MFF April Team of the Month 2022/23
An extremely busy month in the Premier League meant some players who were deserving of a place have not quite been able to make the cut. April’s team takes on a 3-4-3 formation and remember the players selected are in the positions they are accredited with by the Official Fantasy Premier League.
Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
Aston Villa have been brilliant since Unai Emery took over at the club. After looking like they could be drawn into a relegation battle when the board let go of Steven Gerrard, they now amazingly sit in 7th place. April was very fruitful for them as they picked up five wins from their seven matches and overall they took 16 points from a possible 21. World Cup winner Martinez stood firm between the sticks keeping four clean sheets which was the most of any keeper in the month. The Argentine made 21 saves altogether, this included seven stops in their opening April outing, a 2-0 win at Chelsea in which he finished the man of the match. Martinez now lies 4th in the league with 11 clean sheets this campaign.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Alexander-Arnold’s defending is much maligned but a new role in the team has helped him be more effective for the team in what has been a tough season. His passing ability and vision are things that cannot be denied and Jurgen Klopp used him in April in an inverted role. Alexander-Arnold repaid his manager by assisting five games in-a-row as he assisted six times overall. He nutmegged Oleksandr Zinchenko before crossing to Roberto Firmino for the equalising goal against Arsenal in a 2-2 draw. He assisted twice in the 6-1 victory at Leeds, the second was a great ball to Darwin Nunez. His free-kick supplied the winner for Mo Salah at home to Nottingham Forest. He then setup Cody Gakpo’s equaliser in the 2-1 triumph at West Ham and ended the month feeding Curtis Jones for the opener in the pulsating 4-3 win over Tottenham.
Fabian Schar (Newcastle United)
The Magpies still boast the best defence in the Premier League despite only keeping one clean sheet in April. However, this did not matter in their quest for Champions League football as they scored freely in the month. Schar helped out from central defence by accumulating three assists, something that you seldom see from a centre back in a solitary month. In Eddie Howe’s men’s first away trip they demolished West Ham 5-1 at the London Stadium and Schar’s well-placed ball was controlled and finished off by Joelinton, who went around Lukasz Fabianski. Newcastle were at it again this time at home as they smashed Tottenham 6-1 which included blitzing them with 5 goals in the first 21 minutes. Schar provided two of the goals. First, he played another fine ball to Joelinton, then after making a challenge he got the ball to Jacob Murphy who scored a tremendous long range effort for the third. Schar was denied a lovely goal by a marginal offside in the 4-1 hammering of Everton.
John Stones (Manchester City)
City are finishing a season strongly once again under Pep Guardiola as they try to pip Arsenal to the summit. Always the thinker Guardiola has tinkered his formation once again and moved Stones into a more advanced position and he has reaped the rewards thus far. Stones has always been a centre back who is comfortable on the ball and his versatility has seen him used at full back. But now he is virtually playing in the central midfield and has helped with goals as well as carrying the ball the ball forward and helping the Cityzens maintain possession. Stones opened the scoring in the 3-1 victory over Leicester with a shot on his weaker left foot from the edge of the box. He then scored a header in the vital 4-1 win over title-chasing Arsenal just before half-time to deflate the Gunners.
Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)
In what seemed like a step backwards in re-hiring Roy Hodgson but it has worked like a charm as the Eagles won four of their six games in April, and they are now 10 points clear of the relegation zone. Eze, Jordan Ayew and Michael Olise have all flourished since Hodgson’s return and Eze just kept Olise out of this month’s team. Palace produced a great second half performance to put Leeds away 5-1 at Elland Road and Eze scored the third goal with a calm finish. Eze then produced a man of the match display in a 2-0 win away at Southampton as he scored goals. His anticipation saw him get into the box for the first, and then a majestic second goal came when he turned and drove into the bottom corner from outside the box. He rounded off the month by winning what was to be a decisive penalty that he ended up scoring in a 4-3 thriller against West Ham.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Once again when it counts De Bruyne is standing up when it matters in the Premier League. His midfield presence and ability are massively helping their attempt to topple Arsenal at the business end of the campaign. City came from a behind to beat Liverpool 4-1 and De Bruyne put them ahead right at the start of the second half before assisting the fourth for Jack Grealish. In another 4-1 win this time away at Southampton, he crossed for the opener by Erling Haaland and then won the penalty for the fourth goal. He again assisted Haaland in the 3-1 victory against Leicester. In the most vital contest of the month, he produced a sublime finish to open the scoring in the 4-1 win at home to Arsenal. His free-kick created the second goal for John Stones and then he copped a brace in the second half with a low finish into the corner.
Joelinton (Newcastle United)
Joelinton has looked like a different player ever since Eddie Howe took over from Steve Bruce last season. His versatility has made him a threat whether he plays in the midfield three or the front three and his April shenanigans helped him keep out his teammates Jacob Murphy and Joe Willock from the XI. In the Magpies’ 5-1 romp at West Ham, Joelinton was at the double and both goals were well taken. He controlled Fabian Schar’s ball and went around Lukasz Fabianski for the first and then ran through and finished his second well after a quick breakaway. In the 2-1 away triumph at Brentford he forced an own goal by David Raya to level the game up. He fired in the second goal in the crazy opening to the 6-1 mauling of Tottenham. As well as this he scored in the 4-1 victory at Everton.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Salah is in the midst of what is his ‘quietest’ season since he joined Liverpool but he has somehow still worked his way to 17 league goals largely thanks to a prolific April. Salah’s fine finish gave Liverpool the lead at Manchester City, but it turned out to be a mere consolation as they were soundly beaten 4-1. The Reds were 2-0 down to Arsenal but he pulled a goal back, but then missed a penalty, before Roberto Firmino bailed him out with a late leveller. Salah was back to being clinical as he scored twice in a 6-1 win at Leeds, his first was an emphatic finish. He got the winner in the 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest volleying in off the post from a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick. The Egyptian to an extent redeemed himself after the Arsenal penalty miss as he scored from the spot against Tottenham in a 4-3 rollercoaster at Anfield.
Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
It seems like there are not anymore superlatives to describe Haaland. April saw him equal the record for the highest number of goals in a single Premier League season ever. A magnificent achievement regardless but considering the campaign used to be 42 games rather than 38 makes it even more impressive as six games still remain. He bagged his first April brace away at Southampton in a 4-1 win, the second goal was an acrobatic volley after good play by Jack Grealish. His second brace came in the following game at home to Leicester which included a great run and deft finish as it ended 3-1. He assisted Kevin De Bruyne twice against Arsenal before finding the net himself at the end. His month ended with an early penalty in the 2-1 victory at Fulham.
Diogo Jota (Liverpool)
Jota has had a hard time with injuries, but April saw him end a year without a goal in what turned out to be a fruitful month for him. The Portuguese international just kept the likes of Ollie Watkins, Dominic Solanke and Danny Welbeck out of this months’ team with his exploits. He began the month assisting Mo Salah’s goal against Manchester City. He then ended his long goal drought with two goals away at Leeds, his first was a well taken finish after a quick break, his second was a comprehensive strike in off the post. Before finding the net he also provided Salah’s first goal. Jota then scored twice again, this time at home to Nottingham Forest, his second was expertly taken as he controlled Andy Robertson’s free-kick and then volleyed in. He saved the best for last as he capped the month scoring an injury time winner as Liverpool survived letting a 3-0 lead slip against Tottenham with a coolly taken goal.
Callum Wilson (Newcastle United)
Wilson did not start all the games in April, but he still scored for fun as Newcastle racked up a spectacular 22 goals in their 7 games. Wilson contributed to 9 of those goals, scoring 8 himself and getting an assist. First up, the England international came off the bench to secure the three points at home to Manchester United. He started the next match away at West Ham and scored twice from close range in a 5-1 win. The Magpies came from behind to get three more points away at Brentford and Wilson laid the winner on for Alexander Isak. He scored off the bench again in the 6-1 romp of Tottenham. A brace then followed in a 4-1 triumph at Everton, his second was a classy strike from outside the box into the top corner. Wilson added two more goals in the 3-1 home win over Southampton as he showed he is still one of the best finishers in the league.