

Gueye may not be an Everton player for too much longer if reports are to be believed.

That’s because Paris Saint-Germain have apparently made a bid in excess of £20 million for the defensive midfielder.

Everton would be mad to let him go for that much because the Senegalese star is crucial to them. At 29, Gueye would be by far the most experienced member of this XI and would be an important leader.

Everton FC v Cardiff City - Premier League

Winger: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Before Crystal Palace’s 1-0 victory over Leicester last month, the Eagles had gone more than two years without winning a match if Zaha wasn’t playing.

That’s how important he is to this Palace side.

His numbers may not be too impressive this season - three goals and two assists - but he’s constantly troubling defences with his pace and dribbling ability.

There were reports linking Zaha with a sensational move to Borussia Dortmund last week - a move that the 26-year-old would find extremely hard to turn down.

Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Cup Fourth Round

Winger: Felipe Anderson (West Ham)

When West Ham splashed £36 million on Anderson, it was considered a massive risk.

Sure, he had impressed at Lazio but he had only scored eight league goals in the previous two seasons.

But the 25-year-old has hit the ground running and has already notched eight Premier League goals for the Hammers.

With injuries plaguing Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko, Andy Carroll and Marko Arnautovic at West Ham, Anderson has been crucial for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United - Premier League

Striker: Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)

Wilson has suffered his fair share of injuries in recent years but he’s currently enjoying his best campaign to date at Bournemouth.

He’s scored 10 goals in 21 league matches and even attracted the interest of Chelsea in January. However, with his club valuing him at a crazy £75 million, Maurizio Sarri instead looked towards Gonzalo Higuain.

Wilson also scored on his England debut in November against the United States.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the 26-year-old.

AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

Manager: Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)

There was really only one candidate for the manager of this XI.

Howe took over Bournemouth when they were in League Two and - other than a spell at Burnley - has single-handedly taken them to the Premier League.

He’s now established the Cherries as a mid-table side in England’s top division and the 41-year-old will surely be considered by a top-six club at some point in the future.

AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United - Premier League

Substitutes: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Matt Doherty (Wolves), Shane Duffy (Brighton), Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), Richarlison (Everton), Jamie Vardy (Leicester).

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