World Cup-weary England sneaked back into their homeland via unfashionable Luton airport after a poor showing in Brazil, and even with Luis Suarez’s flight from Liverpool to Barcelona, the foreign imports continue to dominate the Premier League in terms of quality and quantity
A potential Premier League ‘best of the rest of the world’ team may have lost one of its most prolific patrons, but still rates pretty worrying reading for England fans bracing themselves for a 59th year of hurt.
In goal, Manchester United’s 2013/14 player of the year and – in all likelihood – Spain’s next number one David de Gea sneaks in ahead of Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, the La Liga winner with Atletico Madrid who’s yet to grace a Premier League match.
Three Lions centre-forward Daniel Sturridge claimed a mightily-impressive tally of 24 goals in all competitions for Liverpool last term, but in four fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City the Brummie hitman only notched once.
We’re confident the combination of City captain Vincent Kompany and Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny will keep him quiet, while Chelsea right-back Cesar Azpilicueta – who plays on the other side for Jose Mourinho and for us – and Everton’s Irish flyer Seamus Coleman add attacking impetus and defensive solidity to the flanks.
Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic would be forgiven for feeling overlooked in the anchor role, but Crystal Palace’s Australia captain Mile Jedinak has to be given a chance after proving the playing catalyst for Tony Pulis’ awesome Eagles relegation escape in 2013/14.
The Citizens’ 35-yard pearler merchant Yaya Toure – who struck 20 times in the top flight last term – gets in alongside Jedinak, while Spurs’ only true summer 2013 transfer success Christian Eriksen grabs the number 10 jersey after scoring 10 and laying on another 10 for teammates in all comps in his first Premier League season.
Another of Manuel Pellegrini’s charges, Spain’s David Silva, is unlucky to miss out in the middle or on the wings, but Aaron Ramsey’s 15 strikes for Arsenal before mid-November earns him the right to pitch up on the opposite side to new teammate Alexis Sanchez.
Last season’s 19-goal La Liga man makes this XI on curiosity grounds alone following his £35m move from Barcelona.
Up front, Sergio Aguero and Robin van Persie’s injury records mean they’ll get on for a half each, and with 186 goals in 340 combined appearances, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill ought to be quite afraid.
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