Every single week The Mastermind will be bringing you an exclusive EPL Team of the Week, starring the best eleven players of the round. The criteria for making the XI will include a players’ impact on their team’s performance and result compared to other players around the league. This is the Team of the Week for the third round of fixtures of the brand new 2017-18 Premier League season.
Goalkeeper: Rob Elliot
Rob Elliot and Newcastle have not had a positive start to this season’s campaign at all until now. Their big 3-0 win over Slavan Bilic’s West Ham however will perhaps act as the stepping stone for both the keeper and the team as they look to survive in the Premier League this season. Elliot made 3 glorious saves to keep the Hammers out on Saturday and claimed three crosses, dominating his penalty area and saving everything that he was tasked to. This was not only Newcastle’s first win of the season but their first clean sheet as well and Elliot had a big role to play in achieving that for the Magpies. Rating: 8.5/10.
Right Back: Joe Gomez
Joe Gomez was not expected to be a regular starter by any stretch of the imagination this season, but after two solid performances and two clean sheets in a row, perhaps he will get a whole lot more first-team opportunities this year. With Clyne out injured, Gomez has been given the time to show-off his skills and show-off he did against Arsenal as the Reds cruised to a 4-0 win. It was Gomez who sent that perfect ball in onto Firmino’s head to give Klopp’s side the lead and it was also Gomez who was the Reds’ sturdiest defender, making 3 tackles, 4 interceptions and blocking 2 shots. A fantastic performances from the man who is just 20-years old in both areas of the pitch and perhaps he has just nailed down that starting spot at right defense for the time being as Clyne continues to be injured. Rating: 9.5/10.
Centre Back: Tommy Smith
Huddersfield defender Tommy Smith has had an excellent start to this season and made quite the mark in his team’s 0-0 draw against Southampton. The British defender made a crucial clearance off the line to preserve his side the draw but also helped out with 2 tackles and 2 clearances and in attack with 5 chances created. Smith could be a valuable weapon for Huddersfield this season in all regards and was massively key this weekend for the Terriers. Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Ben Mee
Ben Mee was tipped by The Mastermind to be Burnley’s most important player this season and he was certainly the club’s most important player on Sunday as they earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Tottenham. The British defender was outstanding; always throwing his body in the way and never being afraid to make a challenge or tackle. Mee blocked a stunning total of 8 shots against Spurs on Sunday, while also winning 6 duels in the air, making 8 clearances and 3 interceptions. Ben Mee is certainly Burnley’s most important defender and was the most vital player in the side to helping them earn a 1-1 draw on Sunday. Rating: 9.5/10.
Left Back: Chancel Mbemba
As previously alluded to Newcastle have not had the best of starts to this season in the Premier League but came up clutch with a massive 3-0 victory at home to West Ham. This could be the victory that kick-starts their season and a massive part of that victory was Chancel Mbemba, the man who has come in at left-back for the injured Paul Dummett and done decently well in holding down the place. Mbemba won 4 duels in the air and was fantastic in defense, winning 4 tackles, making 5 interceptions and clearing the ball another five times. Chancel Mbemba isn’t even a left-back, so it is a testament to the man that he had his best game of perhaps his entire Premier League career. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Midfield: Emre Can
Emre Can had a sublime encounter against Arsenal, breaking up absolutely everything in his wake and also being an important component to Liverpool’s attack. Can was excellent defensively, making 2 tackles, 2 interceptions and 2 clearances, but was also key in attack, taking 2 shots, creating 2 chances and completing 88% of his passes. The German midfielder also completed 3 take-on’s and drew 2 fouls, highlighting how he really is becoming a complete midfielder with the skills to succeed in all areas of the game. Emre Can was a beast against Arsenal and could be an important piece to the puzzle for Liverpool this season as he looks to keep Adam Lallana and others out of the starting lineup. Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Midfield: Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas had a torrid time in Chelsea’s opening match against BurnleCay, but was the star of the show this weekend as the Blues thumped Everton. The Toffees could hardly get on the ball at all because of Cesc’s dominance as it was him pulling the strings in midfield, making things happen and controlling the game. In addition to scoring a great goal to give the Blues the lead, the Spanish midfielder also completed 88 passes and created 3 chances. Fabregas was Chelsea’s dominating factor against Everton on Sunday and slides into this week’s best eleven with ease. Rating: 8.5/10.
Attacking Midfield: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
For the third time in three gameweeks, Henrikh Mkhitaryan makes the Team of the Week with ease. The Armenian midfielder has gotten off to a flying start to this 2017-18 campaign and is showing no signs of slowing down with another assist this weekend against Leicester. Mkhitaryan created 4 chances against the Foxes, constantly posing a threat to Leicester’s defense, while also taking 2 shots and completing nearly 88% of his passes. Manchester United look as good as they have since the Fergie days and with Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing as a number ten, they will always create chances to score goals.
Right Wing: Mohamed Salah
On paper, Liverpool and Arsenal should have been evenly matched. But when that first whistle blew, it was clear a different story was to be told. Liverpool’s front three of Salah, Mane and Firmino instantly took control of the match and it was the Eygptian who was the most lively and potent of the three. Salah scored and assisted in the Reds’ 4-0 thrashing over Arsenal, while also delivering 3 accurate crosses out of three attempted and having all 5 of his shots on target. Mohamed Salah was fantastic for Liverpool in all regards on Sunday and his early play for Klopp’s team suggests he could be one of the biggest signings of the summer. Rating: 9.5/10.
Centre Forward: Roberto Firmino
No matter where he plays, Roberto Firmino always seems to make the game look easy. The Brazilian is fantastic in a number of different positions and even when he is playing the role of the number 9 he is doing so much more for his team. Firmino’s performance against Liverpool was outstanding. He was constantly running up and down the pitch to make things happen for his side, he was full of vibrancy and attacking intent and he was clinical in front of goal, scoring and assisting as the Reds bagged four goals. He also completed 4 take-on’s and created 2 chances. Roberto Firmino might not ever be a true goal-scoring centre forward, but what he brings to this Liverpool team in that position is a better match than perhaps anyone else. Rating: 9.5/10.
Left Wing: Robbie Brady
Robbie Brady was incredibly effective in his role for Burnley on Sunday against Tottenham and was his team’s most creative player, making 5 key passes and assisting their only goal of the game. Brady also helped out in defense with 2 tackles and 3 clearances, playing the Sean Dyche way and helping earn the Clarets an impressive 1-1 draw against a side that is supposedly one of the best in the league. Rating: 8.5/10.
Player of the Week: Mohamed Salah
Manager of the Week: Jurgen Klopp
Formation: 4-3-3: Elliot, Gomez, Smith, Mee, Mbemba, Can, Fabregas, Mkhitaryan, Salah, Firmino, Brady
So there it is! The Premier League’s Team of the Week for the third round of fixtures of the brand new 2017-18 season. Like what you read? Click the follow button or check The Mastermind out on Twitter. Make sure to be back in one week’s time for another edition of Team of the Week and also make sure to check out all of our Team Guides. See you soon!