Premier League XI of Gameweek 16 | Virgin Media
The ultimate Premier League XI of Gameweek 16

The ultimate Premier League XI of Gameweek 16

16/12/2016Sport

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The busy Christmas period kicked off in earnest this week, with every Premier League side turning out for a second fixture within three days.

Once again Chelsea were the big winners, extending their winning run to 10 league matches with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Sunderland. 

Arsenal lost out 2-1 to Everton for just their second league defeat of the season, while Manchester City got back to winning ways, Manchester United overcame Crystal Palace and Liverpool and Tottenham both won 3-0.

So as we venture into the busiest and most festive time of the year, who were the stand-out performers on Gameweek 16?



Defence: Thibaut Courtois, Nathaniel Clyne, Cesar Azpilicueta, Winston Reid, Leighton Baines

Another week, another Chelsea clean sheet. But this one wasn’t straightforward and Courtois came to the rescue to help Antonio Conte’s side go six points clear at the top. The Belgian keeper produced a jaw-dropping reflex stop from former player Patrick van Aanholt’s late drive. With such an excellent defence he hasn’t been called into action much, but he clearly hasn’t lost concentration.

Clyne was back to his best for Liverpool during their 3-0 win over Middlesbrough, getting up and down the pitch to create two chances and register an assist.

Baines was similarly effective for Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton, turning back the clock in a classic attacking full-back display against Arsenal. Baines is one of the league’s most reliable outlets and Ronald Koeman was grateful for his experience on Tuesday.

Another Chelsea player to impress was Azpilicueta, who looks like he’s been playing centre-back in a back three throughout his career. He has epitomised Chelsea’s resurgence, making plenty of important blocks, tackles and interceptions in the win on Wearside.

Finally, we come to Reid, who was once again at the heart of West Ham’s play in their vital 1-0 win over Burnley. The New Zealander has made the second-most defensive actions in the league this season and he needed all his physicality and concentration to deal with Burnley’s aerial bombardment. 

 

Midfield: Christian Eriksen, Paul Pogba, Cesc Fabregas, Adam Lallana

What a midfield this is.

Eriksen plays on the right-hand side after continuing his recent resurgence with a two-goal display in Spurs’ 3-0 win over Hull City. The Danish midfielder now has four goals in his last three league games and looks to have shaken off his patch of iffy form to help Harry Kane in front of goal.

When Manchester United bought Pogba in the summer transfer window for £89 million, there was always going to be high expectations of the 23-year-old, but he now seems to be fulfilling them. With a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, he grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and won three points for his side.

Fabregas was given a rare opportunity by Conte and he responded in the perfect way, scoring the winner at Sunderland and showing he has a part to play in Chelsea’s title push.

Another massively improved player is Liverpool’s Lallana, who has already scored more league goals this season than last term. He is a key player for both club and country and he showed against Boro that he is Jurgen Klopp’s ideal player, scoring twice and driving the side forward at every opportunity. 

 

Attack: Salomon Rondon, Divock Origi 

This team’s attack could only be led by one man, and that’s West Brom’s hat-trick hero Salomon Rondon. The big striker has been threatening such a performance for some time. He’s looked fit, determined and - in the 3-1 win over Swansea - he put it all together. In a 13-minute spell he scored three headers to move the Baggies up to the dizzy heights of seventh.

Finally comes another player in excellent form. Origi has been forced to wait for his opportunity this season. But with Philippe Coutinho’s injury, the young Belgian has come into the side and shone so much that Klopp has moved star player Roberto Firmino to accommodate him. And it’s worked too. With his well-taken goal against Boro, he has now scored in five successive matches in all competitions. He’s only 21! 

 

Write-up by Felix Keith for Squawka.com