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Premier League team of matchweek 20: New Year stars

| 04.01.2016

Lee Gormley | January 4, 2016

Team of the week

The past weekend saw the inaugural set of Premier League fixtures for 2016 and, if the opening New Year clashes are anything to go by, then we are set for an enthralling season run-in.

Following the opening New Year action on matchweek 20, here is Coral’s first team of the week for 2016. Enjoy!

Formation: 4-5-1

Goalkeeper: Artur Boruc (Bournemouth)

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Reading v AFC Bournemouth - Madejski Stadium

Despite having been prone to some high-profile errors between the Bournemouth sticks in previous clashes, former Celtic favourite Boruc produced a solid display to earn Eddie Howe’s 10-men Cherries a crucial point against high-flying Leicester City.

The ‘Holy Goalie’ stopped in-form Riyad Mahrez from the spot and again late on, as well as thwarting clinical Foxes frontman Jamie Vardy to help his side hold out for a 0-0 draw on their travels.

Right back: Ashley Young (Man Utd)

Manchester United v Swansea City - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford

Manchester United got back to winnings ways in their maiden 2016 encounter with a 2-1 win over their usual bogey-team Swansea City, and full back Young was an outstanding performer down the right flank.

The winger-converted-defender whipped in twice as many crosses as any other player at Old Trafford during a man of the match display.

Centre back: James Collins (West Ham)

West Ham United v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - Upton Park

Liverpool’s Christian Benteke endured a miserable afternoon in east London in the first top-flight game of the New Year, as West Ham United centre back Collins kept him quiet throughout an impressive 2-0 Hammers win.

Centre back: Laurent Kosciely (Arsenal)

Soccer - FA Cup - Semi Final - Reading v Arsenal - Wembley Stadium

As well as helping to keep a clean sheet for Arsenal in their match-up with Newcastle United, French defender Koscielny popped up with a poked close-range finish to secure all three points for an unconvincing Gunners side.

Left back: Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland)

Sunderland v Aston Villa - Barclays Premier League - Stadium of Light

Jermain Defoe was the star of the Sunderland show as Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats overcame relegation rivals Aston Villa, but Dutch full back Van Aanholt was also impressive.

The Wearside wideman opened proceedings with the help of a deflection and has now scored two goals in his past seven Premier League appearances, after failing to fire in his first 42.

Right midfield: Michail Antonio (West Ham)

West Ham United v Liverpool - Barclays Premier League - Upton Park

During that strong West Ham victory over Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, Antonio was the man to get the ball rolling at Upton Park, as he headed home past Simon Mignolet after beginning the move himself deep in his side’s own half.

Centre midfield: Dele Alli (Tottenham)

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace - White Hart Lane

The meteoric rise of this Tottenham midfield maestro continues to impress, with the 19-year-old once again starring heavily as Mauricio Pochettino’s Londoners moved ahead in fourth position.

Alli was sublime once again, showing great composure to tuck away the Spurs equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Everton during an all-round display which will get England fans excited about his future at Euro 2016 this upcoming summer.

Centre midfield: Yaya Toure (Man City)

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City - The Hawthorns

Toure has been criticised previously in the top tier for his indifferent displays but the astute African midfielder was influential in Manchester City’s comeback over Watford, striking before Sergio Aguero’s winner to move two points within reach of Arsenal.

Centre midfield: Alex Tettey (Norwich)

Manchester United v Norwich City - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford

Norwich City secured a hard-fought triumph over a sliding Southampton side thanks to a superb strike from midfielder Tettey, as the Norway international scored with his team’s only shot on target.

Left midfield: Anthony Martial (Man Utd)

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Ipswich Town - Old Trafford

With Louis van Gaal seemingly under pressure at Old Trafford, his young French prodigy Martial helped to ease any panic with a dazzling display, opening proceedings before delightfully assisting Wayne Rooney’s winner.

Striker: Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Barclays Premier League - Selhurst Park

It seems Guus Hiddink is working his magic again as caretaker Chelsea coach, with Costa one of the Blues stars to rediscover his former fine form. The Spain international hitman set-up Oscar and netted himself against Crystal Palace to breathe new life into the previously stuttering club.


Read our Premier League archive.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.