Coral’s Premier League team of matchweek 24: Nod to future up front
Another weekend of Premier League action that excited us has been and gone, so who made Coral’s all-star side from the last round of matches?
Here’s who our football experts selected:
Goalkeeper: Joel Robles
Everton’s understudy stopper Robles is covering for injured number one Tim Howard pretty well, keeping a second successive clean sheet in the Merseyside derby. None of Liverpool’s six shots on target got past the Spaniard. Roberto Martinez’s men are 20/1 chances for the top six.
Centre back: Branislav Ivanovic
A winning goal from Serbia defender Ivanovic at Villa Park helped Chelsea extend their lead at the top over Manchester City to seven points. Title race over? We hope not!
Centre back: Cheikhou Kouyate
Back from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after representing Senegal, usual midfield anchorman Kouyate was pressed into service as an emergency centre back by West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce. He popped up to net the opener against Manchester United, largely shackled Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, and thus helped earned the Hammers a home point.
Centre back: Maya Yoshida
Southampton endured defensive disruption with young Matt Targett going off injured, but Japan defender Yoshida set up his teammate mentioned below to take three points at plucky QPR, and helped Ronald Koeman’s men keep yet another clean sheet.
Right wing: Sadio Mane
Another influential Senegal player that is back after AFCON, Mane was the Saints’ match winner at Loftus Road. Southampton are now 15/8 to finish in the top four.
Central midfield: David Meyler
It was a case of right place, right time for Republic of Ireland midfielder Meyler as his goal helped Hull City, 6/5 to be relegated, take a point from a trip to Premier League champions Manchester City.
Defensive midfield: Daley Blind
Versatile Dutch international Blind makes team of the week once again, but this time for scoring and helping Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils to sneak a draw at West Ham. Man Utd are now odds-on at 2/5 to finish in the top four.
Central midfield: Joe Ledley
James McArthur’s altercation with Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson may have grabbed the headlines, but Crystal Palace midfield colleague Ledley’s winner at the King Power Stadium may prove pivotal in the Eagles’ survival bid.
Left wing: Chris Brunt
Tony Pulis have have handed the West Bromwich Albion captaincy over to Darren Fletcher, but Northern Ireland international Brunt had a huge hand in the Baggies coming from two down against Burnley. He pulled one back before setting up Brown Ideye to take a share of the spoils. West Brom are 5/1 relegation chances now.
Striker: Danny Ings
On the other side, Clarets star striker Ings provided for attacking partner Ashley Barnes to open the scoring before finding the target himself at Turf Moor. Burnley boss Sean Dyche has backed him for a senior England call-up, and the east Lancashire club are 6/4 to stay up.
Striker: Harry Kane
Another match-winning brace in the north London derby from another Three Lions hopeful Kane meant he was a lock for inclusion. He has a dozen Premier League goals this season now, and is a 16/1 shot to finish the campaign as leading marksman.