David de Gea, Manchester United
Has had the occasional wobble – notably against Sunderland in the Capital One Cup – but far more commanding than Simon Mignolet, and the Spaniard is one of the very few young, top-class United players whom David Moyes has inherited.
Glen Johnson, Liverpool
Not a wealth of options for right-back, especially with Moyes unconvinced about Rafael da Silva. Jon Flanagan presents a strong case, but has not played enough games, while Johnson, despite a winter dip, remains a key part of Liverpool's attacking play.
Martin Skrtel, Liverpool
Liverpool's outstanding defender this season. Looked to be on his way out of Anfield in the summer, but seized his chance when recalled for the defeat of United in September, and has developed into the leader Brendan Rodgers craved.
Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United
Time and injuries may be catching up with United's captain, but he is still a formidable defender on his day, and continues to leave Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans in the shade. However, his summer move to Inter has been announced by the Italian club.
Patrice Evra, Manchester United
Liverpool cannot present a counter-argument, with José Enrique injured and Aly Cissokho unconvincing, but that does not detract from Evra's impressive, professional response to Moyes's lengthy pursuit of Leighton Baines last summer.
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool
Liverpool's influence over this team begins in midfield, the perennial weak point for United that Moyes has yet to address, despite spending £64.6m on Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini. Henderson has excelled consistently this season.
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool
Will be 34 before the World Cup, but his influence at Liverpool remains supreme thanks to a successful conversion into a holding midfielder during this campaign. The position suits his range of passing, strength and reading of the game.
Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool
Harsh on Raheem Sterling, admittedly, but with the front three taking care of itself there has to be a place for the young Brazilian, whose vision, work rate and surprising strength in the tackle complement Gerrard and Henderson perfectly.
Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool
Enjoying the finest season of his career thanks to Rodgers. Only Luis Suárez has more league goals, and an overall total of 23 must make José Mourinho wince at Chelsea's decision to off‑load the England striker.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
One of the few individual successes under David Moyes this season. Rehabilitated at Old Trafford after his falling-out with Sir Alex Ferguson and to the extent he was able to hold United to ransom over a new contract.
Luis Suárez, Liverpool
The best player in the Premier League bar none. Missed the first six games of the season because of suspension, yet no one comes close to his 24 goals in 23 Premier League games. Much more of a team player now, too.