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Premier League Team of the Week - Virgil van Dijk, Bernardo Silva, Ayoze Perez

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 35, including Bernardo Silva, Ayoze Perez and four Liverpool players.

The Premier League title race looks set to go down to the wire after both Manchester City and Liverpool continued their faultless form over the weekend to leave Jurgen Klopp's side still two points clear at the top.

Liverpool's 2-0 win over Cardiff City lifted them back above Man City after the champions had squeezed past Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, although things remain in the hands of Pep Guardiola's side ahead of Wednesday's crucial derby against Manchester United.

While neither team are slipping up in the title race, the top-four battle looks set to be decided by which team makes the fewest mistakes between now and the end of the season after Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea all dropped points this weekend.

Tottenham's loss at Man City was perhaps expected, but United were humiliated by Everton, Arsenal slumped to a shock home defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace and Chelsea were held by Burnley on Monday night.

At the other end of the table, Brighton & Hove Albion inched further away from the relegation zone with a goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Newcastle United confirmed their survival by beating Southampton.

Leicester City rescued a late draw at West Ham United to leave one point separating four teams in the race for seventh place, with Watford beating Huddersfield Town.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 35.



PL TOTW GW35

Man City bounced back from the disappointment of their Champions League exit with a narrow 1-0 win over the same team that knocked them out in the weekend's early game, but it could have been very different had Ederson not been at his best, continually coming out to deny Tottenham chances and making four key saves to protect his clean sheet.

It is an all-Merseyside six in front of Ederson, including three of the back four from City's title rivals Liverpool following their win over Cardiff. The Bluebirds did not exactly lay siege to the Liverpool goal, but Virgil van Dijk and in particular Joel Matip were key to a crucial clean sheet. Van Dijk was typically commanding at the back, while Matip was named man of the match having impressed both on and off the ball.

Trent Alexander-Arnold completes the Liverpool defensive trio at right-back courtesy of his clever assist for the breakthrough goal, having discussed a tactic at half time and then carried it out at the first available opportunity. Seamus Coleman also deserves a mention at right-back, while his Everton teammate Michael Keane is another who is unfortunate to miss out.

Lucas Digne does make the cut from the Toffees' memorable 4-0 win over United, though, having blasted home their third goal in addition to keeping another clean sheet.

There were a number of Everton players in the running for a place in this XI having produced the standout team performance of the weekend, but while the likes of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin narrowly miss out, Gylfi Sigurdsson was arguably the best of the lot. The Iceland international continued his fine scoring record against United and created another goal in the rout, but he is forced into a deeper-lying playmaker position in this team.

Georginio Wijnaldum joins Sigurdsson in the holding two having scored the opening goal against Cardiff and thrived in a relatively unfamiliar holding role, which allowed others to have more licence to attack. Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic was also in the running for a midfield spot but is just pipped by the Dutchman.

Phil Foden is another who deserves an honourable mention having repaid Guardiola's faith in him with the only goal for City against Spurs, but it was Bernardo Silva who again earned most of the plaudits from the outfield players, showing exactly why he is in the running for the PFA Player of the Year award.

Watford's Gerard Deulofeu once again showed the sort of form which inspired the Hornets to the FA Cup final, scoring twice to help his side past Huddersfield, including a particularly clever opener after just five minutes.

Deulofeu was outshone by Ayoze Perez of Newcastle, though, as his compatriot helped himself to a first Premier League hat-trick against Southampton to mathematically confirm the Magpies' top-flight status for another season.

It is an unlikely figure leading the line this week as Christian Benteke gets the nod, having finally ended a year-long goal drought in the Premier League. The Belgian also helped himself to an assist as Palace continued their fine away form with a win at the Emirates, earning a place ahead of Ashley Barnes in this week's XI.

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Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring against West Ham in the Premier League on February 27, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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