Premier League Team of the Week

There was plenty to consider as we put out our Premier League Team of the Week on FOX Sports.

Daniel Sturridge
Marcus Chhan

By Marcus Chhan

This is the first Premier League Team of the Week since our switch to FOX Sports and there were some tough calls to make as we factored in results from midweek as well as the weekend.

What was clear right from the start was that the title is now Manchester United's to lose after they got the results they needed to go nine points clear at the top by Monday morning.

Liverpool had a hand in this, of course, after holding the champions Manchester City to a 2-2 draw on Sunday thanks to a fine individual performance from Daniel Sturridge.

Strangely, there are no Arsenal players this week but that could be a direct result of Newcastle's mini-revival or perhaps it is because Tottenham's Gareth Bale continues to cement his status as one of the world's best.

There are also mentions for players from QPR, Everton and Reading.

We've gone with a 4-4-2 formation.

GK: Julio Cesar (QPR)
As this is a combined Team of the Week - including results from midweek and the weekend - there wasn't a goalkeeper who came close to matching QPR's Julio Cesar. Superb against Manchester City in a goalless draw on Tuesday, the Brazilian was again unbeatable as Harry Redknapp's side secured an identical result against Norwich on Sunday.

RB: Davide Santon (Newcastle)
Newcastle full-back Davide Santon started his career as a right-back but is now equally adept at playing on the left. Even though Santon turned up for Newcastle on the left in both games - a 2-1 win over Aston Villa and a 3-2 win over Chelsea - I've put him in here on the right simply to accommodate his brilliance this week alongside Everton's Leighton Baines.

Santon was especially effective in Saturday's win over Chelsea where he provided two assists to boost Alan Pardew's side.

LB: Leighton Baines (Everton)

You won't see too many better performances from a left-back in football than what Everton's Leighton Baines did to West Brom in midweek. The Englishman opened the scoring in Everton's 2-1 win over the Baggies with a thunderous effort from distance before sealing the win from the penalty spot.

Admittedly, Baines did not match this performance in Saturday's 3-3 draw with Aston Villa but it would be cruel to deny him a place.

CB: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)
Liverpool veteran Jamie Carragher was picked for the big midweek game against Arsenal and he justified the decision with a typically brave-hearted display. That allowed him to keep his place for Sunday's game against champions Manchester City and again he showed that with some players there is no substitute for experience.

Both games ended in 2-2 draws for Liverpool.

CB: Jonny Evans (Manchester United)
One of few picks selected despite playing only one game this week which isn't really surprising given the squad rotation policy of most managers to deal with the demands of modern day football. Jonny Evans comes into our team because he played a crucial role in Manchester United's 1-0 win over Fulham which allowed them to open up a nine point lead at the top of the Premier League with 13 games to go.

Evans was a calming presence at the back for United and it was his booted ball forward which eventually led to the winning goal.

RM: Jimmy Kebe (Reading)
Reading winger Jimmy Kebe impressed this week in a Reading team which, on the back of a 2-2 draw with Chelsea, defeated Sunderland 2-1 on Saturday. The star of the show against the Blues was Adam Le Fondre although Kebe wasn't bad. However, Kebe definitely stole the headlines in the win over Black Cats with two terrific goals - including a phenomenal match-winning header.

LM: Gareth Bale (Tottenham)

There simply isn't a better left-winger in the Barclays Premier League than Gareth Bale at the moment. He provides assists and at the moment he's the only one Tottenham can rely on for goals. It was Bale who got the equaliser for Spurs in their 1-1 draw with Norwich in midweek and the Wales international followed this up by banging in the winner in Sunday's 1-0 win at West Brom.

CM: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Sometimes the story just fits perfectly and that was the case with Steven Gerrard on Sunday. After scoring a peach of a goal against Manchester City, the England skipper showed up at the FA England awards ceremony at St George's Park to be crowned England Player of the Year for the second time.

CM: Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle)
Debuts can be nervy affairs but not for Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko. The midfielder's superb double handed Newcastle a much-needed 3-2 victory over the European champions Chelsea. They were timely strikes as well. The first was in the 68th-minute to level the game at 2-2 which then set him up nicely for his driving winner.

ST: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Even if Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge did not play well against Arsenal in midweek, which he did, he still would have made it into our Team of the Week based on Sunday's outstanding performance at Manchester City. The youngster was unplayable, with City unable to cope with his running on-the-ball as well as his movement off-the-ball. His goal was also superbly taken at 30 yards out.

ST: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

There can't be too many complaints about Wayne Rooney's pick this week. Three goals in two games for Manchester United in the space of four days. Two of his three goals proved to be the difference in United's two games. Those victories also propelled United nine points clear at the top of the Premier League. Not a bad effort. Take a bow, son.



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