Round seven of the Premier League saw Liverpool’s perfect start continue, a struggling Newcastle thrashed by in-form Leicester, while the once eagerly anticipated Manchester United-Arsenal rivalry produced a predictably disappointing draw.
It’s that time of the week again when we compile our dream XI following the weekend’s action, so here is The Football Faithful‘s Premier League Team of the Week…
Goalkeeper: Ederson – Manchester City
The champions did not have it all their own way against an out-of-sorts Everton, despite coming away with a 3-1 victory at Goodison Park. Their Brazilian international was called into action on several occasions during a testing encounter on Merseyside, making a series of brilliant stops, notably from the towering Yerry Mina.
Pep Guardiola’s side’s abundance of possession often means the 26-year-old’s concentration levels are key, though he showed this weekend why he’s regarded as one of the best in the division.
Right-back: Ricardo Pereira – Leicester
Fast becoming one of the Premier League‘s finest full-backs, the Portugal international makes our team for the second successive week. A constant outlet for his side down the right-hand side, capping a solid display with a stunning goal to open the scoring against Newcastle.
Picking the ball up inside his own half, the 25-year-old exchanged passes with former Magpie Ayoze Perez before heading on a solo run, his pace taking him away from Sean Longstaff and Christian Atsu before firing home.
It was a second goal in as many games for the rampaging right-back, who looks set to play a key role as in-form Leicester chase European qualification this season.
Ricardo Pereira has now scored in back-to-back games in the Premier League this season.
— ComeOnLeicester.com (@Come0nLeicester) September 29, 2019
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool
To win a championship, you need to win ugly and Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders showed their capability to do just that with a hard-fought win at newly-promoted Sheffield United.
On a day when their front three failed to fire, Liverpool‘s defence ensured they remained in with a chance at Bramall Lane before securing the win through a fortuitous goal from Georginio Wijnaldum.
Some have suggested the reigning PFA Player of the Year is yet to hit last season’s levels, but he was back to his best with a commanding performance in South Yorkshire this weekend.
Centre-back: Joel Matip – Liverpool
Van Dijk’s central defensive partner has continued his improvement in recent months, with another dominant performance to ensure Liverpool left Sheffield with a clean sheet this weekend.
No player with over 10 duels has a better success rate than Matip for aerial duels this season, whilst the 28-year-old’s deceptive ability to bring the ball out from the back has made him the perfect foil alongside his Dutch teammate.
Despite the criticism over a lack of clean sheets so far this season, the 1-0 win at Sheffield United being just their second of the campaign, it should be remembered that the league leaders still have the equal best defensive record in the division.
Left-back: Aaron Cresswell – West Ham
A second goal in as many weeks for the West Ham left-back, who has made a huge impact since being restored to Manuel Pellegrini’s side in the absence of the suspended Arthur Masuaku.
His stunning free-kick against Manchester United last weekend was followed by a crucial equaliser at Bournemouth, being in the right place at the right time to earn his side a point and continue their six-game unbeaten run.
Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne – Manchester City
How do you stop the brilliant Belgian? The Manchester City star is almost becoming a shoo-in in our Team of the Week this season following his performance levels over the opening weeks of the new campaign.
Despite perhaps not being as influential as he has in recent fixtures, De Bruyne’s quality still shone through on Merseyside with a brace of assists, the first a pinpoint delivery for Gabriel Jesus to open the scoring.
The midfielder already has a barely believable eight assists in the first seven fixtures of the new season, twice as many as any other player, and surely looks on course to break Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20 in a single campaign.
Kevin De Bruyne has now provided more than 50% of the assists needed to win the Premier League Playmaker award in 2018/19 (15).
8 assists. 7 games. pic.twitter.com/QRgze2eINF
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 28, 2019
Midfield: John McGinn – Aston Villa
The stand-out player for Dean Smith’s side since their return to the Premier League, the Scotland midfielder was at the heart of the action in Aston Villa‘s 2-2 draw with Burnley on Saturday.
Creative with the ball and tenacious when without, finding himself on the scoresheet for the second successive game to take his early season tally to three.
McGinn is the best player I’ve seen at Villa Park for years – not even a conversation, quite simply a fact #avfc
— HomeOfTheVilla (@TheVillaHome) September 28, 2019
Right-wing: Riyad Mahrez – Manchester City
The Algerian is finally starting to show the form that persuaded Pep Guardiola to make him Manchester City’s then record-signing in 2018, with the winger again shining in City’s 3-1 win at Everton on Saturday evening.
After being at his creative best in the 8-0 thrashing of Watford last time out, Mahrez again showed he was capable of making a difference, capping a fine display by scoring a low free-kick to put his side ahead.
Left-wing: Andriy Yarmolenko – West Ham
Another West Ham player enjoying somewhat of a renaissance after returning to first-team action, the Ukrainian international has bounced back from his serious Achilles injury to emerge as a key figure in Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
It’s now three goals in four games for the former Borussia Dortmund star, who produced another superb finish in the Hammers 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. Featuring alongside the likes of Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller, the East London outfit look to have the attacking options to make a push for Europe this season.
Andriy Yarmolenko scored 99 goals in 228 league games at Dynamo Kiev. West Ham signed him for just £18m.
The most underrated Premier League player? 🤷🏽♂️#PremierLeague | #WHFC | #WestHam
— Footy Feels (@FootyFeels) September 29, 2019
Forward: Jamie Vardy – Leicester
It’s now 14 goals in just 17 Leicester appearances under Brendan Rodgers for Vardy, who hit a double as the Foxes thrashed a thoroughly useless Newcastle 5-0 at the King Power Stadium.
Despite his not so tender age 32, the former England forward is showing no signs of slowing down, and looks set to spearhead Leicester’s charge for European qualification.
Talk of a top four finish has been tentatively muted such has been the form of Rodgers’ exciting young side, though their experienced forward remains the key figurehead behind their impressive run.
Forward: Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
A huge win for Tottenham, who somehow managed to beat Southampton despite seemingly attempting to self-destruct.
Serge Aurier’s stupidity to get himself booked twice in the first half was ill-advised, whilst captain Hugo Lloris’ attempt at a Cruyff-turn on his own goal-line presented Danny Ings with a gift to equalise.
Spurs must be thankful they have a finisher such as Kane in their ranks, the England captain firing home a calm winner to cap a flowing attacking move. A battling display and the three points helped ease the pressure currently surrounding Mauricio Pochettino, and the club will need Kane to continue his recent form as they bid to overcome their difficult start to the season.
— COYS.com (@COYS_com) September 30, 2019
See also – Premier League Weekend: Heroes and Villains