By Neil Leverett and Niall Clarke
- After an extended Gameweek, Manchester City are the stars of the show, with four places in our XI of the week
- Chelsea grab two spots after wins against Cardiff City and Brighton & Hove Albion
- Wins also for Liverpool and Arsenal who go third, whilst Tottenham Hotspur win opening game in new stadium
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – After a week of double top flight duty for many, Manchester City take the plaudits and sit top of the tree with just a handful of games left, but who else made our XI?
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Goalkeeper & Defenders
Neil Etheridge (GK) – What a strange week for goalkeepers. Those that kept clean sheets hardly had much to do in their matches with Ederson having to make only a single save in two matches. So despite failing to keep a clean sheet and conceding four in the gameweek overall, Etheridge was the best performing goalie. He made a total for 14 saves in the two games against Chelsea and Manchester City, and despite conceding two to both sides, he was hardly at fault for any of them. If not for their number one, Cardiff City could have been on the end of a thrashing which may prove critical come the end of the season.
Ricardo Pereira (RB) – Leicester continued their winning ways under Brendan Rodgers with a well deserved 2-0 win at home to Bournemouth on Saturday. Pereira has been a key feature in the Foxes’ defence this season and once again the Portuguese was put in a fine performance at both ends of the pitch. Pereira made two clearances, sent in two crosses, created two scoring chances and took one shot in Saturday’s 2-0 victory, showing why he is one of the most complete full-backs in the Premier League.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) – There are not many centre-backs better than Laporte in world football and once again he put in two very controlled performances for Manchester City on the way to a clean sheet. The Frenchman also contributed at the other end, setting up Kevin De Bruyne’s opener in their 2-0 win at home to the Bluebirds. It is clear that Laporte will be a big factor in City’s bid to win the quadruple which makes you wonder how he never gets selected for France.
Kurt Zouma (CB) – The ease in which Everton were able to defeat West Ham United on Saturday was quite surprising, however Marco Silva will not care as he claimed a much needed 2-0 win. Defence has been the problem for the Toffees this season, but they are starting to look more reliable with the improved performances of Zouma. The Frenchman was solid at the back and scored Everton’s opener after just five minutes, setting the tone for the game.
Andy Robertson (LB) – It was a good week for left-backs with Luke Shaw also putting in one of the assists of the season against Watford, but overall Robertson came on top in our Game of the Week. His delicious cross set up Roberto Firmino’s opener in Liverpool’s nervy 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. The Scotsman was once again tireless as he flew up and down the left hand side as he put in four crosses on the day.
Christian Eriksen (CM) – After a shocking run of games seeing Spurs without a win in five games – losing four in the process – the Lilywhites’ Danish delight was back on song as the hosts rang in their new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a much-needed Premier League win against Crystal Palace. Scoring and assisting against the Eagles, Eriksen also made it a trio of set-ups in supplying Lucas Moura at Anfield to ensure an edgy conclusion for title-chasing Liverpool. The Lilywhites remain firmly in the top four picture, but if they are to guarantee top table European competition next term, Eriksen will have to be at his mercurial best for the remainder of the campaign.
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – City’s Belgian maestro has been largely overshadowed after a frustrating season of injury, but is now showing glimpses of his best at the business end of the footballing calendar. De Bruyne scored just his second goal of the season from the angle in perhaps rather fortuitous circumstances, but his seven shots on goal in total over the the double gameweek see the Belgian getting his sights back in.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) – Chelsea’s enigmatic midfielder is now rather forcing himself into Maurizio Sarri‘s first XI reckoning such have his contributions been not just in the past week, but over recent weeks. Coming off the bench to grab the Blues’ vital winner against Cardiff, Loftus-Cheek played 81 minutes against Brighton and notched a second of the week – assisting Eden Hazard to boot. Reduced to just Europa League berths, the England man could find himself in the spotlight for Chelsea’s run-in.
Bernardo Silva (RW) – It’s now six goals and eight assist for the Portuguese as he firmly holds Riyad Mahrez to a bench role on the wide right. Despite playing just one game of the week, Bernardo set the early tone in City’s Thameside romp against Fulham and netted in the fifth-minute whilst setting up colleague Kun Aguero later in the game.
Raul Jimenez (ST) – Wolves’ Mexican hitman proved again to be the man in the Black Country that saw the hosts win their second game in almost as many weeks against Manchester United. Having been rested away to Cardiff, Jimenez showed his full set of skills but failing to net to setting up both Diogo Jota and Leander Dendoncker‘s eventual winner at Molineux. Jimenez has more than goals to his game and after Nuno Espirito Santo sealed the permanent signing of his man for £30m, Wolves fans have a lot to look forward to.
Eden Hazard (LW) – It has been rather a checkered campaign for Hazard – still with an eye on a move to Real Madrid in the summer – but the Belgian put on a tour-de-force at Stamford Bridge in midweek. Supplying four key passes and goal against Chris Hughton‘s men, Hazard made light work of the Seagulls’ back line and threw his hat into the ring for performance of the week.
Do you agree with our picks? Get in touch.
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