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Premier League 2019/20: Team of the Week - Gameweek 30

If you've been following and watching along this week, you'll have heard that the Premier League is back. Commentators and Pundits have been screaming 'football is back'. On the whole, the public have been starved of football which means that eyeballs have been on the league. Having watched every game, we pick our Team of the Week of players that made an instant impact during the return of top-flight football with Gameweek 30. All aboard.

Team of the Week (GW30): The Premier League Returns

The structure of our Team of the Week is quite simple. We have a Starting XI and a 9-man bench, to reflect how Premier League squads have been during the Project Restart encounters. This article is purely subjective based on who we believe passed the eye-test having watched all 12 games that compromised Gameweek 30.

Goalkeeper: Alisson (LIV)

Fixture: Everton 0-0 Liverpool

Liverpool's goalless draw at Everton was not inspiring, nor entertaining or memorable. The Merseyside derby at Goodison Park has finished 0-0 for three years running and that scoreline was largely in part due to one moment of great goalkeeping by Brazilian number one, Alisson. Alisson was called to action on a couple of occasions to spare Liverpool's blushes, with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin both closing close. The latter's flick towards goal in the second-half drew a wonderful reactionary save from Alisson.

Against The Toffees the shot-stopper made just the 3 saves and the clean sheet was Alisson's 11th clean sheet of the Premier League season. Good keepers earn points for their sides and this was one such case of a player worth their weight in gold.

Right Back: Cesar Azpilicueta (CHE)

Fixture: Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea

Many Premier League games sprung into life in the second-half of their matches this week, with Chelsea's comeback win over Aston Villa a dogged affair that was defined by a key moments, both created by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Christian Pulisic's introduction as a substitute in the second 45-minutes allowed for Chelsea's full-backs to have the lay of the land. with Azpi finding himself joining the attack at every opportunity. The Spaniard provided an excellent back-post cross for Pulisic to stab home the equaliser, before his mart dribbling and inter-play in the penalty area allowed Olivier Giroud to turn well away from Villa's rooted central defenders and strike well to secure the win for Chelsea.

Azpilicueta's overall performance was accomplished and the feat of a brace of assists is only something he has managed twice in his career, the first coming against Stoke in September 2017.

Central Defender: Lewis Dunk (BHA)

Fixture: Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace

Brighton secured the double over Arsenal with a 2-1 win over at the Amex. The Seagull’s defence secured many key tackles, blocks, and interceptions to keep Aubameyang and Lacazette quiet all game. Dunk was stalwart at the heart of the Brighton defence, and for his efforts he also scored their equaliser.

Dunk, the Premier League’s best performing central defender this week. Arsenal didn’t just lose because of their poor defending, they lost because they couldn’t kill off the game or break down the Brighton defence.

Central Defender: Conor Coady (WOL)

Fixture: Bournemouth 0-2 West Ham

West Ham were beaten by a very disciplined Wolves team, and every time the Hammers did get forward, they were met with Connor Coady who showed real leadership at the heart of the Wolves defence. Coady smothered everything the Hammers threw at their defence and led by example in the restart.

Coady epitomized Wolves high standards, a captain’s performance that separated the mentality between Wolves and West Ham. Traore may have been the difference maker, but it was Coady’s example on the day that enabled their win over the relegation threated West Ham side.

Left Back: Patrick van Aanholt (CRY)

Fixture: Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace

Without doubt, the best man of the week was the first ever live Premier League game on BBC, which saw a pedestrian and below-par Bournemouth side get taught a lesson by an incredibly fluid and expressive Crystal Palace side.

Particularly, down Palace's left-channel the combination of Patrick van Aanholt and Wilfried Zaha terrorised Eddie Howe's side. PVA, who provided the assist for Jordan Ayew's well-taken second goal, the nail in the coffin before the half hour mark, with his bombing runs from left-back freeing up Wilfried Zaha to take the game by the bull and horns.

The win was Crystal Palace's 4th consecutive clean sheet in the Premier League, with van Aanholt the best representation from a well-drilled and entertaining team that could cause Liverpool a few questions when they travel to Anfield on Wednesday.

Defensive Midfield: Luka Milivojevic (CRY)

Fixture: Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace

Right into midfield, our second Palace inclusion sees defensive midfield ace, Luka Milivojevic get the nod after The Eagles blew away Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Milivojevic scored a fantastic free-kick from 20-yards-out, curling the inch-perfect deal ball past Aaron Ramsdale - the Serbian's first Premier League goal since a 2-2 away draw at Arsenal in Gameweek 10.

Defensively, Milivojevic broke up play and made Callum Wilsonand Josh King isolated figured up top. Palace also passed quickly in transition between defensive assets and attacking ones, with the pace of the game being directed through Milivojevic.

Central Midfield: Miguel Almiron (NEW)

Fixture: Newcastle 3-0 Sheffield United

It's a shame that we couldn't squeeze Joelinton, Danny Rose and Matt Ritchie in our Team of the Week, thouh there is a place for Paraguay international, Miguel Almiron, who was a player reborn as he started in a much more familiar 'number 10' role behind Joelinton in Newcastle's impressive 3-0 win against Sheffield United.

When we watched Almiron at Atlanta in the MLS, he was always as his best when he didn't have a defined role, could find the game and hang off the shoulders of talisman, Josef Martinez. This performance, in which the midfielder constantly found space and channels to exploit against a rigid Sheffield defence, was full of running, directness and energy, with Almiron's performance a good reflection of how The Magpies played in general - compact and hitting hard and fast on the break.

Assisting the third goal, linking well with Joelinton on the left before cutting back for an easy finish to treble Newcastle's lead, was the cherry on a near-perfect cake as Steve Bruce's side look almost certain of staying in the Premier League.

Central Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)

Fixtures: Man City 3-0 Arsenal, Man City 5-0 Burnley

Kevin De Bruyne: Man City demolished Arsenal, who put up more of a fight than Burnley did later in the Gameweek. Phil Foden was also really good, but De Bruyne was put in the during pivotal moment, and he picked apart Arsenal who were defiant until David Luiz stepped onto the pitch. Every time the Belgian got the ball he was finding space between the Arsenal lines. De Bruyne made football look easy after a testing lockdown.

Left Wing: Wilfried Zaha (CRY)

Fixture: Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace

The third and final Crystal Palace player, the most represented team this week, is of course Wilfried Zaha, who beat Jordan Ayew to contention. Zaha's main competition was Matt Ritchie or the impact of Christian Pulisic off the bench, but as we're in the theme of praising Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace, it's only fair that we put in Patrick van Aanholt's partner on the left-flank.

The Ivorian was instrumental in the win, with the winger fouled for Milivojevic's free-kick, before providing the key pass for van Aanholt to slid back to Ayew for Palace's second.

Defensively, Zaha put in a dogged shift in the second-half, putting himself into tackles and dropping deeper to help PVA with Stacey's advances from right-back. Standing on the half-way line in the closing moments, Zaha caught Bournemouth on the counter twice and could have added a goal to his tally. Once again, as it was the case in most matches, true quality prevailed and there was no greater example than Zaha.

Right Wing: Riyad Mahrez (MCI)

Fixtures: Man City 3-0 Arsenal, Man City 5-0 Burnley

City played two games this week against Arsenal and Burnley, scoring eight goals in the process, and keeping two clean sheets. There best player in both games was undeniably Riyad Mahrez, his industry and guile undid both teams, and he was one of the few players to retain their place in the squad after the Arsenal victory. People have forgotten how good Mahrez is. The former PFA Player of the Year reminded the world of just how good he is, and with Leroy Sane on the way out the Algerian is now a massive player for City going forward.

Forward: Danny Ings (SOU)

Fixture: Norwich 0-3 Southampton

Southampton are now competing for a midtable, or higher, position this season. Every team fighting relegation needs a Danny Ings, a reliable goal scorer that gets teams over the line. Ings was involved in all three Southampton goals against Norwich; scoring one himself, assisting another, and triggering the key pass for their third goal. Southampton would be battling relegation without Ings, who is third in the golden boot race this season, level with big hitters Salah and Aguero.

The truth is Ings is a big hitter, and it has propelled the Saints up the table and away from danger. The players to thrive after the Project Restart have also coincidentally also been the ones with the most natural talent, and Ings personifies that. Danny Ings is the most underrated strikers in the league, and if he continues scoring goals, he can challenge at the top of the Golden Boot race this season.

Other Considerations (Substitutes):

Henderson (SHU), Doherty (WOL), Rose (NEW), Dawson (WAT), Traore (WOL), Pogba (MUN), Foden (MCI), Ritchie (NEW), Joelinton (NEW)

The main theme that we noticed during Gameweek 30 was the number of subs that made an impact in games that needed a pick-me-up. Adama Traore was the key that unlocked West Ham. Paul Pogba changed the game for United at Spurs, whilst Phil Foden is unlucky not to get a place in our Starting XI.

Speal mention goes out to Joelinton this week, scoring his second goal of the season and putting in his best performance of the season, terrorising Sheffield United all afternoon.

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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

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