After each gameweek, our writers will put together a Premier League team of the week. Here’s our selection for game week 2, we’ve gone for a 3-4-3 formation. View our Team of the Week from Gameweek 1.
GK – Eldin Jakupovic
The Swiss shot-stopper hit the limelight last season when Hull City escaped the Emirates Stadium with an FA Cup replay. Eldin Jakupović has now returned with his old tricks, this time at the Liberty Stadium versus Swansea City. Just as in the opening game at home to Leicester City, Jakupović deputised for the injured Allan McGregor and ensured a clean sheet for a depleted Hull side that ran out 2-0 winners. The 31-year-old’s save from an early Gylfi Sigurðsson strike, tipped onto the crossbar by keeper, proved to be a pivotal moment en route to victory.
DF – Nicolas Otamendi
We know Pep Guardiola likes to get his centre backs involved in the build but, but 72 touches from Otamendi was astonishing for a defender. The Argentine also won an incredible 7 aerial duels and looked every bit a £30million defender in City’s mauling of Stoke. He made 54 successful passes and looked good alongside new £50million addition John Stones. Although Stones was typically neater in possesion, it was Otamendi’s defensive dominance that gets him in ahead, winning 2 tackles and making 3 interceptions too. It Stones and Otamendi continue in this form it will be interesting to see whether or not Vincent Kompany gets back into the line up when he returns from injury.
DF – Laurent Koscielny
Arsenal looked a much better team defensively with Koscielny back in the side. Alongside Rob Holding, who also impressed, the Gunners managed to keep the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy quiet all afternoon, something teams couldn’t do very often last season. Although Arsenal will have been hoping for all three points, without Koscielny they may not have had the one they’ve got.
DF – Ben Mee
Few would have expected Sean Dyche’s Burnley to defeat Liverpool 2-0 this weekend, and they probably wouldn’t have had it not been for Ben Mee’s imperious display. The former Man City player made just as many clearances (11) as his centre back partner Michael Keane, as Liverpool peppered Burnley’s area with crosses. Despite making one less interception than the ex-Manchester United defender, Mee came up joint top on blocks alongside Dean Marney, as the Clarets kept a clean sheet.
MF – Gareth Barry
When Idrissa Gueye arrived at Everton you might have thought that Barry, now 35, would be the man to fall out of the starting eleven. No chance. Ronald Koeman is a huge fan of the clubs ‘Rolls Royce’ and Barry was again reliable in Everton’s performance that saw them pick up their first 3 points of the season. Not only did Barry score the winner, he was phenomenal in midfield throughout. The Englishman won 5 aerial duels, made 3 tackles and was fairly reliable in possession, completing over 80% of his passes.
MF – Fernandinho
The Brazilian is an incredibly underrated midfielder. One person certainly doesn’t under-appreciate the workhorse midfielder though, Pep Guardiola. It seems that even when Ilkay Gundogan finds fitness, Fernandinho is likely to keep his place in the team after impressing heavily following Pep’s arrival. At the heart of City’s midfield, Fernandinho won 2 aerial duels and 3 tackles. The 31-year-old made 43 passes and as the clubs only defensive minded midfielder on the day, he covered a lot of ground, nullifying Stoke’s midfield threat on almost every occasion. Pep will be delighted if Fernandinho can replicate those performances and allow him to select another attack minded midfielder alongside due to Fernandinho’s energy.
MF – Steven Defour
Plenty of industry would be needed if Burnley were to grab themselves an early scalp versus Liverpool, especially with just an average of 19% possession all game. New signing Steven Defour gave Dyche’s side just that in the time he was on the pitch, coming up with one tackle, four interceptions and a crucial assist from the centre of the park on his debut.
MF – Cristhian Stuani
You could include Stuani for that wondergoal alone, but the fact that he played well on top of that made him an easy inclusion in this eleven. Two shots, two goals, Stuani was extremely clinical and helped Middlesbrough to a surprising three points than Karanka would be delighted with. Although his second goal was a tap in, he positioned himself well in an attacking position to capitalise. On the right hand side of midfield, Stuani is also an aerial presence and helped win the ball in the air.
FW – Andre Gray
Gray put Liverpool to the sword and perhaps highlighted why Jurgen Klopp’s side will struggle in a long term title race where you have to beat the ‘big’ and the ‘small’ teams to get to the very top. Despite making headlines off the pitch, Gray also made them on the pitch this week with a fine performance. Not only did Gray score, but he assisted the other Burnley goal. Gray will be a key presence for Burnley this season and if they are to have any chance of staying in the division they will need Gray to score regularly – his clinical performance against Liverpool will be reassuring for Dyche.
FW – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
You probably had to flip a coin to decide whether you risked Zlatan for your Fantasy Football team – those who did will be forever grateful for he has started in England with 3 goals in 2 Premier League games. We’ve gone for Ibrahimovic due to his pure dominance against Southampton that gave United an impressive victory. Although one of his goals was a penalty, his other was an impressive headed finish that made the Southampton defenders look tiny.
FW – Sergio Aguero
The Argentinean was in fine form for Manchester City and he cannot stop scoring in Pep Guardiola’s system. A penalty and a header, like Zlatan, Aguero though was much more of a shock candidate to score a headed goal due to his height. He managed to leap between Stoke’s defenders to score a fine glanced header. If Pep can keep Aguero fit then it makes them not only a huge threat for the Premier League, but also the Champions League as City and Pep look to end their recent poor European form.