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EPL Hot 11: Rooney, Valencia Go Top, Holt, Sturridge Stay Hot in Match Day 16

Jonathan WooCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2011

EPL Hot 11: Rooney, Valencia Go Top, Holt, Sturridge Stay Hot in Match Day 16

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    There were no doubles in Match Day 16 of the English Premier League, but there are plenty of returning footballers to the rankings this week.

    Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia hooked up once more to earn top spots on the list. Grant Holt, Steve Morison and Matthew Etherington are back this week after following up with solid outings again.

    And a cracking goal from Peter Odemwingie earns him a debut spot.

    Every week, 11 footballers in the Premier League will make up the EPL Hot 11, a fluctuating power ranking that highlights the top performers over the course of the entire season. Dependent on their match-day performances, players may move up or down the list each week.

Wayne Rooney

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    It took just 52 seconds for Manchester United to score against Queens Park Rangers Sunday as Wayne Rooney headed in his third goal in two games.

    After Chris Smalling won a header, Rooney gave one of his own through to Antonio Valencia, who found the striker with a delicious cross into the box.

    Despite going six games without a score, Rooney may be heading back into form going into the New Year.

Antonio Valencia

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    Antonio Valencia put in another solid outing Sunday against Queens Park Rangers, picking up an assist to Wayne Rooney's goal just 52 seconds into the match.

    Following a three-assist effort last weekend, Valencia continued to show his good form.

    For just the second time this season, the Ecuadorian made consecutive league starts, and if his stat sheet is any indication of his form, Valencia should be seeing the pitch a bit more often.

Grant Holt

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    With a goal in Norwich City's 1-1 draw with Everton Saturday, Grant Holt made it six scores in his last eight games for the Canaries, a mark that paints him as one of the hottest goal scorers in the Premier League today.

    At 28 minutes, Steve Morison took a long cross and laid it onto Holt in the box. A clever move and a quick-footed strike across the face of the net made it 1-0 for Norwich.

    Holt has four goals in as many games.

Daniel Sturridge

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    The hot man in West London, apart from Juan Mata of course, is Daniel Sturridge, who scored Chelsea's only goal in a 1-1 draw against Wigan Saturday.

    After a beautiful, long ball over the Wigan defense from Ashley Cole, Sturridge's fantastic first touch was followed by a lashing strike across the face of Ali Al Habsi's goal and into the net.

    It was Sturridge's eighth goal of the season, and in his last five matches, the 22-year-old has posted four scores and one assist.

Jordi Gomez

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    Not only did Jordi Gomez score his fourth goal in as many games for Wigan, the Spaniard scored the late equalizer to steal two points from Chelsea to give the Latics a much-needed point of their own.

    In the 88th minute, Franco di Santo's ball gave Hugo Rodellga a chance to score from close range. After Petr Cech could not corral the effort, Gomez was already putting the ball into the net.

Steve Morison

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    As Norwich City stabilize in the middle of the table, it has been Steve Morison and Grant Holt leading the charge.

    Although the Canaries drew 1-1 with Everton Saturday, Morison connected with Holt to put up his third assist of the season.

    The duo continue to be hot, as Morison has collected five goals and two assists in his last nine outings.

Matthew Etherington

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    Matthew Etherington backed up his two-goal effort last weekend with a late-game assist that would lead to the decisive goal in Stoke City's 2-1 over Wolves Saturday.

    The 30-year-old nearly scored on a howitzer just before, but a fingertip save from Wayne Hennessey kept the midfielder off the scoresheet.

    But in the 70th minute, a perfectly placed cross from the left side to the backpost found Peter Crouch who was there to head the ball into the back of the net.

David Silva

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    The provider gets a goal.

    David Silva leads the Premier League with eight assists on the season, but in a tussle with Arsenal Sunday at Etihad Stadium, the Spaniard knocked in the decisive goal to send Manchester City back to the top of the table.

    Mario Balotelli tracked down a long ball on the left side.  After he dribbled into the box and unleashed a shot, Silva was there to clean up the rebound for his fifth goal of the campaign.

    There may not be a more important City player than Silva.

Clint Dempsey

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    Clint Dempsey's header at 32 minutes made it 1-0 in a 2-0 scoreline for Fulham on Saturday.

    The American picked up an assist just two minutes later off a great through-ball to Bryan Ruiz, who lofted a fantastic chip shot somewhat reminiscent of an earlier effort this season.

    Between the Europa League and the Premier League, Dempsey has maintained good form. His English endeavors have quieted of late, but he does have two goals and an assist in his last three league appearances.

Bryan Ruiz

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    Bryan Ruiz has two goals on the season, both in exquisite fashion.

    Two minutes before his goal, Ruiz created one on a cross to Clint Dempsey, whose brilliant header just inside the left upright made it 1-0 for Fulham.

    In the 34th minute, a great through-ball from Dempsey left Ruiz virtually one-on-one with the keeper. A calm and cool chip shot over the rushing net minder made the final scoreline 2-0.

Peter Odemwingie

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    Peter Odemwingie had not score in five league games until his 89th-minute cracking goal made it 2-1 for West Brom over Blackburn.

    The Nigerian, who scored 15 goals for the Baggies last season, has just three goals to his name this year.

    But a stunning left-footed strike from just outside the box earns him a spot in the Hot 11 this week.

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