Premier League team of matchweek eight: Stekelenburg saves the day, Austin’s Burnley brace


Premier League team of matchweek eight

English top-flight action returned to screens in style this weekend, with Everton’s holding of Manchester City to a draw at the Emirates and Bournemouth’s 6-1 demolition job on Hull City just some of the highlights.

Three at the back was all the fashion, as Chelsea continued their winning ways against Leicester City. But, we haven’t bent to the trend, with too many impressive attackers to fit in, so read on to see who made Coral’s Premier League team of matchweek eight…

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton)

Adrian put in a cracking case to be our number one after crucial goalkeeping for West Ham United. Yet, after not one but two superb penalty saves to thwart Manchester City (first from Kevin De Bruyne and then Sergio Aguero), it has to be Stekelenburg that gets the nod to be stopper.

Not only guessing right but keeping his cool, the Dutchman also pawed away a lofted Aguero punt and tipped De Bruyne’s rocket against to post to preserve a point for Everton.

Right back: Adam Smith (Bournemouth)

Several from Bournemouth’s backline, such as goal heroes Charlie Daniels and Steve Cook would have gotten the nod to feature on any other week, but reliable right back Smith is the only Cherries defensive star we could shoehorn into our Premier League team of matchweek eight.

Assisting his side’s fourth goal, Smith did more than his fair share of attacking and defensive duties down the right flank.

Centre back: Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)

David Luiz may have drawn praise for his lack of defensive lapses this week, but Shawcross is sturdy all the time at centre half for Stoke.

Shawcross kept Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe in his pocket, ensuring what was a vital three points for the Potters – who have struggled in recent weeks. Also involved in Stoke’s second goal.

Centre back: Winston Reid (West Ham United)

Reid was a rock at the back for the Hammers, another side for whom clinching victory against Crystal Palace and keeping a first PL clean sheet since August was crucial.

The Kiwi kept Christian Benteke at bay expertly – have West Ham now turned a corner?

Left back: Jose Holebas (Watford)

Although playing slightly further forward against Middlesbrough, usual left back Holebas gets this slot for his magnificent moment of magic.

The former Roma full back’s 20-yard super strike was a stunner that left Victor Valdes scratching his head and handed the Hornets all three points.

Central midfield: Joe Allen (Stoke City)

Not content with his goal against Manchester United before the international break, Stoke’s Welsh schemer Allen was in the thick of the action against versus Sunderland.

A well taken brace, with Allen proving he is lethal when picking up loose balls or late into the box. Three shots, two on target and two goals – you can’t argue with that.

Central midfield: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Central to Chelsea’s resurgence, in convincing victory over reigning Premier League champions Leicester, was former Foxes hero Kante.

Kante prowled around the King Power Stadium like the old days, breaking up play, dominating his old teammates and displaying crisp passing. Antonio Conte’s new 3-5-2 system is suiting the France international to a tee.

Right wing: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

The Gunners attack was too in tune for Swansea City, making up for defensive errors. Scoring two of Arsenal’s three was Walcott, who recovered from international week woes in style.

Making the right runs and lightning quick as always, Walcott bagged a brilliant brace. Yet, highlighting why his finishing is so frustrating, the England winger really should have had four.

Attacking midfield: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

With the leash loosened and Hazard brought in centrally for Chelsea, the Belgium plotter looked back to his old self. In a performance full of threat, Hazard helped himself to a goal, an assist and a standout Blues performance.

Could this be the catalyst to get his Stamford Bridge career back on track?

Left wing: Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth)

Left winger Stanislas may have started on the right this time, but the 26-year-old was everywhere as the Cherries crushed Hull.

As the attacking spark that kept the rout going, sparkling Stanislas calmly converted a spot-kick and made an assist for Cook, before lashing in the fourth strike of six as the Cherry on the cake.

Striker: Charlie Austin (Burnley)

Alert frontman Austin should surely have put himself in contention for an England call-up, as the standout man for Southampton. Bagging a brace against his former club Burnley, the Saints striker is well on track for a tremendous scoring season.


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