Our Premier League team of week 16 has four debutants, and three of them play for Manchester United. See what happens when you try to attack, Jose? Playing the side with the worst defensive record in the division clearly helps, in fairness.
Mohamed Salah’s hat trick obviously assured his spot here, but who else is in our XI? Let’s take a look at who the Twelve algorithm has taken a shine to this week.
Goalkeeper: Neil Etheridge. Cardiff City 1-0 Southampton.
Etheridge might be the top defensive performer in our team this week, yet he only had to make one save. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a goalkeeper make an interception in the six yard box, so he deserves his place here just for that.
Right-back: Matt Doherty. Newcastle United 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers.
While all goals are worth 1,000 points around here, surely a 94th minute away winner should be worth a little more?
Centre-back: Yerry Mina. Everton 2-2 Watford.
Mina won a penalty on Monday night which was his single highest scoring moment, but as we can see here he made numerous defensive actions through the spine of the Everton team.
Centre-back: David Luiz. Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City.
Being the team’s top off ball player is one thing, but being the first player to score a second goal in a league match against the champions for 22 games is rather more significant, wouldn’t you say?
Left-back: Ashley Young. Manchester United 4-1 Fulham.
His opening goal made the biggest impression, but Young also topped our attack rankings this week. There’s plenty of life in the old dog yet.
Midfield: Juan Mata. Manchester United 4-1 Fulham.
Mata wasn’t the only United player to score and assist a goal on Saturday, but he made the most important defensive contributions of those that did.
Midfield: Abdoulaye Doucoure. Everton 2-2 Watford.
Prior to Monday night, N’golo Kante had this slot. Both he and Doucoure scored a goal, so the Watford man obviously offered more defensively this week.
Midfield: Dele Alli. Leicester City 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur.
With no Harry Kane or Christian Eriksen in their side, it was easy to assume that Spurs might’ve struggled at Leicester. Dele Alli ensured they didn’t.
Forward: Mohamed Salah. Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool.
It’s not all about the goals, you know. Salah also topped the charts for chances created, dribbles completed and successful final third passes in Liverpool’s 4-0 win at Bournemouth.
Forward: Romelu Lukaku. Manchester United 4-1 Fulham.
Lukaku was at his efficient best on Saturday; very little actual involvement, but a goal scored against a weak opponent. Textbook.
Forward: Marcus Rashford. Manchester United 4-1 Fulham.
A goal, two assists and a couple of high value shots; virtually any other week and Rashford would have been our captain, but Salah’s trio of goals won him the armband. Maybe he and Rashford can discuss it at Anfield next Sunday afternoon?