Premier League team of matchweek 1: The season begins!
With the new Premier League season comes one of our favourite, well-followed weekly features, which has grown in popularity over the course of the last 12 months, as punters all come and check out who we’ve picked in Coral’s Team of the Week!
As ever, and in character with the Premier League, there were a number of shocks which have given us many selection headaches that Louis van Gaal will experience this season! Check out who we’ve gone for below and see whether you agree.
The Hammers caused the major upset of the weekend beating Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates, and credit had to go to goalie Adrian, who stood firm, making some crucial saves as the Gunners piled on the pressure late in the second half.
Left back: Joe Gomez
A surprise selection for Liverpool at left back, though Brendan Rodgers likes giving youth a chance and Gomez performed admirably, keeping the experienced Jon Walters in check. Having signed from Charlton in the summer, the 18-year-old also assisted the Reds’ winning goal as well.
Centre back: Angelo Ogbonna
Probably one of the best defensive performances of the weekend, the Italian centre half was outstanding as he made last-ditch challenges, vital interceptions and anticipated the pattern of play. Ogbonna could quite easily be the signing of the season for the Hammers, who are 14/1 with Coral for a top six finish.
Centre back: Micah Richards
A move to Aston Villa in the summer could rejuvenate the 27-year-old, who has also been restored to his preferred position at centre half, as well as being made captain. Richards capped his bow against Bournemouth with a clean sheet and an assured performance, keeping livewire Callum Wilson in check, as Tim Sherwood’s side started on a high.
Right back: Matteo Darmian
The Italian looks the real deal and proved this as Manchester United beat Tottenham 1-0 courtesy of a Kyle Walker own goal. He seems to have the perfect balance between attack and defence, providing better stability on the right for the Red Devils.
Left wing: Riyad Mahrez
An inspired performance from the Algerian, who scored twice and was generally a menace for the Foxes in their 4-2 win over Sunderland. The wily winger can really push on this season and become a key member of Leicester’s team.
Central midfield: Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool’s match against Stoke City was no oil painting by any means, though a moment of artistry from brilliant Brazil international Coutinho handed the Reds all three points at the Britannia. A definite contender for goal of the season with Rodgers’ side, who will grow in confidence, 6/4 for a top four finish this campaign.
Central midfield: Cheikhou Kouyate
Hammers’ all-action Senegalese midfielder was mightily impressive against Arsenal and put in a dominant performance, also opening the scoring from a superb Dimitri Payet free-kick delivery, who is unlucky to miss out on a place in this team. A shout-out has to go out to Kouyate’s 16-year-old midfield partner Reece Oxford who put in an assured performance for someone so young, looking like a seasoned professional.
Right wing: Marc Albrighton
Could this be the season when the 25-year-old former Villa midfielder reaches his potential? Albrighton was one of the best players on the pitch in the Foxes win over Sunderland and capped his performance with a goal.
Striker: Graziano Pelle
A well-taken goal from the Italian who leaped dominantly to hang in the air as he nodded in a superb cross from debutant right back Cedric Soares. Pelle will once again be a key player for Ronald Koeman’s side again this campaign, with the Saints 5/2 for another top six finish.
Striker: Rudy Gestede
Coming off the bench on his Villa debut to score the winner against Bournemouth, the 26-year-old contributed a polished finish to build on his fine form in the Championship last term and he could well be a useful addition for Sherwood’s side this season.