Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, and Rashford lead the attack as we look at the best playing 11 of the pre-tournament for Premier League (EPL) 2023-24.
We are already into a few game weeks of the current Premier League season. As expected Manchester City are leading the charts with Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool playing the catching game. We have seen some scintillating performances last year. One of the biggest blockbusters was Erling Haaland who announced himself to the league like no other.
He kept recordkeepers busy through the season with his goalscoring. There were some seasoned campaigners as well in the likes of KDB, Salah, and Bruno Fernandes who once again made their presence felt. While it’s too early to comment on current season hits and misses. Meanwhile, we can look at the pre-season best players 11 based on the last season.
Stats Wizard Methodology:
To select the Best Players pre-tournament 11 for EPL 2023-24, we have taken various skill sets into consideration. We have taken a position-wise selection for the team. Each skill set has been given a different weightage in our calculations. In case of a tie among players, the level of opposition has been taken into consideration.
Attack: We have analyzed the forward line performances basis the attack rating calculated from the overall aspect of the game such as goals scored, assists, shot accuracy, touches inside the box, successful dribbles, and offsides.
Midfield: Again, we have analyzed the midfield performances by looking at the various aspects like goals scored, assists, total passes, pass accuracy, touches, successful dribbles, duels, duels won, and interceptions.
Defense: Defensive skill sets that are included in our selection criteria are clean sheets, tackles, tackles won, duels/duels won, aerial duels won, clearances, interceptions, block shots, crosses, assists, and goals.
*We have only selected the players who are currently playing in the Premier League. The players who were part of last season but moved out of the league are not taken into consideration.
Alright then, let’s look at the best players pre-tournament 11 of Premier League 2023-24.
#1: Alison Becker (Liverpool)
The Brazilian goalkeeper is arguably the best goalkeeper in the premier league currently. Season after season he has shown his mettle in front of Liverpool’s goalpost. Apart from that, he ticks all the boxes which are required from a modern goalkeeper. He has a great eye for quickly transforming defense into attack with his accurate passes to start counterattacks. With a combined 34 clean sheets in the last two seasons and a Golden Gloves winner in the 2021-22 season, he is the goalkeeper of our preseason 11.
#2: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United)
Trippier has been a great signing for Newcastle United. Arguably the best player in their ranks. With his ground coverage throughout the 90 minutes, he is an asset both defensively and attackingly. He had 7 assists last season and was only behind the Liverpool duo of TAA and Robertson in terms of assists. The Magpies defender had 14 clean sheets last season which was the highest in the league.
#3: Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal)
Gabriel was pivotal in Arsenal’s dream run last season, and he played an important role in title challenging season for Arsenal. Apart from his defensive skills, he scored crucial 3 goals for the Gunners, which was the highest for any defender in the 2022-23 season. The Brazilian defender also had 14 clean sheets last season, which was again the highest for any defender.
#4: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)
The English defender had a great run last season under the leadership of Unai Emery. He was rock solid as a central defender and showed a disciplined approach to maintain the last line of defense for the Villans. He overall had 12 clean sheets and 158 clearances to his name last season, and he holds a central mid-field position in our team.
#5: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
One can argue that Trent Alexander Arnold didn’t have the best of the seasons last year. But statistics speak otherwise, and we can agree on the fact that he was below his own standards. Still, he was among the best of the lot in the Premier League. The English defender struggled with injuries in most of the last season, and still manages to provide maximum assists among the defenders with 9 assists overall. His form in the later stages of the season helped Liverpool to climb the points table, and finish 5th to secure Europa League qualification at least.
#5: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
It was unfortunate to lose the talismanic midfielder Kevin De Bruyne this season to the same groin injury that he had in the Champions League final. But his heroics of last season are no less than wonder. He had 16 assists and 7 goals to his name in the last Premier League season. His control and calming effect in midfield helped Manchester City to defend their title from the serious threat from Arsenal.
#7: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Arsenal’s main man, Bukayo Saka is in the form of his life. The last premier league season will remain a stepping stone in his career where he left behind the disappointments of the past. He cleared all the doubts if there were any that he belonged to the top level. Currently, he is one of the best playmakers in England currently. He scored 14 goals and provided 11 assists to secure a 2nd place finish for Arsenal.
#8: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
The Portugal midfielder was not at his usual best last season, but still he managed to score 8 goals and provided as many assists. More often or not, he played a holding midfielder role in the Eric Ten Hag setup. It definitely cut down his goals and assists numbers but provided a sense of assurance to the whole in terms of defense. His control and mastery over the ball helped him find the difficult angles during the attack. He proved to be a complete team player and helped the Red Devils’ top 4 finish.
#9: Mohamad Salah (Liverpool)
The Egyptian king, Mohamed Salah is the man of crisis. Whenever Jurgen Klopp’s team finds themselves in the firing line most of the time Salah is the man to rescue. The Liverpool winger has proved season after season that he is a true professional in terms of commitment and work ethic. He had scored 19 goals and provided 12 assists last season. He finishes in the top 5 goal scorers as well as in the assist providers of last season.
#10: Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
One of the easiest picks of our playing 11. The Norwegian striker announced himself in the Premier League like no other. He has scored a staggering 36 goals in his first season for Manchester City. The Manchester City forward broke the record of Premier League legends Alan Shearer and Andy Cole for most goals in a single season in his first season itself. He was the missing link in the Cityzens’ jigsaw. It not only helped them to defend the PL title. But also played a pivotal role to win first the first-ever Champions League trophy for Manchester City.
#11: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Rashford’s current lack of form is one of the main reasons Manchester United performing poorly this season. It was a total contrast to last season. Manchester United no. 10 was clinical in front of the goal scored 17 times and provided 5 assists. It helped his team regain Champions League qualification and finish the season in the top 3.
Premier League (EPL) 2023-24 – Pre Tournament Combined Best Playing 11:
Alisson [gk], Kieran Trippier, Gabriel Magalhães, Tyrone Mings, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kevin De Bruyne, Bukayo Saka, Bruno Fernandes, Mohamad Salah, Erling Haaland, Marcus Rashford
Thanks for reading! What’s your best pre-tournament playing 11 for Premier League (EPL) 2023-24? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Akshay is an author at Footbalytics. His love for football started way back in 1998 when Ronaldo (Not Cristiano) was his first football hero, and the list keeps getting longer ever since.
Though Akshay is a Teacher by profession, he firmly believes that there is no better classroom than the Sports field and no better Teacher than Sports.