Premier League Team of the Week: Liverpool's title hopes blown away by Gayle

Dwight Gayle scored twice to possibly end Liverpool's title hopes
Dwight Gayle scored twice to possibly end Liverpool's title hopes

This week's Team of the Week features a title-destroying performance from Dwight Gayle and two young English full backs who have been impressive all season...

GK: Lloris

RB: Clyne
CB: Turner
CB: Brown
LB: Shaw

MF: Barkley
MF: Noble
MF: Assaidi

AM: Weimann

FW: Gayle
FW: Dzeko


Formation: 4-3-1-2


Goalkeeper - Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

It was a bad afternoon at the office for Tottenham Hotspur, going down as they did convincingly to West Ham at Upton Park. But despite conceding two goals, French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was Spurs' standout performer, making a string of top class saves, not to mention a decent amount of clearances and sweeping up at the back when called upon. Undoubtedly in the top handful of goalkeepers in the world, the north Londoners will do well to keep hold of him this summer.

Spurs take on Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on Sunday and are currently 1.548/15 to beat the Midlanders.


Right Back - Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)

Perhaps the least heralded of Southampton's English contingent, Nathaniel Clyne showed on Saturday why he wouldn't look out of place in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad. While the likes of Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana are strongly fancied to be going to Brazil, Clyne has rarely been spoke about as a right-back for the Three Lions. But against Swansea he was excellent both defensively and offensively and was easily the man of the match in a game that disappointed in terms of entertainment. Clyne was industrious throughout the game, crossing superbly all afternoon and defending well when required.

While Clyne won't be going to the World Cup, his teammate Luke Shaw is a generous looking 2.6213/8 on Betfair's Sportsbook product to be in Hodgson's squad.


Centre Back - Michael Turner (Norwich)

All the centre-backs on display at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon put in excellent performances but by far the best was Michael Turner. Not many people gave the Canaries a chance of taking anything from this game but thanks to a brilliant dispaly from Turner and his defensive colleagues Norwich still have a tiny hope of beating the drop. The former Hull and Sunderland defender stood firm against the likes of Willian, Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba, putting in some excellent tackles and interceptions as the Blues ran out of ideas and saw their title hopes vanish for another season at least.

Norwich now need to beat Arsenal next Sunday and hope that Sunderland lose their two remaining games. The Canaries are just 1.021/50 in the Relegation market, the Black Cats can be backed at 48.047/1


Centre Back - Wes Brown (Sunderland)

On Saturday, Sunderland needed players that felt at home inside the cauldron that is Old Trafford, and in Wes Brown they found a man that more than fitted the bill. This is a player who of course made over 350 appearances for the great Manchester United and against them he played as if he knew his way around that pitch like the back of his hand. A famous 0-1 win followed for the Black Cats, and Seb Larsson will be remembered for his cute strike that was the difference between the teams, but it was built on a solid foundation at the back, of which Brown was the keystone.


Left Back - Luke Shaw (Southampton)

Yet another appearance in our Team of the Week for young left back Luke Shaw, but with good reason. It was another clean sheet for Southampton and another commanding, stand-out performance from the man being linked with every big club in Europe who it is becoming harder and harder to believe is still just 18 years old. Playing his part at the back and supporting going forward, Shaw was probably the best player on the pitch for the third week in a row and he can count himself hugely unlucky if he doesn't get a phone call from Roy Hodgson in the coming weeks.


Midfield - Ross Barkley (Everton)

Everton came away from the game against Manchester City with nothing in what was a strange game played in front of a strange crowd at Goodison Park on Saturday teatime. But one positive came in the shape of youngster Ross Barkley, who sparkled in an attacking midfield position and at times made Javi Garcia, who has been capped by Spain at full international level, look like a Sunday league player. He also found time to score one of the goals of the season, thundering the ball into the top corner from miles out.

There's more than a bit of the Paul Gascoigne about Barkley, and Roberto Martinez will hope to harness that creative genius and build a his side around him next season.


Midfield - Mark Noble (West Ham)

Mark Noble had the run of the park against Spurs on Saturday lunchtime, thanks partly to another bizarre midfield selection from Tim Sherwood which left his side woefully short of balance. Nothing should be taken away from Noble however, who has been an everpresent for West Ham this season, and Saturday's performance was his best since the win over Sunderland in March.

After all the money Tottenham have spent on midfielders this season, it was a West Ham youth product that called the tune. And Paulinho and Gylfi Sigurdsson were dancing to it all afternoon.


Midfield - Oussama Assaidi (Stoke)

Stoke sent Fulham crashing into the Championship at the weekend, and it was in no small part due to Oussama Assaidi, who weighed in with a goal to punctuate his man of the match performance. It's a been a mixed time for the Moroccan since his loan move from Liverpool; flashes of brilliance have been flooded with average performances, and the attacking midfielder is likely to go back to his parent club with just a few highlights to call upon from his experiences in the Potteries. This performance will be among them.


Attacking Midfield - Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)

It's been a difficult season in an under-performing team for Andreas Weimann, who has been shoved around from pillar to post and expected to perform in a number of different positions throughout the season. He seemed to enjoy playing upfront with Gabby Agbonlahor at the weekend however, contributing two goals and generally buzzing around all over the pitch and making things difficult for Hull. It remains to be seen what will happen at Villa Park next season, but whoever the owner/manager is they should keep hold of the young Austrian. At just 22, he still has bags of potential.


Forward - Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace)

For an hour of Crystal Palace's home game against Liverpool on Monday night it looked very likely that either Daniel Surridge or Luis Suarez would be making their umpteenth appearance in our Team of the Week. But then Dwight Gayle was introduced for the home side. Palace produced a storming comeback from 0-3 down to grab a point thanks to a Damien Delaney goal and a brace from Gayle. The 23-year-old's first was a precise first-time finish from a Yannick Bolasie cross, and his second was equally impressive after Glenn Murray had chested into his path. He may have only been on the pitch for 25 minutes but the two finishes Gayle produced in the final moments ended Liverpool's season-long challenge for their first title in almost a quarter of a century.


Forward - Edin Dzeko (Manchester City)

In what was billed as possibly the most important game in the title run-in - but was actually a strangely tame affair - Dzeko once again stepped up to the plate for City, scoring either side of half-time to ensure three points and ratcheting up the pressure on Liverpool ahead of their eventually fateful trip to Palace on Monday. The Bosnian is an occasionally frustrating player to watch - the gap between his worst and best performance is arguably the biggest of any player in the league - but when on form there are few better centre-forwards and he has scored some vital goals for City this season. He was a constant handful for Everton's back line on Saturday and scored a peach of a header in the first half before notching from six yards in the second.

City are now just 1.091/11 to win the league having been matched as high as 10.09/1


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