By Neil Leverett and Niall Clarke
- Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United star this week, with two berths apiece for Gameweek 29
- Everton hold Liverpool to a goalless draw in the Merseyside derby
- Chelsea win west London derby, as Tottenham Hotspur escape the north London equivalent with a point against Arsenal
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – Three top flights teams grab the spoils of our Gameweek 29 XI, but there was also a debut for two players in our team of the week. But who?
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Goalkeeper & Defenders
Hugo Lloris (GK) – Tottenham Hotspur were more than a mite fortunate to take a point from Saturday’s north London derby, thanks largely to their French number one between the sticks. After the Lilywhites looked to have sneaked a draw at Wembley after a decidedly sluggish showing against Arsenal, the Gunners were awarded a late spot-kick only for Lloris to save face for the home side. Despite being his only second save of the game, Mauricio Pocchetino owes a huge debt of gratitude in making the save from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s penalty and preventing a third successive league defeat.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) – Crystal Palace have been very much upwardly mobile since their transfer deadline day swoop for Michy Batshuayi, but the Eagles full-backs continue to pull their weight also. On this occasion in Lancashire it was Wasn-Bissaka to shine, producing an assist in the visitors impressive 3-1 win against an in-form Burnley. Making seven tackles and clearances also, the Palace right-back in now surely not far from a call up to the England senior squad.
Declan Rice (CB) – It is easy to forget Rice is a midfielder, but such in his defensive prowess sandwiched in between both Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna in the West Ham United defensive line, we are opting to play him in the back four. Having now announced his allegiances to the Three Lions, Rice is very much now on Gareth Southgate’s radar not least because of the his goalscoring ability. Scoring his second of the campaign from a corner in the Irons’ 2-0 win, and making six tackles, Rice is becoming a real star in east London.
Shane Duffy (CB) – The Seagulls edged another narrow home win at the weekend to fire clear of any potential relegation fears, but after a laboured first-half showing, it was Duffy who earned his striped once again for Brighton & Hove Albion’s defence. The Irishman’s six tackles and blocks made sure a plucky Huddersfield Town were kept at bay, whilst the seemingly doomed Terriers were then given too much to handle after in the second period.
Lucas Digne (LB) – We tipped the Merseyside derby to be a close affair, and it proved to be so in a Goodison Park stalemate. Whilst a third draw in the last six could prove to be a decisive in Liverpool’s title aspirations, it was Digne who slammed the door shut of the Reds and in particular Mohamed Salah. The Frenchman’s crosses have become a signature of his play and in providing another seven against the Reds, it was not only his three clearances away from the Toffees boughs that produced a man of the match derby display.
Robert Snodgrass (RM) – Sticking with the Hammers, the man who set up Rice’s opener was Snodgrass who turned in a good performance from the right of midfield. It was his fifth assist of the season and he could have had more if his three other crosses were converted into goals. Snodgrass can be a good creative force down the right hand side, and he showed that side of his game on the weekend.
Jorginho (CM) – The Italian has undergone a lot of criticism in recent months for his lack of goal contributions in matches, but on Sunday he silenced those people. The Italian scored what turned out to be the winner against Fulham with a neat finish from 20 yards. And the goal could turn out to be pivotal when it comes to the race for the top four.
Andreas Pereira (CM) – What a way to score your first Premier League goal. The Brazilian struck a 25 yard beauty to equalise for Manchester United, and that set the stage for his best performance for the club. Pereira took full advantage of his chance in the starting eleven by not only scoring, but by also registering an assist and creating two scoring chances. With United’s midfield full of injuries, the 23 year old could feature more in the coming weeks.
Diogo Jota (LM) – Despite not playing the full 90 minutes, Jota made his influence on the game with a goal and an assist in Wolves’ 2-0 win over Cardiff. The Portuguese finished a fine passing move to give his side the lead after 16 minutes. Jota then turned provider when he set up Raul Jimenez for a close range finish. It was a much needed win after a poor mid-week performance from Wolves and Jota was at the forefront of the performance.
Romelu Lukaku (ST) – It was a five goal thriller at Old Trafford as Manchester United were tested to the very end by Southampton, but it was Lukaku who turned out to be the difference between the two sides. The Belgian scored twice, including a late winner to seal a vital win for the Red Devils. It is the second time in a week that Lukaku has netted a brace, and this form could see him secure his future at the club and win a regular starting XI place after a period of struggle.
Raul Jimenez (ST) – Wolves have conducted some good business, but the loan signing of Jimenez might be top of that list. The Mexican scored his 13th goal of the season when he linked up with Jota for Wolves’ second. Jimenez also provided the final pass of a great one-touch move that was eventually finished off by Jota.
Do you agree with our picks?
Premier League Gameweek 30 sees Arsenal host Manchester United in game of the week
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