Premier League North XI vs South XI – what would an All-Star game look like?

Chelsea owner and chairman Todd Boehly has made quite the impact since arriving in west London earlier this year.

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Aside from splashing the cash and firing and hiring managers, the American has been pretty vocal in suggesting what changes he’d like to see made to the English game.

His most recent pitch is a north vs south All-Star Premier League game, reminiscent of those held on an annual basis in the USA in various sports including NBA (basketball), MLB (baseball), NFL (American Football’s Pro Bowl) and MLS (soccer).

While the logistics of putting such a game on would prove tricky, the concept is certainly an intriguing one and would most likely prove popular with fans.

With that in mind, Metro Sport takes a look at what a Premier League All-Star game might look like:

North XI

Given the geography of the current Premier League clubs, our North team more resembles the north and the midlands, with players from Aston Villa, Everton, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Wolves all eligible.

In order to ensure that the big-six clubs do not dominate our XIs, we’re also limiting it to a maximum of two players from each club, and we’ll do our best to get as many teams represented.

With all that in mind, Forest’s in-form Dean Henderson starts in goal, protected by Liverpool legend Virgil van Dijk and the ever reliable James Tarkowski of Everton.

The full-backs will be allowed to get forward as much as they desire, with Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier and City’s Joao Cancelo amongst the best in the top-flight.

Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Leicester’s Youri Tielemans can provide both defensive solidity and creativity from midfield, while United’s Bruno Fernandes will be given more freedom to join the forward line.

Up top was the trickiest part of the XI to assemble given the wealth of attacking options that the top clubs possess, but ultimately we couldn’t look past Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and City’s Erling Haaland, who are joined by Newcastle star Allain Saint-Maximin.

As for the man in charge, Pep Guardiola seems the obvious choice given his knack for managing possession-based, world-class players.

South XI

As expected our South XI is very London heavy, with players hailing from Arsenal, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Southampton, Tottenham and West Ham.

With Edouard Mendy struggling for form, Brighton’s Robert Sanchez is in goal, with Cristian Romero and Marc Guehi edging out their Tottenham and Palace teammates to form the defence.

Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko also makes it in by the skin of his teeth but at right-back it was impossible to not include Chelsea’s Reece James.

In this very attack-minded side, West Ham and Southampton captains Declan Rice and James Ward-Prowse will be charged with a lot more defensive work, while the latter’s set-piece skills will no doubt play a huge part.

On the wings, the speed and trickery of Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha and Arsenal favourite Bukayo Saka will support two of the deadliest strikers in the Premier League – Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

Picking their manager is a tough call, as while Boehly would prefer new Chelsea boss Graham Potter or even Tottenham’s serial winner Antonio Conte, a 4-2-4 seems most suitable for Southampton’s Ralph Hassenhuttl.

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