Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all continued their unbeaten runs in the Premier League in Gameweek 3 and all three have players in this week’s team of the week as the title race continues to excite. This is The Mastermind‘s Team of the Week for Gameweek 3 in the Barclays Premier League.
Goalkeeper: Eldin Jakupovic
Eldin Jakupovic has enjoyed a great start to the season with Hull City and nearly helped his team hold out for a draw against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. The Swiss goalkeeper made 8 saves, including some spectacular efforts to stop a few own goals from going in. Jakupovic also had 57 touches including 43 passes and claimed 2 crosses to almost help Hull City hold out for a scoreless draw. Rating: 8/10.
Right Back: Scott Dann
Although actually a centre back, Scott Dann comes in to this week’s Team of the Week at right back to a lack of a good right sided defender and far too many standout centre backs this week. Dann was great against Bournemouth and was one of Palace’s only bright spots as Alan Pardew’s side were poor for almost the entire match. Dann stepped up to captain his side to a draw, their first points of the season, after scoring the goal to get them level after a cross from Jason Puncheon. The British defender was also brilliant defensively, winning four aerial duels, completing 100% of his tackles and making 5 interceptions. It was a great game for Scott Dann at the back for Crystal Palace and without him, Alan Pardew’s side would not have been able to get a point against the Cherries. Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Eric Bailly
Hull tried to put together a string of passes whenever they gained possession back against United, but every single time they tried to do so, Eric Bailly was right there to break it down and allow his team the opportunity to go and attack again. Every single time Hull tried to attack, it was immediately shut down by Bailly. The Cote d’Ivore defender has looked unreal since arriving from Valencia and his performance on Saturday against Hull was his best in a United shirt so far. He just constantly used his strength to bully his opposition off of the ball and break down attacks, making 4 tackles, 3 interceptions, winning 100% of his duels in the air and also on top of that, competing 97% of his passes to help Manchester United keep a clean sheet, constantly keep the pressure on the Tigers and win their match. Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Curtis Davies
One of the main reasons why Manchester United were not able to get a goal until late on against Hull despite all of their constant pressure in and around the Tigers’ 18-yard box was because of Curtis Davies. Curtis Davies was phenomenal yet again as he has now made three team of the week appearances inside the first three matches this season. On top of Davies’ goal-saving clearance right on the line to stop Wayne Rooney from scoring in the 37th minute, the Hull captain also won 100% of his tackles, made 5 interceptions and get ready for this…made 19 clearances against the Red Devils. It was another brilliant performance from Curtis Davies and although it wasn’t enough to captain his team to a draw, it was enough to earn a spot in the Team of the Week for the third straight time. Rating: 9/10.
Left Back: Danny Rose
Tottenham were sluggish and slow against Jurgen Klopp’s vastly pacey Liverpool side but in the end were bailed out by a late goal from Danny Rose. Rose dealt with every task he was given against the Reds perfectly. He won his individual battles against Sadio Mane, making 3 tackles and winning 100% of his duels in the air, he forced the Senegalese winger to make several fouls on him and he got forward to whip in 2 crosses and score the goal that would earn Spurs a point. Rose has enjoyed a fantastic rise to becoming one of the best left-backs in the country and that rise is showing no signs of slowing down. Rating: 8/10.
Defensive Midfield: Fernandinho
Fernandinho, like many other Manchester City players, is flourishing under Pep Guardiola and had another fine performance on Sunday afternoon against West Ham United. Ferandinho’s positional sense against the hammers was brilliant as he was always in the right place at the right time to allow his fullbacks to get forward, and all those forward thinking players like Silva, Sterling and de Bruyne to keep the pressure on the opposition all game long. The Brazilian midfielder also had 83 touches, made 72 passes, 3 tackles, dominated the midfield and scored a fantastic headed goal to help Manchester City win 3-1. Fernandinho’s form at the start of this season means that when Ilkay Gundogan’s injury heals, he may not come straight into the side. Rating: 8/10.
Right Wing: Raheem Sterling
Who would’ve thought Raheem Sterling would have such a good start to the 2016-17 Premier League season after having such a poor time at Euro 2016 with England. Sterling has been exceptional so far this season under Pep Guardiola and had one of his best games in a City shirt on Sunday as he bagged two fantastic goals against West Ham United to give City a fabulous 3-1 win. Sterling was a driving force for City, constantly surging forward and making things happen for the Blues. The English winger won 4 dribbles, created 2 chances, frustrated Arthur Masuaku so much that he nearly got sent off and of course scored those two fantastic goals to win the man of the match award and earn himself a place in this week’s team of the week. Sterling has been brilliant so far this season and if he can keep it up, he may be on course to make the team of the year. Rating: 9.5/10.
Attacking Midfield: Jason Puncheon
Jason Puncheon has filled a number of different roles so far this season and seemingly he’s been most effective for the Eagles so far this season as attacking midfielder. Puncheon was constantly on the ball for the Eagles and was absolutely everywhere on the pitch, making 92 touches and helping out in defense with 5 tackles! He also won 5 dribbles, put in 8 crosses, created 6 chances and assisted Scott Dann’s late goal to give Crystal Palace a 1-1 draw. It was a very good performance from Jason Puncheon on Saturday afternoon and if Palace are going to survive this season they are going to need the 30-year old midfielder to continue to step up and make stuff happen for them.
Attacking Midfield: Wayne Rooney
I can’t understand how anyone can say that Wayne Rooney isn’t on top of his game anymore when he puts in performances like the one he put in against Hull. Yes the Tigers sat very deep and allowed all of the pressure to come to them and allowed players like Rooney plenty of time on the ball, but the England captain was the most effective attack-minded player of all in United’s squad and popped up with a crucial assist late on for Marcus Rashford’s goal right at the death of the match. Rooney could have also scored himself if it had not been for three time team of the week selectee Curtis Davies to block it on the line (pictured above). He was just a constant presence in attack for United, having 71 touches, creating 5 chances, putting in 11 crosses and of course assisting that goal late on to give United a win. It was a fabulous performance from the United captain and his best of the season so far. Rating: 8/10.
Left Wing: Eden Hazard
No footballer has ever won the PFA Player of the Year one season and then been absolutely dreadful the next season. But, after a fantastic Euro 2016 campaign with Belgium, Eden Hazard is seemingly on top of his game again and had another fantastic performance against Burnley on Saturday. It was a very traditional Hazard performance against the Clarets as he scored a fantastic goal, had 6 other shots, 5 crosses, completed 3 dribbles and had 91 touches on the ball to help Chelea keep all the pressure on Burnley and win comfortably. Eden Hazard looks in full flow and on top of his game again and could be set for another award winning season. Rating: 9/10.
Striker: Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez finally stepped up for Arsenal to help them win their first match of the season as he scored and assisted a goal and as a result the Gunners won 3-1. Sanchez looked tired and slightly confused about how to effectively play the centre forward role in his first two matches of the season but against Watford he was absolutely sublime. Sanchez had 3 shots, all 3 of which were on target, completed 88% of his passes and had 63 touches on the ball as the Gunners never let Watford have any time on the ball at all. Rating: 9/10.
Player of the Week: Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling continued his amazing start to the 2016-17 Premier League season with a fabulous two goal performance against West Ham United. He was Manchester City’s most dangerous player all game long and was incredibly influential in their dominating 3-1 win.
Manager of the Week: Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has managed to get the best out of every single one of the players that he sees as being part of his plans so far and the team had another fabulous performance against West Ham United on Sunday that saw the Blue side of Manchester come away as 3-1 victors. Guardiola has to be credited for his man-management on Raheem Sterling, as the fantastic belief that the Spanish coach has had in him has allowed the winger to have an incredible start to this season. He has also gotten the best out of players like Nolito and Pablo Zabaleta and his 4-1-4-1 formation proved very effective once again.
So there it is, The Mastermind‘s Team of the Week for Gameweek 3! Who makes your team of the week? Comment below to join the discussion! See you next time!