A BIT of harmless of Dream Team fun here to get you over the midweek hump.
We’ve constructed the best possible XI (in terms of current season points) but with one crucial restriction: we’re not allowed to include more than one player per team.
We’ll spare you the maths we were forced to endure and get right down to business with the outcome…
GOALKEEPER: Dean Henderson (£2.7m)
Nottingham Forest are prioritising survival above all in their first season back in the Premier League and if they achieve their aim they’ll owe plenty to their temporary custodian.
On loan from Manchester United, Henderson has earned three Star Man awards so far this term.
His total of 60 points puts hims seventh among assets in his position which a great effort considering only Bournemouth have conceded more league goals than Forest at this stage.
It will be interesting to see how Steve Cooper’s side get on now that Henderson is expected to be sidelined with injury for at least the next four weeks.
DEFENDERS: Kieran Trippier (£6.2m), Thiago Silva (£5.4m), Ben Mee (£2.8m)
No fewer than four Newcastle defenders feature in the current top eight but because of our limitation we can only have the top dog.
With 160 points to his name, Trippier is 44 points clear at the peak of the defensive rankings – Nick Pope (£4.8m) is by far and away the best keeper too but his leading margin is not as wide and his total points are considerably lower than his vice-captain’s as well.
Chelsea assets have generally flattered to deceive in 2022/23 but their experienced Brazilian centre-back has bucked the trend and amassed 86 points, 22 more than his next-best team-mate.
Silva claimed four consecutive Star Man awards between Game Weeks 5 and 8.
Several defenders from Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United are hovering at the right end of the rankings but we need players from those clubs to fill other positions so Brentford’s reliable No16 gets the nod.
Mee’s tally of 67 isn’t worth getting too excited about but his points-game-game average of 3.5 is better than that of John Stones (£5.2m), William Saliba (£3.4m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.6m).
The ex-Burnley centre-back has proved to be a smart signing for the Bees and he’s fully deserving of his spot in this hypothetical XI.
MIDFIELDERS: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£3.5m), James Ward-Prowse (£4m), Martin Odegaard (£3.4m), Pascal Gross (£3.1m)
As league leaders, Arsenal naturally boast multiple Dream Team success stories this season and their skipper has led by example.
After yet another classy showing in the north London derby, Odegaard became just the second asset in his position to pass the 100-point mark (101).
The Norway international has scored eight goals and provided five assists in 17 league fixtures – there’s a long way to go but he’s an early Player of the Year contender.
We’re not even sure how Hojbjerg has gathered 84 points, a total only bettered by six other midfielders.
The 27-year-old has quietly registered nine goal involvements (five goals, fours assists) and a healthy dose of 7+ ratings to warrant a spot in our team, although his returns are sustainable remains to be seen.
Brighton have averaged a shade under three goals a game since the start of November so it’s no wonder to see one of their many technically-sound midfielders make the cut.
Gross has dabbled at full-back recently but you’ll remember how he burst out of the blocks with a scoring spree at the start of the campaign – the German raced to 36 points by Game Week 4 and has 83 in total.
Southampton’s captain completes our midfield but by the skin of his teeth.
Ward-Prowse bagged his biggest haul of the season so far at the weekend as his brace at Goodison Park produced 18 points.
A reliable and consistent performer, Saints’ No8 has spent much of the last three seasons in and around the top ten Dream Team midfielders, his total of 76 points puts him tenth currently.
Plus, now we know who will be taking our free-kicks.
FORWARDS: Erling Haaland (£8.8m), Marcus Rashford (£5.4m), Mohamed Salah (£8.8m)
Here are we then, the glaring reason why the likes of Joao Cancelo (£6.3m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£7.6m) have been overlooked.
Man City’s No9 is in a league of his own in Dream Team right now having plundered 220 points – no other player has more than 160.
Haaland has scored 27 goals for his new club already and there’s still half a season to play – obscene.
Not even the prolific Norwegian has been able to keep pace with Rashford since the restart.
Man United’s No10 has scored in every game since returning from Qatar, zooming from 82 points to 156 in the blink of an eye.
Last but not least, it says a lot about Liverpool’s main man that even when he’s not at his best amid a team with serious problems, he’s still racked up 149 points.
Salah has saved his best work for the Champions League this term (seven goals in 444 minutes) and he’s ticked over elsewhere despite the Reds’ stuttering form.