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Premier League 2019/20: Team of the Week - Gameweek 31


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 the bulk of the action, we pick our Team of the Week of players that made a positive impact during the second week of top-flight football's return with Gameweek 31. All aboard.

Team of the Week (GW31): Midweek in the Heat

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 31.

Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel (LEI)

Fixture: Leicester 0-0 Brighton

The only real considerable Goalkeeper considerations this past week were Burnley's Nick Pope who kept a clean sheet against Watford in a 1-0 win over Watford, or Leicester's Danish international, Kasper Schmeichel, who saved Neal Maupay's first-half penalty on the way to a 0-0 draw.

We have opted for Kasper as most of the games since the restart have been choiced moments of adrenaline. Th only standout moment for Champions League chasing Leicester, who will be sweating on their 3rd place spot in the league after wins for Spurs, Man United, Wolves and Chelsea, was the calm save.

Right Back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)

Fixture: Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace

The first of four Liverpool players is the scouse sensation that ultimately scored the goal that got Liverpool across the line when claiming the Premier League title as their own. A beautiful free-kick that set in motion a fantastic game at Anfield with Trent a constant threat from set-pieces and down the right-flank all evening.

Liverpool's win was the first really big performance that helped sparked a tepid return into life. TAA was at the heart of such a win and we as a writing team here couldn't be happier to se the Premier League crown head to Anfield for the very first time.

Central Defender: Andreas Christensen (CHE)

Fixture: Chelsea 2-1 Man City

Gameweek 31 featured a couple of fantastic football matches, with Chelsea's brilliant 2-1 win over Man City rivalling Liverpool's rout of Crystal Palace the night before at Anfield. Initially, we had pegged Everton's Michael Keane for this position - the central defender did score the only goal and had another stellar performance in the books under Ancelotti, but after watching the Chelsea game we had a late change of heart.

A second Dane breaks into our line-up, with Andreas Christensen playing out of his skin to deny Man City and momentum at The Bridge. Competing (and winning) every challenge, tackling well, and not being afraid to play out when necessary, the lanky presence was exceptional all evening and along with Pulisic was one of the best performers of the Gameweek by a long stretch.

Central Defender: Rob Holding (ARS)

Fixture: Southampton 0-2 Arsenal

It;s hard to think that Arsenal have kept 4 clean sheets in 7 matches, but based on Rob Holding's professional performance against Southampton to deny Danny Ings any luxuries in front of goal, it's hardly a surprise as the Englishman was superb.

The basis of Arsenal's victory came from good defensive discipline throughout the 90 minutes. Arteta's side held their shaper brilliantly with Rob Holding in particular proving to be composed all evening. Holding's range of passing had Ings, Redmond and Obafemi running more than they should have in sweltering conditions and unlike Mustafi, showed signs of leadership that is much needed in a team void of it. From here, we'd like to see Holding stay fit and get a run in the team alongside a competent partner in in the middle of Arsenal's defence.

Left Back: Andrew Robertson (LIV)

Fixture: Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace

On the opposite full-back position you have to pair Alexander-Arnold with his running mate, Andrew Robertson, whose return from injury was a much needed return.

Robertson highlighted his qualities simply by his absence in the goalless draw at Everton, with his return to the field alongside Mohamed Salah providing The Reds with a balance that was missing only a few days prior. Assisting Fabinho's rocket was the cherry on top of an energetic, lively performance that has become the Scot's norm since breaking into the Liverpool first team, which by the way was also against Crystal Palace in a 1-0 win at Anfield.

Central Midfield: Fabinho (LIV)

Fixture: Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace

The Brazilian defensive midfielder was sensational against a weak Crystal Palace side, setting up Salah well for the second goal, before scoring a goal that would have taken the roof off of Anfield had crowds been allowed into the stadium. By far the standout performer in central midfield this week in the Premier League.

Central Midfield: Jack Grealish (AVL)

Fixture: Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa

As a Newcastle fan, I'm not fond of Aston Villa one bit. They love rubbing salt in the wounds with us which is why I loved every minute of action until we were pegged back after a Dubravka howler. The one constant threat that showed his qualities was Jack Grealish. The Englishman, destined for a move to a bigger club (maybe Newcastle is the Saudi money comes in), drew in fouls and coaxed defenders from their deep line, drawing in full-backs to threaten.

A real menace and a threat all afternoon, aiding his team towards a precious point is big for Villa in a week which saw their relegation rivals all lose. However, should there have been other standout performers in this position, Grealish would have had to settle for a place on our bench.

Right Wing: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Fixture: Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace

Adama Traore completely dominated Bournemouth. It was a one-man show of individual strength, power and dribbling power that frustrated Eddie Howe in a narrow defeat. Combining once again with Raul Jimenez was another feather in the cap of the growing stature of the Spaniard, and it says a lot that Mo Salah gets in ahead of Traore this week.

The Egyptian King was the best player on the pitch for Liverpool against Palace and the result has been much done to Robertson and Salah providing the balance Liverpool need to be an effective attacking outlet. The Egyptian was at his entertaining best, took his goal well and carved open Palace's lacklustre defenders with ease to assist Sadio Mane's goal.

Left Wing: Christian Pulisic (CHE)

Fixture: Chelsea 2-1 Man City

Big games need big players. Everyone witnessed the birth of another big player as football's Captain America downed Man City on home soil to hand Liverpool the league title - fitting, given that the former Dortmund player was given his break in football by Klopp and was a lonf-rumoured target at Liverpool.

Pulisic terrorised Benjamin Mendy and took advantage of every weakness, and also took his superb solo-goal when when rounding Ederson. It looked as if a new star was born, which is great news given that Ziyech and Werner are set to link up with the exciting American next season.

Forward: Anthony Martial (MUN)

Fixture: Man United 3-0 Sheffield United

Standard boiler plate inclusion this week, with Martial scoring a treble against a free-falling Sheffield United side. Much of Man United's running and creativity was done by Greenwood and Rashford, allowing for the Frenchman to take his chances in another credible win as Man United size up a Champions League spot for next season.

Forward: Raul Jimenez (WOL)

Fixture: Wolves 1-0 Bournemouth

Raul Jimenez rounds out our 4-4-2 this week after the Mexican combined with Adama Traore for a 10th time this season. Jimenez ran his socks off and his winning goal was a superb header in which he had to beat both Nathan Ake and Steve Cook to the ball. Raul is simply streets ahead right now and his inclusion is straight forward enough when you've figured out how to benefit from the class and power of Adama Traore.

Other Considerations (Substitutes):

Nick Pope (BUR), van Dijk (LIV), Wan Bissaka (SOU), Keane (EVE), Traore (WOL), Saint-Maximin (NEW), Willian (CHE), Rashford (MUN), Nketiah (ARS)

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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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