After the events at Leicester, the health issues of Glenn Hoddle and an elderly fan dying at the Brighton match, the football seems the least of anyone’s concerns this week. The show must go on, though, so here’s our Premier League team of week 10.
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford. Manchester United 2-1 Everton.
Sometimes there isn’t a goalkeeper in the top 50 performers of the week. However, there’s no such issues this time as Pickford was rated as #9. It’s rare to see an open-play chance worth almost as much as a penalty in expected goal terms, but Anthony Martial had one here and the Everton ‘keeper kept it out. Add in a penalty save too, and Pickford amassed the most defence points this week.
Right-back: Cedric Soares. Southampton 0-0 Newcastle United.
Soares had the right full-back berth last week, and here he is again. It’s worth hitting the ‘only important actions’ button on his dashboard to see just how much work he did off ball. In a poor spell for the team has he been your best player, Saints fans?
Centre-back: Fabián Balbuena. Leicester City 1-1 West Ham United.
The sad events at Leicester make talking about the match seem almost inappropriate. So let’s just highlight that Balbuena was our top performing player this week, both in total and ‘off ball‘.
Centre-back: Shane Duffy. Brighton 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers.
When a team has to defend a one goal lead for about half a match, it’s reasonable to assume that their centre-backs will pick up a boatload of points from our algorithm. Click on the red marks on Duffy’s dashboard and you’ll see that’s exactly what occurred at the Amex on Saturday afternoon.
Left-back: Marcos Alonso. Burnley 0-4 Chelsea.
Whenever Alonso gets into this team, it’s often primarily for his attacking work. Looking at the scoreline from Turf Moor you might expect that to be the case here, but as you can see it was all down to his defensive input this time.
Midfield: Ross Barkley. Burnley 0-4 Chelsea.
It’s interesting to note that none of the top three performers for attack points this week made it in to our team. That Barkley picked up two assists and was still only fourth on the chart shows how strong his performance was in other areas. His goal was the obvious highlight, but he won the ball back four times in the Burnley half too. Just what Sarri is looking for, in other words.
Midfield: Luka Milivojevic. Crystal Palace 2-2 Arsenal.
Milivojevic is the first Palace man to make it into our team of the week this season. Scoring a pair of penalties obviously propelled him into the side, but he also defended the centre of the pitch well and played a couple of incisive long passes, as we can see here.
Midfield: Roberto Pereyra. Watford 3-0 Huddersfield Town.
Pereyra’s goal was a thing of beauty. It accounts for most of his important attacking actions on his dashboard too. He went past one man just outside the box, two just inside it, and then finished to pick up 1,360 points. He was our top player in week one, and is having a fine season.
Forward: Sadio Mané. Liverpool 4-1 Cardiff City.
Mané topped the shots leader board in week 10, and was the second top performer overall. This enabled him to pick up his second Team Of The Week cap, which is two more than either Mohamed Salah or Roberto Firmino have got. Salah is still Liverpool’s main star, but Mané is hitting the real heights more often at the moment.
Forward: Callum Wilson. Fulham 0-3 Bournemouth.
What do Mané, Pereyra and Wilson have in common? They were all in our first team of the week, and they’ve all featured this week too. The Bournemouth man won and converted a penalty early on at Craven Cottage; had he done literally done nothing else, he’d have been 32nd in this week’s rankings. As it was he also scored again five minutes from time to take the bronze medal in week 10.
Forward: Anthony Martial. Manchester United 2-1 Everton.
Regular readers will know that Martial was all but in this team last week, until Aubameyang stole his place in the Monday night match. There were no such concerns for the talented but erratic Frenchman this time around, as he scored one goal, (very much) won the penalty for the other, and missed United’s best other opportunity. Gary Neville’s analysis of Martial on Monday Night Football is well worth tracking down, by the way, by fair means or foul.
Disagree with our choices? Let us know in the comments below. It’s the only way we’ll learn.