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Premier League Team of the Week - Diogo Jota, Jamie Vardy, Virgil van Dijk

Sports Mole selects its Team of the Week for gameweek 13 of the Premier League season, including Diogo Jota, Jamie Vardy and Virgil van Dijk.

Gameweek 13 of the 2021-22 Premier League season is done and dusted, with Chelsea still leading the way despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United in the capital.

Reigning champions Manchester City closed the gap to one point after beating West Ham United 2-1, while Liverpool kept pace with the big boys by seeing off Southampton 4-0.

Arsenal moved level on points with the fourth-placed Hammers by beating Newcastle United 2-0, moving three clear of Wolverhampton Wanderers following their stalemate with Norwich City.

There were also no goals to be had in Brighton & Hove Albion's battle with Leeds United, and only a penalty could separate Brentford and Everton in a 1-0 success for the Bees.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa sunk Crystal Palace 2-1, Leicester City put four past Watford in a 4-2 goal-fest, and Storm Arwen prevented Burnley's game with Tottenham Hotspur taking place.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek 13.


Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring their fourth goal against Southampton in the Premier League on November 27, 2021© Reuters

There were a number of standout performances in between the sticks this weekend, but none more so than Brentford deputy Alex Fernandez, who thwarted Everton with five saves - four from shots inside the area - to preserve the Bees' clean sheet.

An astute piece of transfer business from Arsenal continues to pay dividends, as Takehiro Tomiyasu starred in their victory over Newcastle - providing a stellar assist for Gabriel Martinelli, while also making three tackles, winning 5/7 ground duels and completing six accurate long passes.

On the opposite side of defence, Brighton's Marc Cucurella stood out in a below-par encounter during the visit of Leeds, with the Spaniard making four clearances, four tackles, winning eight ground duels and making two key passes in an assured display.

Defenders did not exactly make all the headlines during Leicester's clash with Watford, but Jonny Evans was a key figure in the Foxes' victory, finding James Maddison with a long ball for his side's opener and chipping in with seven tackles, 8/9 ground duels won and 4/6 aerial battles won. Alongside the Northern Irishman is a man who provided a striker's finish for Liverpool against Southampton, as Virgil van Dijk - a rock at the back as always - finished delightfully from a corner and completed 91% of his passes on the day.


 Leicester City's James Maddison, November 7, 2021© Reuters

A number of Aston Villa players are clearly already benefitting from the arrival of Steven Gerrard, and John McGinn was the star of the show at Selhurst Park, wrapping up the three points with a delightful strike from outside the area, making seven tackles and winning a staggering 12/13 ground duels during that 2-1 win.

The Arctic conditions in Manchester did not seem to phase Ilkay Gundogan during the visit of West Ham, as the German midfielder opened the scoring on the day before setting up Fernandinho for his side's second, while he also made four key passes and posted a 97% pass success rate at the Etihad.

James Maddison has largely struggled to find his best form in the 2021-22 campaign, but he was the heartbeat of the Leicester side which saw off Watford - scoring once and providing two assists in a highly promising performance.


Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during training, November 24, 2021© Reuters

It was easy to see why Gabriel Martinelli's name produced the roar that it did from the Arsenal faithful on Saturday lunchtime, as the Brazilian starlet took all of 90 seconds to latch onto Tomiyasu's pass and expertly finish on the volley past Martin Dubravka, which could very well be a sign of better things to come for the youngster.

Barely an hour after withdrawing from a FIFA tournament to take his place in the lineup against Southampton, Diogo Jota was in the right place at the right time twice to fire home for the Reds - paying homage to the video game with his celebration for the first - and all three of the Portuguese's dribble attempts were successful.

The line could only be led by one man this week, as record-breaker Jamie Vardy - now just six weeks short of his 35th birthday - bagged twice against Watford to take his post-30 Premier League tally to 93 strikes, matching the record set by Arsenal legend Ian Wright, and the Leicester man will surely dethrone his compatriot soon enough.



Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week (4-2-3-1): Fernandez; Tomiyasu, Evans, Van Dijk, Cucurella; McGinn, Gundogan; Martinelli, Maddison, Jota; Vardy

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Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring against Burnley in the Premier League on September 25, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
1Manchester CityMan City23183255144157
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd2211563630638
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham23114841311037
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs2011362624236
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2110471916334
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2261242323030
10Leicester CityLeicester207583437-326
11Aston Villa2182112832-426
13Crystal Palace225983134-324
15Leeds UnitedLeeds215792440-1622
17Norwich CityNorwich2244141345-3216
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2129102143-2215

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