Premier League Team of the Week: Match Week 3

GK- Rui Patricio, Wolverhampton Wanderers

It was a momentous Saturday afternoon in Wolverhampton as Wolves stood toe to toe with the defending champions Manchester City and rightly earned a 1-1 draw at the Molineux. Patricio, a summer signing from (you guessed it) Portugal, made himself the talking point of the afternoon for the newly promoted side, as his heroics kept Wolves in the match. With proceedings till tied at 0-0 in the 21st minute, City winger Raheem Sterling rifled a stunningly hit beauty of a shot that looked certain to curl into the top left hand corner, and establish another predictable lead for the boys in blue. Cue a superhuman leap from Patricio, as his cheetah-like reflexes helped him palm the Englishman’s shot away, perhaps securing himself the save of season award in week 3 of the campaign. Couple his highlight with consistent distribution and confident leadership out of the back, and this Portuguese international has officially announced himself in the Prem.

LB- Marcos Alonso, Chelsea

Coming into the season many believed that new manager Maurizio Sarri would prefer Emerson Palmieri over the more attack minded and often rambunctious Alonso. The Spaniard is quickly silencing his doubters as his role in Sarri-ball is becoming increasingly vital as the weeks progress. Against an extremely frustrating and defensive Newcastle, Alonso was key to the 82% possession maintained by the Londoners, helping Jorginho keep time like a metronome. He also plays a substantial role in covering for N’golo Kante, whom Sarri has given a more advanced role in the 4-3-3, and Alonso did a fantastic job of maintaining defensive consistency while the Frenchman better adapts to his role. Cap all that off with a winning goal, and its clear that Marcos certainly deserves his spot here.

CB- Harry Maguire, Leicester City

The World Cup semi-finalist continued his exceptional rise in prominence this weekend, as his daisy cutter from outside the box proved to be the winner in stoppage time for the foxes. He executed the chance brilliantly, looking more like a Harry Kane than a Harry Maguire. On the defensive front, it was more of the same from Maguire, keeping his composure and making intelligent decisions at the back, looking more and more the heir to Wes Morgan as the defensive leader in the heart of this midlands side.

Rui Patricio may have pulled off the save of the season against Manchester City. Image: The Sun

CB- Toby Alderweireld, Tottenham Hotspurs

After being publicly pursued by Jose Mourinho and Manchester United throughout the summer, the Belgian threw up the defensive equivalent of the middle finger to the Red Devils in Spur’s 3-0 victory at Old Trafford. Alderweireld successfully nullified every new game plan implemented by Mourinho: he kept up with the speedy and clinical Lukaku, stopped the creativity of Alexis Sanchez, and kept the aerial threat of Marouane Fellaini at bay. While his partner Jan Vertoghen performed admirably alongside Toby, the former Atletico Madrid star performed his duties with a swagger and assuredness that made him the standout performer on a pitch full of Spurs superstars.

RB- Jose Holebas, Watford

I know, Holebas is technically a left back as well; however it was an impressive week for left-sided defenders across the league. From Alonso scoring the winner for Chelsea, and Ryan Bertrand scoring a phenomenal goal from outside the box against Leicester, Holebas stood out from the pack. His delivery from wide positions was pinpoint against Crystal Palace, and he was a tireless worker up and down the pitch for the hornets. He even scored the best left back goal you’ll see all weekend! Was it a shot? Was it a cross? Only Holebas knows, but it will please Watford fans either way as they sit in third place after three matches.

LM- Roberto Pereyra, Watford 

Starting out by operating on the left flank, Pereyra slowly began appearing all over the pitch against Palace. After being sidelined by what seemed like a continuous stream of injuries, a healthy Pereyra has given the Hornets added creativity and technique that they lacked towards the end of a disappointing campaign last term. For the former Juventus magician, it was pass and move against Palace, as he combined with the next member of the list to swarm Roy Hodgson’s side and dispatch a phenomenal finish into the right corner. More explosive performances for Pereyra, and we could easily see Watford contend for a Europa League spot this season.

CM- Etienne Capoue, Watford 

We’ve talked about the goal, now lets talk about the assist. The Frenchman took on the entire Palace midfield by himself, picking up the ball in his own half and barging through opponent after opponent into the box, only to expertly find Pereyra on the edge of the box. Capoue has taken his game to a whole other dimension since leaving Tottenham, adding accurate passing to his already imposing physique, and his evolution is coming at just the right time for the ascending Hornets.

Jean Michael Seri celebrates his incredible goal against Burnley. Image: Fox Sports

CM- Jean Michael Seri, Fulham

It took two matches, but the Jean Michael Seri sought after by the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal finally arrived for Fulham against Burnley. It only took four minutes too, as the OGC Nice import took a speculative shot that found the top corner and turned up the volume on the Clarets. Confidence oozed from the exciting prospect following his highlight reel moment, as the “true six” aspect of his game overwhelmed Burnley, breaking up counterattacks and instigating quick Fulham counterattacks. He seems to already be developing an understanding with his Scottish counterpart Tom Cairney, a perfect creative Yin to Seri’s solid Yang, and if that partnership flourishes, the Cottagers have a real chance at staying in the division.

RM- Mohamed Salah, Liverpool 

Slow starter you say? The Egyptian has two goals in three matches, dispelling any myth that he’s a slow starter, and while Liverpool’s victory over Brighton wasn’t glamorous by any means, Salah displayed the edge that many world class forwards possess: seizing the opportunity even when the match is dull. Cristiano Ronaldo possesses this quality, Harry Kane possess this quality, and now we’re seeing Mohamed Salah possess this quality and ascend into the ranks of elite talent. Better performances will come from Liverpool, but if Salah can do damage without getting out of second gear, the Premier League really has a force to fear.

ST- Alexander Mitrovic, Fulham 

The big Serbian scored a double against Burnley finally displaying why he arrived in England with such fanfare two years ago. Mitrovic towered over the opposition and converted two close range headers, and he did it without the drama and controversy that has marred his previous appearances in a Newcastle kit. The number nine is clearly benefiting from the continuity and carry over from his loan spell last season with Fulham, that saw him score 12 goals in 15 appearances, and the striker will look to keep his new adopted home afloat with his immense power and performance in the near future.

Mo Salah clinically scored Liverpools winner against Brighton. Image: Sky Sports

ST- Lucas Moura, Tottenham Hotspurs

No new signings, no problem for Tottenham. Lucas Moura underwhelmed upon his arrival from PSG in January; however he has clearly adapted his approach after a full preseason with Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentinian coach has moved Moura from a wide position to a centre forward role, partnering Harry Kane up top, and he was tireless against Manchester United. In the first half, he was the main instigator of Spur’s counterattack, and terrorized Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all evening. Most importantly, he isolated makeshift center back Ander Herrera, and finished with frightening speed and midseason focus. He added a second goal at the end of the match, and now leads the club in scoring. For a club who underwhelmed in the transfer market, a new and improved Lucas is a welcome sight for the London faithful.


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