Coral’s Premier League team of matchweek 21: Serb heavy side
Coral’s expert football writers produce a starting XI in this week’s Premier League team of matchweek 21. More than one players feature from Arsenal, Chelsea and Southampton feature. A total of three Serbians, meanwhile, also make the team.
Joe Hart – Goalkeeper
Despite conceding a goal to Everton after Steven Naismith’s header, Hart arguably kept 5/2 title chances Manchester City in the game with two outstanding saves from Romelu Lukaku.
Branislav Ivanovic – Right back
Chelsea recorded a 10th straight home league win, and kept a clean sheet along the way against a tricky Newcastle United team, who beat the Blues at St James’ Park earlier this season. Ivanovic was once again a rock at the back.
Laurent Koscielny – Centre back
France defender Koscielny nodded in the opener and kept a clean sheet against Arsenal’s recent bogey side Stoke City. His assured performance puts the Gunners just one point off the top four now.
Damien Delaney – Centre back
Delaney, alongside Crystal Palace’s back four, gave it their all in Alan Pardew’s first Premier League game in charge of the Eagles. The centre back heroically denied in-form and late goal specialist Christian Eriksen just after Jason Puncheon netted the winner, by blocking the Dane’s shot.
Paul Konchesky – Left back
Leicester City and Konchesky, who was harshly sent off against Aston Villa in the reverse fixture this season, have had a torrid term so far, being down in bottom, but the club have picked up in their last three matches. The former Liverpool and England left back got his own back, though, getting the only goal of the game against the Villans.
Morgan Schneiderlin – Defensive midfielder
Southampton will find it increasingly difficult to keep hold of in-demand Schneiderlin, especially after his performance against Manchester United, as his calm and composed style helped beat them 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Lazar Markovic – Right wing
Tricky winger Markovic played perhaps his best match in a Liverpool shirt since joining in the summer, and the Serb showed his worth in Raheem Sterling’s absence by helping the Reds past Sunderland away. He also went close with another stunning strike, but it was denied by the woodwork.
Dusan Tadic – Attacking midfielder
A third Serb makes this side, and Tadic’s performance from off the bench was game changing at Man Utd. He set up Graziano Pelle, who hit the post, soon after coming on, before scoring with the rebound to help his side leapfrog the Red Devils in the Premier League. Southampton are now 11/8 top four chances.
Oscar – Attacking midfielder
Brazilian Oscar’s opener against Newcastle was the result of fantastic teamwork, and the goal set the Blues (odds-on 2/5 title favourites) on their way to a crucial 2-0 win, to put them back ahead of Man City in the table. He also assisted Diego Costa’s goal with a clever flick.
Alexis Sanchez – Left wing
Sanchez’s double against Stoke puts him on 18 goals for the season across all competitions already, and the tenacious Chilean was simply unstoppable.
Andy Carroll – Striker
A cracking goal by Carroll was not enough to take three points at Swansea City, but it puts him in this team. His performances since his return from injury must surely be attracting the attention of England boss Roy Hodgson.