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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Week 17

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Arsenal and Chelsea's bore draw on Monday night saw Liverpool top the table for Christmas Day following their convincing victory over Cardiff City at Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers' side climbed above Arsenal on goal difference but Liverpool now have two tricky away games against Man City and Chelsea to negotiate. However, before they worry about that, I'm sure all Liverpool fans will be raising a glass or two for the Reds' sparkling form in the first half of the season.

Luis Suarez was on fire again at the weekend, taking his Premier League goals tally to 19 in just 12 appearances, and nobody looks capable of stopping him.

Suarez, of course, has made it into our Team of the Week, but who else joins him in our elite starting XI?

Here is Squarefootball's Team of the Week.

Goalkeeper - David Marshall (Cardiff City)

The Scotland shot-stopper kept the score down at Anfield with three terrific saves. He could do nothing to stop the Reds running into a three-goal lead, but it could have been a lot worse had Marshall not been in goal. Marshall could be the difference between the Bluebirds staying up or going down.

Defender - Michael Turner (Norwich City)

The former Sunderland defender returned to the Stadium of Light and kept the likes of Altidore, Borini and Fletcher quiet with an assured display. Turner stood out like a towering beacon of light in a game lacking any real quality.

Defender - Seamus Coleman (Everton)

Everton's most improved player this season, Coleman scored his fourth goal of the season as the Toffees kept the pressure on those at the top with a priceless victory at Swansea. Coleman was full of attacking endeavour and unleashed an unstoppable strike for the game's opener. 

Defender - Martin Olsson (Norwich City)

The former Blackburn Rovers man got forward as often as he could against Sunderland and kept Giaccherini at bay with a confident display. The game rivalled Arsenal's clash with Chelsea in the boredom stakes, but a point on the road is not to be sniffed at.

Midfielder - Christian Eriksen (Spurs)

The Great Dane was brought back into the startin XI by Tim Sherwood and put in a confident display in the heart of midfield. Only the goalscoring heroics of Adebayor prevented Eriksen from picking up the man of the match award.

Midfielder - Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

While it would be stupid for anyone to go Steven who, Jordan Henderson appears to be revelling in filling Steven Gerrard's boots. This was another commanding display from the player who can't run properly according to Sir Alex Ferguson. He may not be to Fergie's liking, but Henderson could have a winners' medal in his pocket by next summer.

Midfielder - David Silva (Manchester City)

It's been a while since we last saw the silky Spaniard in our Team of the Week but he thoroughly deserves it for his mesmerising display at the Cottage on Saturday. Silva was the puppet master, pulling all the strings in the heart of City's midfield. He rattled the bar early on, before won the free-kick for Toure's opener and had a hand in City's second and third goals. 

Midfielder - Ross Barkley (Everton)

The youngster scored the winner as Everton extended their 10-game unbeaten run to ensure they enter Christmas in a winter wonderland. Everton are just two points off the top of the tree and Barkley could potentially be going to the World Cup in Brazil with the prospect of playing Champions League football next season. His free-kick was worthy of winning any game, but his all-round display was sublime. 

Striker - Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

The Liverpool hitman is becoming a permanent fixture in our Team of the Week feature. The Uruguayan international scored another two at the weekend to take his Premier League tally for the season up to 19 already. Alan Shearer and Andy Cole jointly hold the record for the most goals scored in a league season (34) but that is under severe threat from Suarez. The league leaders could well end the season as champions with Suarez in this devastating form.

Striker - Emmanuel  Adebayor (Spurs)

Christmas has come early for Emmanuel Adebayor. Not only did he receive the best gift going in AVB being sacked, but he has been recalled to the first team and repaid Tim Sherwood's faith in him by grabbing a brace against Southampton. Adebayor was back to his best on Sunday, but can Sherwood continue to get the best from the former Arsenal and Man City man?

Striker - Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

Welbeck followed up his two goals against Aston Villa with his first goal at Old Trafford in 14 months against a hapless West Ham side. The England international opened the scoring after 26 minutes and had a hand in Janujaz's strike that put them two up. The visitors couldn't deal with Welbeck's pace and movement. Even though he came off after 54 minutes, Welbeck had left his mark on the game.

Weekend Wonders

Game of the Week - Fulham 2 Manchester City 4

Manchester City's away form may be poor but the champions elect showed their fighting spirit at the Cottage. They went in at the break two up but 25 minutes later they were pegged back to 2-2 with everything left to play, but the visitors showed their class by running out 2-4 winners. Great game to watch.

Goal of the Week - Seamus Coleman (Everton)

There were some quality strikes this past weekend in the Barclays Premier League, free-kicks by Ross Barkley and Yaya Toure instantly come to mind, but Seamus Coleman's long-range swerving effort against Swansea wins my vote. It came at such a crucial time and you could see how much it meant to the youngster in his celebrations. The goalkeeper had no chance.

Manager of the Week - Malkay Mckay (Cardiff City)

It's not often a manager picks up this award following a 3-1 defeat but the way in which the Scot has conducted himself over the past few days in the wake of Vincent Tan's scandalous e-mail is magnificent. Cardiff would be committing suicide if they were to axe Malkay, who has what it takes to be one of the best managers in the game.

So that's what we think, but do you agree? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.

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Antony Melvin



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