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EPL Team of the Week: Gameweek 23

FEATURED COLUMNIST
1.65K   //    25 Jan 2013, 16:23 IST

Midweek fixtures mean that the Team of the week moves to a midweek schedule as well. The week gave us hope that this season’s title race could yet again go down to the wire as leaders Manchester United were held at White Hart Lane by AVB’s men in white, while Manchester City would be singing “the blue moon cometh” as they brushed aside Fulham for their sixth win in their last seven games.

Arsenal gave their best Jekyll and Hyde impression of the year by their two performances against Chelsea and West Ham. While Arsenal looked abject and disillusioned for most of the first half at Stamford Bridge, they took apart West Ham in a second-half blitz that was reminiscent of Arsenal of a decade earlier. Meanwhile, Newcastle United seem to be in a loop of their own as they seem to go down tumbling head-on, losing their 11th game in 13 matches.

So, here is how this week’s team looks like.

Goalkeeper

Adam Federici‘s presence between the sticks for Reading this week saved their blushes and kept the margin at only 1 goal. As Marveaux, alongside the returning Yohan Cabaye, began to build up a juggernaut for the home side, Federici was on hand to thwart the efforts of Papiss Cisse on multiple occasions, with a couple being from point blank range.

Defenders

We could only make space for 3 defensive slots this week and the centre of that trio is occupied by Chelsea’s Gary Cahill. The Englishman has really put his best foot forward, so as to fill the boots of John Terry. Cahill was at his influential best to make life tough for Theo Walcott who is now in the form of his life.

The other two slots up for grabs are taken by the two fullbacks from Swansea in the form of Angel Rangel and Ben Davies. The two kept the Stoke attack at bay while creating plenty of opportunities for most of the game, with Davies chipping in with a goal as well.

Midfielders

We have two places for wingers and both are occupied by Arsenal players. Lukas Podolski had only one opportunity to shine this gameweek, unlike most of his other team-mates, and what a performance it was from the German as he set up three while scoring the equaliser as well to bring Arsenal back into the match after falling behind early. Theo Walcott played upfront as well as on the right this gameweek and scored a goal in each of the games he played. Walcott seems to have turned a page in his career and now looks ever-menacing whenever on the ball.

Swansea’s Jonathan de Guzman takes up the slot for the workhorse in the midfield. The Dutchman looks ever so impressive with each performance. de Guzman controlled the tempo of the game for his side while also providing a defensive shield in front of the back four, which always makes it easier for the players around him to concentrate on their jobwithout having to look to cover for others.

The playmaking duties go to David Silva as the little Spaniard weaved his magic and propelled his team to victory with two wondrous strikes and a masterful display of creativity at the centre of the pitch.

Forwards

Braces from Steven Fletcher and Adam le Fondre get them into this week’s team. Both Reading and Sunderland came back from a goal down to win via braces by these two front-men. While Fletcher looks worthy of every penny of the 12 million pounds that Sunderland paid for him with 10 goals for the Black Cats this season, le Fondre continues to enhance his reputation as the super sub.

The last man getting a look-in in our team is the ever-charismatic Luis Suarez. Suarez is synonymous with whatever good Liverpool does on the field these days. Up against his favourite opponents Norwich, Suarez again carved open the Canaries, scoring one, assisting on another while having the Norwich defence in a fit all day long.

Here is how this week’s team looks like:

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