Team of the Week: Arsenal’s forgotten man Aaron Ramsey shines, Everton’s deadly duo do it again, and Newcastle’s Aleksandar Mitrovic is a leader

Benjamin Wills picks out the best XI from another action-packed weekend which saw Stoke, Watford and Toffees players take the spotlight, and an unlikely hero for Gunners.

Team of the Week


Goalkeeper: Jack Butland (Stoke City)

Another week, another clean sheet for Stoke and another place in the Offside Rule Podcast’s Team of the Week for Goalkeeper of the Year Jack Butland.

Butland made just the eight saves this time in Stoke’s 0-0 draw at Upton Park with West Ham to secure a sixth clean sheet in nine games for the Potters.

The most impressive save was arguably a superb stop to keep out Cheikhou Kouyaté early on.

Right-back: Allan Nyom (Watford)

Watford’s surge up the table continued on Saturday with a 1-0 win over an improved Sunderland and they can have their defence to thank.

Quique Sanchez Flores’ side now occupy seventh in the Premier League in what has been a topsy-turvy season and the newly-promoted club could end up in the Europa League spot in this form.

Allan Nyom, who has also spent time at Udinese and Granada who the Pozzo family run along with Watford, crossed in low to set up star man Odion Ighalo for the only goal of the game.

Centre-back: Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City)

It was not just Butland that helped Stoke keep up their impressive defensive record as Austrian Philipp Wollscheid was also impenetrable against West Ham.

The awesome Austrian resembled a battering ram at the heart of the Stoke defence to keep the Hammers at bay for the 90 minutes.

Left-back: Nathan Ake (Watford)

While Chelsea’s defence has been leaking goals recently Nathan Ake, on loan at Watford from the Blues, has helped the Hornets to back-to-back clean sheets.

Ake was the victim of what could have a horrific neck injury last week but he did not let it get to him and was superb at the Stadium of Light.

Right midfielder: Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace)

As Crystal Palace’s surprise surge to get a top-six finish shows no sign of slowing down, their go-to man impressed again.

Yannick Bolasie provided the assist to Yohan Cabaye’s goal that was enough to see the Eagles rise above Southampton to win 1-0 at Selhurst Park.

Bolasie skipped past Jose Fonte before putting in a cross across goal that was swept in by Frenchman Cabaye.

Centre midfielder: Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)

‘A game of two halves’ is an overused cliché, but it is one that was applicable to Norwich’s 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday lunchtime. The Toffees dominated the first half, but the Canaries fought back in the second and deserved a point.

Wes Hoolahan bundled in the equaliser from a corner, but, in truth, he bossed the midfield in the second 45.

Hoolahan has been involved in more Premier League goals this season (seven – two goals, five assists) than any other Norwich City player.

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Centre midfielder: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)

Arsenal fans have been patiently waiting for Aaron Ramsey to recapture his form from 2013/14, and the wait may be coming to an end as the Welshman now has two goals in two games.

He netted on Sunday afternoon against a continually hapless Aston Villa side to make it 2-0 to the Gunners and send them top of the table.

Left midfielder: Gerard Deulofeu (Everton)

After a shaky start since his return to Goodison Park, Gerard Deulofeu has really hit top form in recent weeks and he continued it with an assist this weekend.

His whipped delivery was headed home by Romelu Lukaku to put the Toffees in front and he was lively throughout the first half.

Centre attacking midfielder: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City)

Swansea sacked their manager Garry Monk during the week, and if wasn’t for a fortunate deflection, caretaker manager Alan Curtis would have got a famous draw at moneybags Manchester City.

Gylfi Sigurdsson twice came close to scoring for the visitors and threatened for large periods.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)

Jamie Vardy has only had the record of scoring in consecutive games for five minutes, but already he is looking over his shoulder.

As a result of his goal at Carrow Road, Lukaku has now scored in six straight games – five less than record-breaking Vardy.

Lukaku gave Everton the lead with a header early in the first half on Saturday.

Striker: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United)

Newcastle’s winning run at White Hart Lane stretched to three years on Sunday evening, largely thanks to their controversial Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Mitrovic forced in his goal to drag the Magpies level before teeing up strike partner Ayoze Perez to score a stoppage-time winner and ease the pressure on manager Steve McClaren.

Read more from Benjamin Wills here.

Follow Ben at @BenjaminWillsSJ


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