English Premier League Team of the Week

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 16, 2012

English Premier League Team of the Week

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    This week's English Premier League action saw a glut of goals on Saturday followed by a complete dearth on Sunday.

    The Manchester clubs strolled onward, Liverpool stuttered on home soil again, West Brom arrested their alarming slouch in form and Marouane Fellaini forfeited his regular place among the elite by headbutting Ryan Shawcross.

    Read on to find this week's finest.

    Enjoy the slideshow!

GK: David De Gea

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    There weren't many impressive goalkeeping displays this weekend, so we're kicking off with David de Gea, as he continues to find form.

    He didn't deserve to concede a goal as the defence made another silly mistake, and it's encouraging to see another aerially assured performance from the Spaniard.

    Brad Guzan will take the plaudits after a solid game, but he didn't have to make a single difficult one all afternoon.

RB: Kyle Walker

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    Kyle Walker edged out Pablo Zabaleta for a spot in the team this week thanks to his defensively assured display.

    There aren't many who've managed to keep Wayne Routledge quiet this season and his pace was a real asset in the recovery game.

    Tottenham kept their first clean sheet in forever and Walker had a rasping shot just about saved by Gerhard Tremmel. It would have been some goal—it's rare to see a ball struck so hard.

CB: Ashley Williams

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    In the words of B/R's Willie Gannon: "Ashley Williams came to play."

    He didn't deserve to be on the losing side today as Swansea fell to Tottenham, putting in an excellent display at centre-back that harked back to his showings under Brendan Rodgers.

    He put in some crucial block tackles and read the game superbly, giving Spurs almost nothing until the seemingly inevitable breakthrough.

CB: Ciaran Clark

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    Ciaran Clark looked like a seasoned veteran whilst dealing with Liverpool's three-pronged attack on Saturday afternoon.

    He was dealt the unenviable task of marking Luis Suarez, but kept to his duties superbly to stifle the Uruguayan and co.

    The Irish defender has adapted to the 3-5-2 formation better than expected and has become a genuine leader in the absence of Ron Vlaar. This guy has a massive future.

    For more information on his display, read this analysis.

LB: Stewart Downing

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    Difficult to believe I'm putting Stewart Downing in an EPL Team of the Week, but we really saw nothing from left-backs up and down England this weekend.

    The much-maligned winger has been filling in at the back on occasion and had his best game yet, even making a crucial interception to stop Aston Villa taking the lead even earlier.

    He fired in 13 crosses, got forward and tried to force the issue more convincingly than any other player in a Liverpool shirt and looked very much "in the mood" against the club that sold him for £20 million.

CM: Tom Cleverley

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    Another week, another suitably impressive performance from Tom Cleverly.

    He's just pipped Alejandro Faurlin to make the team this week, and his goal was an absolute cracking strike after a beautiful one-two with Michael Carrick.

    His overall performance was so convincing, someone felt to need to make a video highlighting his individual contributions through the game.

CM: Yaya Toure

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    Yaya Toure has cooled off in recent weeks and David Platt felt the need to arrest concerns that he's worn out (via MenMedia.co.uk).

    Well forget your concerns. The Ivorian had an outrageous game at St. James' Park (again) on Saturday as Manchester City ran out 3-1 victors.

    His scything pass set up the first goal, while his poked effort found the net for the killer third. An all-round excellent game.

LW: Anthony Pilkington

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    Anthony Pilkington's consistently great form has been a major reason for Norwich City's resurgence, and he showed his traditional qualities in the Canaries' win over Wigan.

    His goal was an absolutely epic finish, with Ali Al-Habsi in the right place but simply unable to stop his rifled effort thundering into the roof of the net.

    His ability to work the byline and link up with Javier Garrido is excellent, and it was Pilkington's good work on the left that saw his fine cross rewarded with a Wes Hoolahan winner.

RW: Adel Taarabt

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    Adel Taarabt was the driving force behind a stunning Queens Park Rangers performance, and Harry Redknapp will be delighted his new charges managed their first win of the season.

    The Moroccan was all over the pitch, but did his deadly work "in the hole" behind the striker, scoring one deflected and one sublime goal.

    His second, an effortless stroke of the ball, was a genuine world-class finish.

ST: Robin Van Persie

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    Robin van Persie took his league goal tally to 12 as Manchester United blitzed Sunderland 3-1 at Old Trafford.

    His goal—an instinctive finish after good work from Ashley Young on the left side of the penalty area—was first-class and left Simon Mignolet with absolutely no chance.

    For United's third, his incredible movement was showcased at its finest, as he ran across the defensive line to open up space, took Young's lay-off, jinked between two defenders and put it on a plate for Wayne Rooney.

ST: Christian Benteke

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    Christian Benteke had the kind of game that enlightens the whole world to his qualities as a footballer.

    He positively destroyed Liverpool's fearful defensive line, making Martin Skrtel look a fool on more than one occasion.

    His two goals were of sublime quality—a 28-yard rocket off the post followed by a piercing run and shot—but his assist for Andi Weimann's goal may well have been the best.

    A give-and-go with the Austrian saw him released in the right-hand channel, and his audacious back-heel found his strike partner in the area to slot home.