Premier League Best XI of the First Half: Aaron Ramsey, Luis Suarez lead the way

The Arsenal midfielder and Liverpool striker are the standout performers in this midseason assessment, although Everton is the most represented team with three players.
With Christmas almost upon us, we know that Arsenal will be top of the tree Dec. 25, but which individuals have decorated the season with shining performances according to our player ratings?


Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and Stoke City shot-stopper Asmir Begovic have impressed the most between the sticks, each boasting three man of the match performances.

However, the Toffees keeper gets the nod thanks to Everton's record of just one league defeat across Europe's top five leagues - only Roma and Bayern Munich boast better.


Pablo Zabaleta is our right back as the Argentine boasts three top ratings this season and three assists from deep.

Everton is again represented in defense with Leighton Baines taking the mantel at left back. The 29-year-old has again lit up Goodison Park with his control of the left flank and brilliance from set pieces - notably his free kick double in a 3-2 win over West Ham in September. It speaks volumes that the England international has remained above his positional rivals despite missing the last month with a toe injury, although his backup, Bryan Oviedo, has also picked up two top ratings in his absence.

Alongside Baines is yet another of Roberto Martinez's stalwarts in Phil Jagielka. The center back has also racked up three man of the match ratings, and he is joined by the surprise selection of the XI: Hull City's Curtis Davies.


Moving on to midfield, the two obvious candidates for the center of the park are Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil.

The players have been inspirational as Arsenal defied preseason expectations to set the pace at the top of the Premier League table for the majority of the season.

The Wales international is the standout performer of the campaign with six top ratings after hitting a staggering 13 goals in all competitions. Ozil, meanwhile, leads the league assists tally with seven - taking just 14 minutes to register his first after completing a club-record deadline-day 42 million pound move from Real Madrid.

Andros Townsend sits on the right wing, beating off competition from Santi Cazorla and the revitalized Samir Nasri, with his attention-grabbing attacking play at White Hart Lane. The Tottenham man has boasted the highest average completed dribbles per game all season, and is not afraid to test the opposition goalkeeper with an average of 3.3 shots per game - with just Philippe Coutinho producing more.

Eden Hazard - with the second highest completed dribbles per game - sits on the left flank after rediscovering his best form for Chelsea following a lull during the second half of last season. The Belgian has hit six goals and four assists in the Premier League this season - his highlight being two goals and one assist in the 4-3 win over Sunderland earlier in December.


Along with Ramsey and Ozil, the two easiest and most obvious choices for this midseason assessment were Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero up front.

The Uruguayan has produced stunning display after stunning display all season with a return of 19 goals in just 12 appearances to lead the scoring charts - his four-goal haul and two-goal, three-assist masterclass against Norwich City and Tottenham, respectively, the main attractions.

Aguero, meanwhile, has hit 13 goals in 15 appearances for City - which includes scoring in all but two of his side's home games this season as it racked up 7-0, 6-0 and 6-3 victories over Norwich, Tottenham and Arsenal.