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Premier League Team of the Week - Odegaard, Fernandez, Alexander-Arnold

Sports Mole picks its Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek 14, including Martin Odegaard, Enzo Fernandez and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Twenty Premier League teams delivered an early festive treat in the first round of December fixtures, and Arsenal continue to lead the pack owing to a 2-1 beating of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Liverpool maintained their 100% home record to rise into second place with an unforgettable 4-3 win over Fulham, before Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur's blockbuster battle lived up to the hype in a 3-3 stalemate.

Newcastle United piled even more pressure on Erik ten Hag with a merited 1-0 victory over Manchester United, while 10-man Chelsea earned a rare home win, seeing off Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.

Aston Villa remain in the Champions League mix despite only managing a point in a 2-2 draw away to Bournemouth, while West Ham United are clinging onto a top-half position on the back of a 1-1 draw against London rivals Crystal Palace.

Elsewhere, Brentford returning to winning ways with a 3-1 success over Luton Town, Everton claimed a potentially priceless 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest, while Burnley taught relegation rivals Sheffield United a footballing lesson in a 5-0 drubbing.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek 14.


DEFENCE

Everton's James Tarkowski celebrates scoring against Burnley on November 1, 2023© Reuters

A bruised and bandaged Bernd Leno deserves a mention for almost helping Fulham claim a famous Anfield scalp, but ex-Brighton man Robert Sanchez drowned out the boos to shine for Chelsea against his old club; there was little he could have done about either Seagulls goal, but seven saves were imperative in the Blues' success.

Chelsea were not the only team in blue to prevail by a solitary goal at the weekend, as Everton brought some much-needed cheer to the travelling fans at the City Ground and kept one of only two clean sheets in gameweek 14 thanks to James Tarkowski, who won eight of his 10 aerial duels and made a staggering nine clearances to keep Forest at bay.

In contrast, Burnley's attackers unsurprisingly took most of the credit for their demolition job of Sheffield United, but centre-back Dara O'Shea played his part with a delightful ball over the top for Jacob Bruun Larsen to finish, while also losing just one of his eight aerial battles to help Burnley end their torrid home hoodoo.

Brentford's Ben Mee - a fan favourite at the Gtech Community Stadium - also came up with an assist in the Bees' beating of Luton, albeit an unorthodox one as his mishit shot fell kindly for Neal Maupay, before adding a goal to his record for the day with a deflected header to help ensure a return to victorious ways for Thomas Frank's team.


MIDFIELD

Chelsea's Enzo Fernandez celebrates scoring their third goal on December 3, 2023© Reuters

The work of Tino Livramento against Man United did not go unnoticed, but Kieran Trippier ran the Red Devils ragged on the right-hand side at St James' Park, providing the cross for Anthony Gordon's winner while shining in all facets of the game with six key passes, four interceptions and three successful dribbles, as well as rattling the crossbar with a trademark free kick.

While Trippier's first-time attempt did not nestle into the net, a sweetly-struck effort from Burnley's Josh Brownhill capped off a five-star display for Vincent Kompany's side against Sheffield United, on a day where the lynchpin also won all four of his ground duels and four of his five aerial battles in the hosts' performance of the season so far.

After almost an entire year of trying and failing to open his Premier League account, Chelsea midfield maestro Enzo Fernandez achieved not only his first goal in the competition against Brighton, but his first brace, heading in the Blues' opener before calmly slotting home what proved to be the decisive spot kick in West London.

Over in North London, Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard looked more like his old self in the slender success over Wolves, producing a quintessential first-time left-footed strike to double the Gunners' lead, and the ex-Real Madrid protege should have ended the game with at least one assist, only to see Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah squander gilt-edged opportunities.

One man who did not waste such an opening was Liverpool vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was ultimately not credited for a sensational free kick against Fulham - which had deflected off of Leno's back - but the right-back would not be denied in the 87th minute, lashing home a thunderous fourth for the Reds to prolong their perfect Anfield streak in remarkable circumstances.


ATTACK

Tottenham Hotspur's Dejan Kulusevski celebrates scoring against Manchester City on December 3, 2023© Reuters

There are few better love stories in the Premier League than Dejan Kulusevski at the Etihad Stadium, who had already scored in back-to-back games on Man City's turf and haunted the Citizens yet again on Sunday. After teeing up Son Heung-min for Tottenham's opener, the Swede nodded - or shouldered - home a dramatic 90th-minute leveller, thereby becoming just the second player to score away to the reigning champions in three straight seasons after Danny Murphy.

Erling Haaland may have been a candidate to earn the 11th and final spot owing to his pair of assists, but the Norwegian left his best shooting boots in the dressing room and took his frustration out on referee Simon Hooper at full time, perhaps justifiably given the official's bizarre last-minute decision to pull play back with Jack Grealish through on goal. However, Zeki Amdouni needed no lessons in taking his chances for Burnley against Sheffield United, chesting the ball down and producing an emphatic finish before setting up Luca Koleosho as the Clarets banished their Turf Moor demons.


SPORTS MOLE'S PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE WEEK

PL TOTW GW14

Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week (3-5-2): Sanchez; Tarkowski, O'Shea, Mee; Trippier, Brownhill, Fernandez, Odegaard, Alexander-Arnold; Kulusevski, Amdouni

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Chelsea's Reece James leaves the pitch after being shown a red card by referee Simon Hooper on November 25, 2023
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Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool26186263253860
2Manchester CityMan City25175358263256
3Arsenal25174458223655
4Aston Villa25154652331949
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd2514293534144
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2510874840838
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle251141053411237
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham2510693644-836
10Chelsea25105104241135
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves25105103940-135
12Fulham2585123441-729
13Bournemouth2477103346-1328
14Brentford2574143544-925
15Crystal Palace2567122844-1625
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2566133244-1224
17Everton2586112733-620
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
19Burnley2534182555-3013
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2534182265-4313

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