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Premier League Team of the Week

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterAugust 18, 2013

Premier League Team of the Week

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    The first weekend of Premier League action is finally in the books, and with it, our Team of the Week selections resume.

    Check in to see who joined super-keeper Asmir Begovic of Stoke City in the inaugural version. Given the high quantity of scintillating performances, competition for places was extremely fierce.

    Don't agree with our selections? You can drop your team in the comments below!

GK: Asmir Begovic, Stoke City

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    Asmir Begovic put in a goalkeeping masterclass at Anfield, making a string of ridiculous saves to keep Liverpool at bay.

    The hosts were rampant, and against a different goalkeeper, they would have won five or six goals to nil. They only managed one, and that can be attributed solely to Begovic's heroics. He tipped a fierce Jordan Henderson effort onto the post, denied Iago Aspas countless times and emerged victorious in several one vs. ones. 

RB: Seamus Coleman, Everton

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    Seamus Coleman is going to be a beast under Roberto Martinez, and his performance on the first day of the season raised several eyebrows.

    Having watched the Irishman destroy England firsthand at Wembley, it came as no surprise to see him destroy Norwich's left side too.

    An assist for Ross Barkley's goal, followed by a tap-in to give the Everton the lead after 65 minutes, sees him pip exceptional competition in Steven Whittaker and Kyle Walker to our prized selection.

CB: Dejan Lovren, Southampton

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    Centre-back Dejan Lovren brings an aggressive, steely edge that Southampton have been lacking for far too long.

    Many questioned the fee when he arrived from Lyon, but if he continues putting in performances like the one at Hawthorns, Mauricio Pochettino may well have struck gold.

    Calm on the ball, completing 80 percent of his passes and stepping forward to intercept with intelligence, Lovren is a huge step up from Jos Hooiveld, Jose Fonte and Maya Yoshida.

CB: Ciaran Clark, Aston Villa

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    Ciaran Clark had one of the toughest assignments of the week, entering a ferocious affair at the Emirates as a substitute for the injured Nathan Baker.

    The Irishman had a rough 2012-13 season, but he dropped into the defensive line on the opening day and looked superb. He was perfect at his position, and when Arsenal stretched the pitch from the right and utilised Theo Walcott's pace, Clark was there to block everything.

    He passed calmly from the back, performed admirably against Olivier Giroud and remains the unsung hero from Aston Villa's stunning 3-1 win over Arsenal.

LB: Luke Shaw, Southampton

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    Luke Shaw continued where he left off last season, befuddling opposing managers as to how an 18-year-old can be so proficient in England's top tier.

    He was excellent on defense last year, but now he's added an attacking edge: Confident while dribbling forward, rapid in his movements and dangerous stretching the pitch, he won the penalty against West Brom and was crowned Man of the Match by many Saints fans.

    Shaw has bedded in quickly and, after initially being told to focus on defending, has now been set loose. Look out, Premier League.

CM: Ross Barkley, Everton

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    Ross Barkley was the surprise inclusion in Roberto Martinez's first Everton XI to visit Norwich City.

    Sure, it was a gamble, but Barkley's all-action, Man of the Match performance was more than enough to justify his manager's faith in his abilities.

    The 19-year-old, who is built like Wayne Rooney and boasts incredible speed, strength and technical talent, scored the Toffees' equalising goal with a long-range bullet strike.

    Off the ball, he was tenacious, hard-working and committed to creating turnovers in possession.

CM: Fabian Delph, Aston Villa

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    Fabian Delph improved immensely over the final six weeks of the 2012-13 season, and if he can stay injury-free, he will continue to grow at an exponential rate.

    He had a cracking game at the Emirates, getting stuck in in a gritty, intense affair, completing six dribbles and three tackles in a congested midfield third.

    In the second half, he went on a surging run, steadied himself and slammed a grass-cutter against Wojciech Szczesny's left-hand post from 22 yards.

    Overall, a brilliant performance from the all-action, box-to-box dynamo.

RAM: Kevin De Bruyne, Chelsea

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    Kevin De Bruyne lasted only 66 minutes at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but it was enough to give supporters a fleeting glance at the immense talent he possesses.

    His vision and execution in slotting Oscar in behind the defence for the opener against Hull City was stunning, and his all-round game looks incredibly tidy.

    No Juan Mata, no problem at all: De Bruyne is the new name on Blues fans' lips.

AMC: Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool

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    Philippe Coutinho played from the left flank for Liverpool in their 1-0 victory over Stoke City on Saturday, but he spent most of his time cutting inside and tormenting the centre-backs.

    His penchant for the killer ball is ridiculous, and he proved on no less than four separate occasions why he's so highly regarded by fans, colleagues and managers.

    He presented the ball to Iago Aspas and Jordan Henderson on a silver platter, begging them to score. Profligacy is the only reason the Brazilian didn't finish the game with a hat trick of assists.

LAM: Gabby Agbonlahor, Aston Villa

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    Gabby Agbonlahor worked his socks off for Aston Villa during their 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday, prompting manager Paul Lambert to label him "unplayable."

    The wide forward terrorised Carl Jenkinson with his pace and power, then won two penalties to help Christian Benteke seal the win for the Birmingham-based side.

    Debate over the second penalty, conceded by Laurent Koscielny, will rumble on, and while Arsenal fans are convinced it was a shocking decision, Villa fans aren't so sure.

CF: Robin Van Persie, Manchester United

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    Manchester United faced formidable opposition at the Libery Stadium on Saturday, and were it not for Robin van Persie's utter brilliance, David Moyes could have easily opened his account with a draw.

    Swansea matched, if not bested, the Red Devils for long periods in the first half, but there's simply no substitute for world-class attacking talent.

    Van Persie produced a scintillating overhead kick to open the scoring, then rocketed a second in from outside the area to seal the result.

    Fourteen million pounds on Fantasy Premier League? Doesn't seem overpriced at all at this rate.

Bench

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    Manager: Paul Lambert, Aston Villa

     

    GK: Hugo Lloris, Tottenham Hotspur

    CB: Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United

    FB: Kyle Walker, Tottenham Hotspur

    FB: Danny Rose, Tottenham Hotspur

    CM: Victor Wanyama, Southampton

    ST: Danny Welbeck, Manchester United (very unlucky to miss out)

    ST: Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool (very unlucky to miss out)

     

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