Liverpool Dominate Premier League team of the Week

Best and worst combined XIs from the Premier League opening weekend

With six out of the eight victorious teams from this weekend all winning to nil and only two draws out of the 10 fixtures, the Premier League opening weekend didn’t quite have the drama and break-neck intensity served up in Russia this summer.

However, Arsenal’s defeat to Man City aside, all the big guns got off to winning starts and we were still treated to a host of great goals up and down the country.

Here are the best  XI from Premier League game week one.

Best XI

Goalkeeper: Alex McCarthy (Southampton)

Alex McCarthy and Joe Hart both looked on top form as they made sure Southampton and Burnley played out a goalless draw. However, McCarthy edges out his English compatriot for a place in this side as his six saves were crucial in keeping Burnley at bay – Hart only had to make three saves.

Key stat: Fabri (8) was the only goalkeeper to make more saves during the opening weekend, although the Fulham stopper also conceded two goals.

Right-back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace)

After impressing in parts last season, Aaron Wan-Bissaka earned his place in the Crystal Palace starting line-up over the summer.

The 20-year-old proved more than a worthy match for Ryan Sessegnon in defence, whilst also showing his ability to carry the ball forward as he provided the assist for Wilfried Zaha’s goal with a perfectly-weighted through ball.

With composed displays like this, the youngster isn’t likely to give that place up anytime soon.

Key stat: Wan-Bissaka made more interceptions (4) than any other Palace teammate against Fulham.

Centre-back: Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)

Picked up from where he left off last season with a dominant display at the back for Liverpool. The Reds are a totally different animal with Van Dijk in the side as he gets them defending on the front foot and is only satisfied with a clean sheet.

The Dutchman also seems to have struck a good understanding with Joe Gomez at centre-back.

Key stat: Equally comfortable with the ball at his feet, Van Dijk’s 98.36% passing accuracy shows that he is the perfect template for a modern centre-back.

Centre-back: James Tarkowski (Burnley)

After withdrawing from England’s standby list for the World Cup due to injury, James Tarkowski returned to Premier League action in imperious form again this weekend. He and Ben Mee marshalled the Burnley back-line brilliantly to help Joe Hart hold on to a clean sheet on his Burnley debut.

Key stat: Tarkowski’s won more aerial duels (10) and made more clearances (15) than any other defender in Matchday One.

Left-back: Jose Holebas (Watford)

As an all-round display from a full-back goes, it doesn’t get much better than Jose Holebas for Watford this weekend. The 34-year Greek international was solid in helping the Hornets keep a clean sheet and assisted both of Roberto Pererya’s goals at the other end.

Key stat: Jose Holebas created five chances for Watford against Brighton, the joint-most in the Premier League this weekend.

Central midfield: Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

After a stellar season in the Championship last term, and a lot of transfer speculation surrounding him over the summer, Ruben Neves was under a lot of pressure to perform against Everton on Saturday.

And the Portuguese international didn’t disappoint, scoring a wonderful free-kick in the first half and delivering a wonderful ball for Raul Jimenez to equalise for Wolves late in the second half.

Key stat: Ruben Neves was the only midfielder to both score and assist on the opening weekend.

Central midfield: Naby Keita (Liverpool)

A commanding, energetic display on his Liverpool debut. Based on this performance, Naby Keita will add real dynamism to the Reds’ midfield this season after dominating West Ham in the middle of the park.

Key stat: Naby Keita’s nine recoveries was the most of any Liverpool midfielder on Sunday.

Central midfield: Roberto Pereyra (Watford)

Watford completely outplayed Brighton on the opening day, and that was in no small part down to Roberto Pereyra.

Two wonderful goals, working hard in defence and a constant attacking threat, this was a fantastic individual display from the former Juventus man.

Key stat: To go with his two goals, Pereyra’s three dribbles completed was the most of any Watford player.

Forward: Richarlison (Everton)

After so much debate as to whether Everton overpaid for Richarlison, the Brazilian let his football do the talking with two goals on his competitive debut for the Toffees.

Had Everton not been reduced to 10 men, they might have been two winning goals.

Key stat: Richarlison scored with his first two shots for Everton – he had failed to find the net with his last 53 attempts for Watford.

Forward: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Liverpool’s front three looks raring to go again this season and, today, Sadio Mane was the standout among them.

Two goals from the Senegalese international helped put West Ham to the sword at Anfield, more of this ruthlessness is needed this season if Liverpool are to challenge Manchester City for the title.

Key stat: Sadio Mane became only the sixth player to score in three consecutive opening day Premier League fixtures after his brace against West Ham.

Forward: Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)

The Scottish international put Bournemouth ahead by scoring with his first shot of the season, just as he did with his final shot of last season.

A constant threat with his pace and trickery, Fraser was Bournemouth’s prime creative outlet as they beat Premier League new boys, Cardiff, 2-0.

Even Neil Warnock admitted as much in his post-match interview.

Key stat: Fraser won more fouls (4) and created more chances (3) than any player on the pitch.


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