MX23RW : Thursday, February 21 04:34:32

Premier League Team of the Week - Sergio Aguero, Paul Pogba, Georginio Wijnaldum

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 26, including two Manchester United players, three from Liverpool and four from Manchester City.

Manchester City provided the most emphatic statement of their title credentials yet in gameweek 26 by putting six goals past Chelsea in a rout which saw them 4-0 ahead inside 25 minutes.

The result sent the champions roaring back to the top of the Premier League table after being knocked off the summit by Liverpool's 3-0 win over Bournemouth 24 hours earlier.

Tottenham Hotspur are also right in the race as they ground out a 3-1 win over Leicester City at Wembley on Sunday, while there were victories for Manchester United and Arsenal too as the Red Devils climbed into the Champions League places.

Cardiff City picked up a dramatic and emotional win over Southampton in their first match since the death of Emiliano Sala was confirmed, and there was also a late goal at Molineux on Monday night as Wolverhampton Wanderers rescued a point against Newcastle United.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 26.



PL TOTW GW26

A clean sheet may have eluded Hugo Lloris at Wembley, but without the Frenchman Spurs may well have lost against Leicester. Lloris made nine saves - including one from the penalty spot - to secure all three points for the title outsiders.

Liverpool and Man City remain the frontrunners in that race, and between them they provide three of the back four in this week's team. James Milner was once again asked to fill in at right-back and was a constant threat going forward - helping himself to an assist along the way - while Joel Matip not only ensured a Liverpool clean sheet but also played his part in launching a number of attacks in a game his side should have won by more than three goals.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has not always been trusted in the big games by Pep Guardiola, but he rewarded his manager's faith in Sunday's showdown with Chelsea by registering assists for two of Man City's six goals at the Etihad.

At the other end of the table, Cardiff skipper Sol Bamba led his side through a difficult game at St Mary's and opened the scoring too, setting the foundation for their 2-1 win. Willy Boly also deserves a mention for salvaging a point for Wolves, while Davinson Sanchez and Jack Stephens also got on the scoresheet from defence, but Bamba edges them to a place in this week's team.

It is no coincidence that Liverpool's return to form came at the same time as Georginio Wijnaldum's return to the team. The Dutchman has been his side's most consistent midfielder this season and overcame illness to score an exquisite goal in his side's victory over Bournemouth.

Man City could have easily claimed all three places in midfield - perhaps even all 11 places in the team - such was the quality of their performance against Chelsea, but Ilkay Gundogan is the one who gets the nod in the middle of the park, narrowly beating Fernandinho to a spot by virtue of getting on the scoresheet, not to mention recording a 97% pass accuracy.

Paul Pogba has become a regular member of these teams since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the Frenchman continued his incredible form with a brace against Fulham on Saturday to run the show at Craven Cottage.

Anthony Martial scored the pick of the bunch in that 3-0 win, though, with a fine solo effort which drew comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo. Martial also helped himself to an assist, which is enough to earn him a place above Wilfried Zaha and Mohamed Salah in this week's XI.

There was little doubt about the identities of the other two players in this front three, with Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling scoring five of City's six goals between them. Aguero helped himself to his second hat-trick in the space of a week - and his record-equalling 11th in the Premier League - while Sterling opened and closed the scoring in arguably City's best-ever performance under Guardiola.

Honourable mentions should go to the likes of Roberto Firmino and Burnley duo Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood - all of whom enjoyed really good games over the weekend - but it is impossible to look past Aguero to lead the line this week.

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Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero celebrates opening the scoring against Arsenal on February 3, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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