Premier League team of matchweek 16: Palace, Hornets provide sting
Holly Thackeray | December 14, 2015
Coral’s team of matchweek 16
Once again the Premier League provided a host of shocks, as both Tottenham and Manchester United were sunk by plucky underdogs, making for a fantastic XI of matchweek 16, featuring a hat-full of gritty and guileful game changers.
See below for our excellent XI but, if we missed out anyone outstanding, feel free to let us know on Twitter!
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech (Arsenal)
Jack Butland and Wayne Hennessey also deserve shout-outs for their shut-outs, but Cech claims our number one jersey this week after equalling a Premier League record of 169 clean sheets.
The ex-Chelsea skipper was not kept too busy by Aston Villa, but this was his 12th spotless performance all season across all competitions, highlighting what a crucial summer signing the Czech Republic skipper has proven to be.
Right back: Allan Nyom (Watford)
Lauded for his link-up play with another Palace star lower down this list, nifty Nyom was a busy bee for the Hornets, rushing from end to end. To boot, the fearless France-born full back nabbed an assist, his first of the season.
Centre back: Scott Dann (Crystal Palace)
The underrated defender was once again a consistent force in the Eagles rearguard keeping a clean sheet against Southampton, organising his defence with quiet aplomb.
Centre back: Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
There is simply no getting past the Potters when skipper and leader Shawcross is on his game, and the centre half put in another sturdy display to help deny West Ham United, alongside impressive partner Philipp Wollscheid.
Left back: Erik Pieters (Stoke City)
Another Stoke star here, but Mark Hughes’ men deserve recognition after thwarting the Hammers. Pieters shut down that left flank doggedly and got in the way of battering ram Andy Carroll at a vital moment.
Central midfield: Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace)
A characteristic dash into the box saw Palace signing coup Cabaye pop up with yet another decisive strike, though he justifies his pricetag and place in this XI for much more than that, with a sublime all-round display to dominate midfield. A fine player.
Central midfield: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
What a return for the Reds skipper! It was as if Henderson, causing disruption but also contributing fine distribution in the middle of the park, had never been away.
Despite driving Jurgen Klopp’s engine room, the tenacious midfielder also got his timing right for a tap-in to help stem the tide in a torrid draw for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion.
Central midfield: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
With key attackers out for Arsenal, Ramsey is fit and thriving on the responsibility of leading the Gunners’ charge alongside Mesut Ozil. The Welsh dragon ignited an attack in his own half before finishing off the move with a fine finish in the opposition box, making it two goals in two league games for the all-action Welsh maestro.
Forward: Joshua King (Bournemouth)
King put the icing on the cake of what has been a cracking two successive matchweeks for the Cherries with a tireless display against former club Manchester United. The Norwegian followed the script by tormenting the Red Devils’ young rearguard, before netting the memorable winner at Dean Court.
Forward: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United)
Levelliing quite late on, the typical poacher’s finish after a fumble in Spurs’ box put a spring back in the Toon Army’s stride.
Forward: Idion Ighalo
An unsung hero so often this season, but hitman Ighalo is a vital cog behind the Hornets’ surprise Premier League rise. The determined striker struck the only goal against Sunderland and, terrifically, it was his 10th of the term already.