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Premier League Team of the Week - Alexander-Arnold, Bailey, Gravenberch

:Headline: Premier League Team of the Week - Alexander-Arnold, Bailey, Gravenberch:
Sports Mole selects its Premier League Team of the Week, including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Leon Bailey and Ryan Gravenberch.
Sports Mole

With the FA Cup semi-finals taking precedence, only seven Premier League fixtures were on the menu this weekend, albeit ones with crucial consequences at both ends of the table.

Arsenal have reclaimed top spot for the moment thanks to their 2-0 success over Wolverhampton Wanderers, although Liverpool remain on their coat-tails thanks to their 3-1 beating of Fulham.

Aston Villa's Champions League destiny remains in their own hands courtesy of their own 3-1 win over Bournemouth, but West Ham United's European ambitions suffered a devastating blow in a 5-2 beatdown against Crystal Palace.

At the other end of the division, Brentford ran riot in a 5-1 pummelling of Luton Town, Everton's 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest was marred by controversy and an astonishing post-match social media post, while the basement battle between Sheffield United and Burnley saw the Clarets smash the Blades 4-1.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League Team of the Week for the latest round of fixtures.


DEFENCE

On the back of two horrible howlers against Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion, Vincent Kompany kept faith in Burnley shot-stopper Arijanet Muric, who completed a heroic redemption arc in the success over Sheffield United with 10 saves. There was little he could have done about Gustavo Hamer's consolation either.

As Muric's exploits in his own penalty area made headlines for the right reasons, Clarets full-back Lorenz Assignon was a force to be reckoned with in the final third, jinking his way into the box and scoring via a deflected finish, before driving infield to set up Lyle Foster as Burnley kept their survival bid just about alive.

Owing to Assignon's brilliant Bramall Lane display, Trent Alexander-Arnold occupies an unfamiliar central role in our Team of the Week, but the Liverpool man simply had to be shoe-horned in. Surprisingly named in the first XI against Fulham after his energy-sapping display against Atalanta BC, the right-back opened the scoring with an inch-perfect free kick and also created one big chance to help the Reds put their miserable week out of their minds.

There is room for one out-and-out central defender in our rearguard, though, as Ethan Pinnock's return to the Brentford XI was a highly successful one; the Jamaica international easily outmuscled Gabriel Osho to head into the top corner while also making four clearances, one tackle, one block and one interception to steer the Bees further away from relegation danger.

Sergio Reguilon may only have a few weeks left in the red and white stripes, but the Tottenham Hotspur loanee put himself in the shop window with a stellar display of his own at Kenilworth Road. The Spaniard's corner for Pinnock was one of four chances he created on the day, while he also chipped in with five clearances, three tackles and two interceptions as speculation over his future rages.


MIDFIELD

As West Ham endured their worst-ever first half of football under David Moyes, Palace star Eberechi Eze was just one of several Eagles to help rip the Europa Conference League winners to shreds. The playmaker's goal and assist were both of the sublime variety - an emphatic bicycle kick before a cheeky yet simple pass through the legs of Kurt Zouma, which allowed Jean-Philippe Mateta to complete the rout.

The legacy of Everton's success over Forest will forever be the Tricky Trees' unprecedented post-game tweet - incredibly accusing the video assistant referee of holding Luton Town ties as their side were denied three penalties, but the exploits of Idrissa Gueye should not be forgotten. The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder broke the deadlock with a terrific low strike from range, while putting in four tackles and two interceptions to bring the Toffees one step closer to safety.

Speaking of well-taken goals from outside the area, Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch broke multiple ducks at Craven Cottage. By curling in an exquisite strike to restore the Reds' lead, the Dutchman opened his Premier League account and ended his side's two-week wait for another goal from open play, having gone eight halves of football without one.


ATTACK

Eze's fellow Palace jewel Michael Olise was certainly an honourable mention, and the Frenchman is unfortunate to be overlooked this week. However, Aston Villa's Leon Bailey was just too hot for Bournemouth to handle in the West Midlands, spraying a fantastic long ball to Morgan Rogers - one of six key passes he made on the day - and claiming the assist as the 21-year-old finished, before crashing in at the back post to hit double figures for the Premier League season.

It would have been an act of sacrilege to pick a Brentford-less attack after their destruction of Luton, where Yoane Wissa once again excelled in Ivan Toney's absence. Beginning the Bees' rout with a powerful first-time strike, the 27-year-old then got a lucky break of the ball in first-half injury time, but he quickly managed to sort his feet out to complete a well-earned brace.

Another London-based two-goal attacker continued his unexpected renaissance on Sunday, as Palace talisman Jean-Philippe Mateta made it seven goals from his last 11 games with a delightful double in the thrashing of West Ham. On the stretch, the 26-year-old managed to poke Olise's delivery into the net, before latching onto Eze's nutmeg pass, quickly adjusting his position and clinically finding the bottom corner, thereby scoring multiple goals in a Premier League game for the first time.


Sports Mole's Premier League Team of the Week (4-3-3): Muric; Assignon, Alexander-Arnold, Pinnock, Reguilon; Eze, Gueye, Gravenberch; Bailey, Mateta, Wissa


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Read more about Leon Bailey Ryan Gravenberch Trent Alexander-Arnold Gustavo Hamer Vincent Kompany Arijanet Muric Lyle Foster Lorenz Assignon Sergio Reguilon Gabriel Osho Ethan Pinnock David Moyes Eberechi Eze Kurt Zouma Jean-Philippe Mateta Michael Olise Morgan Rogers Yoane Wissa Ivan Toney Idrissa Gueye Football
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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