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Chelsea, Tottenham Stars Dominate EPL XI



Chelsea and Tottenham lead the way in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year with four players each.
After stunning seasons, Chelsea midfielder, N’Golo Kante and winger Eden Hazard, both nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award, are included along with defensive duo Gary Cahill and David Luiz.
Spurs, who currently trail leaders Chelsea by four points in the title race, are represented by midfielder Dele Alli and striker Harry Kane, as well as full backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker.
While Kane and Lukaku are also on the shortlist for player of the year, but the other two nominees, Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal, miss out.
Ibrahimovic has scored 17 goals in his first Premier League season despite his critics expecting him to struggle to adapt to English football, almost single-handedly leading United’s bid for Champions League football, but even that has not been enough to dislodge the duo of Kane and Lukaku.
There are no Manchester City or Arsenal players in the XI.
Manchester United’s David De Gea gets the nod in goal, while Merseyside duo Sadio Mane, of Liverpool, and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, the division’s top scorer with 24 goals, completes the line-up.
Five players – De Gea, Rose, Alli, Kante and Kane – retain their places from last year’s team.
Tottenham have the best defence in the league and have been rewarded with spots in the team for both of their England international full backs, but Belgian central defender Toby Alderweireld may feel unlucky to be left out in favour of the Chelsea duo.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino believes his side could maybe have had a fifth player in the side, but insisted he is not overly concerned by such things.
He said: ‘I’m happy for them and for Tottenham. Maybe they’re missing someone from us, I think. But I don’t care too much. Like manager of the month, it’s more a trophy for the club, not for an individual. It’s good but I don’t care too much.’

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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