Best XI of players fighting for Premier League safety includes Richarlison, Raphinha and would challenge for Europe

THERE are less than two months to go until the end of the Premier League season.

But the battle for survival is only just beginning to heat up.

With Brentford giving themselves a huge boost by thumping Chelsea 4-1 on Saturday, six other sides still find themselves deep in the relegation mire.

Newcastle, Leeds, Everton, Watford, Burnley and Norwich are all still in trouble as the season enters its penultimate stage.

And when combined together, those teams could put out a fearsome XI which would not only comfortably beat the drop, but would also challenge for a European finish.

There are plenty of good options in goal, but Everton goalie and England no1 Jordan Pickford gets the nod between the sticks.

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At right-back, Kieran Trippier single-handedly boosted Newcastle’s survival hopes before suffering an unfortunate injury.

And fellow January Toon signing Dan Burn would also be a shoe-in following his magnificent impact at St James’ Park.

The other centre-back spot would have to go to Burnley’s James Tarkowski, a criminally underrated player.

And Leeds ace Stuart Dallas is the pick of the bunch to slot in at left-back.

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As for midfield, Elland Road pal Kalvin Phillips would be the ideal anchorman in a three.

Supporting him on one side would be Newcastle’s reborn Brazilian Joelinton.

While Everton’s Man Utd loanee Donny van de Beek could bomb forward in attack on the other.

In attack, there are plenty of fine options across all six sides.

But Leeds’ Brazil international Raphinha is a sure-fire pick for the right wing.

And nobody can possibly ignore Newcastle’s mercurial talent Allan Saint-Maximin on the left.

That just leaves the centre-forward position available.

And due to his silky movement, top technique and eye for goal, Everton’s Richarlison is the preferred choice there.

Even so, an alternative XI would also do the business in a survival chase.

Newcastle trio Martin Dubravka, Matt Targett and Joe Willock are all top players.

Meanwhile, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ben Godrey and Abdoulaye Doucoure will play crucial roles for Frank Lampard’s side between now and the end of the season.

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Burnley captain Ben Mee has continued to be a rock at the back this term.

While Watford attackers Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Denis are already being tipped for bigger and better things.

Even Norwich, adrift at the foot of the table, have some talents among their ranks, with Max Aarons and Billy Gilmour both fine young stars.

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