Premier League Team of the Week: December 15-16

Two match-winning substitutes feature in our Team of the Week.

Neil Etheridge (Cardiff)

Cardiff eventually succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at Watford, but the hosts could have easily scored five more had it not been for Etheridge’s efforts. He denied Roberto Pereyra from close range on three occasions, while a brave block on Troy Deeney kept matters respectable. This wasn’t a performance that deserved to end in defeat.

Javier Manquillo (Newcastle)

With DeAndre Yedlin suspended, Manquillo was drafted in at right back for the trip to Huddersfield and staked a claim for regular inclusion with a fine performance. His darting run and cross created Salomon Rondon’s winner, while he also kept a clean sheet with seven clearances and two tackles.

Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace)

Fourteen clearances from the Eagles’ centre back ensured that Roy Hodgson’s side kept a second consecutive clean sheet at Selhurst Park. Leicester were largely kept at arm’s length by the Palace defence, who have avoided defeat without Wilfried Zaha for the first time in 14 attempts.

Conor Coady (Wolves)

Wolves made it three wins in a row with victory over Bournemouth on Saturday. At the heart of the hosts’ defence, Coady made five clearances and two tackles. The 25-year-old has played every minute of Wolves’ Premier League campaign so far, and his performance shows that consistency is bearing fruit.

Andy Robertson (Liverpool)

Robertson’s star continues to rise after Liverpool’s win over Manchester United. Of the starting players, only Nathaniel Clyne had a higher pass success rate (88% to 86%), while his 98 touches were only bettered by Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino. Is he the best left back in the Premier League?

Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool)

Shaqiri had to make do with a place on the bench against Manchester United but it was the Swissman who made the breakthrough in the derby. He had only been on the field for three minutes when he fired Liverpool ahead, and doubled his tally seven minutes later with another deflected strike. What a bargain he has been!

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)

What a way to score you first league goal of the campaign! Tottenham had struggled to break down Burnley’s defence throughout their match at Wembley, but Eriksen emerged from the bench to score the decisive goal in stoppage time. A great way to end to a successful week for Spurs.

Fabinho (Liverpool)

It’s taken time for Jurgen Klopp to integrate the former Monaco midfielder into the side, but Fabinho gave his best performance to date in the derby. He completed a match-high three dribbles, one of which culminated in the assist for Sadio Mane’s opener. Expect to see much more of him in the second half of the season.

Gerard Deulofeu (Watford)

Deulofeu was the stand-out performer in Watford’s win over Cardiff. He showed quick feet to burst through the Bluebirds backline and score the opener and forged several more chances before laying the ball off to Jose Holebas for the Hornets’ second. Watford have now won six of the seven games this season in which they have scored first – they drew the other.

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)

A goal either side of half time from Jesus ensured Manchester City returned to winning ways against Everton. A smart left-footed finish put his team ahead, before he doubled his tally with a powerful header. Maybe it won’t be so easy for Sergio Aguero to return to the first 11 after all…

Danny Ings (Southampton)

Southampton are up and running under Ralph Hassenhuttl after they came out on top against Arsenal on Sunday. Ings scored two fine headers in the first half to set the Saints on their way to victory. Hopefully his injury worries are now behind him.