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Premier League Team of the Week - Mohamed Salah, Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino

Sports Mole selects its Team of the Week from gameweek eight of the Premier League season, including Mohamed Salah, Edouard Mendy and Roberto Firmino.

Gameweek eight of the 2021-22 Premier League season is done and dusted, with Chelsea retaining their position at the top of the pile after narrowly beating an inspired Brentford 1-0.

Liverpool kept the pressure on the Blues by producing a five-star performance to thrash Claudio Ranieri's Watford, while Manchester City eased to a 2-0 win over Burnley.

Fourth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion suffered an underwhelming goalless draw with basement side Norwich City, while the new era at Newcastle United began with a 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United's sticky patch continued with a 4-2 defeat to Leicester City, while West Ham United got the better of Everton 1-0 and Arsenal left it late to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

Elsewhere, Southampton nullified Leeds United to win 1-0 while Aston Villa lost a thrilling contest 3-2 to Wolverhampton Wanderers, and there were certainly some standout performers on show throughout the weekend.

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


DEFENCE

Chelsea defender Malang Sarr embraces Edouard Mendy after win over Brentford on October 16, 2021© Reuters

One man in particular stopped Brentford from claiming another famous scalp in front of their own fans, and that was Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. The Senegalese shot-stopper made a total of six saves on the day - five of which came inside the box - and stood firm throughout the 90 minutes to ensure his side's victory.

Chelsea's clean sheet on the day was also helped in no small part by Malang Sarr, whose Premier League debut for the club saw him make 10 clearances, five interceptions and three tackles, as well as an 86% pass completion rate during an eye-catching first performance. Alongside the 22-year-old is Lewis Dunk, who ensured that Norwich would not be claiming their first win of the season with four clearances, three blocks, two interceptions and two tackles, while he won four of his six aerial duels and completed 95% of his passes.

Chelsea are well-represented in this week's backline, but a man they let go in Valentino Livramento also earns a place in our team. The 18-year-old continues to prove an excellent piece of business for the Saints with a professional showing in the win over Leeds, winning eight of his 11 ground duels, making five tackles, a staggering 96% pass completion rate and succeeding with both of his dribble attempts.

Wolves' Romain Saiss is a centre-back by trade but has been shifted out to the left for the purposes of this TOTW, with the Moroccan inspiring his side's dramatic comeback against Villa by being in the right place at the right time to prod home his side's first, while he also chipped in with five clearances, three interceptions and two tackles at the other end of the pitch.


MIDFIELD

Aston Villa's John McGinn celebrates scoring their second goal on October 16, 2021© Reuters

The day would ultimately end in disappointment for John McGinn and Aston Villa during the West Midlands derby, but take nothing away from the Scot's contribution. McGinn would score the second and set up his side's first goal on the day while also making four key passes and winning eight ground duels in front of his own fans.

When Tottenham were in dire need of inspiration at St James' Park, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg stepped up. The Danish lynchpin chipped an inch-perfect ball over the Newcastle defence to set Harry Kane on his way to scoring and incredibly completed 96% of his 103 passes, as well as making nine tackles.

The final spot in our midfield triumvirate belongs to Youri Tielemans, who has not been at his brilliant best all season long but produced the goods when it mattered against Man United. As well as his simply sublime first-half equaliser, the Belgian posted a 90% pass completion rate, chipped in with three key passes and was the heartbeat of the fantastic Foxes at the King Power Stadium.


ATTACK

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their fourth goal on October 16, 2021© Reuters

Armando Broja may have been the match winner for Southampton against Leeds, but his more experienced counterpart Nathan Redmond stood out above the rest. The Englishman unselfishly laid the ball on a plate for his teammate to fire home the winner and was unlucky not to score on the day, but with 4/4 successful dribbles, six key passes and five ground duels won, Redmond's contribution cannot be overlooked.

There could be a case for any member of Liverpool's XI to make the cut this week given how they simply ripped the Hornets to shreds on Saturday lunchtime, but with three of his side's five goals on the day, Roberto Firmino was one of the first names in our team and will hope to give Diogo Jota a good run for his money for the remainder of the campaign now.

As if his outrageous outside-of-the-foot assist to Sadio Mane was not enough, Mohamed Salah produced a carbon copy of his goal-of-the-season contender against Manchester City at Vicarage Road - weaving in and out of tackles before firing home an unstoppable effort past a stranded Ben Foster - and the Egyptian wing king continues to stake his claim as one of the best in the world.


Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week

PL TOTW GW 8

Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week (4-3-3): Mendy; Livramento, Dunk, Sarr, Saiss; McGinn, Hojbjerg, Tielemans; Salah, Firmino, Redmond


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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1511223292335
2Liverpool15104144123234
3Chelsea1510323592633
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham158342819927
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs148151617-125
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd157352524124
7Arsenal157261822-423
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves156361213-121
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton154831416-220
10Aston Villa156182124-319
11Leicester CityLeicester155462327-419
12Everton155371925-618
13Brentford154561921-217
14Crystal Palace153751921-216
15Leeds UnitedLeeds153751522-716
16Southampton153751421-716
17Watford1541102029-913
18Burnley141761421-710
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle151771730-1310
20Norwich CityNorwich15249831-2310

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