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Monday, 14 August 2017

Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku Makes Premier League Team of the Weekend




The ESPN FC crew discuss Chelsea's dodgy start and Romelu Lukaku reflects on a job well done.
The ESPN FC crew discuss Chelsea's dodgy start and Romelu Lukaku reflects on a job well done.
The ESPN FC crew discuss Chelsea's dodgy start and Romelu Lukaku reflects on a job well done.

After each round of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Team of the Weekend. Our panel of experts carefully selects 11 star performers along with a manager.
Do you agree or disagree? You can have your say on those picked or overlooked in the comments section at the foot of the article or on Twitter, using the hashtag #ESPNFCTOTW.

ESPN FC's Premier League Team of the Weekend.

Goalkeeper: It has gone almost unnoticed during this crazy summer of spending, but Jordan Pickford -- a player with just one year of Premier League experience -- joined Everton for a club-record £30 million. However, after a solid debut, the 23-year-old could prove to be exceptional value, and two of our three-man panel were impressed by what they saw as Everton saw off Stoke 1-0. Paul Mariner hailed him as "a great signing," while Steve Nicol lauded his "incredible save right at the death," which went a long way to earning victory.
Right-back: In a quirk of fate Tottenham have replaced Kyle Walker at right-back with Kyle Walker-Peters. The 20-year-old Londoner showed no signs of nerves on his Spurs debut, putting in a man of the match display in the 2-0 win at Newcastle that Gabriele Marcotti, liked. He said: "Walker-Peters outperformed his quasi-namesake and showed that if you have two Kyle Walkers, you can afford to sell one!" Mariner liked his energy, and said: "He was a handful, charging forward all day."
Centre-back: An assured performance from Michael Keane in Everton's win against Stoke caught the eye of everyone on the panel and he is our first unanimous pick of the season. Marcotti summed up Keane's performance as "new season, new club, same old production. No danger in his area. Ever," while Mariner said of the former Burnley man: "Another great Everton signing."
Centre-back: Partnering Keane is Ahmed Hegazy, West Brom's new 6-foot-4 defensive powerhouse. Promisingly, he kept a clean sheet on his debut and scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Bournemouth, leading Nicol to surmise: "Central defender scores from a free kick -- sounds like West Brom." Marcotti added: "Some were sceptical, but the Egyptian scored on his debut and showed himself to be a neat fit for Pulis-ball."
Left-back: Hegazy is not the only goalscoring defender to make the cut in Team of the Weekend. Stephen Ward was on target in Burnley's unexpected 3-2 win against Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and is a selection that really shouldn't need any explaining. But, just in case you need one, here's Marcotti: "Strike a ball that well against the defending champions, follow it up with plenty of defensive industriousness and you get into the Team of the Weekend."

Stephen Ward scored a stunning goal in Burnley's win at Chelsea.

Midfield: It's very easy to say in hindsight, but what were Chelsea thinking selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United? Mariner and Nicol are united in their praise of the midfielder who made an outstanding debut as Jose Mourinho's men steamrollered West Ham 4-0 at Old Trafford. Nicol is convinced someone has spelt the Serbian's name wrong and insisted it is "Magic, not Matic!" while Mariner said simply "superb."
Midfield: Aaron Mooy is the first pick from Premier League new boys Huddersfield in the TOTW XI, but he is not the last after their impressive 3-0 win at Crystal Palace. Marcotti described the Australia international as "Instrumental. Amidst David Wagner's organised chaos, he provided the quality."
Midfield: Mariner and Marcotti are in agreement that David Silva's contribution to Manchester City's opening weekend win against Brighton was worthy of selection. The Spaniard is "still the maestro," Mariner said. "This match was tailor-made for his skills," added Marcotti.
Midfield: Can Dele Alli improve on last season's tally of 18 Premier League goals? Judging by his start to the new season he might well do. Nicol and Mariner both pick the 21-year-old out for praise and were impressed as he resisted the urge to get dragged into a battle by Newcastle's rough treatment. Instead he responded with the opening goal, before being booed by the opposition fans when he was substituted -- a sure fire way to know you have got to them.

Dele Alli was in the thick of the action as Tottenham beat Newcastle.

Striker: There will be plenty of players in Huddersfield's squad who Premier League fans aren't well acquainted with, but Steve Mounie -- who scored two on his debut in their 3-0 win at Crystal Palace -- won't be one of them for long if he continues like this. Everyone on the panel is in agreement that he starts up front. "Where did he come from?" Nicol exclaimed.
Striker: Romelu Lukaku immediately ended any doubts about his prospects at Manchester United with two fine finishes to end any West Ham hopes of an upset, and even Liverpool die-hard Nicol was forced to praise a memorable debut. He said: "Fairytales do exist." Marcotti was impressed too and added: "Not a bad way to start your Old Trafford career. We're not quite saying 'Zlatan who?' Just yet, but it's the best way to start."
Manager: Marcotti made a good argument for Sean Dyche, who secured a huge win away to the Premier League champions, but it is nigh on impossible not to give the accolade to Huddersfield boss David Wagner on his Premier League debut. Mariner lauded "a magnificent performance," and Nicol is in full agreement that he is the right man to lead our XI.
SOURCE - ESPN

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