The first of five team of the season predictions I will be bringing you is the Premier League. A side heavily dominated by a dominant City side who have run away with the title this year. As expected, it features several big hitting players with talent left right and centre. Away from the usual bunch, there are some new cards to look forward to such as Fofana, Martinez, Cancelo and Dias.
*Please note player statistics will be correct as of the time of writing and ratings are influenced by NIF’s
Ederson – GK - OVR 88>>95
There are a fair few keepers in with a shout of making this side but as for the starting keeper, I don’t think anyone can argue against Ederson. The Manchester City defence has been nothing short of ridiculous this season, keeping clean sheet after clean sheet. In total the club has only conceded 21 goals from the 31 matches played and of course, the goalkeeper can take credit for that. The whole defence has been immaculate but Ederson has still been there when needed. After all, a keeper with sixteen clean sheets is never going to miss out on this sort of side
Joao Cancelo – RB - OVR 83>>92
I don’t think you can make much of an argument for the RB position which Cancelo being a long way ahead of the rest in a highly successful City defence. Peps rotation does mean he is on the lower end of total games played but I still feel he has done enough to be included. It looks as though he is now City’s preferred RB though and with another run in the starting line-up, he should end the campaign on around 25 matches which is more than enough. I would expect to see the Portuguese man feature in these sides for the next four or so years now.
Ruben Dias – CB - OVR 81>>95
We talked a lot about Virgil Van Djik last year and early signs from Dias suggest that he will easily eclipse what was achieved from the Dutchman. Dias has without a doubt been the best bit of business from last summer and has helped develop City’s defence into the best in the division. It really wouldn’t surprise me to see him being awarded POTY but at the very least the Portuguese defender will win YPOTY. I have already mentioned how good City’s defence has been with the statistics for Ederson but with how much Pep likes to rotate his sides there’s a big reason as to why Dias has played the most outfield minutes for them and I feel that’s the biggest indication of all when it comes to a Guardiola side.
John Stones – CB - OVR 80>>92
I know what you’re thinking, is the whole side just going to be Manchester City? In truth, it could be with City’s dominance this year. Stones is the final defender from the club though. It looked as though Stones was going to drop off after a promising start to his career but a long-term injury to Laporte gave him an extended run in the side and it’s a chance that he has taken superbly. The Englishman now looks to be back at his best and at just 26 years of age he could have a period of dominance at the back. Additionally, he has started to add goals to his game which is just another factor that helps him out. Dias will steal the limelight and rightly so, but Stones has also been immense. Now that Laporte is back, and Stones is keeping his position speaks wonders for just how good he has been.
Luke Shaw – LB - OVR 81>>91
Luke Shaw was a highly thought of player back in the day, but several injuries seemingly halted his progression and a run out of the United side looked like the final straw for the LB. The resurgence of Luke Shaw this season has shown just how good he actually is and although he faces tough competition for the LB position, I feel that he practically unanimously claims the spot from pundits for the division. His constant threat down the left-hand side has been crucial for United in their “success” this year and has helped to develop the side into a side that deserves a lot of respect once again after numerous seasons of disappointments for the club.
Heung Min Son – LM - OVR 87>>94
To begin with, there were talks of if Tottenham could seriously compete for the title with both Son and Kane scoring for fun. The train did slow down significantly though and now they may even fall out of European places entirely. Son’s form has followed a similar pattern with his first 16 matches seeing him produce 12 goals and 5 assists while if we look at the remainder of the season the Korean only has one goal and four assists. That is worrying when we come to select these sorts of sides, but I believe his early form will be enough to carry him into the side. After all his stats are still strong for the campaign.
Kevin De Bruyne – CM - OVR 91>>95
A very modest 96 rating on De Bruyne’s TOTY card could limit how good this card can be with it usually being the case that their TOTS falls one lower. I would say that KDB’s season has been worse than we have seen in the past but that is only due to the standards we have become accustomed to from the Belgian. With five goals and eleven assists from him, his creativity is still what amazes us and that will never disappear but as far as numbers go it's clear to see that his impact has not been as big as other campaigns. That being said there is still no doubt about his position in the side. De Bruyne is arguably the biggest name in the Premier League and will be among the elites for years to come.
Bruno Fernandes – CAM - OVR 87>>96
Bruno Fernandes is largely mocked for the number of penalties he scores from opposing fans and although that figure is quite high at eight, he would still realistically feature without them. In total he has 16 goals and 11 assists for United during the 2020/21 campaign, putting him in the race for both the most goals and assists. His impact is huge though providing game winning moments on a regular basis. There is a good reason that the Portuguese man was voted into TOTY this year and is actually one of the first names for me when it comes to selecting this side.
Mohamed Salah – RW – OVR 90>>97
The difference from Liverpool in 2020 to Liverpool in 2021 is unbelievable when you think about it, winning just four Premier League fixtures from thirteen matches. This run of poor form has seen them slide down the table and currently they find themselves in seventh. Liverpool managed seven players for FIFA 20’s TOTS and although they are still going to inevitably feature in 21 the amount will be significantly decreased. Salah is one who is cemented into the side though as he currently sits second in the golden boot race with 18 goals while also providing 3 assists. It’s not been a bad season for the Egyptian but Liverpool as a team has flopped.
Harry Kane – ST - OVR 88>>95
Since breaking into the Tottenham squad as somewhat of an unheard player in the 2014/15 campaign. Kane has been one of Tottenham’s star players since, managing to be their top goal scorer for every season since, including this one. The prolific striker is now just 49 goals behind Tottenham’s all-time top goal scorer in Jimmy Greaves. There is talk about Kane leaving the club in the summer, but I can’t see it personally. As for the current season, Kane has managed nineteen goals and 13 assists, putting him on the front foot for the golden boot.
Jamie Vardy – ST - OVR 86>>94
Vardy actually almost missed out for me this year with it being his assist total at the end which edged it. He is behind numerous other strikers with 12 goals to his name but with 7 assists as well it gives him the edge over others with only a couple of assists. Additionally, it’s been another strong season for Leicester and that will also help the Englishman with higher upsides getting more players feature in TOTS. He is only in the starting eleven due to his rating though with players on the bench and even reserves being above the pecking order in my opinion.
Emiliano Martinez – GK - OVR 78>89
After an impressive stretch in goal for Arsenal during Leno’s injury the long serving Martinez was still snubbed on the Germans return and thus decided to join Aston Villa in search of first team football. It was a brilliant move for both club and player with Martinez being crucial for them in almost every fixture he plays pulling off save after save. In total, the Argentine has made 99 saves from his 28 matches played and what is perhaps more impressive is the fact he also has 14 clean sheets, just two less than City of whose defence is largely praised. To put it into comparison Ederson has produced 50 fewer saves at 49. There are a couple of other keepers that can feel unlikely not to make the side, primarily Meslier but I feel that both goalkeeper selections are nailed on this year.
Aaron Cresswell – LB - OVR 77>>88
When it comes to Cresswell I often find myself receiving a lot of hate due to his past with Ipswich and a most consistent inclusion from myself. Hopefully, people can now understand how good Cresswell can be though with a very impressive 2020/21 from the English LB. In total, he has chipped in with seven assists for West Ham down the left-hand side alongside helping to keep a very respectable defensive record for the Hammers.
Marcus Rashford – LW - OVR 85>>94
Rashford has been making headlines both off and on the field which when you consider that he is still only 23 years of age is quite something. We are going to focus more on his on the field antics as that’s what this side is all about. There is a lot of competition for the wide positions but with City already dominating the side and Manchester United still putting in strong performances I can see a few United players featuring. I would be very surprised if one of those is not Rashford. With both nine goals and nine assists, he has been one of United’s most influential players after Fernandes and the fact he is always in the headlines will only help his cause.
Tomas Soucek – CDM - OVR 81>>93
The impact Soucek has had on West Ham is among the biggest we have seen this season. Personally, I had West Ham as a mid-table side but the job Moyes has done with them has been remarkable and they are now competing for a Champions League spot. With nine goals from 29 matches as a CDM without being on set pieces show the importance of him to the side. It’s almost like Moyes has found another Fellaini. I do think he would make a final eleven players but is on the bench solely due to his rating on FIFA.
Ilkay Gundogan – CM - OVR 83>93
Gundogan has been a brilliant all-round player for a few years now but he has added a lot to his offensive side of the game for City recently and this is showing in his performances and statistics. With twelve goals to his name, the way we look at the German has largely changed, and it has resulted in the system Pep plays changing for him. Although Gundogan is yet to pick up an IF this FIFA he does have two player of the month cards. His performances, particularly towards the second half of the season, will be fresh in people’s minds and thus although City will already heavily feature in this side the German midfielder should still end up making the cut.
Raheem Sterling – LW - OVR 88>>94
Sterling was on the brink of this side with numerous other options coming close but, in the end, I felt two things, one Sterling is very likely to increase on his tally of nine goals and six assists this season and two Sterling is one of the biggest names in a title winning City side. For those two reasons, I gave the edge to him despite being very mediocre by his standards for large parts of the season. Foden could also snatch his spot should he play the majority of the remaining games for City but as it stands, I don’t feel he has played enough minutes to be considered.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – ST - OVR 79>>89
What a season it has been for Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Although the start of the season has been significantly more prolific than the second his performances have seen him called up to the England set up, claim a Premier League POTM and be among the highest scorers in the division with 14, which for a side like Everton who are unlikely to gain European football is that much more impressive. Ideally, he will notch a few more goals before the end of the campaign but even if he doesn’t he should scrape into the side.
Wesley Fofana – CB - OVR 70>>90
If you didn’t know the name Wesley Fofana before you definitely do now. The French youngster has emerged as one of Europe's top talents playing for Leicester this season, with clubs such as Manchester City and Manchester United already declaring interest in him for the upcoming summer transfer window. Rated at a modest 70 he is set for one of the biggest upgrades we will likely see during the whole TOTS promo, but it is more than deserved with his performances being pivotal to Leicester, with the former champions currently sitting in third.
Youri Tielemans – CM - OVR 81>>90
Tielemans is somewhat of an unsung hero for Leicester. I would go as far as to say he is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League. The Belgian makes the Leicester side tick and performs well both offensively and defensively. For this reason, I have opted to include the Belgian over both Maddison and Barnes who have both also played big roles for Leicester this season. The Belgian has six goals and three assists which may not sound like a lot but for the role he plays, it's an impressive tally.
Aaron Wan Bissaka – RB - OVR 83>>91
There were a lot of options for this position with it being one of the last I ended up filling with the likes of Maguire and Tierney narrowly missing out. AWB has made the United RB position his own the past couple of seasons and I would expect him to maintain that for years to come. He has added more attacking threats to his game which is starting to show with four offensive contributions for a player that rarely got forward last season starting to develop his game. I can only see him improving in years to come and with him already at an amazing level he could easily become one of the worlds best RB’s
Jack Grealish – LW - OVR 80>>91
Yet another option from the LW now and although when you think of Grealish you would put him more free roaming when it comes to line-ups the majority have him placed as a LW and thus that’s where his potential TOTS card will be. Aston Villa have been somewhat of a surprise package this year with them being a real test for even the best of sides. Their defence can take a lot of praise but Grealish has also played a huge role. You only have to see that they have only won one from six since he has been out to understand the impact he has on the side. With six goals and ten assists, he is perhaps behind the big hitting players but his overall game and the fact you have to consider he plays for Aston Villa makes him one of the most likely players for this TOTS in my eyes.
Patrick Bamford – ST - OVR 71>>89
Coming into FIFA 21 I doubt anyone expected that Bamford, from newly promoted Leeds United, would be in contention for TOTS. With 14 goals and six assists to his name, the reality is that not only is he a contender but he’s a pretty safe option too. Leeds get a lot of praise for the way they play their football, not showing any fear and trying to play the ball around. It doesn’t always work out for them but sitting in eleventh position, it will be classed as a successful season and they are always an enjoyable side to watch. There are a couple of other Leeds options but realistically I feel that Bamford is the one.