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Premier League Team of the Week - Kevin De Bruyne, Willian, Riyad Mahrez

:Headline: Premier League Team of the Week - Kevin De Bruyne, Willian, Riyad Mahrez:
Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 18, including Kevin De Bruyne, Willian and Riyad Mahrez.

The final round of Premier League fixtures before Christmas saw shocks and significant results at both ends of the table.

Manchester City beat Leicester City in a battle between third and second, leaving Liverpool still 10 points clear at the summit and now with a game in hand having been away at the Club World Cup this weekend.

Chelsea ended their poor form with victory over Tottenham Hotspur as Frank Lampard got one over on his former manager Jose Mourinho, although the 2-0 triumph was marred by accusations of racist abuse directed at Antonio Rudiger.

Rock-bottom Watford stunned Manchester United in Nigel Pearson's first home game in charge, while the gameweek saw the end of the interim reigns for both Duncan Ferguson and Freddie Ljungberg as Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta watched a dire goalless draw between Everton and Arsenal.

Southampton climbed out of the relegation zone by beating Aston Villa, who drop into the bottom three themselves as a result, while Sheffield United will spend Christmas in fifth place after their win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 18.



Manchester United have had problems beating teams below them in the table this season, but few gave Watford a chance on Sunday. However, after an encouraging display at Anfield last weekend, the Hornets picked up a memorable win, and Ben Foster was integral to that with eight saves against his former club.

Arsenal's stalemate at Goodison Park was a quickly forgettable performance, but there was at least a clean sheet for both sides and Calum Chambers played a big role in that for the Gunners by winning seven aerial duels.

The Englishman's versatility means that he moves over to right-back in this team, with Jack Stephens and James Tarkowski at the heart of the defence. Stephens scored Southampton's second goal in their crucial 3-1 win at Villa Park, while Tarkowski was part of a solid defensive Burnley display as they won at Bournemouth.

Romain Saiss, Fabian Schar and Yerry Mina all deserve mentions, while Paul Dummett was also in contention at left-back but only just misses out to Benjamin Mendy. The Frenchman is the first of a team-high three Man City players to make the cut, having provided an assist during their fine performance against Leicester.

It is admittedly a very attacking team this week given the number of outstanding midfield performances, arguably the best of which came from Kevin De Bruyne, who once again provided a masterclass. The Belgian only ended the match with one assist, but he also hit the woodwork and was the driving force behind City's come-from-behind win.

Perhaps the moment of the weekend came at St James' Park, where Miguel Almiron finally ended his much-publicised wait for his first Newcastle goal. The delight was clear to see as he wheeled off in celebration, and he will hope that the floodgates are now open.

Riyad Mahrez is the third Man City player in this week's XI having been the main attacking threat for much of their game against former club Leicester, and it was only a string of saves from Kasper Schmeichel which limited him to just one goal from his 10 shots.

Chelsea duo Willian and Mason Mount were similarly impressive in the win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with the Brazilian scoring both goals including a brilliant first and Mount causing Spurs problems throughout the contest.

There was plenty of competition for the forward places too, including Emiliano Buendia, Adama Traore, Ismaila Sarr and Gerard Deulofeu, but the in-form Danny Ings leads the line having netted another brace to take him up to 11 goals before Christmas - the first Southampton player to do that in the Premier League since James Beattie in 2002-03.

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last updated article - 2019-12-23 17:07:23:
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