Premier League team of 2022: Opta gives its starting XI of the year

team of the year
Opta Team of 2022

With the World Cup almost until the end of 2022, now is the time as ever to take stock of the Premier League and take stock of the key numbers throughout the year. And what better way than to craft a Best XI for 2022?

Using the Opta Index – which ranks players across a wide range of metrics – we put together a team that uses data to support selections. With a plethora of additional insights from a database containing every touch in the Premier League this year, it’s a resource to help us draw on much more than memory and individual opinion.

There is only one rule: the 11 players selected must have appeared in both seasons that made up 2022.

Sorry Erling Haaland fans…

Goalkeeper: Alisson

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson

Although 2022 may not have gone as far as Liverpool plan, their keeper has remained near the peak of his powers. No player has scored more clean sheets than Alisson in the Premier League so far this year (15).

In fact, using Opta’s predicted goals (xG) data, Allison has done better than any other stopper in terms of blocking goals this year. Based on the quality of the shots on goal he faced, the Brazilian conceded 11 fewer goals than expected (27 goals conceded from 38 xG on goal).

Right back: Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier in Newcastle

There have been few deals signed in 2022 that could rival Kieran Trippier for immediate impact. The Newcastle captain has been an integral part of the team’s rise throughout the year; one they started in 19th and resumed in December at 3rd.

Trippier (2.2) is one of only three defenders to average two or more chances per 90 in the Premier League this year (at least 900 minutes played), along with Trent Alexander-Arnold (2.3) and Andy Robertson (2.2). ).

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Central defender: Thiago Silva

Chelsea player Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva, at 38, may be the oldest player on the field to appear in the Premier League in 2022, but age has not been an obstacle to his performance in a Chelsea shirt. In fact, Silva has played more league minutes than any other player with the Blues this year (2,531).

Across the Premier League, the Brazilian has recovered more than 90 times more ball than any other center back in 2022 (7.2 recoveries per 90 minutes – 1,500 minutes played).

Central defender: Gabriel Magalhaes

Gabriel Magalhaes, Arsenal footballer

Gabriel Magalhaes is one of only two players, along with Bukayo Saka, to start every Premier League game for Arsenal in 2022. In fact, the Brazilian defender has only missed 62 minutes of action in the league all year.

As a regular in Mikel Arteta’s expanding Arsenal side, Gabriel has carried the ball farther than any other central defender in the Premier League this year (6467m).

Left-back: Andy Robertson

Andy Robertson, Liverpool player

Liverpool have won 73% of the league games Andy Robertson has started this year and conceded just 0.7 goals per game. In the matches he did not start, Liverpool’s winning percentage dropped to 50% and they conceded 1.4 goals per game.

The Liverpool full-back has also provided 10 assists in the Premier League this year, the most by any defender in the competition and the most by any Liverpool player.

Defensive midfield: Rodri

Rodri, Manchester City player

Manchester City’s passing expert has remained true to his heart in 2022, continuing in his role as the steady hand of Pep Guardiola’s machine. His precise distribution and calming effect on the team now makes him one of the first names on the squad sheet for Guardiola.

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Along with completing most passes (2,590), Rodri has the lowest loss of possession rate of any Premier League midfielder this year (over 1,000 touches), losing the ball at just 9.6% of his total touches.

Midfielder: Declan Rice

Declan Rice at West Ham

West Ham captain Declan Rice has been one of the most influential midfielders on both sides of the ball in 2022, excelling in his defensive duties and combining them with solid passes in possession.

Rice has racked up more progressive carries of 10 yards (183) than any other Premier League player in 2022, while also regaining possession the most times of any player (302).

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City player Kevin De Bruyne

It’s been business as usual in 2022 for Kevin De Bruyne, as he continues to reign as the most influential midfielder in the Premier League.

Manchester City’s Belgian is the only player to create more than 100 chances in the Premier League this year (105), with 16 of those chances converting into assists. In fact, only Harry Kane (35) has more combined goals and assists in the league than De Bruyne (29) in 2022.

Right: James Madison

James Madison of Leicester

Few players have raised their level in light of the 2022 World Cup as much as James Maddison, with his form eventually continuing to earn him a well-deserved call-up. With 23 goals and an assist in 30 league appearances for Leicester City this year, De Bruyne (29) has been the only midfielder to score more since January.

Maddison’s signature in 2022 has been his goalscoring from distance, with his six shots from outside the penalty area being the most by any player in the Premier League. In fact, no one can improve their score from direct free kick goals either (3).

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Center forward: Harry Kane

Tottenham Hotspur player Harry Kane

Harry Kane’s case is very simple. The Tottenham forward has scored more goals (26), goals without penalties (21) and has the most goals and assists (34) of any player in the Premier League in 2022.

Moreover, Kane has been involved in the second-most streaks of play that yielded a shot (229) or a goal (36) in the Premier League this year (De Bruyne leads the list with 234). The Englishman has combined his work as a top scorer with an all-around contribution to Tottenham’s attack.

Left wing: Son Heung-min

Son of Heung-min from Tottenham

The only player to score more goals than Son Heung-min (18) in the Premier League this year is his Tottenham teammate Kane (26), while all 18 of Son’s strikes came unassisted from penalties.

The peculiarity of the Korean goalscorer this year was that he scored as many goals with his left foot (nine) as he scored with his stronger right (nine). The last player to score more than 9 goals with both feet in a calendar year in the Premier League was Jamie Vardy in 2019.

Who will make your team in 2022?

Who will make up your squad from the players who played in 2022 – in both the current and previous season? Make your selection below and share it on social media.

Choose your XI from our list and share with your friends.

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