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EPL 2016/17: Team of the Week - Gameweek 20

Tina Kaviraj
ANALYST
Feature
05 Jan 2017, 13:16 IST
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Brad Guzan of Middlesbrough gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Leicester City at Riverside Stadium on January 2, 2017 in Middlesbrough, England.  (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Brad Guzan signals to his teammates during the match against Leicester City

Gameweek 20 of the Premier League was a litmus test for the sides battling for top honours this season. While Arsenal orchestrated an impressive comeback their hopes of laying any serious claim on the title dwindled. Manchester City came back to win against Burnley after losing Fernandinho to a red card while Liverpool were held by Sunderland. Manchester United continued their unbeaten run with a two-goal victory but the talk of the week was the match between Chelsea and Tottenham.

The Blues wrere pursuing a record 14-game winning streak but were halted in their tracks by a lethal Spurs side. With their lead at the top reduced to just five points, the title race is slated to be an enthralling one.

With games to come over the weekend, here is Sportskeeda’s Premier League Team of the Week:


Goalkeeper 

Brad Guzan 

Brad Guzan was a worthy replacement for Victor Valdes in Middlesbrough’s match against Leicester City. The American kept the visitors out during the first game of the round, denying the defending champions their first victory on the road this season. The 32-year-old pulled off four saves to keep his team clear off the relegation zone for now. 

Defenders

Kyle Walker 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04:  Kyle Walker of Tottenham Hotspur (L) takes the ball past Nemanja Matic of Chelsea (R) during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane on January 4, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Kyle Walker (left) takes the ball past Nemanja Matic

Tottenham’s transformed backline was impeccable against the Blues and none more so than Kyle Walker. Deployed as a wing back on the right, his work-rate was relentless throughout the night denying his opponents a single goal.

The right-back did an excellent job of pushing Marcos Alonso back and winning five aerial duels and completing two take-ons successfully. 

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Gareth McAuley 

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Gareth McAuley of West Bromwich Albion (C) celebrates scoring his sides second goal with Jose Salomon Rondon of West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Hull City at The Hawthorns on January 2, 2017 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Gareth McAuley (centre) celebrates scoring against Hull City 

West Bromwich centre-back Gareth McAuley has been having quite the season with his regular goals and clean sheets. Even though he failed to keep Hull City out, the 37-year-old found the back of the net in the second half to give his side the lead just past the hour mark. He turned the game around for the Baggies when he headed home a cross from teammate Matt Phillips.

Ryan Shawcross 

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Ryan Shawcross (2nd R) of Stoke City celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team mates Marko Arnautovic (1st L), Joe Allen (2nd L) and Peter Crouch (1st R) during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Watford at Bet365 Stadium on January 3, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Ryan Shawcross (second right) celebrates with his teammates after scoring 
 

Stoke City rose a number of places in the Premier League table to 11th position thanks to a great performance from captain Ryan Shawcross. The Englishman was an ever-present figure in his team’s back line which helped keep Watford at bay at the Britannia Stadium.

The central defender won eight of his 11 aerial duels and scored his side’s first goal at the stroke of half-time. He attacked a loose corner that landed in the middle of the box to give his side the lead. 

Leighton Baines

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Leighton Baines of Everton scores his sides second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park on January 2, 2017 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Leighton Baines (second left) rarely fails to score from the spot

Leighton Baines helped his team with a little pick-me-up as Everton beat Southampton by three goals to none. The left-back was in scintillating form denying the Saints a single goal.

When he was called on to take the penalty after Enner Valencia had been fouled inside the area by Maya Yoshida, the Englishman was hardly about to miss sending Fraser Foster in the wrong direction. His tackles were on point as he was a threat going forward with an 86% passing accuracy in the final third.

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