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Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 12

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

Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 12:

Goalkeeper: Wes Foderingham – Sheffield United

Sheffield United have breathed life into their survival bid with four points from two games, with the Blades battling to a hard-fought draw at Brighton this weekend.

Wes Foderingham has been the busiest goalkeeper in the Premier League this season and was again called into action on a regular basis at the Amex Stadium, with the 32-year-old making good saves from Ansu Fati and Billy Gilmour.

Foderingham made another stop at his near post from Karou Mitoma’s effort, as the Blades moved off the bottom of the table.

Right-back: Reece James – Chelsea

Reece James faced one of the Premier League’s toughest tasks on current form this weekend, but the Chelsea captain stood firm in his bid to shutdown Manchester City winger Jeremy Doku.

James made five tackles in the first half alone, just one less than the entire Manchester City side combined, while no player created more chances (2). The 23-year-old won 7/9 of his duels in the game and provided the assist for Raheem Sterling’s goal in an effective performance at both ends of the pitch.

Centre-back: Victor Lindelof – Manchester United

The unlikely hero for Erik ten Hag, just when the Manchester United manager needed one. The club’s Champions League collapse at Copenhagen had piled the pressure on ahead of this weekend, but Lindelof’s emphatic effort earned the Red Devils a much needed 1-0 win against Luton.

A flat attacking performance had seen Manchester United miss a host of chances, before Lindelof smashed home from inside the area just before the hour. The Sweden international’s selection ahead of Raphael Varane was justified, with the defender’s match-winning goal coming alongside an assured performance at centre-back. He completed 94.7% of his passes, made three clearances and won three aerial duels.

Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool

A monstrous performance from Virgil van Dijk, who is back to making defending look ridiculously easy. Jurgen Klopp had called Brentford a ‘super challenging’ game for the Reds and highlighted the Bees’ set-piece threat, but Van Dijk’s defensive dominance allowed Liverpool to navigate the contest in comfortable fashion.

The Dutch defender won 9/11 duels and completed 10/10 long passes, producing some wonderful raking passes from deep. On this form, he’s back to a status as the Premier League’s best centre-back.

Left-back: Oleksandr Zinchenko – Arsenal

Back to his best as Arsenal’s auxiliary extra man in midfield. Zinchenko inverted into the centre of the pitch as the Gunners took control against Burnley, with the left-back outstanding in all areas of his side’s 3-1 win.

Zinchenko led the game for touches (116), passes into the final third (45), duels won (14), aerial duels won (7) and tackles (5), with the Ukrainian serving as the hub of Mikel Arteta’s team as Arsenal returned to winning ways in north London.

His goal was also straight out of the top-drawer. The 26-year-old showcased sumptuous technique to scissor-kick home his side’s third of the game.

Midfield: James Ward-Prowse – West Ham

James Ward-Prowse continues to make a mockery of his England exclusion, with the midfielder crucial to a much needed West Ham win against Nottingham Forest. The 29-year-old has been a perfect fit since signing for the Irons from Southampton and took his total to nine assists and two goals in 15 games in all competitions.

Ward-Prowse dead-ball expertise caused countless problems for Forest, with Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek benefitting from the midfielder’s deliveries to turn home. Ward-Prowse has now provided 17 assists from set pieces since the start of the 2020/21 campaign, seven more than any other Premier League player in that time.

He offers far more that the headline grabbing set-pieces however, with work-rate and leadership in the West Ham engine room.

Midfield: Pablo Sarabia – Wolves

It takes something special to earn a place in our Team of the Week after entering the pitch in the 87th minute, but Pablo Sarabia produced just that in a game-changing cameo for Wolves this weekend. The Spaniard scored a sensational equaliser just four minutes after entering the game against Spurs, with a flawless first touch and volley combination to level the game.

Sarabia then turned from goalscorer to provider after setting up Mario Lemina’s late winner, as Wolves scored twice in stoppage time to snatch a dramatic win. Sarabia’s was the latest introduction a Premier League player has made before scoring and assisting in the same game. What an impact.

Right-wing: Cole Palmer – Chelsea

Cole Palmer proved a point to his former side as the 21-year-old earned Chelsea a late point against Manchester City. Palmer was brilliant once again to continue his superb start since leaving City in search of regular first-team football last summer.

A defence-splitting through ball helped set up Chelsea’s second goal in an end-to-end 4-4 draw with the Premier League champions, before Palmer showed ice-cool temperament to slam home a stoppage time equaliser from the spot against his old employers.

He has, quite firmly, looked the part since signing for Chelsea.

Left-wing: Raheem Sterling – Chelsea

Unplayable at times, former Manchester City teammate Kyle Walker will not have a tougher game all season.

Sterling sent the perfect response to his latest England snub with a brilliant performance in Chelsea’s thrilling draw with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. He’s been fantastic for much of the campaign and continued that form against his old side, with Walker struggling up against the sharpness and acceleration of the Chelsea winger.

Forward: Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

Another well-taken brace made it 15 consecutive home games with a goal or assist for Salah in the Premier League, a run only Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry have ever bettered. The Egyptian is putting together another superb season in a red shirt and took his total to 10 goals in 12 league games during the current campaign.

Salah was slipped in by Darwin Nunez for his opener as the duo’s encouraging understanding continues to blossom, before scoring a second with a fine header from Kostas Tsimikas’ cross. That second goal was Salah’s 200th in English football in all competitions, while he has now been directly involved 118 goals in 117 appearances for Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League.

The 31-year-old is both remarkable and relentless.

Forward: Dominic Solanke – Bournemouth

Dominic Solankle’s work-ethic was rewarded with both goals as Bournemouth beat Newcastle to climb out of the Premier League’s bottom three. Solanke held the ball up impressively to provide an outlet for the Cherries and was alert to open the scoring, after latching on to a fortuitous break to slam the ball inside Nick Pope’s near post.

Solanke’s second was scrambled in from a set piece and it’s now six for the season for the 26-year-old, in what has been a quietly impressive start to the campaign despite Bournemouth’s struggles. The forward has already matched his Premier League total from last season and will be key to the Cherries’ hopes of climbing away from the relegation dogfight.

Read – Tweets of the Week: Paul Merson gets the last laugh as Trippier confronts fans

Read more – Six Premier League stars bouncing back after being written off

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