After another weekend of some great individual performances, theScore puts together a best XI from the latest slate of Premier League fixtures.
Manchester United and Liverpool could yet produce some stellar individual performances tonight, but it will take something special to displace these 11 men:
GK – Maarten Stekelenburg
Following dwindling first-team opportunities through loans at AS Monaco and Southampton, Yekaterinburg is now immovable between the sticks. The Everton veteran stopped Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero penalties, and swatted away numerous other efforts in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City.
RB – Cesar Azpilicueta
Branislav Ivanovic has been mercifully ditched from the lineup, allowing Azpilicueta to return to his rightful place on the right-hand side. The Spaniard and David Luiz were particularly impressive as Chelsea dumped Leicester City by a 3-0 scoreline.
CB – Winston Reid
Ten-man West Ham United needed some stout rearguard action to secure its 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, and Reid was instrumental. He made 15 clearances as the Irons desperately kept out the likes of Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend.
CB – Steve Cook
Just one of many overlooked Bournemouth stars, Cook has taken his consistency straight into the new term, contributing a goal on Saturday in addition to his no-nonsense defensive travails. He laced a weekend-high 17 clearances.
LB – Jose Holebas
What a wallop by Holebas. The left-sided Greek wellied an effort to rival Jordan Henderson’s long-distance swerver against Chelsea, firing a bullet beyond Victor Valdes to take all three points for Watford in Middlesbrough. His interceptions and dribbling are often the hallmarks of the Hornets’ attacks.
DM – N’Golo Kante
Kante predictably put in his best performance in a Chelsea shirt so far against his old club Leicester. More is expected from him since his move to London, which was evident against the Foxes as he saw more of the ball (100 touches) than any of his teammates.
DM – Andrew Surman
Another unsung Bournemouth hero. Surman and Harry Arter have been the engine room of Eddie Howe’s XI, rarely losing the ball and quickly dispatching it to their more attack-minded colleagues when necessary. Surman was the standout of the pair on the weekend, making eight interceptions in the middle.
RW – Modou Barrow
Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal will be suffering an elongated bout of vertigo after being continually spun by the explosive Barrow. Swansea City’s winger isn’t graceful, but he can guarantee chaos and a busy afternoon for his full-back.
AM – Joe Allen
Allen has scored five goals in four outings for Stoke and Wales. He’d scored five in his previous 104 appearances. Unburdened by a lack of minutes and the weighty tag of “the Welsh Xavi” from his Liverpool days, the midfielder bagged a brace and expertly retained possession as the Potters beat Sunderland 2-0.
LW – Junior Stanislas
Stanislas wreaked havoc against Hull, scoring two and setting up another in the 6-1 whitewash. The 26-year-old was given a spot on the right in this clash, and has now matched his goal (three) and assist (two) tally from the whole of last season.
FW – Theo Walcott
Other managers would’ve grown impatient with Walcott’s injuries, inconsistency, and insistence that he’s a good centre-forward. But he’s showing Arsene Wenger the qualities required in the latter role, as was evident when he poached and pried to score Arsenal’s opener in the 3-2 defeat of Swansea. He bagged a brace and cracked the woodwork twice in the tilt.