Premier League Team of the Week: Liverpool and Man Utd Stars Dominate

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 15, 2013

Premier League Team of the Week: Liverpool and Man Utd Stars Dominate

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    Welcome to the latest edition of our Premier League Team of the Week!

    We took in some astonishing performances, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Everton and Liverpool all winning by huge margins. The gap at the top of the table was closed to just two points as Arsenal slipped up at the Etihad.

    Who joins Danny Welbeck in our selection? Take a look and add your team below if you disagree.

GK: Jussi Jaaskelainen, West Ham

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    Jussi Jaaskelainen was immense this weekend, making six critical saves against Sunderland at the Boleyn Ground.

    By the final whistle many were wondering how the Hammers had hung in for a point and a clean sheet, but their Finn was to thank after a majestic display.

    No signs of slowing down!

RB: Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City

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    With apologies to Seamus Coleman, Pablo Zabaleta is our pick here.

    He was incredible during Manchester City's 6-3 victory over Arsenal this weekend, tormenting Jack Wilshere in tracking down the right side and grabbing an assist for Alvaro Negredo's goal.

    His work-rate in chasing back was marvellous.

CB: Mamadou Sakho, Liverpool

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    Mamadou Sakho was fantastic at White Hart Lane on Sunday, putting in a commanding showing both technically and physically.

    He hit the post with a header, kept Tottenham's forwards in check with ease and looked absolutely superb with the ball at his feet.

    He hasn't dipped below 91 percent pass-completion percentage since joining (when starting), and his first touch is brilliant.

CB: Marc Wilson, Stoke City

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    Saturday night's prime game may have been a dour 0-0 affair between Hull City and Stoke City, but we did see a solid display from two centre-backs.

    Curtis Davies and Marc Wilson both impressed, but we've given the nod to the latter—is there a position he doesn't play?

    Wilson waltzed it at centre-back despite his natural position laying at full-back or in midfield.

LB: Jon Flanagan, Liverpool

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    Joel Ward is putting together an absolutely brilliant season and played very well against Chelsea, but we're selecting Jon Flanagan here.

    Not only is he playing out of position (like Ward) on the left, but he's also quickly dispensing with the feeling that he can't cut it at Premier League level.

    Cries of "Oh no! 'Flano' is starting!" quickly dissipated when his sublime half-volley found the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.

DM: Fernandinho, Manchester City

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    Fernandinho is another who is putting together an excellent season, and it's worth remembering his role when assessing his form.

    He's a defensive midfielder, a true anchor, who is responsible for guarding a midfield bereft of any other help (Yaya Toure is an attacking outlet).

    Goals are not a requirement—no matter his cost—but his two strikes were rather nice against Arsenal on Saturday.

CM: Wayne Rooney, Manchester United

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    Wayne Rooney played a key role in Manchester United's dismantling of Aston Villa on Sunday, dropping into a quarterback-esque position and firing accurate diagonals to his wide men.

    We expected him to line up up front alongside Danny Welbeck in a 4-4-2, but David Moyes' 4-3-3 shape with Rooney as a playmaker worked wonders.

    It was reminiscent of the shape Sir Alex Ferguson utilised at Old Trafford in beating Villa...yep, you guessed it, 3-0.

CM: Jordan Henderson, Liverpool

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    Whoa! Jordan Henderson, that was some performance, sir.

    Steven Gerrard's absence was barely felt as Liverpool ran riot at White Hart Lane, and Henderson's driving runs from deep in midfield were a key factor in the win.

    His volleyed goal, a super finish, is the icing on the cake.

RW: Antonio Valencia, Manchester United

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    Those diagonal passes from Wayne Rooney we were talking about? Antonio Valencia was the recipient.

    He tormented Antonio Luna on the right flank, inviting Rafael up from the back to double-team him and work the sideline to great effect.

    Both players grabbed an assist, but Valencia was by far the most threatening man on the pitch.

LW: Danny Welbeck, Manchester United

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    We're shoe-horning Danny Welbeck into the team a little, as he didn't play from the left on Sunday, but such was his performance that we're OK with bending the rules this time.

    He netted two strikes against an ailing Aston Villa defence thanks to strong work from the right, and in truth it was a day in which many of Welbeck's critics fell by the wayside.

    He's a complete forward, simply lacking goals. More of this and England are in good shape.

ST: Luis Suarez, Liverpool

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    Luis Suarez is in the process of capping off a phenomenal year of football by seeing 2013 out by storm.

    His display against Tottenham Hotspur was nothing short of wondrous, with his two goals—one a neat finish after great feet, the other a sublime chip—outlining his ridiculous prowess in front of the net.

    A stunning, stunning showing to make it 17 goals in 11 games this season.