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1-11 in the Premier League redux, Part 1

1-11 in the Premier League redux, Part 1

We’ve already looked at the instances of Premier League sides fielding sides made up of players numbered from 1-11. Given that the last time that that phenomenon was properly witnessed was 1998, it would appear to be a relic, but how many of the current sides would be capable of managing it?

It was something worth examining, we felt, and we will do in a five-part series, working alphabetically. A couple of things to note:

– Where a club is missing a 1-11 number, it is denoted by the use of the away kit on the pitch graphic.

– Ideally, teams are laid out in the formation they use most often. If, though, all 11 numbers are filled then the formation is dictated by the players in those shirts.



  1. Wojciech Szczesny
  2. Mathieu Debuchy
  3. Kieran Gibbs
  4. Per Mertesacker
  5. Laurent Koscielny
  6. Tomas Rosicky
  7. Mikel Arteta
  8. Lukas Podolski
  9. Jack Wilshere
  10. Mesut Ozil

The departure of Thomas Vermaelen meant that 5 remains free and so we have utilised it alongside Arteta in the 4-2-3-1 which the Gunners often use. Switch 4 and 5 and 10 and 11 and this would be textbook. It’s a far cry from two years ago, when 3 (Bacary Sagna) was right-back, 11 (Andre Santos) was a left-back and 2 (Abou Diaby) played – or, rather, didn’t – in midfield.

Aston Villa


  1. Brad Guzan
  2. Nathan Baker
  3. Joe Bennett
  4. Ron Vlaar
  5. Jores Okore
  6. Ciarán Clark
  7. Leandro Bacuna
  8. Tom Cleverley
  9. Andreas Weimann
  10. Gabriel Agbonlahor

Villa have four defenders with low numbers, but all are centre-backs. Nathan Baker is first-choice with Ron Vlaar but for this we’ve had to shunt him to left-back, where he has played before, while Ciarán Clark is deployed in midfield. Baker’s position, and Agbonlahor wearing 11, mean that the missing numbers, 3 and 9, are in unconventional positions.

We hadn’t realised that number 3, Joe Bennett, was out on loan. His inclusion at left wing-back means 9 would play on the right with Weimann moving up alongside Agbonlahor. Most unsatisfactory.



  1. Thomas Heaton
  2. Kieran Trippier
  3. Danny Lafferty
  4. Michael Duff
  5. Jason Shackell
  6. Ben Mee
  7. Ross Wallace
  8. Dean Marney
  9. Sam Vokes
  10. Danny Ings
  11. Michael Kightly

The Clarets generally play 4-4-2 but numbers 4, 5 and 6 are all worn by centre-backs. The numbering is pretty much how we’d do it ourselves for a 3-5-2, though Wallace and Kightly are wingers rather than central midfielders.

Update: Thanks to Kitclashes Matt for pointing out that Ben Mee has played a bit in midfield, so we’ve changed it to what’d be considered a classic 4-4-2 in Ireland, 4 at CB and 6 in CM.



  1. Petr Cech
  2. Branislav Ivanovic
  3. Filipe Luis
  4. Cesc Fabregas
  5. Kurt Zouma
  6. Nathan Ake
  7. Ramires
  8. Oscar
  9. Fernando Torres
  10. Eden Hazard
  11. Didier Drogba

We know that Fernando Torres is unlikely to play for Chelsea again but he officially remains their number 9, even if having him permanently gone would allow it to be placed alongside Fabregas in a more accurate 4-2-3-1. Of the back four, only Ivanovic is first-choice though the other three are all young.

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1 Comment

  1. Kitclashes Matt
    November 13, 2014 at 20:40 — Reply

    Ben Mee has filled in in central midfield for Burnley on the odd occasion so he should play there to allow their usual 4-4-2 with the wingers out wide.

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1-11 in the Premier League redux, Part 1