Premier League Team of the Week inclusion, Harvey Barnes, scores for Newcastle
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Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 30

Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 30:

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

Goalkeeper: Arijanet Muric – Burnley

Arijanet Muric has taken his chance in the Burnley team since replacing James Trafford in goal, with the Kosovo international having helped the Clarets to four points from two games. After an encouraging outing in the win over Brentford before the international break, Muric was outstanding in thwarting Chelsea with a string of saves this weekend.

The 25-year-old made 11 saves, with eight coming from shots inside the box, to earn 10-man Burnley a point at Stamford Bridge. His 20 completed long balls brought Burnley up the pitch, while a goals-prevented figure of 2.38 underlined his importance to this result.

Now just four points from safety, Burnley might not be done just yet.

 

Right-back: Ezri Konsa – Aston Villa

Ezri Konsa completed a perfect week after scoring in Aston Villa’s 2-0 win over Wolves. After earning an England debut during the international break, the 26-year-old continued a career-best campaign with another assured outing for Unai Emery’s side.

He used the ball effectively at right-back with 94.1% pass accuracy and won 5/8 ground duels. A solid showing was capped with a fortuitous second goal, as the defender’s dinked cross dipped in at the far post.

Centre-back William Saliba – Arsenal

William Saliba’s absence from this fixture last season saw Arsenal badly miss his influence and the Frenchman added his usual cool and calm in their goalless draw at Manchester City.

Saliba is so often in the right place at the right time to make a difference defensively and his reading of the game is elite. He led his Arsenal teammates for touches (50), possession won (8), duels won (8), clearances (5) and possession won in the middle third (4).

In two league games against Erling Haaland this season, he’s restricted the Norwegian to zero shots on target.

Centre-back: Gabriel – Arsenal

Gabriel revelled in the physical battle with Haaland, a display full of dogged determination and a smattering of shithousery.

The Brazilian made some big blocks and put his body on the line for the Arsenal cause, a warrior-like performance to complement the more serene Saliba. That duo have been integral to Arsenal’s title challenge this season with the Gunners boasting the best defensive record in the division.

Left-back: Josko Gvardiol – Manchester City

Amid the disappointment of dropped points against Arsenal, a positive for the Premier League champions will be an encouraging performance from Josko Gvardiol. The defender has failed to set the world alight during his debut campaign at the Etihad but produced one of his best performances for the Citizens in an unfavored left-back role this weekend.

He dominated his battle with Bukayo Saka, ending the first half with a 100% success rate in his duels, tackles and dribbles while supplying five crosses at the opposite end. In contrast, Saka failed to complete a single dribble, cross or create a chance across the opening 45 minutes.

Midfield: Josh Cullen – Burnley

Josh Cullen celebrated a first Premier League goal this weekend and what a strike, as the midfielder struck an outside-of-the-boot effort to equalise for his side at Chelsea.

The Republic of Ireland international claimed the Clarets’ Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards last term, but alongside his teammates has found the step up into the top tier challenging.

This was a much-improved performance against Chelsea’s expensively assembled midfield, protecting his back four well in a disciplined performance and offering quality further forward, including the assist for Dara O’Shea’s goal.

Midfield: Alexis Mac Allister – Liverpool

A magnificent performance from Mac Allister, who is one of the in-form players in the Premier League right now. The Argentine ran proceedings against former club Brighton, with his passing range the key to unlocking the Seagulls at Anfield.

Liverpool’s orchestrator from midfield, he crafted the Reds’ winner with a perfect touch and slide pass into Mohamed Salah. His dictating of the tempo of the game did not impact his off-the-ball contribution either, as the 25-year-old doubled down on his defensive work. Excellent in all areas.

Right-wing: Brennan Johnson – Tottenham

Not for the first time this season, the game-changer for Tottenham. Johnson came off the bench to help turn around the game against Luton, adding an instant injection of energy and quality in the final third.

He forced the own goal from Issa Kabore with a whipped ball after exchanging passes with Pedro Porro, and came agonisingly close to scoring a goal of his own, before setting up Son Heung-min’s winner.

He’s slowly developing into the perfect wide player for an Ange Postecoglou team.

Left-wing: Harvey Barnes – Newcastle

Newcastle’s hero after two goals off the bench to settle a thrilling tie with West Ham at St James’ Park. Barnes made an instant impact after his introduction, forcing Lukasz Fabianski into a good save, before bringing the Magpies level after beating the offside trap.

He completed the comeback with a 90th-minute winner, side-stepping a challenge from Kalvin Phillips before bending an unstoppable effort into the far corner. This could just be lift-off for the former Leicester man, after a frustrating first season in the North East.

Forward: Oli McBurnie – Sheffield United

Battled brilliantly against Fulham’s centre-back in a display which showed the Scot’s merit to this side. He created the opening goal with a moment of quality as he arced an outside-of-the-boot cross into the path of Ben Brereton Diaz.

McBurnie then scored the second himself as Brereton Diaz returned the favour, for his third goal in his last four appearances at Bramall Lane.

The 27-year-old is now Sheffield United’s second-highest goalscorer of the Premier League era, with only Brian Deane having netted more.

Forward: Alexander Isak – Newcastle

Two cool and confident penalties from the Swedish striker as Newcastle edged an entertaining contest with West Ham at St James’ Park. Isak sent Alphonse Areola the wrong way from the spot early on, before doing the same to Lukasz Fabianski after a change in goal from the visitors.

He added an assist for the equaliser with a defence-splitting pass to find Harvey Barnes’ run in behind. Involved throughout, dropping deep to link with the midfield, his fitness could determine Newcastle’s chances of European football for next season.

Read – Tweets of the Week: Sandro Tonali, migrant league, the Kane curse

See more – Ranking the five best central midfielders in the world right now

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