Team of the week: Newcastle trio Bruno Guimaraes, Anthony Gordon and Miguel Almiron lead the way… but who else makes the cut?
Goalkeeper: Andre Onana, Manchester United
One of Erik ten Hag’s biggest headaches this season has been the criticism levelled at new signing Onana – but the critics were certainly quiet after the Cameroonian keeper’s clean sheet at Anfield. Onana made eight saves in the 0-0 draw, earning Manchester United a much-needed point in the process.
Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool
Liverpool will have wanted more than a goalless draw from their clash against old enemies United at Anfield – but it wasn’t for the want of trying from Alexander-Arnold. He created six chances for his team-mates as Jurgen Klopp’s men battled in vain to stay top of the Premier League.
Defender: Ruben Dias, Manchester City
Manchester City again faltered at home against out-of-form Crystal Palace but Dias turned in his usual classy display, completing the most passes in the match with a total of 174 – with 34 of those going into the final third, cementing his role as Pep Guardiola’s go-to man to start his side’s possessions. Dias was also flawless in his ground and aerial duels, winning 100% of both. With two late Palace goals, however, City have now drifted to 6/4 to win the Premier League.
Defender: Ben Davies, Tottenham
The Welshman has been revitalised with Ange Postecoglou redeploying him at centre-back this season in the absence of Micky van de Ven, and he has enjoyed the most consistent form of his Spurs career as a result. That continued on Friday night, where he didn’t put a foot wrong as his side confidently dispatched Nottingham Forest 2-0.
Midfielder: Mohammed Kudus, West Ham
Arguably one of the signings of the season, Kudus put in a star turn as West Ham’s attack put Wolves to the sword on Sunday. The Ghanaian grabbed two first-half goals in the 3-0 win to take his tally to five for the campaign.
Midfielder: Bruno Guimaraes, Newcastle
Eddie Howe’s Champions League chasers smashed back into form with a 3-0 demolition job on free-scoring Fulham on Saturday afternoon – with Guimaraes taking his customary role at the centre of the action. Grabbing himself an assist, the Brazilian created another four chances as well as making the most passes in the game with 106.
Midfielder: Cole Palmer, Chelsea
Palmer’s shock move from Manchester City has given Chelsea fans rare cause for celebration this season, with his languid attacking style and goalscoring form shining out while Mauricio Pochettino’s side struggle in midtable. It was a first win in three for the Blues against lowly Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with Palmer grabbing the opener and assisting Nicolas Jackson for the second.
Midfielder: Anthony Gordon, Newcastle
Not his first appearance in our Team of the Week and almost certainly not the last, former Everton winger Gordon again showed why Newcastle spent big on him almost a year ago. He didn’t get on the scoresheet in the win over Fulham but ran the Cottagers ragged throughout, providing the assist after a mazy run for Miguel Almiron to put the game out of reach at 2-0.
Forward: Miguel Almiron, Newcastle
It’s that man Almiron who completes a trio of Toon players in our Team of the Week. The Paraguayan finished from close range to double Newcastle’s lead in the second half. With this year’s Champions League campaign ending early, they are now 5/2 to qualify for Europe’s premier competition again next season.
Forward: Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa
Aston Villa have undoubtedly been the Premier League’s surprise package this season, with Watkins their sharpest goalscoring threat. He claimed a crucial three points in Villa’s 2-1 win at Brentford on Sunday. Unai Emery’s men are looking strong for a top-four finish at 9/10 – while confident fans can get them at 14/1 to pull off the ultimate shock and win the league.
Forward: Dejan Kulusevski, Tottenham
Kulusevski has been instrumental in the Postecoglou revolution at Tottenham and put in another star turn in Friday night’s win over Nottingham Forest. From a central attacking position, he created the most chances in the match with three and took matters into his own hands by doubling Spurs’ lead in the second half to put the game out of the home side’s reach.
The team is based on the following metrics:
xG: Expected goals. A metric used to measure the quality of a shot based on variables such as shot angle, distance, type of assist and type of shot
G: Goals. The number of actual goals scored
xT: Expected threat. A metric used to measure ball progression, in particular the impact of a player’s dribbles and carries in taking a team into ‘dangerous’ areas
xD: Expected defence. Used to measure how much ’threat’ a player prevented with their defensive actions
xA: Expected assists. Used to measure the pass before the shot where the pass is assigned xG value of that shot. Takes into account various factors such as type and length of pass as well as its end-point