Five-a-side TOTW: November 1st 2016

Picking an eleven is hard; picking just five is even harder.

With Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool hitting four away from home we had plenty of firepower to choose from this week. Chelsea also turned in another impressive performance as they fill the last Champions League spot in a formidable top four. This week’s team would make for a pretty entertaining game of five-a-side.

Goalkeeper – Tom Heaton

An obvious choice in goal, Burnley’s Heaton made 11 saves in his side’s vital draw at Old Trafford. The former United youth is having a fantastic season and would be unlucky to remain on just one England cap for much longer. His string of saves contributed to a frustrating afternoon for the Red Devils resulting in both Jose Mourinho and Ander Herrera losing their cool. Arguably his best save came after an hour’s play when he denied Zlatan Ibrahimovic from close range – it’s worth a watch.

The Sweeper – David Luiz

Many believe David Luiz is an accident waiting to happen but the Brazilian has slotted nicely into Antonio Conte’s back three. He forms part of a Blues backline that haven’t conceded in four league games and deserves credit for the way he’s fulfilled his defensive duties. Nevertheless, his strengths remain in carrying the ball from the back and he can now afford to do so with the cover offered by Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilacueta.

The Anchor – Jordan Henderson

Liverpool’s midfield is so packed with match-winners that captain Henderson has had to tweak his role. With no genuine defensive midfielder, he often finds himself dropping deep to collect the ball. Henderson doesn’t offer too much protection to Liverpool’s shaky backline but he’s vital in kick-starting attacks. Increasingly confident on the ball, Henderson was a calming influence in an otherwise chaotic away game at Crystal Palace. He slid through Roberto Firminho for Liverpool’s fourth to end the Eagles’ hopes of a third equalizer.

The Talisman – Sergio Aguero

Alan Shearer recently lauded Aguero as the ‘only world class Premier League player’ and whilst many were quick to throw others into the mix, nobody disagreed on the Argentinian. Usually the most prolific of strikers, Aguero had failed to score in eight games for club and country before Saturday’s fixture against West Brom. It took less than 20 minutes for him to end this streak and two deadly finishes put City on their way to a comfortable and much needed victory.

The Finisher – Romelu Lukaku

When Lukaku visits the London Stadium in April he’ll be aiming to score in his eighth straight game against West Ham – equalling Robin Van Persie’s record (vs. Stoke) for streaks against one club. Everton marched onwards at home to the Hammers with Lukaku nodding in the first and floating the ball to Ross Barkley for the second. The performances of the big Belgian will be crucial to Everton’s European hopes and more games like Saturday’s could see him land some personal honours too.

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