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Facebook Football Awards Best XI: midfielders

Dele Alli, Mesut Ozil, N'Golo Kante, Dimitri Payet, Riyad Mahrez and Willian are the six midfielders vying for three midfield spots in the Premier League Best XI at this year’s Facebook Football Awards

Ozil or Alli – who would you rather have in your team? Credit: Oulala

The awards allow you, the fans, to choose your Best XI on ITV Football's Facebook page, with the team announced live during our live awards show on May 9th.

We’ve asked Oulala to examine the key stats between the two attacking midfielders on the list – Mesut Ozil and Dele Alli – as a way of helping you decide which player deserves to be included in your team.

And the figures show that Ozil has already produced 18 assists, more than any other player in the Premier League, and twice as many as Alli, who has scored four more goals than the Arsenal star.

Ozil has also executed more key passes, created a greater number of chances and completed more successful take-ons. Alli, on the other hand, has been slightly more clinical in front of goal, with a 14% conversion rate compared with Ozil's ratio of 13%.


Agbonlahor quits as Aston Villa captain

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Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has stepped down as the club's captain following his latest suspension.

Agbonlahor also apologised for his actions in recent weeks, which saw him pictured partying hours after the club had been relegated.

The forward released a statement on Instagram:

I do not deserve to carry out such a role anymore.

This role was a huge honour to me and it hurts to have lost it.

My celebrations and passion, especially in games against local rivals, shows my loyalty to Aston Villa.

I am asking Aston Villa fans for forgiveness as I'm hurting as well despite reports and photos in the press making out otherwise.

I agree my performances this season have not been good enough but I will be working hard to make things right! Up The Villa, Villa Till I Die!

– Gabby Agbonlahor

England coach Jones motivates Crystal Palace

Eddie Jones knows how to motivate. Credit: PA

England rugby head coach Eddie Jones on Thursday visited Crystal Palace to give Alan Pardew's team a motivational talk for their season run-in that concludes with the FA Cup final.

Palace on May 21 face Manchester United at Wembley Stadium but before then have a further three Premier League fixtures that could yet end with them in the bottom three.

Though it would take an unlikely run of results to relegate them, a return to the Championship remains a mathematical possibility, and in an attempt to maintain his team's focus for Saturday's trip to his former club Newcastle, Pardew invited Jones to share his experiences with Palace's players.

We're still not mathematically safe in the Premier League, so we still have work to do, which is why I asked Eddie Jones to come in, and he had a few words with the team about complacency and about what teams do.

He's been involved in World Cups with other nations, a multi-cutural personality, someone who is engaging. If they can't take on board his comments then we're in trouble.

We share a couple of professional friends. (Palace sports psychologist) Jeremy Snape is one of those, and Eddie asked me about the England rugby team.

We've been quite close since he's been here, and a lot of the views he has on trying to get more from individual players and the group run parallel with my own. Trying to get the best out of his ideas is nice for me.

It was nice to have him here: good timing, what with the result we had (defeating Watford 2-1 in Sunday's semi-final).

– Alan Pardew

Duo return to Chelsea after Reading loan spells

Lucas Piazon is back at Cobham. Credit: PA

Michael Hector and Lucas Piazon have returned to Chelsea from Reading to train with the Blues for the remainder of the season.

With Reading in mid-table in the Championship, out of play-off contention and clear of relegation danger, the pair have returned to their parent club to be assessed.

English defender Hector and Brazilian midfielder Piazon will not be eligible for selection in the Blues' remaining four Premier League fixtures under caretaker boss Guus Hiddink.

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