It’s a rare open midweek for Chelsea who don’t actually have another game until Sunday, when go up against Manchester City, the prospect of which makes this writer shiver to the core. City have have ruled this season of the Premier League with an iron fist and thrashed anything and everything that the World’s-Most-Competitive-League™ has thrown at them.
To distract us from this cold and cruel fate, we’ve decided to distract ourselves with former Chelsea striker and current Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku’s brainchild: an All-Star game for the Premier League!
Yeah, sure. Why not.
Here’s an idea for you guys... the nba has all-star game! Don’t you guys think we should organise one in the @premierleague.. The north vs the south! And the fans vote... what do you guys think? @premierleague @FA— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) February 26, 2018
Since Lukaku has advocated for a geographical divide (as opposed to, say, Team UK vs. Team Rest of the World), we first have to decide what’s North and what’s South. Most pro leagues in the USA do this already via the league’s structure, so it’s a more obvious divide.
Since North vs. South is a topic of much debate in the UK, we picked this funny (and informative!) video from the southern YouTubers, Jay Foreman & Mark Cooper-Jones to help us decide. Mahogany, mahogany.
The video talks about a line created by professor Danny Dorling, which is not horizontal at all and indeed very squiggly so you know it’s good. Here is said line, and you can read more about it on the University of Sheffield’s website.
Per the Danny-Dorling-Divide, this is how the Premier League is divided. Coincidentally, we get a perfect division of 10 teams on either side, even if Leicester is technically further north than West Bromwich. Ah, the magic of the north-south line!
North: Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Burnley, Everton, Huddersfield, Swansea City, Stoke City & West Brom.
South: Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester City, Watford, Bournemouth, Brighton, West Ham, Southampton & Crystal Palace.
And here are our picks for the two All-Star sides, outfitted of course in the Game of Thrones themed shirts from Nerea Palacios a couple years ago.
Manager: Based on the team which was the highest placed out of the Northern teams. Decision: Pep Guardiola.
Goalkeeper: De Gea. Easiest decision ever.
Defence: A few hiccups here. Walker is the easy choice for RB, Otamendi easy for CB. Now the difficulties begin. Smalling was out of the United lineup for a good part of the season, Van Dijk has been questionable for Liverpool, Laporte hasn’t played a lot of City. In the end, Van Dijk’s Premier League experience edged it for him. At LB, you know it’s bad when Ashley Young is one of the contenders but there isn’t much else and Baines has missed most of the season.
Midfield: Difficult as there are lots of good midfielders around. Fernandinho, Matic, Can, Silva, etc. In the end, Can’s form for Liverpool, Pogba’s price tag and KDB’s ridiculous stats were the deciding factors.
Attack: Salah had to start at right wing; he just had to. The man has scored 31 goals for Liverpool this season. On the left, it was bound to be the recent acquisition by Northern FC, Alexis Sanchez. Martial was another name thrown into the mix. So was Mane but Sanchez’s ability to create a goal out of nothing and carrying Arsenal on his back for years edged it for him. Up front, Aguero was the answer and not Lukaku. Lukaku is never the answer.
Team: De Gea; Walker-Otamendi-Van Dijk-Young; KdB-Can-Pogba; Salah-Aguero-Sanchez.
Substitutes: Ederson, Smalling, Danilo, Matic, Mane, Martial, Lukaku
Manager: Just like last time, the manager was chosen based on the team which is the highest placed out of the lot.
Goalkeeper: After the corruption and regression of Cech at the hands of Meme FC, realistically, there were 2 candidates: Courtois and Lloris. I chose Courtois because of the number of trophies he was won. Plus he won the Golden Glove last year.
Defence: At right back there was a dearth of truly world class options, so instead Azpilicueta gets the call even if this is his third-best position — his pace and defensive abilities should help combat the Northern FC’s amazing attack. Lots of good options for center back next to Toby Alderweireld: Duffy, Christensen, Maguire, Ake and so on. Ended up going with Cahill. Had you going there for a minute! Christensen. At left back, three options stood out: Rose, Davies, Alonso. Rose edged it because of pace.
Midfield: If I could, I’d go with Kante-Kante pivot and watch the world burn but alas, we still haven’t perfected cloning yet. The other candidate was eventually an easy decision, especially because of Dembele’s ability to just dribble through everything.
Attacking Midfield: Hazard was always going to be on the left and Eriksen was always going to be in the middle. On the right, I really wanted to start Willian after his recent performances against Barcelona and United but over the course of the season, Mahrez has to be selected. Leicester have scored 40 goals, Mahrez has scored+assisted 15 of them.
Striker: Kane, second easiest decision of the day.
Team: Courtois; Azpilicueta-Alderweireld-Christensen-Rose; Kante-Dembele-Kante; Mahrez-Eriksen-Hazard; Kane.
Subsitutes: Lloris, Mustafi, Alonso, Moses, Alli, Willian, Aubameyang
Let us know in the comments below what your North/South teams would be, and who do you would win!
Who do you think will win?
This poll is closed
Northern FC because Winter is Coming.
Southern FC because we’ve got Cersei.