Another remarkable Premier League campaign has come to an end, with Manchester City pipping Liverpool to retain their title on the very final day.
In addition to watching the matches, one thing that over six million people have done this season is play the league’s free official fantasy football game – the biggest in the world.
Fantasy Premier League (FPL) sees participants pick a squad of 15 players subject to a budget and score points according to the real-life performances of their selections.
So, which stars would get in if we made an XI based on the highest number of points earned in each respective position over the course of 2018-19? Let’s find out.
3-4-3 has traditionally been the most common formation in the game, and English fans love a good 4-4-2, but we’ve used a 4-3-3 system to mirror the PFA Team of the Year.
GK – ALISSON (176 PTS)
Liverpool splashed £66.8 million to sign Alisson from Roma but it was money well spent because he won the Golden Glove and is a giant improvement on both Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet.
21 clean sheets, 76 saves and just 22 goals conceded make the Brazilian the most prolific goalkeeper in this year’s FPL, just ahead of compatriot Ederson.
Who missed out?: Ederson (169 pts), Jordan Pickford (161 pts), Neil Etheridge (154 pts)
DEF – TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (185 PTS)
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s genius corner fired Liverpool to the Champions League final and the he’s been ever better domestically.
The 20-year-old racked up 2460 minutes, 12 assists (a Premier League record for a defender) and ended up as the FPL’s third highest-scoring defender.
DEF – VIRGIL VAN DIJK (208 PTS)
Virgil van Dijk is a colossus at the back for Jurgen Klopp’s men, not only because of his physical dominance but also due to his ability to organise and lead those around him.
The new PFA Player of the Year helped the Reds keep 21 clean sheets and he also gained 22 bonus points in the campaign for being one of a given match’s top performers.
DEF – AYMERIC LAPORTE (177 PTS)
The classy Aymeric Laporte has played outstandingly well in his first full season in English football and, at the age of 24, he’s only going to get better.
City kept 18 clean sheets with him on the pitch, only letting in 21 goals, and the Frenchman’s price in the game started at £5.5 million but finished up at £6.3 million.
DEF – ANDY ROBERTSON (213 PTS)
Andy Robertson seems to have run non-stop for the entire season and he’s become the most valuable FPL defender as well as the one with the most points.
The Scotland captain recorded 11 official assists (12 in FPL) and was selected by an impressive 36.1% of the total number of people who played the game.
Who missed out?: David Luiz (164 pts), Marcos Alonso (161 pts), Lucas Digne (158 pts)
MID – MOHAMED SALAH (259 PTS)
Some people foolishly labelled Mohamed Salah as a “one season wonder” after a fairly slow start to 2018-19 so his fans will enjoy that he ended FPL as the top-scoring midfielder.
At £13.3 million, the Egyptian was the most expensive player in the game, but he provided 22 goals (joint-top scorer), 12 assists (eight official ones) and 18 bonus points.
MID – EDEN HAZARD (238 PTS)
Eden Hazard controversially didn’t make the PFA’s XI but he is in this XI following a season which saw him directly involved in more Premier League goals (31) than anyone else.
Chelsea’s main man has scored 16 goals, assisted 15 more and earned a superb 35 bonus points, which sums up just how many times he’s been the star of the show.
MID – RAHEEM STERLING (234 PTS)
The ever-improving Raheem Sterling has really upped his end product under Pep Guardiola and he continued that trend this term, notching 17 goals and ten assists (15 in FPL).
The Englishman, now valued at £11.7 million on the game, received both the PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards for another excellent campaign.
Who missed out?: Sadio Mane (231 pts), Gylfi Sigurdsson (182 pts), Ryan Fraser (181 pts)
FOR – RAUL JIMENEZ (181 PTS)
Raul Jimenez is the only player outside of the established top six clubs to make the XI and it’s well deserved – he’s spearheaded the attack of one of the best-ever promoted sides.
The Mexican, on loan at Wolves from Benfica, has bagged 13 goals, 31 bonus points, his price has soared and he’s remained popular, having been selected by 36.7% of FPL managers.
FOR – KUN AGUERO (201 PTS)
This season, Sergio Aguero became the only player in Premier League history besides Thierry Henry to reach the 20-goal mark in five consecutive seasons.
The world-class Argentine ended the campaign in a whopping 42.7% of FPL teams, proving that millions of people are confident in his ability to produce the goods week-in week-out.
FOR – PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (205 PTS)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been guilty of missing a fair few chances but he still put away 22 league goals (no one scored more) to be FPL’s top-scoring forward.
The Arsenal hotshot has contributed five assists (seven in FPL) to add to his goal tally but his final in-game value of £10.8 million is surprisingly lower than its original number (£11 million).
Who missed out?: Jamie Vardy (174 pts), Callum Wilson (168 pts), Alexandre Lacazette (166 pts)
FPL XI COMPARED TO PFA XI
In total, six players feature in both the PFA Team of the Year and this Fantasy Premier League team of the season, including the entire back four.
Fernandinho is an obvious omission and someone like him would be essential for the balance of the FPL team in real life, given there aren’t any defensive midfielders.
The work the wily 34-year-old does doesn’t translate into masses of fantasy points but anyone with eyes has seen his importance to Guardiola’s champions.
There was somewhat of an uproar when Paul Pogba was named in the PFA Team of the Year, despite him registering 13 goals and nine assists in the league.
The Manchester United man was beaten to the midfield spots in the FPL team but one playmaker who pretty much everyone can agree was unlucky to miss out is Bernardo Silva.
The Portuguese technician’s phenomenal blend of energy and creativity ensured that Man City never truly felt the effects of Kevin de Bruyne’s numerous injuries.
That said, the biggest player missing is Sadio Mane, who is enjoying the best scoring season of his career both in the league (22) and across all competitions (26).