Premier League Team of the Week: Valencia and Nani Shine for Manchester United

Joe StrangeContributor IApril 11, 2011

Premier League Team of the Week: Valencia and Nani Shine for Manchester United

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    As we edge ever closer to the end of the Premier League season, each game takes on more significance with almost every team in the division still fighting for something.

    Points become even more valuable, and players know that one mistake or a single piece of brilliance can make all the difference to their team's fortunes come the end of May.

    After yet another intriguing week of top-flight action, I take a look at the 11 players who were on top form in the Premier League.

Goalkeeper: Tim Howard, Everton

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    Despite going long periods without being called into action, Howard kept his concentration to pull off a trio of excellent second-half saves at Molineux.

    The American keeper was helped out with Wolves' early aerial attack by Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka but proved his worth by preserving his side's clean sheet in a 3-0 win.


Right Back: Emmanuel Eboue, Arsenal

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    Recalled to the starting XI in place of the injured Bacary Sagna, Eboue took his chance by scoring a vital winning goal for Arsenal.

    The Ivorian struggled to find his feet early on but soon began to bomb forward, scoring an excellently worked goal and providing a constant threat to Blackpool's back four.


Centre Back: James Collins, Aston Villa

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    Another defender who bagged his side's winning goal was Villa's James Collins, who rose highest to score a perfectly placed header past Newcastle Steve Harper.

    The Welsh international was also influential at the other end of the pitch, helping Gerard Houllier's side record a hard-fought 1-0 win.


Centre Back: Sylvain Distin, Everton

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    A strong candidate for Everton's player of the season award, Distin was at his best during his side's comfortable win over relegation-threatened Wolves on Saturday lunchtime.

    The big Frenchman won almost everything in the air and showed pace and composure aplenty as the Blues kept Wanderers at bay.


Left Back: Patrice Evra, Manchester United

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    There were few standout performances from left backs this weekend, but Evra makes it in after a solid display in the home win over Fulham.

    Despite struggling to replicate his form of recent years, the United fullback still showed great energy to get up and down the pitch, supporting Nani at every opportunity.


Right Midfield: Antonio Valencia, Manchester United

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    Back to full fitness after breaking his ankle against Rangers last year, Valencia looks like he's never been away.

    The flying winger posed Fulham's defenders with a number of problems throughout the game, scoring his side's second goal to wrap up a routine three points.


Centre Midfield: Luka Modric, Tottenham Hotspur

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    When he's on form, there are few better midfield players than Modric in the Premier League, and the little Croatian proved exactly at home to Stoke on Saturday.

    He was at the centre of all of Tottenham's good play and bagged a brilliant solo goal to put his side 2-0 up.


Centre Midfield: Phil Neville, Everton

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    Moved into midfield to cope with injuries, Neville has exhibited his versatility with a number of solid displays for David Moyes' side in recent weeks.

    He was at it again on Saturday, breaking up opposition attacks and playing simple passes as well as netting an uncharacteristically unstoppable goal.


Left Midfield: Nani, Manchester United

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    Back in the starting lineup after being surprisingly dropped for last week's Champions League clash with Chelsea, Nani showed just why he's been United's best player this season.

    The Portuguese winger continuously tormented the Cottagers' defence and provided Valencia with a chance he simply couldn't fail to convert.


Striker: Daniel Sturridge, Bolton Wanderers

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    Another two goals for Sturridge arguably confirmed his position as the best signing of the January transfer window.

    The on-loan Chelsea forward scored a superb long-range opener before doubling his tally with a well-taken second to round off an easy 3-0 win for the Trotters.


Striker: Peter Odemwingie, West Bromwich Albion

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    While Sturridge has laid claim to the best signing of the winter window award, West Brom's Nigerian striker continues to put a strong case forward as the best signing of last summer.

    Odemwingie shone away at Sunderland, scoring once and playing well as his side came from behind to grab a vital victory.