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Premier League Team of the Week - Rodrigo Moreno, Bukayo Saka, Raphinha

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 16, including seven Leeds United players.

The worsening coronavirus crisis hit Premier League football for one last time in 2020 as two fixtures were postponed in the final gameweek of the year.

Everton vs. Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham were the matches to fall foul of an increase in positive cases, while the eight remaining fixtures failed to produce too many fireworks as a unique year went out with a whimper rather than a bang.

Only 12 goals were scored in those eight matches, and five of those came for Leeds United as they put West Bromwich Albion to the sword at the Hawthorns.

Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at Newcastle United, while Southampton and West Ham United also played out a stalemate.

Manchester United's late win over Wolverhampton Wanderers lifted them up to second place, now just three points off top with a game in hand, while there were also one-goal victories for Arsenal and Burnley against Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United respectively.

The gameweek started with two 1-1 draws on Monday as Chelsea shared the spoils with Aston Villa and Crystal Palace drew with Leicester City.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 16.



PL TOTW GW16

Liverpool failed to score for the first time this season in their St James' stalemate, and that was largely down to the heroics of Karl Darlow, who made four saves - including particularly good ones to deny Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino - as the champions were frustrated.

Burnley did manage to make a breakthrough against Sheffield United, with Ben Mee getting the only goal of that game in addition to helping the Clarets to a clean sheet.

Mee did enough to pip teammate James Tarkowski and Newcastle duo Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez to a place in this XI, and it is Leeds who dominate much of the rest of this team.

Marcelo Bielsa's side reap the full rewards of producing by far the standout team performance of the gameweek with no fewer than seven selections, including three of the back four.

Full-backs Ezgjan Alioski and Stuart Dallas both had a direct hand in a goal apiece - Alioski scoring the second and Dallas assisting the fifth - while Luke Ayling also contributed to the clean sheet as Leeds nullified the West Brom attack.

John McGinn did enough to be a rare non-Leeds selection in this team with an all-action display in the draw with Chelsea, and he was unfortunate not to win his side that game with a thunderous effort which clattered off the crossbar.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka is the other non-Leeds player in the XI having been the Gunners' standout performer in their win over Brighton, eventually teeing up Alexandre Lacazette for the only goal of the game to cap off a fine individual display.

Leeds dominate the rest of the team; Kalvin Phillips ran the show in the middle of the park having returned to his favourite position, while in front of him Jack Harrison and Raphinha both got themselves on the scoresheet.

Saka's presence sees Raphinha pushed into a more central role than he is used to, and there is also a bit of juggling with the position of Rodrigo Moreno, who was another of Leeds' goalscorers.

The summer signing has been playing in a deeper role than usual since his arrival, but goes back to his more recognised centre-forward position here, beating Patrick Bamford and Lacazette to a place in the team.

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Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring against Sheffield United in the Premier League on December 17, 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool64201541114
2Manchester CityMan City64111211113
3Chelsea64111221013
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd6411135813
5Everton6411127513
6Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton641185313
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham6321138511
8Aston Villa631297210
9Brentford62318539
10Arsenal6303510-59
11Tottenham HotspurSpurs630349-59
12Watford621379-27
13Leicester CityLeicester6213710-37
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves620435-26
15Crystal Palace613269-36
16Southampton604247-34
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle6033714-73
18Leeds UnitedLeeds6033614-83
19Burnley6024511-62
20Norwich CityNorwich6006216-140

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