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Premier League Team of the Week - Sergio Aguero, Marcus Rashford, Virgil van Dijk

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 22, including Sergio Aguero, Marcus Rashford and Virgil van Dijk.

Records went tumbling both at team and individual levels this weekend, with Liverpool leading the way courtesy of their 1-0 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

The result was enough to extend their lead at the top of the table to 14 points, but the headlines all focused on the fact that they have now made the best start to a campaign in the history of Europe's top five leagues, taking 61 points from the 63 on offer.

Manchester City did their best to steal Liverpool's thunder by closing the gameweek out with a 6-1 thrashing of Aston Villa, in which more landmarks were reached.

Indeed, it was a memorable weekend for Manchester as a whole, with United running out 4-0 victors over Norwich City to remain within five points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who beat Burnley 3-0.

Leicester City dropped down to third as Southampton gained revenge for their 9-0 defeat in the reverse with a shock 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium, continuing their charge up the table.

Watford have also experienced a drastic upturn in form over recent weeks, and they finally climbed out of the bottom three with a 3-0 triumph over Bournemouth, who now sit in the relegation zone themselves.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 22.



PL TOTW GW22

Newcastle United's 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers certainly did not make as many headlines as many other results this weekend, but considering the injury crisis the Magpies are experiencing, it was arguably one of the most impressive scorelines. Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was vital to earning Steve Bruce's side a point, making two world-class stops to keep the hosts at bay.

Liverpool controlled much of the game against Tottenham, but they still needed Virgil van Dijk to fend off any counter-attacks. The Ballon d'Or runner-up made a crucial last-ditch tackle on Dele Alli and was typically imperious throughout as Liverpool kept a sixth successive clean sheet.

Alongside him at centre-back is Cesar Azpilicueta, who added another goal to his growing tally in the win over Burnley. Azpilicueta played at left-back in that match, but the competition for places in that position means that he switches to centre-back for this XI, narrowly beating Harry Maguire and Spurs debutant Japhet Tanganga to a spot.

Brandon Williams and Jairo Riedewald also deserve mentions as left-back candidates, but Watford's Adam Masina gets the nod having made four tackles, won four aerial duels and kept a clean sheet as the Hornets swept Bournemouth aside.

On the opposite flank is the first of four Man City players, with Joao Cancelo beating Chelsea's Reece James to a place in the XI. Cancelo made five tackles, boasted a 95% pass accuracy rate and was a constant attacking presence as Man City put Villa to the sword.

Miguel Almiron finally seems to have found his goalscoring touch in the Premier League and his strike against Wolves earns him a place in midfield alongside Etienne Capoue, who prevented Bournemouth from getting anything going in an attacking sense with a destructive display at the base of the midfield.

Abdoulaye Doucoure, Stuart Armstrong and John Fleck all deserve midfield mentions, as do Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. Despite the absence of the latter two, Man City are still well represented in the attacking positions, though, boasting three of the front four courtesy of their six-goal show.

Riyad Mahrez scored the first two goals and helped himself to an assist later too, while Gabriel Jesus scored one and created another having been selected up front alongside Sergio Aguero.

It was the Argentine who stole the show, though, overtaking Thierry Henry as the highest-scoring foreign player in Premier League history and breaking Alan Shearer's hat-trick record courtesy of his 12th treble in the competition. Debates over just where Aguero ranks in the history of Premier League strikers will no doubt rage over the coming days, and he was the first name on the teamsheet for this week's XI.

Marcus Rashford makes for an all-Manchester front four, continuing his own fine form this season with a brace to mark his 200th appearance for Manchester United, netting either side of half time to put his side well on course for all three points.

Had it not been for Man City's free-scoring display then Juan Mata and Anthony Martial may both have been in line for a place in this week's team too, although there was plenty of other competition from elsewhere.

Richarlison, Troy Deeney, Danny Ings, Willian, Roberto Firmino, Tammy Abraham, Oli McBurnie, Bernard and Callum Hudson-Odoi were all in contention for an attacking role, but it was the Manchester clubs that provided most of the firepower this weekend.

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Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring for Manchester City on December 29, 2019
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PL Team of the Week - De Bruyne, Rashford, Deeney
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd381812866363066
4Chelsea382061269541566
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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