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Monday, August 15

PREMIER LEAGUE Matchday one: Team of the Weekend

The Premier League is back and what an opening weekend of action we were treated to.
Leicester City were beaten by new boys Hull City in the first match of the 2016-17 campaign; Pep Guardiola won his first game in charge of Manchester City - just; Jose Mourinho helped Manchester United secure an impressive win over Bournemouth, while Arsenal and Liverpool played out a seven-goal thriller at the Emirates Stadium.
But which players deserve to make it into the Team of the Weekend?

Note: this team doesn’t include Chelsea or West Ham players. The two London clubs go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge this evening.
Scroll down to see the team and don’t forget to leave a comment in the box below.

Goalkeeper: Ben Foster

A 1-0 win away at Crystal Palace was a huge result for West Brom.
The Baggies appeared to have their work cut out, certainly in terms of keeping a clean sheet, with the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend and Connor Wickham all fit and raring to go.
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
But Ben Foster kept the Eagles at bay with four saves.

Right-back: Kyle Naughton

Burnley away was a tough opening fixture for Swansea City but they emerged with all three points thanks to Leroy Fer’s late winner.
West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League
Kyle Naughton, though, was arguably the Swans’ best performer. The 27-year-old made six tackles, four inceptions and four clearances at Turf Moor.

Centre-back: Eric Bailly

Jose Mourinho admitted in pre-season he wasn’t sure if Eric Bailly was ready for the Premier League, but the Portuguese coach must feel pleasantly surprised after the 22-year-old’s impressive display against Bournemouth.
AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United - Premier League
The Ivory Coast international was named Man of the Match for the second game running and is already a favourite in the eyes of the United supporters.

Centre-back: Curtis Davies

Hull City’s Premier League opener felt like a banker - for their opponents Leicester City.
But the reigning Premier League champions were brought back down to earth at the KCOM Stadium.
Scunthorpe United v Hull City - Pre-Season Friendly
Curtis Davies was a rock at the heart of the Tigers’ defence, keeping Jamie Vardy and Ahmed Musa relatively quiet with a superb eight interceptions.

Left-back: George Friend

After spending the last 10 years in the Football League, Middlesbrough’s reliable left-back George Friend will be aiming to prove himself at the top level this season.
The 28-year-old performed well against Stoke City on Saturday. No player on the pitch had more touches of the ball (76) than the Boro full-back.

Midfield: Etienne Capoue

Etienne Capoue was superb at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
Southampton v Watford - Barclays Premier League
The French midfielder scored the opening goal of the game on the ninth minute and then went on to produce six tackles and three interceptions in central midfield.

Midfield: Marouane Fellaini

No, really.
The much-maligned Manchester United midfielder produced one of his best performances for the club against Bournemouth on Sunday.
At this rate, the world’s most expensive footballer Paul Pogba will need to wait before making his second debut for the Red Devils.

Left-wing: Nathan Redmond

Claude Puel apparently wants to turn Nathan Redmond into Southampton’s version of Thierry Henry - and it wasn’t a bad start to the season for the English winger.
Southampton v Watford - Premier League
Redmond scored the equalising goal against Watford to earn his side a point. The 22-year-old has five shots had goal and produced four key passes. Encouraging.

Playmaker: Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho was arguably the Premier League’s standout performer on the opening weekend of the 2016-17 campaign.
Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League
The Brazilian scored two superb goals against Arsenal - including a stunning free-kick that might not be bettered over the next nine months - and was instrumental in Liverpool’s 4-3 victory at the Emirates Stadium.

Right-wing: Sadio Mane

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool splashed out a cool £34 million for Sadio Mane in June, but that fee will eventually look a bargain if he produces more performances like Sunday’s against Arsenal.

The 24-year-old was outstanding and capped off his eye-catching display with a magnificent solo goal.

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his presence felt on his Premier League debut, scoring a terrific long-range effort for Manchester United against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
The Sweden international, who also produced two key passes during the match, inspired his teammates in what was a tricky opening away match for the Red Devils.
AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United - Premier League
Isn’t it great to have him in England?

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