Which Premier League club would have the best 5-a-side team?

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane

We’ve taken a look at how the likes of Liverpool andManchester City would get on

We all miss football. And having an unforeseen mid-seasonbreak has inevitably led to us dreaming up fantasy scenarios.

Nobody knows if and when the Premier League season will finish.But we also don’t know which Premier League manager would come out on top in aRoyal Rumble or which Premier League mascot would win in a race.

But it’s fun to imagine, right? So we’ve had a think aboutwhich Premier League team would field the best team in a 5-a-side scenario.

Like real life 5-a-side, they’ll need to adjust to new rules,including no slide tackling and no overhead height.

So, will it reflect the current table? Or will some playersfind it difficult to adjust to bouncing it off the walls, playing with a flatball or having to wear a bib soaked in other people’s sweat?



Line-up: Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, RobertoFirmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah

Based on this season, Liverpool comfortably have the bestsquad. They’re 25 points clear at the top and are on track to win their firsttitle in 30 years. The only selection headache Jurgen Klopp would have isnarrowing his squad down to just five players.

Alisson goes without saying, having established himselfamong the world’s best goalkeepers in recent season. Meanwhile, at the otherend of the pitch Liverpool boast arguably the best front three in football.

But would that make them too top heavy? Potentially for someteams, but not in Liverpool’s case. Mane, Firmino and Salah would have notrouble in tracking back with their endless energy. Besides, even if they didleak goals they’d still comfortably outscore most opponents.

Virgil van Dijk has transformed the Reds since joining butperhaps controversially, he’d only make Liverpool’s bench in 5-a-side. With nooverhead height allowed, his imposing presence would be wasted and thedefensive duties could be served by Alexander-Arnold, who offers more of athreat with his passing, running and goal threat.

Manchester City

Line-up: Ederson,Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Sergio Agüero

Unlike we’ve seen this season, City would compete Liverpoolin a small-sided game. While Ederson’s ability with his feet would have littleimpact, he’s still an excellent shot stopper and his distribution from hishands would be an asset, while Rodri would slot in to be the defensive enforcerat the back.

De Bruyne would continue to dominate the game, calmlyplaying through balls to the prolific Aguero. The Argentinian can finish fromanywhere, while Bernardo’s ability to weave in and out of opponents, as well ashis proclivity to finding space, puts him ahead of Raheem Sterling in thepecking order.

Manchester United

Line-up: David De Gea, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, MarcusRashford, Anthony Martial

Despite their struggles in the Premier League in recentseasons, United would be a force to be reckoned with at 5-a-side. De Gea’spowers may be waning but his reflexes are second to none when it comes togetting low and blocking shots with his feet.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka would have been a shoo-in but we’ve takenaway his main strength with no slide tackling. Positions change so often insmall games, with teams often adopting a ‘follow your man’ approach, so thepresence of an out-and-out defender isn’t always needed. Pogba and Fernandespulling the strings behind a rampant and skilful frontline of Rashford andMartial would be a nightmare for most opponents.

For argument’s sake we’ve assumed everybody is fully fit andordinarily Tottenham would have a strong squad with the likes of HarryKane, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli. But Jose Mourinho would inevitably sit themall on the edge of their box, limiting their threat.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have a squad full of attackingtalent. But their lack of defensive-minded players would see them continue toship countless goals and even at 5-a-side, they’d still find a way to downtools and get their manager sacked.



Line-up: Rui Patricio, Matt Doherty, Ruben Neves, AdamaTraore, Raul Jimenez

Following another impressive season, Wolves ae chasing aplace in the Champions League and they’d continue their form into the cage. RuiPatricio is a force in goal and in Doherty at the back they have both a competentdefender and a regular goalscorer.

Neves would control the game in the middle, scoringlong-range screamers for fun and regularly putting chances on a plate for RaulJimenez. And few players are dispossessing Traore when he’s in full force.

Crystal Palace

Line-up: Vicente Guiata, Luka Milivojevic, Patrick vanAanholt, Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew

Love him or loathe him, Zaha is near enough the perfect5-a-side player. He knows every trick in the book and can twist his way pastmost defenders, he’s strong, quick and he can finish with both feet.

Zaha would happily dance through most teams on his own butluckily he links up almost telepathically with Van Aanholt and Ayew, whose paceand finishing ability make them threats in their own right. Meanwhile,Milivojevic can sweep up at the back and ping in efforts from range.


Line-up: Ben Foster, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Ismaila Sarr,Gerard Deulofeu, Troy Deeney

Watford? Really? It may be a bit left field given they’refighting for survival. But they’re improved dramatically since Nigel Pearsontook charge and, like Palace, they’ve got tricky, skilful players such asDeulofeu and Sarr who are invaluable at 5-a-side.

Doucoure is a Rolls Royce of a midfielder on his day andwill put a shift in at the back, while Deeney’s strength up top will createplenty of chances on a small pitch. Plus, Pearson’s presence on the other sideof the fence will likely intimidate most referees into awarding soft penalties.

Leicester are enjoying a fairytale season but theirgame plan relies a lot on Jamie Vardy’s pace in behind on the break, which isless effective on a smaller pitch.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United’s impressive campaign isunlikely to be replicated at 5-a-side. Chris Wilder’s side are organised but withno goalscorer or a standout player to dribble them out of tricky situations,they’d struggle to adapt.

Aston Villa could surprise a few with the likes of JackGrealish and John McGinn, while Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron would beuseful 5-a-side assets for Newcastle.

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