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 third TOTW of the season!
GK – Martin Dubravka
Having secured an unlikely clean sheet in North London, Newcastle shot-stopper Martin Dubravka comes in between the sticks. The Slovakian international made a smart save to deny Son at the near post shortly after Joelinton’s goal – if he’d been beaten the game could have turned.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
The Liverpool prodigy was at his creative best against Arsenal on Saturday. TAA created more chances (6) than all Arsenal players combined (5) – which is frankly ridiculous. With his 6 chances created and his 3 shots – the right back had a hand in 9 of Liverpool’s shots. He grabbed an assist, too, as he always does.
CBs – Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar
Lascelles and Shar were at once sly, aggressive and composed in Sunday’s shock triumph against Spurs. Between them they made 17 clearances, 5 interceptions and won 4 tackles. Things generally look pretty bleak at the minute for Steve Bruce’s side – but they have a much better chance of staying up if these two can stay fit.
LB – Oleksandr Zinchenko
Zinchenko was involved in absolutely everything as Man City beat Bournemouth on Sunday. The creative midfielder-turned-left back completed 92% of his passes, created a match high 5 chances and won 3 of his 4 tackles.
RM – Mohamed Salah
Liverpool’s Egyptian winger seems to be getting an extra yard of space this season given Sadio Mane’s outrageous goal output in 18/19, and he’s making the most of it. Salah caused Arsenal problems all game, scoring 2 and equalling his goals vs. the top six from last season in a single game.
CM – Isaac Hayden
Whilst the former Arsenal midfielder didn’t see much of the ball against Spurs (10/12 passes), his willingness to drop back and almost create a back six provided Newcastle with the cover they needed to keep Spurs out. Hayden won 3 tackles, all of them in the DM area.
CM – Fabinho
The Brazilian midfielder make shis second appearance in our TOTW – having previously impressed against Norwich. There a theme here: when Fabinho is at his best (which he almost always seems to be at the moment), Alexander-Arnold thrives. Fabinho was at his dynamic best against Arsenal: 27 final third passes, 6/7 long balls, 4 chances created 2/3 tackles and an assist.