Action Images via Reuters / Ed Sykes Livepic
After another weekend featuring some great individual performances, theScore puts together a best XI from the latest slate of Premier League fixtures.
GK – Fraser Forster
Simon Mignolet and Lukasz Fabianski both put in fine displays, but Forster takes glove-donning duties. The 29-year-old kept West Bromwich Albion out with six saves, helping Southampton to a commendable 1-0 away win.
RB – Kieran Tripper
Trippier‘s deliveries were again pinpoint in a 4-0 hammering of Watford. Vincent Janssen should’ve scored off one gift-wrapped ball, but Heung-Min Son converted after a similarly accurate pass from the right. If he wasn’t Kyle Walker‘s understudy, Trippier would probably be a full England international by now.
CB – John Stones
Stones‘ confidence with the ball is increasing each week. Only Yaya Toure made more touches than the 22-year-old, and the Barnsley product expertly retained possession to help instigate attacks, and contributed defensively with six interceptions and seven clearances.
CB – James Collins
The veteran affectionately known as “Ginge” forged the foundations of a vital 1-0 win Saturday over Swansea City. Collins ensured Winston Reid wasn’t missed as he smacked 12 clearances and won three aerial duels.
LB – Marcos Alonso
He has to be in the PFA Team of the Year. Out of defenders, only Gareth McAuley and penalty-taking James Milner have scored more after Alonso‘s stunning free-kick Saturday in Bournemouth. The Spaniard won all his aerial duels, was successful with three tackles, and produced four crosses on the south coast.
DM – Fabian Delph
Delph was given back-to-back league starts for just the second time as a Manchester City player, and has given Pep Guardiola something to ponder ahead of the summer transfer window. He scored a belter and came close with another strike, but most pleasing was his ball retention, three tackles, and three interceptions.
CM – Dele Alli
Each Tottenham Hotspur player made a case for this starting XI, but Alli was one of the first names on the team sheet. Everyone knew he was shaping up to shoot, but the swerve and placement made it impossible for Heurelho Gomes to save. A smashing goal, and he performed more tackles than Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele combined.
CM – Philippe Coutinho
Jurgen Klopp’s experimental lineup was soon shaken up at the break, and Coutinho‘s introduction – along with that of his compatriot Roberto Firmino – turned the game in Stoke on its head. In merely 45 minutes, the Liverpool forward scored one, made three key passes, and recorded a passing accuracy better than anyone else on the park.
FW – Raheem Sterling
Sterling has laid on more goals than any of his Manchester City colleagues across all competitions, with his set-up for Sergio Aguero especially impressive in a 3-1 trumping of Hull City. He made four key passes and even successfully slotted into a central role later in the tie.
FW – Heung-Min Son
Only the woodwork denied Son a hat-trick in Watford’s visit as he banged six shots and made 34 passes in attack. He thrives playing alongside a striker who’s adept with his back to goal, and Janssen acted as a first-rate decoy before he was withdrawn for a fit-again Harry Kane.
FW – Eden Hazard
N’Golo Kante‘s pass for Hazard‘s goal was a beauty, but the Belgian still put Artur Boruc on his backside before burying home. The Real Madrid-linked forward was again irrepressible, crafting five key passes and completing each of his six long balls.
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)