Matchday 28 in the Premier League was the strangest ones of all as only half the teams took to action. Manchester City took on Stoke in a 0-0 draw while all eyes were on the PSG-Barcelona in the Champions League, and then eight teams, some of them relegation contenders, battled it out when the weekend rolled around. Nonetheless, The Mastermind has still attempted to produce a Team of the Week for Gameweek 28 in the Premier League which actually turned out to be not too difficult of a task. Here are the best 11 players for Gameweek 28 in England’s top flight!
Goalkeeper: Darren Randolph
Darren Randolph may have conceded 3 goals against Bournemouth this past weekend but he also saved a penalty and managed to stand out above any other goalkeeper. Randolph made six saves against the Cherries and also claimed 100% of the crosses he came for, coming up big despite not being able to lead his team to victory. 6 saves is still better than 3 goals conceded, especially when one of those was a crucial stop from the penalty stop, and that was enough this week to win Darren Randolph this week’s award for Goalkeeper of the Week! Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Joel Matip
Joel Matip has been essential to Liverpool’s success this season so it is only fair that this week he wins his first Team of the Week appearance of the season! The Cameroonian international brings a safe and sound style of play to Liverpool’s defence and is excellent at almost every aspect of the defensive side of the game. Matip was superb against Burnley making some key interceptions, blocks and completely dominating over Andre Gray and Ashley Barnes for nearly the entire game. Matip was a beast in the air on Sunday, winning 4 headed duels, while also showing off his defensive awareness with 3 interceptions and 12 clearances! Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Ben Mee
Michael Keane has been receiving all of the attention in Burnley’s back-line but Ben Mee has actually been equally good if not better since the turn of the year. Mee has arguably even been Burnley’s best player in 2017 as the Clarets sit in 12th position! Even despite Liverpool dominating the game and grinding out a result, Mee and Keane were both still magnificent, winning everything in the air and always seeing danger out. The 27-year old defender racked up an incredible tally of 23 clearances on Sunday, more than any other player by quite some distance this round. To that staggering tally of clearances Mee also added 2 tackles, 2 blocked shots, 12 duels won, and 64 touches more than any other Burnley player. He dominated over Origi and coped with Mane, Lallana and Coutinho really well, players that most people wouldn’t even speak with Ben Mee in the same breath. Ben Mee has been fantastic this season for Burnley and is helping to lead them to safety a lot sooner than they would have expected. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Back: Bruno Martins Indi
Bruno Martins Indi hasn’t had too many noteworthy performances in a Stoke City jersey since joining on loan in the summer, but came up big in a massive match this past Wednesday to help Stoke hold Manchester City to a 0-0 draw. Martins Indi was key in helping Stoke keep that clean sheet, limiting Sergio Aguero to just 45 touches, blocked 2 shots, made 6 clearances and was aware in making 3 interceptions. Manchester City just found it so hard to break the deadlock against Stoke City, or even get off a good clean shot on target and Bruno Martins Indi along with his defensive partner in Ryan Shawcross deserve a massive amount of credit for that. Rating: 8.5/10.
Defensive Midfield: Morgan Schneiderlin
Morgan Schneiderlin has been immense for Everton since joining from Manchester United in January and the Toffees remain unbeaten at Goodison Park since his arrival. The defensive midfielder has formed an impressive bond in midfield with the young Tom Davies and tough tackler Idrissa Gueye and is playing some of his best football again, having his best game in an Everton shirt this weekend. The Baggies just could not get passed Everton’s stern midfield thanks to the efforts of Schneiderlin and Barry as the Frenchman made 3 interceptions and his counterpart made 3 tackles. The former Southampton man also helped Everton control possession as he made 84 passes, completed every long ball pass he attempted and had 93 touches on the ball. Most significantly he was also excellent in attack, creating 1 chance and scoring his first goal in an Everton shirt with a fabulous strike to open the scoring. Morgan Schneiderlin has the ability to be one of the Premier League’s best midfielders and now in an Everton shirt will be given his shot to prove that again. Rating: 9.5/10.
Defensive Midfield: Emre Can
Liverpool have struggled to cope with the loss of Jordan Henderson in recent weeks but on Matchday 28, Emre Can stepped up his game, filled the void perfectly and helped lead Liverpool to a 2-1 victory. With Can in defensive midfield, the Reds hardly missed Henderson at all, as the German midfielder lived up to the role at both ends of the pitch. Despite committing 4 fouls, Can was excellent defensively, winning 2 tackles, 6 duels in the air and making 5 clearances! He was also incredibly industrious going forward, creating 2 chances, forcing 3 fouls and scoring the game winning goal. Emre Can still needs time to develop and with Liverpool’s star-studded midfield may find it hard to regularly break into Klopp’s starting lineup anytime soon, but when he puts in these types of performances you have to feel good about his chances at becoming a Liverpool great. Rating: 9/10.
Right Wing: Ross Barkley
Ross Barkley has seen a transformation since the start of the year and no matter where he plays always seems to have a massive affect on Everton’s matches now. The highly influential midfielder was essential to Everton’s 3-0 win against West Bromwich Albion this weekend, bossing the game from midfield and being involved in every Everton attack. Barkley had 86 touches on the ball, was always looking to score with six shots, made 3 clearances and assisted Everton’s late goal to seal the deal on their 3-0 win. Ross Barkley is back to his best again and should definitely be given his chance to shine in England’s WC Qualifying squad at the end of the month. Rating: 9/10.
Attacking Midfield: Joshua King
What a month Joshua King is having in the Premier League. The Bournemouth striker has scored more goals than anyone else in the league since the start of the month and with a hat-trick on Saturday, led Bournemouth to a 3-2 win against West Ham United. Even with a missed-penalty, King was was the best player on the pitch, Bournemouth’s liveliest attacker and put in an incredible performance. The hat-trick hero opened the scoring for his side with an incredible piece of skill reminiscent of Dele Alli’s famous Crystal Palace goal of last season before side-footing in Bournemouth’s second goal of the game to take the lead. Unfortunately for the Cherries their lead was squandered towards the end of the game. Just when it seemed Bournemouth were prepared to drop another two points, King was Johnny on the Spot and hammered home his and Bournemouth’s third goal of the game to grab his side the victory. On top of his three goals, King helped out in defense with 4 tackles and 2 clearances and was practically unstoppable when in possession, completing 7 take-on’s! This was Joshua King’s best performance ever in a Bournemouth shirt and one that deserves praise of the highest order. Rating: 10/10.
Left Wing: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Swansea City may have lost on Saturday, but Gylfi Sigurdsson still put in a four-star performance once again. How he’s even still playing for Swansea is remarkable but he’s been absolutely essential to their rise above the relegation zone in recent months. The Icelandic midfielder was constantly creating chances for his mates, making 4 key passes before achieving his league leading 11th assist of the season on Saturday. Sigurdsson tried everything to win his team the match as in addition to his four chances created he also had four shots and whipped in 12 crosses! He also helped out in defense with 1 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 interceptions and was unlucky to not lead his side to a victory. Gylfi Sigurdsson is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and if he’s not playing for one of Europe’s elite clubs next season than The Mastermind will be very, very surprised. Rating: 9/10.
Striker: Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku is absolutely on fire at the moment. The Everton striker just can’t stop scoring and is in the form of his life as Everton are still unbeaten at home in 2017. Lukaku was Everton’s star man in their 3-0 win against West Bromwich Albion this weekend, leading the line excellently well, scoring a goal, and assisting another. The Everton striker helped open the scoring with an incisive pass to Kevin Mirallas and then finished off the game in the 82nd with a header inside the area, keeping up his run of scoring in every game at Goodison Park in 2017. The Belgian forward also created 3 chances, won 4 duels in the air and troubled the Baggies with 4 shots. Romelu Lukaku is establishing himself as one of the best strikers and deadliest goal scorers in the world and I will be very surprised if he is still at Everton next season. Rating: 10/10.
Striker: Oumar Niasse
An outcast at Everton, forced to train with the reserves and not even given a place in the dressing room, Oumar Niasse has been sensational since moving to Hull City in January. You have to credit Marco Silva for this incredible transformation and just for the smart signing of Niasse in itself, but you also have to credit the Senegalese striker who has kept his head up despite tough times and is now leading the charge in Hull’s bid to survive. With 62 minutes gone and the game still 0-0, Silva threw on Niasse and the sumptuous striker did the rest, scoring two quick goals to give Hull the lead and the win. He changed the match, won the match and was absolutely on fire in that final thirty minutes to give his side an important win. Rating: 9.5/10.
Formation: 3-5-2: Randolph, Matip, Mee, Martins Indi, Schneiderlin, Can, Barkley, King, Sigurdsson, Lukaku, Niasse
Player of the Week: Joshua King
Joshua King won his team the match on Saturday, scoring three goals against West Ham United. Highly influential in all areas of the pitch and the game, King added 4 tackles, 2 clearances and 7 completed take-on’s to his incredible tally of three goals. Joshua King is the undeniable Player of the Week for Matchday 28!
Manager of the Week: Marco Silva
Marco Silva has been amazing since arriving at Hull City and continues to lead them to better times. They still remain in the relegation zone, but after a 2-1 win over Swansea City look certain to get out of it soon, dragging Middlesbrough into second last in the process. Silva’s team selection, business in the transfer window and in-game tactical management have all been brilliant since his arrival at Hull and he demonstrated his quality once again against Swansea. One of the significant changes to Hull City’s team in recent months has been a reformed back-line that includes former Inter Milan captain Andrea Ranocchia, 23-year old English defender Harry Maguire and Norwegian Omar Ellabdellaoui. The only player to remain in that back-line from the Mike Phelan era is Andy Robertson who has looked a lot better since Silva has come in as manager. Maguire and Ranocchia meanwhile have been excellent, colossal even at the back for Hull at times. But as mentioned, his in-game tactics have also been magnificent this season. With the game 0-0 after 62 minutes, Silva sacrificed one of his defensive midfielders and threw on another striker. That striker, Oumar Niasse, went on to win the game with two fantastic goals. One of those goals was even assisted by another substitute, Ahmed Elmohamady. His additions in the January transfer window have just surpassed any other Premier League team and it goes beyond Niasse. Kamil Grosicki and Lazar Markovic have given this Hull side a different look while Ranocchia and Ellabdellaoui have made for a much more stable defense. Marco Silva has done wonders with this Hull City side and if the Tigers were to go down this season it would be no fault of his own at all. A 2-1 victory against Swansea City this weekend now has the Tigers just on the edge of escaping the relegation zone and if they continue to play to that level they may be able to steer clear of their impending relegation altogether.
So there it is! The Premier League Team of the Week for Gameweek 28. It was a bit of an odd week with just half the teams taking place and calls into question what to do when the other 10 teams take to action, but I hope you still enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing you back again sometime very soon! See you next time!