Adebayo Akinfenwa and Tim Cahill select their Premier League team of the month

Tune in to the monthly Kings of the Premier League show on Sky Sports to find out who is crowned King of the Month, brought to you by Budweiser - official beer partner of the Premier League and King of Beers

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The Kings of the Premier League show, sponsored by Budweiser, returned on Sky Sports this Friday with another all-star line-up on the panel.

Guests pit stats against gut when they compare results from the statistical Power Rankings with fans' votes for Kings of the Match on the Premier League website to assemble their ultimate team of the month.

This month, Smithy is joined by Wycombe Wanderers striker and Liverpool fan Adebayo Akinfenwa - widely regarded as the world's strongest footballer - alongside Everton legend Tim Cahill, who appeared in four World Cups for Australia.

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So, how did the team unfold? Let's start between the sticks...

Goalkeepers

GK

Adebayo Akinfenwa: I put Lukasz Fabianski as my 'keeper. Played three, won three and two clean sheets. I know he's conceded one.

Tim Cahill: I'm going with Hugo Lloris. The stats don't lie. When you look at Tottenham's form and his influence over the past three games, he's been pivotal and playing really well.

AA: But three wins, plus a penalty save [for Fabianski]. Look, talk to me, T!

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GK

TC: Maybe we can look at the opposition? The Manchester City win and Chelsea draw [for Lloris]. Both 'keepers have been immense. But to beat City, that's big. The goalkeeper plays a vital role because he's under the pump a lot, and to draw with Chelsea, too. They're two top-four teams.

AA: You make a good point - that's why you're a legend. You know what? I'll give you that.

Final selection: Hugo Lloris

Centre-backs

CB

TC: I've gone with Kurt Zouma. There's a lot of maturity to his game. Obviously ex-Everton, he did really well there. Unfortunately, we couldn't keep him. You see the way he's evolving as a player, he's strong, he's quick, has passing ability, a threat from set-pieces. He's my standout centre-back.

AA: I agree! There was always a question mark, he went out on loan. But he's come back and the experience playing alongside [Thiago Silva] makes him look so much more assured. For me, being an older one, as is T, you can't buy experience. Well, you can, but you know what I mean! Positioning, how to read the game and not get flustered.

Kurt Zouma says himself, Thiago Silva and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy communicate in French on the pitch
Image: Kurt Zouma says himself, Thiago Silva and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy communicate in French on the pitch

TC: I'm also going for Conor Coady. He missed one of the games, but he's a good leader, amazing on the ball, his range of passing and influence. I like to watch his all-round game. He's the sort of player I'd want in my team.

AA: I've gone for Angelo Ogbonna. I always mess up saying his name! Again, three wins [for West Ham], he's scored, it's been a good month for the team and two clean sheets. I like Conor, he exudes authenticity - his energy is real. But, he didn't play all three games!

CB

TC: This is where we've got to share the love. We can't always have it one way! This is yours because it's a long show.

Final selections: Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna

Full-backs

FB

AA: I'll go with Ben Chilwell. I think Chelsea have been solid, especially the last three games. Plus, he scored in the 4-1 win [against Sheffield United]. Listen, it's hard to look past that. Good defensively and getting on the scoresheet.

TC: It's obvious Chilwell has been immense. But I really like Sergio Reguilon - a new player. The way he's adapted to England, the team, Jose Mourinho, the style - they're compact and hit on transition. I really like what he gives to that team. Also, he's played a big part defensively where they had problems earlier in the season.

AA: If we're just going on this month, I think Chilwell's goal edges it. But three clean sheets [for Reguilon] - yes, that's what your standards are as a defender.

The graphic above shows all touches over the past three league games, revealing Ben Chilwell has had slightly more activity in the opposition half
Image: The graphic above shows all touches over the past three league games, revealing Ben Chilwell has had slightly more activity in the opposition half

TC: I can take his point. I'm happy with Chilwell. The fans voted for him too. The goal does it! I also really like Kyle Walker-Peters - young player, gets up and down the pitch. Southampton are in great form. But it's having that style of player that can be disciplined in defence but also get forward to support the attack and overlapping runs. It's hard not to talk about him when they play.

AA: I'm going with Reece James. I've put three Chelsea players in this team, so I need to check myself after this! All those attacking players at Chelsea, they will only be looking forward, so that puts even more onus on James to go forward and get back. They were conceding way too many goals. And James has come in and helped solidify.

TA: I'm going to let Ade pick this one. I prefer the attacking side, so I'm willing to lose this battle.

AA: I'm not relinquishing nothing!

Final selections: Ben Chilwell and Reece James

Kings Of The Premier League

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Midfielders

MID

TC: Well, Bruno Fernandes 100 per cent makes this team. The style of player, the influence he has on Manchester United. He's a leader. When he's got the ball, it's what he can do with it.

AA: No, listen, you can't deny what he has done. He was captain for a Champions League game recently. You can't deny his influence and goals. He's the top scorer over the past three games. I'm also going to go with the boy [Jack] Grealish. I think he's been mad exciting. It's been his season, even with England. He's growing, maturing. I think there's still doubt around him and he's always had to come from it. At the moment, I think it's been a Grealish season.

TC: I think maturity [with Grealish], for sure - discipline within games. Also, there's end product when he's got the ball, scores goals, assists and he's exciting. He's playing unbelievably well for England and Villa. He's pretty much the guy who's pulling the strings. So, I agree, Grealish is an exceptional player.

MIDFIELD

AA: I've also gone for Eberechi Eze. Listen, I played with him. He came on loan to Wycombe about two seasons ago in League Two. He's the best youngster I've played with. I remember one game, away at Cambridge, the gaffer said he was going to play him. It was the first and last time I ever questioned my gaffer. Eze went and scored, right foot, top bins! Got the ball on his left foot, top bins! We won the game 2-1. He's got his first Premier League goal and first assist. This is the coming of age for Eze. He's going to be a special player.

TC: That's nice! But I'm looking more towards a player like James Ward-Prowse. What he brings to Southampton as a whole, where they're sitting in the table, his performances, his set-plays, scoring free-kicks. He's had a great month. I think he's been really influential and will be in the run-in through Christmas.

AA: T's been slick, he wasn't fazed by my personal story - he just looked right through me! But I will allow you to pick this one. What do you say, Legend T?

TC: When you talk about midfield influence, right now, it's Ward-Prowse.

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Final selections: Bruno Fernandes, Jack Grealish and James Ward-Prowse

Forwards

FW

TC: I'm going to go with [Edinson] Cavani. He's a striker who can come on, assist, score two goals [against Southampton], and have the prowess Manchester United need - he pretty much turned that game on its head. For the month, he hasn't had many minutes but he's high in the ranks.

AA: Listen, I've got to agree with T on this. Three goals, an assist, and, you know, on top of not starting a game. Of course, he's played at high levels but with the pressure of whether he will come in and do it. People were asking, like with [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, will he be a hit or miss? But he's turned games around single-handedly.

CAVANI SHOT MAP

TC: I also think Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Harry Kane - it's 100 per cent DCL is the team.

AA: I would go with Cavani, Kane and Diogo Jota - and it's 110 per cent Jota in the team. So listen!

TC: I'm not going to move!

AA: This is an impasse, a mountain against the wind! What's happening now, T? Ok, so if you ain't backing down, and you know I ain't backing down, then we're going to have to say bye-bye to the England captain!

TC: I mean, Kane could make the team in every show. We talk about Jota and the impact he's had at Liverpool. Calvert-Lewin, another player, maturing - Carlo Ancelotti simplifying his game and he's getting the goals.

AA: I get a lot of stick saying I don't praise Everton players. I'm with you, I think DCL has come on leaps and bounds, he's got all the attributes and I like how he scored for England. But, right now, Jota is the man.

Final selections: Edinson Cavani, Diogo Jota and Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Final KOTPL XI

XI

King of the month

TC: I'm going to go with Lloris. Goalkeepers should have this kind of month, I hope they do, when they're the first to get praise. They're the first to get picked on when something goes wrong, but, at the same time, I'm not sure they're the ones that people look to praise first - they only look at the front half, which is where we work in.

AA: Listen, I'm strikers' union. I'm just saying Cavani has only played 81 minutes this month, scored three goals and got an assist. I'd say that's big. But, T has given me three picks, and I've only given him two, so I'm going to be amicable and let him have the last one.

TC: I actually think it's 4-4, and that's part of the strategy of picking a team!

KOTM
Image: Tottenham stopper Hugo Lloris is King of the Month

Final selection: Hugo Lloris

Pick your KOTPL XI

Disagree with the final selections? Use the team selector below to create your XI and share it on Twitter @SkySportsPL using the hashtag #KOTPL.

Kings of the Premier League on Sky Sports

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Sky Sports and Budweiser, official partner of the Premier League and King of Beers, have joined forces to bring you the Kings of the Premier League show.

On the back of its resounding success last season, the debate returns to your screens on the last Friday of every month on Sky Sports Premier League.

Sky Sports presenter Adam Smith and two guests will build an ultimate XI from the top-performing players over the past month, pitting stats against gut as they compare data-driven form charts with Kings of the Match fan votes.

"This show really is the perfect way to pick the team of the month," according to Smithy. "It's never easy picking a dream XI, so let the debate commence."

KOTPL

The show's best bits will play out across Sky Sports' YouTube and the partnership will also deliver the weekly Power Ranking articles every Tuesday on the Sky Sports website and apps.

The third episode aired on Friday, December 4, with repeats over the weekend and on-demand, and will run throughout the first four months of the Premier League season.

Do the Premier League's statistical leaders make the cut in this month's XI, or do the fans' favourites earn starting berths? Tune into Sky Sports Premier League to find out...

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