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CIES name Premier League best combined XI, Man City and Liverpool dominate the list

December 21, 2021 By Ali M.
Given this Premier League combined XI, it is not surprising to see the Reds and the Cityzens as the favorites for the title.

While the 2021/22 season is nowhere close to being over, the calendar year is coming to a wrap, with the start of 2022 being less than two weeks away. As a result, enough of the season has gone by for certain players to standout.

Hence, the lovely folks at CIES have produced another interesting study, naming the best combined XI in the Premier League to celebrate the end of 2021. This list only takes a look at stats for the 2021/22 campaign, not the entire calendar year, using "the CIES Performance Index powered by Opta data". Furthermore, only players with 900 minutes or more of domestic league action were taken into consideration given that we are almost at the half-way mark.

With that out of the way, we can take a look at the best eleven of English top-flight players, as per CIES. It's not surprising that Man City and Liverpool dominate the list, but the level to which they dominate this lineup is eye-catching as no outfield players from another club made the cut.

In fact, only one player outside the Merseyside and Manchester giants made the entire list and that is Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. His inclusion is a no-brainer as his save percentage and clean sheets this season have been through the roof – it should be noted that at the time of writing this article, Ederson and Alisson sit ahead of the Senegalese keeper in the latter category, however.

Guardiola's men dominate the back-line, and for obvious reasons, as the Cityzens boast the best defense in the league this term. In fact, they are the only team in Europe's top-five league whose goals against (GA) tally sits below the double-digit mark, having conceded only nine times so far. As a result, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte are CIES' center-back partnership while Cancelo edges out Robertson for the left-back role.

In right-back, it comes as little surprise to see Trent Alexander-Arnold as the only Liverpool's representative in this defense as the English ace continues to set the Premier League alight. In midfield, City dominate once again, but injuries see star playmaker Kevin de Bruyne miss out. Instead, Rodri and Bernardo Silva – the Portuguese ace has been one of the players of the season – make the cut, and they are joined by Anfield captain Jordan Henderson.

In attack is where Klopp's side come to life, with Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, and Sadio Mane taking up the three slots. The Reds boast the best Premier League attack this season, with their Egyptian superstar leading the Golden Boot race with 15 goals. In fact, the next best goalscorer this season in the English top-flight is Jota with 10 goals while Mane is tied in fifth with six other players thanks to his seven strikes.

Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ruben Dias, Edouard Mendy, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, CIES, English Premier League

The utter dominance of Liverpool and Man City are why they are the two favorites for the title this season. It will be interesting to see how this combined XI changes once the campaign ends, but with the way things are going, it's hard to see any of the aforementioned starters getting displaced. 

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