MX23RW : Monday, March 25 10:50:31

Premier League Team of the Week - Sadio Mane, Ruben Neves, Naby Keita

Sports Mole selects the Premier League team of the week for matchday one, including three Liverpool players and two from Watford.

The Premier League returned from its summer break at the weekend and Liverpool were the standout performers on matchday one as they established themselves as the early leaders with a 4-0 win over West Ham United.

Defending champions Manchester City made a statement of their own by cruising to a 2-0 win away to Unai Emery's Arsenal despite missing a number of key first-team players, while there were also wins for Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur as last season's top five all avoided opening-weekend slip-ups.

Things were tougher for the newly-promoted sides, with free-spending Fulham falling to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers failing to beat 10-man Everton and Cardiff City slumping to a 2-0 reverse at Bournemouth.

Elsewhere, Watford eased to victory over Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton and Burnley played out the only goalless draw of the weekend at St Mary's on Sunday.

Find out who Sports Mole has selected in their Premier League team of the week below.



PL TOTW GW 1
Southampton's Alex McCarthy may have made more saves than any other goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet this weekend, but Wayne Hennessey's performance contained a number of top-quality stops to keep Fulham at bay. Hennessey was selected ahead of summer signing Vicente Guaita, and quickly repaid Roy Hodgson's faith in him.

Another key member of that Palace rearguard was 20-year-old Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who registered an assist to go with his clean sheet and was lauded by Hodgson after the match. Manchester City's Kyle Walker also had a fine game against Arsenal, but narrowly misses out to his fellow Englishman for a place in this team.

There is plenty of competition on the opposite side of the defence too; Luke Shaw scored his first professional goal in his 134th appearance and Benjamin Mendy notched two assists for City, although manager Pep Guardiola was not wholly satisfied with the Frenchman's display. The left-back berth goes to Jose Holebas, though, with the Greek defender assisting both of Watford's goals and keeping a clean sheet in the win over Brighton.

At the heart of the defence, Virgil van Dijk once again looked the picture of control and authority as Liverpool comfortably contained a West Ham attack heavily strengthened in the transfer window, completing 60 of his 61 passes in the process. Jan Vertonghen also impressed as Spurs overcame Newcastle United, scoring the opening goal to help Tottenham on their way to all three points.

Much has been made of Ruben Neves's quality since his arrival to English football, and he made light work of the step up from the Championship to the Premier League with a goal and an assist - both of very high quality - in Wolves' draw with Everton. Chelsea's defensive midfield duo of Jorginho and N'Golo Kante were also in contention for a place in the side having both scored in the win over Huddersfield Town, but neither wielded quite the same influence as Neves.

Naby Keita was also making his Premier League debut this weekend, and Liverpool fans will be excited by the start he made. The summer signing dominated the midfield as Liverpool racked up the biggest win of the opening weekend, earning his place in the team just ahead of Paul Pogba.

The midfield trio is completed by Roberto Pereyra, who scored two fine goals to fire Watford past Brighton. The Argentine has now had a hand in each of his side's last six Premier League goals, scoring five and assisting one.

Two-goal Sadio Mane completes the trio of Liverpool players in the team, while from the other half of Merseyside Richarlison also notched a brace to almost single-handedly earn the 10-man Toffees a point at Molineux on his debut. There was no shortage of impressive performances from wingers this weekend - including goalscorers Raheem Sterling and Pedro - but Mane and Richarlison have catapulted themselves into an early lead in the Golden Boot standings.

Picking someone to lead the line was more difficult, but Callum Wilson's return of a goal and an assist more than makes up for his missed penalty against Cardiff. The striker will hope that it signals the start of an injury-free and goal-filled campaign.

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Jamie Vardy of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Leicester, England.
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Premier League Team of the Week
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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