By Neil Leverett and Niall Clarke
- Liverpool and Chelsea only remaining Premier League teams with 100% records after five games
- Arsenal win third successive game, as north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur lose second on bounce
- West Ham United pick up first points of season away to Everton, as Burnley prop up table after fourth loss
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – The Reds dominate our Team of the Week for Gameweek 5, as one man retains his spot in our XI. Did your team make the cut?
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Goalkeeper – Joe Hart
Perhaps a surprise choice given Burnley lost their fourth game in five outings – now sitting rock bottom of the league table with just a point, but in truth, had it not been for the former England stopper’s string of fine saves at Molineux, the Clarets’ loss to Wolves could have been far greater.
Hart continues to keep out the fit again Tom Heaton, and after performances like this – albeit forlorn ones – Burnley may yet have a hope of staving off relegation. Which even at this stage is looking a likely battle.
Right-back – Matt Doherty
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are now adapting to life back in the top flight, having taken seven points from a possible nine in their last three games.
Wolves’ marauding wing-back Doherty was regular menace for Burnley full-back Phil Bardsley, and after threatening to score himself on two separate occasions finally evaded the visiting defence to spring the trap and cross for Raul Jimenez to net the only goal of the game on Sunday.
The Irish defender has been questioned whether he has the tools to make it at the top level, but much like Stephen Ward has done for the opponents over the weekend – over the past few seasons – Doherty looks set to be one of the surprise packages of the season. On Sunday the full-back made three key passes and successfully attempted two interceptions.
Centre-back – Virgil van Dijk
As one of three Liverpool players included this week, van Dijk put in another suitably dominant aerial performance to thwart Spurs as the Reds made it five-out-of-five, and the hosts lost their second game on the bounce.
Together with Joe Gomez in the heart of defence, the Dutchman has conceded just twice in 450 minutes to begin the campaign. Van Dijk continues to improve under Jurgen Klopp and remains another vital cog in the Reds’ set-up if they are indeed to challenge for major honours this term.
Centre-back – Issa Diop
Diop has taken a while to take his place in the Hammers starting XI this season, but having overcome a slight injury to begin the season after his summer move from Toulouse, West Ham look a far more assured unit under the French centre-back.
Having scored in the Carabao Cup last month against AFC Wimbledon, the defender has added a far greater presence to Manuel Pellegrini’s side as the Hammers picked up a deserved win on Merseyside on Sunday.
Diop’s numbers where impressive against the Toffees. Playing behind the equally adept Declan Rice, Diop won out with no less than four tackles and blocks and two interceptions into the bargain. If the centre-back can continue in this vein, the visitors should have no problem in climbing the table.
Left-back – Fabian Delph
With Benjamin Mendy ruled out through injury – to the ire of many fantasy football players – Delph shone in what could be a rare opportunity to start a league game this season.
After sneaking into the England squad for the World Cup, Delph grabbed his opportunity with both hands, keeping a lively Luciano Vietto largely quiet for Fulham, as City ran out comfortable winners in what could have been a tricky game for Pep Guardiola’s men
Centre midfield – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
The Dane scored one of the goals of the season with a 35-yard stunner that gave Southampton the lead against Brighton & Hove Albion and put in a well-rounded performance in his side’s 2-2 draw.
Hojbjerg was commanding in midfield, putting in three tackles and seven interceptions to go along with his goal. The former Bayern Munich man is becoming a key player for Mark Hughes’ side and once again feature in the team of the week for the second Gameweek running.
Centre midfield – Georginio Wijnaldum
Liverpool were impressive against Tottenham and could have arguably scored five or six goals. This was in large part due to the control in midfield from Wijnaldum and James Milner, but it is the Dutchman who makes our XI.
Wijnaldum scored the opening goal of the match and generally marshaled the midfield well alongside Milner and Naby Keita.
Right wing – Ryan Fraser
On any other gameweek, West Ham’s Ukrainian winger Andriy Yarmolenko would cruise into our XI after his brace against Everton, but it the Cherries in-form trickster that makes the cut.
Two goals from the Scottish winger earned Bournemouth an impressive 4-2 win at home to Leicester on Saturday and moved his side up to ten points after five games.
It was an impressive performance from Fraser who was a constant thorn in the Foxes’ side. Not only did Fraser bag the first two goals of the day, he got an assist to his name too to take his tally after just five games to three goals and a double assist. This, after being an injury doubt after picking up a hamstring injury whilst on international duty with Scotland.
Left wing – Eden Hazard
The star performer of the week was undoubtedly Hazard and it will come as no surprise to anyone that he makes the team of the week.
The Belgian scored his second Premier League hat-trick as Chelsea thrashed Cardiff 4-1 at Stamford Bridge. Hazard is thriving under Maurizio Sarri’s system as the Blues boss hailed Hazard as the best in Europe post match, and if he continues in this goal-scoring form then that will be hard to disagree with.
Forward – Marko Arnautovic
The Austrian was a focal point in West Ham’s first win of the season where they ran out 3-1 victors at Everton.
Arnautovic set up Yarmolenko’s opener before adding the critical blow to the Toffees with the Hammers’ third goal of the evening. Once again the Austrian proved pivotal in his role as the main striker for West Ham and with more performances like that, they will climb the table after a poor start.
Forward – Roberto Firmino
Whilst Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were off absent from the score-sheet against Tottenham, Firmino managed to bag a goal for himself before being taken off with an eye injury.
The Brazilian’s movement and link up play was a nightmare for Spurs to deal with and his goal after half time put the Reds beyond the reach of their opponents, despite a nervy finish It is a shame an eye gouge put an end to his afternoon and he now has a race to be fit for the weekend’s visit of Southampton.
Here is our Team of the Week:
Do you agree with our picks for Premier League dream team?
The Premier League continues this weekend for Gameweek 6, as West Ham United host Chelsea at the London Stadium on Sunday.
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