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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday Seven

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Each week we delve through the Premier League action and compile our divisional Team of the Week from the fixtures’ finest performances.

It was a weekend of controversy and upsets in the Premier League, with Wolves ending Manchester City’s flawless start to the campaign and Crystal Palace claiming an away win at Manchester United.

There was a drama-filled game in north London as Spurs left it late to beat nine-man Liverpool, while Aston Villa were in electric mood to stun Brighton and record a 10th consecutive home Premier League win.

Once again, we’ve assembled our best XI from the Premier League’s weekend fixtures.

Premier Team of the Week – Matchday Seven:

Goalkeeper: Alisson – Liverpool

It will get lost in Liverpool’s late, and controversial, defeat at Spurs, but the performance from Alisson Becker saw the nine-man Reds come agonisingly close to a result in north London.

The Brazilian was at his brilliant best to make superb stops from James Maddison and Son Heung-min, as Spurs looked to increase the pressure and make their man advantage count. Alisson continually makes extraordinary stops look routine, with Joel Matip’s stoppage time own goal a cruel moment given the goalkeeper’s excellence at Spurs. Currently, the best in the business.

Right-back: Pedro Porro – Tottenham

Another impressive performance from the right-back who is growing in importance at Spurs. Porro did well to deal with the threat of Luis Diaz against Liverpool and made a number of crucial interventions, including one perfectly timed last-ditch block to deny Diaz.

The Spaniard roamed forward to provide threat in the final third and earned his reward with the decisive moment of the game, as Porro’s driven low ball was turned into his own goal by Joel Matip in stoppage time.

Scenes in the 96th minute! 😍 pic.twitter.com/KMyxfYJSfk

— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 30, 2023

There’s a lot to like about Spurs under Ange Postecoglou and Porro is thriving under the Australian’s attacking football.

Centre-back: Joachim Andersen – Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace centre-back remains one of the most underrated defenders in the division and was again a pillar of strength during the club’s 1-0 win at Manchester United.

Andersen’s partnership with Marc Guehi combines presence, athleticism and poise in possession, with the defensive duo outstanding to earn Palace a clean sheet and three points at Old Trafford.

Andersen earns inclusion in our XI over his teammate due to his match-winning moment, as the Danish defender thumped home a wonderful winner to seal just Palace’s fourth Premier League away win in 2023.

Our Dane showing us how to score a Premier League goal at Old Trafford 😃🇩🇰#CPFC | #MUNCRY pic.twitter.com/3snhCQEL4i

— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) September 30, 2023

Centre-back: Craig Dawon – Wolves

Wolves ended Manchester City’s perfect start to the new season with an upset win over the Premier League champions at Molineux.

Craig Dawson was a wall-like presence for Wolves with the veteran defender stifling the threat of Erling Haaland. Dawson read and blocked everything that came his way as Wolves dug deep on occasion, stopping a certain goal early on with a vital interception and making another crucial goal-line clearance. Signed for just £3.3m in January, he has proven to be an inspired signing for this side.

Left-back: Alfie Doughty – Luton Town

Luton are up and running in the Premier League after securing the club’s first top-flight win since 1992 at Everton. Alfie Doughty was instrumental to the three points for Rob Edwards’ side, with his six chances created a leading total among Premier League players from Saturday’s fixtures.

The left wing-back also led the league for crosses and successful crosses, with his set-piece delivery causing countless problems for Everton at Goodison Park. Doughty’s delivery led to Luton’s opener as Tom Lockyer showed desire to turn in a rebound, before the 23-year-old registered his first Premier League assist after picking out the unmarked Carlton Morris with a free-kick. Luton’s set-piece strength will be crucial to their chances of survival this season.

Midfield: Douglas Luiz – Aston Villa

A consistently excellent box-to-box presence in an Aston Villa team dreaming of challenging the Premier League’s top teams. Luiz, Boubacar Kamara and John McGinn simply outworked and bullied Brighton, as Unai Emery’s side stunned the Seagulls with a 6-1 win at Villa Park.

Luiz recorded a 93% pass accuracy, won three tackles and five ground duels, while he became just the second Villa player to score in five consecutive Premier League home games and the first since Dwight Yorke in 1996.

1996 – Douglas Luiz has become only the second player to score in five consecutive home Premier League appearances for Aston Villa, after Dwight Yorke in December 1996. Streak. pic.twitter.com/qiEJcyGfF9

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 30, 2023

Midfield: Martin Odegaard – Arsenal

Involved in everything as Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win at Bournemouth. Odegaard’s cross into the box contributed to the opener for Bukayo Saka, before the midfielder stepped up confidently to score a second from the penalty spot for Arsenal.

The Norwegian won a second penalty, which he selflessly allowed Kai Havertz to convert for his first Arsenal goal, and claimed an assist as Ben White met his free-kick to head home a fourth late on. Odegaard is among the most watchable players in the league in this mood, a performance in which the midfielder was at the hub of everything good from Arsenal.

Midfield: James Maddison – Tottenham

Maddison ran the game on occasion during Tottenham’s 2-1 win at Liverpool, with the midfielder thriving in the pockets of space created as the visitors were reduced to nine men. Maddison made the opening goal with an outstanding through ball to Richarlison who squared for Son Heung-min and twice tested Alisson with efforts from range.

The 26-year-old has looked so silky and so smooth in his opening weeks in a Spurs shirt, a footballer who rival sides might just be regretting overlooking after Leicester’s relegation last season. Even at a fee of £40m, Maddison looks superb business from Spurs and the perfect player for Postecoglou to build around.

Right-wing: Jarrod Bowen – West Ham

Bowen’s on fire. West Ham’s popular terrace chant is ringing true this season with the winger having started the season in a real goalscoring groove. Bowen took his total to five goals in seven Premier League games this season, after opening the scoring against Sheffield United with a lovely first-time finish to conclude a wonderful team move.

The 26-year-old has looked sharp and clinical in the season’s opening weeks as he pushes for an England recall, with David Moyes believing Bowen has never been better.

The combination play 🤩
The finish 😍 pic.twitter.com/fQqZlGl9M4

— West Ham United (@WestHam) September 30, 2023

“He’s as good as he’s ever been at the moment, he really is. He’s sharp, he’s quick, he’s a threat. It was a lovely finish today but more importantly his all-round game has got much better,” Moyes told Match of the Day.

Left-wing: Moussa Diaby – Aston Villa

Moussa Diaby continued the strong start to his Premier League career as Aston Villa produced their best performance of the season to hit Brighton for six.

Diaby added two assists to his growing collection, first releasing Ollie Watkins for Villa’s second of the afternoon before his shot deflected in off Pervis Estupinan for an own goal. The Frenchman is a livewire in attack and has developed an impressive chemistry with Watkins in the final third. He looks the part as the club’s record signing.

Forward: Ollie Wakins – Aston Villa

Simply unplayable. Watkins sent a message to the watching Gareth Southgate after scoring his second hat-trick of the season for Aston Villa in front of the England manager.

Brighton had no answer for Watkins’ work-rate and movement in behind, with the 27-year-old turning in Matty Cash’s cross for the opener and showcasing fine footwork and composure to slam home a second. His third came with a slice of luck after deflecting in, but it was the fortune Watkins deserved after a performance full of attacking endeavour and aggression.

⚽⚽⚽ 🆚 Liverpool (2020/21)
⚽⚽⚽ 🆚 Brighton (2023/24)

Ollie Watkins’ second @PremierLeague hat-trick! 🎩 pic.twitter.com/rSMUXPZKin

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 30, 2023

It’s now seven goals and assists in seven Premier League appearances for Watkins this season. An England recall looks likely.

Read – Noughties Nines: Andriy Shevchenko – Rossoneri royalty

Read Also – Iconic Duos: Shearer and Sutton – Blackburn’s ‘SAS’

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