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Premier League team of the week - who gets in?

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The opening weekend of the Barclays Premier League lived up to its expectations, but a couple of the big teams were given shocks by sides of a lower status.

Plenty of debutants made their first appearance for their new club's, six of which feature in my Premier League team of the week.

GK - Adrian - West Ham

There were only four clean sheets over the weekend. Adrian, Simon Mignolet, Sergio Romero and Brad Guzan were the only 'keepers not to concede, but the latter trio were left virtually bored in their fixtures, so the only deserving winner is Adrian who played a major role in Arsenal's 2-0 home defeat to West Ham United.

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The Spaniard denied Olivier Giroud on a number of occasions, before preventing substitute Alexis Sanchez to strike a goal or two back in the final twenty minutes.

DEFENCE - Micah Richards - Aston Villa

There was a lot of pressure riding on Micah Richards ahead of his Premier League return since leaving behind him a long spell at Manchester City last summer, but I thought the centre-back performed professionally to assist in Aston Villa getting a clean sheet on the road.

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Defensively he looked sound, and there were no problems with his attacking play, also. A player who has been snubbed by the critics over the summer silenced a lot of people by the final whistle on Saturday.

DEFENCE - Winston Reid - West Ham

Another top quality performance from a West Ham defender, now, and it's the turn of Winston Reid who seems impossible to beat to an aerial duel. 

The towering presence of Olivier Giroud certainly didn't deter Reid of completing his job to full effect, and he certainly deserves a large helping of the plaudits.

DEFENCE - Martin Skrtel - Liverpool

The trend continues. If you kept a clean sheet this week, you make it in the team of the week. But Martin Skrtel defended with real determination today and put his body on the line to keep Stoke City at bay.

It was also nice to see him trying his luck from a corner, seeing a header saved by Jack Butland. More performances like that from the Slovakian could help Liverpool into next year's European schedule.

DEFENCE - Matteo Darmian - Man United

Manchester United have bought themselves a gem at right-back if Matteo Darmian's performance on Saturday is anything to go by.

The Italian seemed so cool, calm and collective in his defending and forced attackers such as Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen into awkward situations which eventually saw United win the ball.

MIDFIELD - Riyad Mahrez - Leicester

Again, like many occasions last season, a lot of people have been speaking very highly of Riyad Mahrez. And it's no surprise after the Algerian netted twice.

Maybe he could have had a handful more, but that's for the Leicester City fans to debate in the comments below.

MIDFIELD - Yohan Cabaye - Crystal Palace

Alan Pardew is reunited with Yohan Cabaye and the Frenchman gave his boss something to smile about after sealing a 3-1 win for Crystal Palace against Norwich City.

A thorough and resolute performance saw Cabaye complete a normal day at the office at his new club where he is expected to score double figures.

MIDFIELD - Giorginio Wijnaldum - Newcastle

Yet another debutant now, and this is probably one of the best in the bunch. Giorginio Wijnaldum marked his first appearance in a Newcastle United shirt with a marvellous goal that will make Alan Shearer roll back the years to his playing days.

The Dutchman could have added a couple more to the scoresheet, also, but it's nothing for Magpies fans to get worked up over.

MIDFIELD - Reece Oxford - West Ham

"Have you seen Mesut Ozil, Arsenal FC midfielder, 26, last seen at the Emirates Stadium, London?" That is what one amusing remark read on Twitter after 16-year-old Reece Oxford made his West Ham debut, having Mesut Ozil in his "back pocket".

Arsenal's so-called midfield maestro was kept quiet all game by a young lad who will be off to collect his GCSE results next week. A* for you, Reece!

Midfield - Dimitri Payet - West Ham

Another Hammer made his debut today, and Dimitri Payet reminded me of Alexis Sanchez in that he will chase any lost cause, take on any player, and pull the trigger from the most unthinkable positions. 

We were treated to seeing all three of those things on Sunday afternoon, and certainly hope to see more from the fancy Frenchman in the coming weeks.

Striker - Graziano Pelle - Southampton

There haven't been a great deal of goals from strikers in the opening gameweek, so Graziano Pelle is my choice, purely down to the fact that the Italian has rediscovered his goalscoring form after netting twice against Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa League lately.

He scored a good, firm header against Newcastle to help Southampton get a point on the road in their longest journey of the season, so hopefully he can continue to conjure up a few more goals to help the Saints renew their European status for next season.



Think someone else deserved a place in this week's TOTW? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Topics:
Newcastle United
Leicester City
Football
Crystal Palace
Winston Reid
Liverpool
Martin Skrtel
Yohan Cabaye
Aston Villa
Micah Richards
West Ham United
Southampton
Premier League
Manchester United

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