Premier League Team of the Week - Harry Wilson and Rodrigo Muniz
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Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 27

Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 27:

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

Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola – West Ham

David Moyes rushed to Alphonse Areola at full-time at Everton and with good reason, as the goalkeeper’s heroics helped earn an ordinary West Ham three points at Goodison Park. The Frenchman made a fine save from Beto in open play and another from the forward’s penalty with the games goalless, before another sprawl stropped Dwight McNeil scoring a certain goal.

Moyes has found himself under scrutiny in recent weeks, but back-to-back wins have relieved some of that pressure ahead of a European tie with Freiburg this week. Areola, man of the match by some distance, came up big for his manager when needed.

“Alphonse’s goalkeeping and his saves have been great,” Moyes said.

“You could hear the crowd here chanting his name here today and quite rightly so. He deserves all the plaudits he’s been given.”

Centre-back: Cristian Romero – Tottenham

Led the charge as Tottenham came from behind to beat Crystal Palace and strengthen their top-four hopes. Romero completed 117 passes at a 92.9% accuracy and won 6/8 aerial duels in a towering performance, while he got above Joel Ward to nod in the winner for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

His four goals in the Premier League this season are a joint-leading total among defenders, alongside Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhães.

Centre-back: Fabian Schar – Newcastle

Made an important early challenge to prevent Pedro Neto from going through and orchestrated Newcastle’s attacking moves with his distribution from deep.

Schar set Anthony Gordon away in the build-up to the opener and was involved again to release Joe Willock for the second. The Swiss centre-back then provided the assist for Tino Livramento to wrap up the win over Wolves, an accomplished performance in response to a shaky showing at Arsenal last weekend.

Centre-back: Calvin Bassey – Fulham

Calvin Bassey has grown into his debut season at Fulham and has been instrumental in the club’s upturn in form since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations. Against Brighton, he was a powerful presence to stop the Seagull’s threat and quick on the cover to snuff out dangerous attacks.

He has formed a solid partnership with Tosin Adarabioyo and Fulham will be hoping the latter can be persuaded to sign a new deal, with the defensive duo providing the foundation for Fulham’s late push for Europe. Back-to-back wins over Manchester United and Brighton have raised hopes of a late challenge for continental football.

Midfield: Lewis Cook – Bournemouth

Lewis Cook provided both assists as Bournemouth got back on track with a 2-0 win at Burnley. The midfielder is perhaps one of the Premier League’s most underrated performers in the Cherries engine room, though there are several on the south coast who believe the 27-year-old should be pushing for an England call-up alongside teammate Dominic Solanke.

A hooked pass over the top sent Justin Kluivert in for the opening goal and Cook’s long passes caused the Clarets problems all afternoon. A regular switch to Antoine Semenyo proved to be a feature and it was that combination that sealed Bournemouth’s first win of 2024 late on.

Midfield: Bruno Guimaraes – Newcastle

The Magpies midfielder oozed quality in possession and was the driving force behind his side’s comfortable 3-0 win over Wolves.

A burst forward from the Brazilian led to the opening goal for Alexander Isak, while he was tenacious in his work off the ball with 7/11 duels won and a 100% tackle success rate at St James’ Park.

Guimaraes created three chances and came close to an exquisite assist after picking out Miguel Almiron with a no-look pass, after some initial intricate footwork to escape a Wolves challenge.

Midfield: Phil Foden – Manchester City

Pep Guardiola called Phil Foden the best player in the Premier League after his Manchester Derby double and he has certainly been the man for the big occasion for City in recent weeks.

Foden was head and shoulders above all else on the pitch at the Etihad this weekend, scoring a spectacular equaliser after Marcus Rashford’s opener for the visitors, before a give-and-go with Julian Alvarez to slide in a second.

Foden is in the form of his career right now and is among the most decisive players in Europe. That Manchester City’s homegrown diamond is getting better and better is hugely exciting for both the Citizens and England.

Right-wing: Harry Wilson – Fulham

A wand of a left foot is overused terminology in football but it’s certainly apt when describing that of Harry Wilson. The Wales winger scored one and created another in Fulham’s 3-0 win over Brighton, opening the scoring as he cut inside and bent a trademark finish into the top corner.

A wonderfully weighted cross was then met by the in-form Rodrigo Munez to double the lead, two moments of real quality in the final third that set the tone for an impressive three points. Full of work-rate and driving runs all afternoon, Fulham are a better side with Wilson in this mood.

Left-wing: Timo Werner – Tottenham

You’ve got to admire Timo Werner’s attitude. The German looked set to be the fall guy after missing a glorious one-vs-one chance against Crystal Palace, but kept going and found Spurs a route back into the game.

The forward scored his first goal since arriving on loan from RB Leipzig as he slammed in from Brennan Johnson’s cross and was full of characteristic hard work and dangerous runs in behind.

Ange Postecoglou’s decision to bring Werner back to the Premier League represented a risk given an underwhelming spell at Chelsea, but the 27-year-old has been a good addition to this team and looks to be finding his feet in the Spurs side.

Forward: Rodrigo Muniz – Fulham

Sometimes for a footballer, it just clicks.

Rodrigo Muniz has been a revelation for Fulham since January in an unforeseen resurrection of his career with the Cottagers. The big Brazilian made it five goals in five games with another against Brighton, in a performance that saw the 22-year-old, not for the first time in recent weeks, prove a real handful.

His hold-up was excellent including one battle with the Brighton backline to flick on for Harry Wilson’s opener, before he met a cross from the Welsh winger to double the lead. There’s a tenacity and physical focal point that Fulham have lacked since Aleksandar Mitrovic’s exit, and with the goals now flowing there will be high hopes Muniz is the man to fill that void for the long term.

Forward: Ollie Watkins – Aston Villa

The difference as Aston Villa’s top-four push continued with a rollercoaster win at Luton, as Watkins scored his 15th and 16th goals of the Premier League campaign at Kenilworth Road. Watkins set a new personal best in a top-flight campaign with two excellent goals in the first half, heading home Leon Bailey’s corner after finding himself unmarked for the opener.

His second was superb and evidence of the confidence running through the 28-year-old right now, as he cushioned Douglas Luiz’s long free-kick with a perfect first touch and wrapped a finish into the bottom corner.

Watkins said at full-time he is eyeing a place at the European Championship after missing out on recent major tournaments with England and he should look forward to a summer with the Three Lions. Barring injury, he’s on the plane. Gareth Southgate could not go without him in current form.

Read – Tough nuts: Five of the hardest footballers to ever grace the British game

See more – Tweets of the Week: Wonky Messi, Bowen celebration, droning Drury

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