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Premier League Team of the Week - Cole Palmer, Jeremy Doku, Alexander Isak

Sports Mole selects its Premier League Team of the Week, including Cole Palmer, Jeremy Doku and Alexander Isak.

The destiny of the Premier League title has changed hands yet again, and the crown is now Manchester City's to lose thanks to their 5-1 battering of Luton Town and results elsewhere going their way.

After establishing a two-point lead atop the standings, the holders witnessed Liverpool and Arsenal both suffer potentially fatal home slip-ups, as the Reds lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace while the Gunners excruciatingly went down 2-0 to Aston Villa.

The latter's North London rivals rejoiced in the Lions' win at the Emirates, but only after their side experienced another St James' Park pummelling in a 4-0 loss to Newcastle United, although fellow capital outfit Chelsea taught Everton a footballing lesson in a 6-0 slaughter.

Manchester United's defensive woes almost proved costly at Bournemouth, but the Red Devils escaped with a 2-2 draw, whereas West Ham United's top-seven aspirations took a hit with a 2-0 home defeat to Fulham.

Lower down the division, Burnley were left to rue a horror mistake in a 1-1 home draw with Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford all but condemned Sheffield United to the drop with a 2-0 triumph, while Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers shook hands on an entertaining 2-2 stalemate.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League Team of the Week for the latest round of fixtures.


DEFENCE

Manchester City's Josko Gvardiol pictured on December 16, 2023© Reuters

Few West Ham players could hold their heads up high after their painful home loss to London rivals Fulham, but Lukasz Fabianski was an exception. After a standout performance versus Bayer Leverkusen, the ex-Arsenal man put in another resilient showing which went unrewarded, but with eight saves, he spared the Irons the embarrassment of an even more humiliating defeat.

Speaking of humbling home losses, Liverpool's first Anfield reverse in the league since 2022 would not have been possible without exceptional performances from all of Palace's rearguard members, in particular Jefferson Lerma. Starting in an unfamiliar centre-back role once again, the Colombian was an immovable force with eight clearances, four interceptions, two tackles and one last-man tackle, as well as winning all three of his aerial battles in a famous Eagles success.

Bournemouth's bid for back-to-back Premier League wins over Man United fell short, but it was not for the want of trying for Marcos Senesi in particular. Having a direct hand in both of his side's goals, the defender stole in to set up Dominic Solanke before registering his second assist of the day for Justin Kluivert, while three interceptions and three tackles were also pivotal in the Cherries' hard-earned draw.

On the back of a wonder strike against Real Madrid in the Champions League, Man City's Josko Gvardiol enhanced his attacking credentials with another thunderous effort at the weekend - rifling the Citizens' fifth and final goal versus Luton into the roof of the net - while also playing the final ball before Jeremy Doku's strike to further nail down the left-back spot at his own.


MIDFIELD

Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates with the match ball after the match after scoring four goals on April 15, 2024© Reuters

Even at this point in the season, Chelsea sensation Cole Palmer is incredibly still finding ways to hit new heights, bettering his Man United hat-trick with a fantastic four-goal haul in the demolition of Everton. Now level with Erling Haaland on 20 goals for the campaign, the England international is also the first Chelsea player to score in seven successive Premier League home games and now boasts the quickest hat-trick in the Blues' Premier League history - timed at 29 minutes - although the farcical penalty incident unfairly robbed him of some of the post-game headlines.

There was no such shambles during Man City's customary home thumping of a newly-promoted side on Saturday, where Mateo Kovacic scored the pick of the bunch against Luton with a scintillating half-volley. Putting his name in the hat for a start against Real Madrid, the former Chelsea man excelled in all midfield metrics, registering a 93% pass accuracy, creating four chances and making five tackles in a near-faultless performance.

A special mention certainly goes to Man United's Vitality saviour Bruno Fernandes, but the Portuguese is just pipped to the post by an erstwhile Red Devils playmaker this week. Capitalising on shoddy defending from the Europa Conference League winners, Andreas Pereira firstly took advantage of a Dinos Mavropanos error to skip past Fabianski and calmly finish, before tapping in the Cottagers' second after making an untracked run into the box.

The fourth and final midfield man with Mancunian connections in this week's selection, Jeremy Doku has at times been criticised for a lack of end product after his mazy dribbles - Adama Traore can empathise in that regard - but the Belgian banished such talk against Luton. As well as setting up Gvardiol and twisting and turning to win the Citizens' spot kick, another nifty piece of footwork from Doku ended with the winger producing a composed finish, ending a 14-game Premier League goal drought in the process.


ATTACK

Newcastle United's Alexander Isak celebrates scoring their third goal on April 11, 2024© Reuters

Making his first Wolves start since February's crushing of Chelsea - where he scored a hat-trick - Matheus Cunha consigned his fitness woes to the past as he reached double figures for the Premier League season against Nottingham Forest, firstly conjuring up a stunning turn and solo strike before bundling in from close range to move onto 11 strikes for the top-flight campaign.

Another two-goal striker wowed the crowd at St James' Park, where Newcastle hitman Alexander Isak is quickly becoming accustomed to his name booming out from the loudspeaker. Making the net ripple for the sixth Premier League home game running, the Swede sent the hitherto flawless Micky van de Ven tumbling before an emphatic near-post effort, after which he completed his latest brace with a cool finish to make it 17 goals for the top-flight campaign.

Isak's first effort on the half-hour mark was supplied by the effervescent Anthony Gordon, who is making quite the case to Gareth Southgate for starts at Euro 2024. After slipping in his Scandinavian teammate for his side's first against Tottenham, the ex-Everton winger cut inside the ridiculed Van de Ven and made no mistake with the finish, before notching his second assist of the day with an on-the-money corner for Fabian Schar to complete the four-goal drubbing.


SPORTS MOLE'S PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE WEEK

PL TOTW GW33

Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week (3-4-3): Fabianski; Lerma, Senesi, Gvardiol; Palmer, Kovacic, Pereira, Doku; Cunha, Isak, Gordon


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Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916


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