For you sticklers out there, half an hour into this weekend’s fixtures we’ll officially be at the two-thirds mark in this most beguiling of Premier League seasons. Been great hasn’t it?
To mark the occasion, as if by magic (or an outrageous late fixture change) we’re also all set for a Super Sunday that will see our four title contenders locking horns with one another just as they round the final bend.
And it got me thinking; if I combined the best performers of 2015-16 from Leicester, Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City, what kind of side would it produce?
With talent and the balance of the team in mind, here’s what I came up with…
Title Chasers Dream Team
Goalkeeper - Petr Cech (Arsenal)
Not a tough call. Cech’s been kept far busier than the others, making 19 more saves than the closest of the other three, Kasper Schmeichel, and has handled his debut Emirates campaign with wonderful aplomb. He could become Arsenal’s greatest ever keeper.
Right Back - Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
Aside from a short dip in November, the 20-year-old has been outstanding. His lightning speed of recovery has saved the day on numerous occasions, and going forward the Spaniard has added verve and enterprise to Arsenal’s right hand side.
Centre Back - Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)
It’s no coincidence that Spurs’ defensive record has come on leaps and bounds since the Belgian arrived. When it comes to reading the game, timing tackles, and making astute decisions, it’s hard to find a more reliable centre-back in the country.
Centre Back - Robert Huth (Leicester)
It’s harsh on Wes Morgan to pick one above the other, but three precious goals against Spurs and City give him the edge. At the back Huth’s leadership, physicality and willingness to do the basics properly, mark him out as a rock. The Foxes have improved hugely since he joined.
Left Back - Nacho Monreal (Arsenal)
Much improved, Monreal hasn’t had a poor game all season. Quicker than most people give him credit for, none of the Premier League’s wingers have held the upper hand when pitted against him this term. The left-back’s defensive nose and positioning have been exceptional.
Centre Midfield - N’Golo Kante (Leicester)
A machine. Making more tackles and interceptions than any other midfielder, the Foxes new boy would walk into any other side in the division. Capable of surging speedily through the lines, keeping possession, or doing the dirty work, Kante is a classic all-round central midfield man.
Centre Midfield – Dele Alli (Tottenham)
Making up an all-rookie Premier League midfield, I have to choose Alli. He’s been a revelation. Skill and goals have always been part of his make-up, but the teenager’s temperament and work rate are also pretty special. He’s a young footballer who’d look comfortable anywhere on the pitch.
Right Wing – Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)
Oozing class on the ball, Mahrez is one of THE finds of the last decade. Given a run in the side by Ranieri, the Algerian’s dribbling and mercurial left boot have supplied some of the most exciting moments of 2015-16. He’s been a pleasure to watch.
Attacking Midfield – Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
I’ve always been a massive fan, but Ozil has definitely taken his game to another dimension. The amount of chances he’s created is frightening, and the German’s attitude has also been fantastic. He’s a leader now. Should be a cert for the Footballer of the Year short list.
Left Wing – Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
De Bruyne is the only City star to make the cut, and he just pips Sergio Aguero because I need another wide man. Before injury struck he was enjoying a brilliant campaign, supplying creativity and high-class end product. He was worth the major investment.
Striker – Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Vardy is the poster boy of an amazing season. In this year of the underdog it’s been brilliant to see him emerge as one of the most lethal forwards in Europe. With pace, hard work and a desire to improve, he’s given hope to thousands of lower league players that dream of superstardom.
Bench: Hart, Fuchs, Koscielny, Drinkwater, Alexis, Aguero, Kane
Have it got it right? What Top Four XI would you choose?