Across the 2019-2020 season, we’re going to be posting a weekly Premier League team of the week. The team will, of course, be largely stats-based. We’ll be looking at all the key metrics in each position: progressive passes for deep-lying midfielders, chances created for playmakers, conversion rates for forwards, take-ons for wingers and so on. However, we’ll also be doing the hard yards and interrogating the data. We’ll be asking: What was the quality of the opposition like? How consistent was a player’s influence in a game? How did the player impact decisive moments? What was their off-ball contribution like? The team will be influenced by data, but not deceived by it. Also, we’ll be putting players in their actual position – because nobody wants to see a back four consisting of four wing-backs!
So let’s have a look at our second TOTW of the season!
GK – Jordan Pickford
England’s number one is the only ‘keeper to have not conceded having played in the opening two games. The 25-year-old has saved a ‘big chance’ (as defined by Opta) in both games, keeping out Jordan Ayew and then Troy Deeney. Marco Silva has said that Pickford has matured this season, and the highly-rated shot-stopper looks like he could be set for the best season of his career so far.
RB – Aaron Wan-Bissaka
On a mixed evening for Manchester United, it was once again their young right back that impressed. AWB made a freakish 9 tackles and completed more final third passes (28) than any other player on the pitch. Whilst he could still improve going forward, the young defender is basically unbeatable 1v1 and his impact of Man Utd’s defensive capability is remarkable.
CB – Çağlar Söyüncü
The ball-playing centre back won all of his aerial duels, was Leicester’s top passer (57/65) and made more clearances (6) than any other LCFC player at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The Turkish international has stepped up massively in Harry Maguire’s absence, and it suddenly feels as though Leicester might be able to invest that HM money elsewhere and improve.
CB – Chris Basham
The veteran centre half didn’t look at all out of place in the Premier League, helping Sheffield United to their first clean sheet of the season. Basham won 3/3 tackles and made 5 clearances against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
LB – Lucas Digne
An FPL hero – the former Barcelona full-back bagged an excellent assist whilst keeping a clean sheet. Digne’s attacking output was frightening on Saturday: taking 3 shots himself as well as creating 2 chances. There was no big trade-off going back, either, with the Frenchman making more tackles (3) than any other Everton defender.
CM – Ruben Neves
Manchester United did well to limit Wolves to low-quality chances on Monday night, but Neves form outside the box is an omnipresent threat. The Portuguese maestro popped up with a moment of magic just before the hour mark to secure a point for a Wolves side that never really looked like scoring.
CM – Dani Ceballos
The young Spaniard made one of the best Premier League debuts of recent times on Saturday: 90% pass accuracy, 25 final third passes, 4/4 take-ons, 3 key passes, 3 fouls won and 2 assists – simply sublime. Ceballos blends Ramsey’s off-ball intelligence and Ozil’s silky creativity – he’s the ideal fit for this Arsenal side.
RW – Mason Mount
Lampard’s golden boy put in an impressive and dynamic performance on his Premier League home debut. As well as taking 5 shots (3 on target and 1 goal), he won an impressive 3 tackles. His pressing continued to force a good Leicester side into errors and could be a foundation of this Chelsea side.
AM – Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian playmaker created a frankly ridiculous 9 chances against Spurs – registering 2 assists in the process; that’s as many chances and more assists than Naby Keita in the league last season. It was pure efficiency from KDB – making space for himself and creating high-quality chances with ease.
LW – Emi Buendia
Buendia created 4 chances against Newcastle, no player on the pitch created more. The versatile forward often dropped deep to recieve the ball from Max Aarons, before driving his team up the pitch – constantly picking his head up and playing forward. Expect him to be one of the breakout stars of 19/20
ST – Teemu Pukki
How could it be anybody else? Teemu Pukki caused absolute havoc for Newcastle, consistently making those blindside runs and ultimately securing a Premier League hat-trick. He’s now taken home as many PL match balls as Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rui Patricio – Made headlines by saving Paul Pogba’s penalty , conceded just 1 goal so far in 19/20
Joel Matip – Made a huge 10 clearances against Saints as well as winning 4/4 defensive aerial duels
Jack O’Connell – Never looked in danger despite his progressive attacking movement from CB
Tanguy Ndombele – Best on the pitch vs. the champions in terms of take-ons (4/4), tackles (5/5) and interceptions (2)
Pascal GroB – Created 5 chances, looks sharp and could raise some eyebrows this season
Bernard – Looked excellent when carrying the ball in the final third and scored what was ultimately the winner
Chris Wilder – Remains unbeaten with 4 points from 6, and those overlapping CBs are causing problems!