The two most successful English clubs in history are now being joined by a new side rewriting the history books with their stunning football.
With the Premier League champions, probable Champions League finalists and FA Cup finalists all coming from the North West this season, the region remains the most dominant in the country.
The three teams are of course Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City. As a result, the trio dominate our North West Premier League XI.
Of course, Everton and Burnley are worthy of a mention, with some useful players of their own. Burnley have done incredibly well this season to rival Arsenal for a place in the top six. However, when it comes down to quality, the three Premier League giants cannot be overlooked.
The following players are those we believe would make a Premier League fantasy XI, if all selected from teams in the North West.
Goalkeeper – David de Gea
Spain number one David De Gea was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the fifth season this term, and has well and truly cemented himself as the world’s best goalkeeper.
Many pundits have suggested it, but if it were not for De Gea, Manchester United may well be scrapping for a place in the top four, as opposed to currently sitting comfortably in second due to the incredible work of their star man.
De Gea is world class, and you could even argue that he is the best footballer in the Premier League. His value to Manchester United is priceless, and his inclusion is an obvious one, having kept out an astounding 80% of the shots he has faced.
Right Back – Antonio Valencia
United’s Antonio Valencia just pips City’s Kyle Walker in this XI. The Old Trafford captain has been brilliant again this season and his ability, to not only hold his own but excel in his new right-back position, has come from nowhere.
Traditionally, having always played as an advanced attacking winger, Valencia has seamlessly transitioned further back on the pitch and looks as accomplished a right-back as you will find in Europe.
Centre Back – Virgil van Dijk
World record defender Virgil van Dijk has had a huge impact since joining Liverpool from Southampton in January. The Dutchman netted the winner on his debut in the Merseyside derby and has not looked back since.
He is the defensive rock that the Reds have been needed for quite some time, and he may well help lead his new club to European glory if they can pull off one of the greatest campaigns of any underdog in the history of the Champions League.
Centre Back – Nicolas Otamendi
Nicolas Otamendi has come under some severe criticism for his performances in a City shirt in the past, but this season the Argentine silenced his critics as a regular starter for Pep Guardiola’s men.
The defender has played nearly every game for the league champions this campaign and has featured alongside a number of partners in a back two, which has not fazed him whatsoever.
Perhaps still not considered to be the ideal Premier League centre-half, Otamendi only needs to look at the medal around his neck on trophy presentation day to know that he can be proud of his efforts.
Left Back – Andrew Robertson
Arguably the bargain of the season, Scottish international Andrew Robertson has been a serious hit at Anfield through his dedicated, but more importantly high-quality, performances.
Robertson has made the left-back position his own under Jurgen Klopp, and is the exact type of player that any fan wants to see line-up for their team each week.
Along with van Dijk, Robertson has really helped shore things up at the back for Liverpool, and the club look to have discovered a potential left-back option for the best part of the next decade.
Central Midfield – Kevin De Bruyne
Once again, Kevin De Bruyne has set the league alight with his stunning displays from midfield alongside teammate David Silva.
The Belgian international has provided more assists than any other player in the top flight this season, and has netted 11 goals of his own.
His contribution to Pep Guardiola’s championship winning side has been massive, and the Belgian was highly unlucky to miss out on the PFA Player of the Year award to Mohamed Salah.
Central Midfield – David Silva
Like De Bruyne, David Silva’s contribution to City is invaluable and, despite the forward trio getting the plaudits, the two men in the middle of the pitch are at the heart of everything positive the side does.
Silva has been tremendous for City since joining all those years ago, and has been somewhat of an unsung hero in the past, but this season, he has fully gained the credit he deserves.
Somehow, this year was only the second season that Silva was named in the PFA Team of the Year, but regardless, he was surely one of the first names on the team sheet.
Central Midfield – Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic has once again proved himself to be one of the best players in his position after solidifying the Manchester United midfield following his move from Chelsea. It seemed a strange decision by Chelsea to let the Serbian go, as it felt like the West London club were gifting their rivals the final piece to their puzzle with United having been crying out for a Matic-type player for a number of years.
Still with the chance to win the FA Cup, Matic has been one of United’s top performers this campaign, and his sometimes quiet work sitting in front of the defence should not be undervalued.
Right Wing – Mohamed Salah
Nothing much needs to be said about this man, and his inclusion in this side is perhaps the most obvious.
The PFA Player’s Player of the Year has netted an unbelievable 40-plus goals this season and still has the chance to be crowned European champion in his first season at Anfield.
In short, the Egyptian star has probably played the best football of any player in the world this season.
Should he continue his form in the seasons to come, he may well rival the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar for the Ballon d’Or.
Left Wing – Roberto Firmino
The second member of the mesmerising Liverpool front three to be included in this side, Roberto Firmino has enjoyed another excellent season in a Reds shirt.
The Brazilian is closing in on a tally of 30 goals for the first time in his career, with his previous highest tally standing only at 22.
Unselfish for a forward, Firmino is a true team player and embodies the spirit of a Jurgen Klopp side.
If Klopp can keep Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane in the coming years, they will be a real threat to Manchester City and Manchester United for the Premier League title.
Centre Forward – Sergio Aguero
Somehow, Sergio Aguero was included in the PFA Team of the Year for only the first time in his career, having averaged 28 goals a season in his seven years in English football.
The Argentine has been massive for City on their title winning run, becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer along the way.
Aguero’s City future looked in doubt after the arrival and rise of Gabriel Jesus. However, the forward has done all of his talking on the pitch, reminding everyone of just how good a player he really is.
If Aguero was to leave City, there are not many clubs worthy of a centre-forward of his quality, and his consistency of quality means he picks himself for this North West XI.