Henderson, Rooney, Sterling & more - Goal's England Team of the Season

Champions-elect Liverpool contribute four players to our XI, while Jose Mourinho's preferred centre-back pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill also get the nod
With the 2013-14 Premier League season drawing to a close, the Professional Footballers Association will name its Team of the Season along with the individual awards for Player and Young Player of the Year on Sunday.

Ahead of that announcement, Goal has picked its own XI of the best English players to have graced the top flight this year, featuring four representatives from Liverpool, two from Chelsea and one each from Crystal Palace, Everton, Manchester United, Norwich City and Southampton.


It's been something of a topsy turvy season for England's finest goalkeepers. Joe Hart, should he remain fit and injury-free, will undoubtedly be Roy Hodgson's No.1 at the World Cup in Brazil but his patchy form for Manchester City sees him miss out on a spot in the Goal XI.

Instead, that accolade goes to Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy. Despite being involved in a relegation battle with the Canaries, Ruddy has made an impressive 108 saves, 41 more than Hart, keeping 11 clean sheets in the process.

The 27-year-old will be an able deputy for Hart if, as expected, he is selected for the Three Lions' World Cup squad and he is likely to play a major part should caretaker boss Neil Adams steer Norwich away from the drop zone with three games left to play this season.


In defence, Leighton Baines just edges out Southampton sensation Luke Shaw, with the Everton full-back having enjoyed another exemplary season that is likely to see him oust Ashley Cole once and for all to start as England's primary left-back at the World Cup.

Baines's stats make for impressive reading, too. The 29-year-old, who was a top transfer target for Manchester United last summer, has created 44 chances for his Toffees' team-mates, swung in 86 crosses and picked up five goals and three assists.

Glen Johnson and Kyle Walker both miss out on the right-back berth, with Joel Ward, who has played a key role in Crystal Palace's successful battle to avoid the drop, perhaps the biggest surprise inclusion in the XI.

But it's difficult to argue the former Portsmouth man doesn't deserve a place; Ward has won 96 tackles during the 2013-14 Premier League season, a division high for a defender, while he has attempted 61 dribbles and has a pass accuracy of 75 per cent.

At centre-back, Goal's team goes with Chelsea defenders Gary Cahill and John Terry, with the duo having formed a solid partnership at the heart of Jose Mourinho's back four that is set to finish in the top four and is still vying for a place in the Champions League final.

Between them, Cahill and Terry have won 203 aerial duals, while they have made a total of 61 interceptions and won 44 tackles. Curtis Davies, who has statistically been one of the best-performing centre-back's in the league, just misses out.


Steven Gerrard is on the verge of leading Liverpool to title glory and the 33-year-old, who is arguably performing better than ever before in his deeper playmaking role, has played a pivotal role as the Reds close in on their first league win in 24 years.

With 13 goals in the Premier League this season, Gerrard is behind only Yaya Toure in the midfield scoring ranks and also has 10 assists to his name. The England skipper has made 1682 successful passes with an accuracy of 86% and has created 57 chances for his team-mates.

Another Liverpool midfielder to have made a significant impression this season is Jordan Henderson. The former Sunderland star was once the primary target for the boo-boys but has been transformed under Brendan Rodgers and is now an indispensable part of first-team set-up.

His pass accuracy of 87% is even slightly better than Gerrard's and with 1682 he's completed more successful passes. Whether Hodgson decides to select him for the England squad remains to be seen, but he's certainly done his chances no harm with his performances for Liverpool over 2013-14.

On the right-wing for Goal's England XI is one of the stand-out players of the season; Raheem Sterling. Another of the Liverpool contingent, Sterling has been a revelation this campaign and the stats racked up by the 19-year-old speak for themselves.

Sterling is the highest-rated player in the Premier League when it comes to successful dribbles (with 78 out of 134 dribble attempts), while he has also created 43 chances and contributed nine goals and four assists.

On the other flank is Adam Lallana. The Southampton skipper has surely played his way into the England squad, and perhaps even the starting XI, for the World Cup following a sublime season.

His pass accuracy of 84% and 127 attempted dribbles prove his capable of linking up with team-mates as well as taking the game to opponents himself and his nine goals and six assists are impressive numbers for a Saints side who are eighth in the table.


He's been far and away the top-performing English striker all season and is set to play a key role for the Three Lions in Brazil. It's been quite the season for Daniel Sturridge.

The Liverpool forward has formed a devastating partnership with Luis Suarez as the Reds look set to lift the Premier League title this season, with Sturridge contributing 20 goals and seven assists, as well as boasting a 25% shot conversion rate.

The hopes of the nation will again be pinned firmly on Wayne Rooney's shoulders come June 14 in Manaus, and while Manchester United have endured a hopeless 2013-14 campaign, the 28-year-old striker has still managed a fairly decent season.

Rooney has struck 15 times in the Premier League, leaving him joint-fifth in the goalscoring table, while he has recorded a commendable 11 assists and has hit the target with 51% of his shots.