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Voice of Sport: Premier League team of the week

HOTSHOT: Daniel Sturridge grabbed another goal (PA)

BRAND NEW to the Voice of Sport is the Premier League’s team of the week, where our writers argue between themselves over who deserves to represent the cream of the top flight’s 20 clubs.

Last weekend saw some big matches, particularly two on Sunday – they do not come much grander than Liverpool against Manchester United, and Arsenal versus Tottenham.

It is early days in the league, and its star performer of last season – Gareth Bale – has departed to Real Madrid for a world record of £85m, but there is plenty of hot talent left to dazzle us in the stands or our armchairs on match days.

Here is the starting XI we have picked based on their most recent performances, and, for good measure, there is a manager thrown in to give them a good kick up the rear if needed.

Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet

The Liverpool goalie kept a third consecutive clean sheet in a vital win over arch nemesis Manchester United. Despite a somewhat impotent United attack, the Belgian keeper stayed focussed throughout the match thwarting everything the visitors kicked at him.

Right-back: Danny Gabbidon

The former West Ham man not only had a solid game in defence, but scored Crystal Palace’s first goal against Sunderland in a 3-1 win at Selhurst Park. He displayed fine reactions in the box to touch home the Eagles’ first goal back in the top flight and send them on their way to their maiden victory.

Centre-back: Steven Caulker

Cardiff City’s young defender showed he is maturely nicely in their 0-0 draw against Everton. The newly promoted side have got themselves a potentially top defender in Caulker, one that may make Spurs seriously regret selling him.

Centre-back: Daniel Agger

The big Dane was decisive in shutting out Manchester United at Anfield, alert to danger, tough in the challenge – the Liverpool defender made sure Robin Van Persie would go home crying without a goal.

Left-back: Ben Davis

The Welsh full-back showed bags of energy sweeping up and down the wing, offering a threat in attack and reliability in defence as Swansea beat West Brom at the Hawthorns 2-0. Of course, Davis scored a rare goal for the Swans, setting up a miserable day for Steve Clarke’s men.

Right midfield: Jermaine Pennant

The Stoke winger got subbed on, stepped up to take a free-kick, and curled in a beauty. His side won 1-0 away at West Ham. Winner.


NICE SHOT: Jermaine Pennant curls in a free-kick for Stoke against West Ham (PA)

Centre midfield: Steven Gerrard

The man that epitomises Liverpool Football Club. Captain fantastic was in the engine room of his club’s vital win over United and displayed composure and authority in the middle of the park, keeping Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs snugly in his pocket.

Centre midfield: Santi Cazorla

Arsenal’s diminutive midfield sorcerer was ever inventive against neighbours Tottenham during the Gunners’ 1-0 victory at home. The Spaniard used the ball wisely and intuitively initiated fluid counter-attacking opportunities.

Left midfield: Ben Arfa

The Frenchman was Newcastle’s creative spark in their 1-0 home win against Fulham. Everything good came through the winger, and naturally he scored the decisive goal to give boss Alan Pardew his first three points of the campaign.


SCORER'S DELIGHT: Ben Arfa makes the Toon happy (PA)

Striker: Daniel Sturridge

The Birmingham-born player has already played for some of the league’s biggest clubs in Manchester City and Chelsea, yet now he is truly looking at home in a Liverpool shirt. The young England international scored his third winner in as many matches against United – his instinct for goal may even leave Reds fans asking: “Luis who?”

Striker: Olivier Giroud

Arsene Wenger’s target man continues to deliver goals, and he will do well to better one as refined as he scored against Tottenham to hand Arsenal the spoils in the north London derby. Reminiscent of the great Gianfranco Zola, the Frenchman stole a march in at the near post and flicked in a low cross before Spurs knew what had hit them.

Manager of the week: Brendan Rodgers

The Liverpool boss beat the newly appointed Manchester United manager David Moyes. Psychological blows do not come much harder. Whether Rodgers can maintain his side’s perfect start to the season and challenge for the league crown will be the true test though.

Selected by Rodney Hinds, Jermaine Haughton, Vic Motune and Bart Chan

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