Leicester's Huth, Fuchs, Kante, Mahrez & Ranieri in Team of the Weekend
After each round of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Team of the Weekend. Our panel of experts carefully selects 11 star performers, along with a manager.
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Goalkeeper: It's take your pick for our No. 1 slot, with three candidates up for selection. Gab Marcotti salutes the form of Southampton's Fraser Forster, who is yet to concede a goal this season after returning in January following nine months out through injury. Paul Mariner opts for Petr Cech and his outstanding saves in Arsenal's 2-0 win at Bournemouth, while Steve Nicol chooses David De Gea, whom he calls the "best goalkeeper on the planet." After those fine stops from Branislav Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, the Spaniard is in.
Right-back: A full house for Seamus Coleman in what was a rampant Everton display at Stoke. The Potters were lucky it was just 3-0 and not 10. The Irishman grabbed the second goal with a flashing header from Tom Cleverley's corner and Marcotti said: "Coleman was his usual dominant self down the right flank."
Centre-back: The goal-scoring theme continues with the first of our centre-backs, Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott. In what was only Villa's third victory of the season, his header put them on course for a 2-0 win over Norwich, dragging the Canaries into the drop zone. Nicol says the centre-back is "leading the miracle charge at both ends," and Marcotti also trumpets Lescott's prowess in front of goal.
Centre-back: Leicester's Robert Huth had the game of all games at Manchester City, like every single one of his teammates. An emphatic 3-1 win at the Etihad was procured thanks to two of his goals and he barely gave Sergio Aguero a sniff until late on at the other end. Mariner called Huth's showing a "monster performance," while Marcotti said: "Huth stole the show."
Left-back: Another full house and a shout for Leicester's Christian Fuchs. Marcotti said: "He showed his experience and quality -- and also set up a goal." Mariner added: "Everything Manchester City threw at him, he dealt with. He also provided an outlet in attack." He edges out Spurs' match-winner against Watford, Kieran Trippier, who was Nicol's choice.
Right-midfield: Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard added to his goal in midweek against Stoke with a belter in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea, swivelling on a sixpence and lashing into the top corner. Marcotti said: "He scored a peach of a goal to help United to a point at Stamford Bridge which kept their top four hopes alive -- for now." Nicol thinks Lingard's goal was "classy."
Centre-midfield: It's a straight shootout between Leicester heroes Danny Drinkwater and N'Golo Kante at the base of our midfield. Marcotti plumps for the former, explaining that the ex-Manchester United man ran all day and sent a range of fine passes into space as the Foxes launched a multitude of counter attacks at City. The other two are sold on Kante. Mariner said: "Kante had staggering energy and quality."
Centre-midfield: This is a powerful passing midfield, fortified further by the presence of Newcastle's January signing, Jonjo Shelvey. After apparently tearing into a few of his colleagues following the abject display in the 3-0 loss at Everton on Wednesday, he was the engine on Saturday as the Toon beat West Brom 1-0. He constantly spread the play and probed, encapsulated by his assist for Aleksandar Mitrovic's winner. "What vision," Nicol said. Mariner added: "If he maintains this level of performance, he may just help Newcastle avoid the drop."
Left-midfield: All that wealth of attacking talent in Manchester City's ranks and none of them could lay a glove on Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian, a regular in Team of the Weekend, stole the show at the Etihad with an assist for Huth's opener and a fine solo goal. "He was a constant stream of invention. In a fair world, he'd be a certainty for Player of the Year," Marcotti said. Mariner called it a "mind-blowing performance," and Nicol agrees.
No.10: There's so many options for our last attacking place, including Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton's Aaron Lennon, Arsenal ace Aaron Ramsey, Newcastle striker Mitrovic or Chelsea's Costa. How to pick one out of that lot? It is a straight fight between Costa, who was a constant menace and a late hero in Chelsea's 1-1 draw with United, and Lennon, who scored again as Everton demolished Stoke. Costa is a regular, so let's go for Lennon. Here's Gab to tell you why: "A lung-busting run was followed by another goal, his third in three games. He's powering Everton out of their mini-crisis."
Centre-forward: There was so much solidarity between the players and fans at Anfield as they both walked out after 77 minutes of the game with Sunderland, or so the joke goes. The capitulation that led to a 2-2 draw undid Roberto Firmino's fine work, after he broke the deadlock and grabbed an assist for Adam Lallana's goal. "He seems to be one of the few players who get Jurgen Klopp's message," said Marcotti.
Manager: Is there anyone on the planet that doesn't want Claudio Ranieri to lift the Premier League trophy? This was perhaps his finest weekend yet, strolling into the home of the then-title favourites and thumping them. Marcotti said Ranieri gave Manuel Pellegrini a "master-class in defending, counter attacking and chemistry." Nicol is in accord while Mariner added: "I don't know what is in the water in Leicester but they have to keep drinking it."