GW1: Philani’s EPL team of the week

The Premier League season is back and boy did it look to entertain in its first week back. The champions Liverpool were tested in a thrilling 4-3 win over Bielsa’s Leeds United. Arsenal brushed past Fulham 3-0, Tottenham were beaten 1-0 at home to Everton. Leicester enjoyed a 3-0 win at West Brom, Newcastle caught the eye as they defeated West Ham 2-0, while Crystal Palace edged Southampton 1-0. Finally, Chelsea eased pas Brighton 3-1, while Wolves won 2-0 at Sheffield United in Monday night’s games.

Here’s my team of the week – have a read and feel free to disagree below

GK – Guaitia
One player who is not making his only appearance this season, Guaitia is one of the league’s best goalkeepers but lacks consistency at times. This could be no fault of his own, but if Palace would like to sit away from the relegation battle, they need him to find some consistency. He made five saves to go along with his clean sheet against Southampton.

RB – Castagne
Timothy Castagne’s goal epitomizes what Brendan Rodgers would like to see from his team. A defender turning up in the Albion box in open play says a lot about how much Leicester would like to get back to their old selves and forget the troubles of the post COVID break games.

CB – Gabriel
The Brazilian debutant was asked to suit sooner than Mikel Arteta would have imagined, but with a record five center backs injured, Arsenal were forced to field the new boy. His day could have gone off to a bad start after miscommunication at the back early on could have cost his team. However, he dusted himself up and showed the kind of form that saw him make Ligue 1’s team of the season in 2019/20. He completed 108 of 114 passes, scored a goal and looked solid in defending against some average attackers, tougher tests to come for the Brazilian, but this week he came up big.

CB – Saiss
He was a rock in defence as he headed the ball from the goal line and a threat on the attack as he scored a goal could have had another for Wolves. He was outstanding on the day.

LB – Lamptey
Tariq Lamptey the former Blues player who left Stamford Bridge to get game time, gave his former employers fits during that game. He was full of running, trickery on his way to completing five dribbles and had a bite in the way he was playing the only question is can he keep playing like he did against Chelsea.

CM – Allan
The Man of the Match helped his side put in a solid shift to take all three points away from home versus Spurs. Its all in the numbers for the Brazilian, 73 touches, completed 46/55 passes, 8 x possession gained, 4 tackles, 3 clearances and 2 interceptions. He was the driving force for Everton who had not beat Spurs since Dec 2012.

CM – Hendrick
Newcastle look like they have themselves a gem here. The Irish midfielder setup a goal and scored one himself as he put the Newcastle fans on notice about just how good he could prove to be for them this season.

CAM – Willian
Simply mesmerising. That is how I would describe Willian’s debut, his performance showed just about everything he has on offer. The incredible work rate off the ball, the creativity to bag two assist, his clinical set piece taking – one led to an assist and another struck the base of the post. Arsenal fans will surely be hoping to see more of the same week in and week out.

RW – Vardy
Leicester’s talisman entered the record books on the back of two penalties. He has now surpassed Ruud van Nistelrooy and Didier Drogba in the Premier League goal scoring charts, it’s the Drogba comparison that should put a smile on his face. Vardy has now scored 105 goals one more than Drogba’s with 42 games to spare. Incredible talent who can easily be overlooked.

CF – Wilson
Calum Wilson was part of a strong contingent of debutants that found the back of the net in week one. He will be looking to avoid a second relegation in a row as he looks to keep Newcastle in the Premier League, on his day he is an immense upgrade on options the Toon faithful have had over the past few seasons.

LW – Salah
Mo Salah was sensational and got the champions out of trouble as he scored a memorable hat-trick that sunk a spirited Leeds side. The Egyptian has now scored 52 goals at Anfield, quite the feat!

Philani Mukwakwami


Sports are a hobby horse of mine, what happens in-between the lines is just as thrilling as what happens outside of them.