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Premier League Team of the Week: Haaland and Nketiah in a league of their own

2MCYKTJ Manchester City's Erling Haaland celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday January 22, 2023.

This past weekend of Premier League action saw Arsenal take another big step towards a first title in almost two decades.

Mikel Arteta's side beat Manchester United at the Emirates to maintain a five-point gap at the top and earn some recognition in our Team of the Week, while we also saw a number of key metrics hit new records as will be detailed below.

Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez, Aston Villa

The World Cup-winner secured his first clean sheet since returning from Argentina’s trophy celebrations. Martinez saved all five of Southampton’s shots which were on target to rank 2nd among 20 goalkeepers, Vicente Guaita leading the way with 7.

His 31.2 passes completed per-90 means he slots in 4th, behind Alisson (41.8), Kepa (40.9), and Jose Sa (31.9), but that number is up on his season average of 23.2.

Right-back: Kieran Trippier, Newcastle United

Trippier displayed his superb crossing ability with 8 chances created in the draw against Crystal Palace – only Bruno Fernandes has achieved more in a single game with 9 against Spurs back in October.

Trippier’s 10 true crosses – our metric which considers the movement of the target – bettered Kevin De Bruyne’s previous record of 8. The true-cross average among all players to have registered two or more in a game is 2.54.

Center-back: Lewis Dunk, Brighton & Hove Albion

No player has completed more pass attempts (141/155/91%) in a match this season than the Brighton captain did against Leicester. In total control with the ball at his feet, Dunk completed 7 of 10 line-breaking passes while he restricted Leicester striker Jamie Vardy (19) to a third-lowest number of possessions among forwards.

Center-back: Yerry Mina, Everton

Defeat for Frank Lampard at West Ham may have cost him his job, but Yerry Mina’s individual performance still charted as one of the best by a central defender this past weekend.

Mina ranked 8th out of 41 defenders (min. 60 minutes) with a 69.2% win rate and completed all 12 of his line-breaking passes to cap a solid display – the only defender to do so with more than ten attempts.

Left-back: Antonee Robinson, Fulham

The USA international connected on 54 of 60 passes to claim a 90% pass completion percentage – the only full-back to hit that figure.

He was matched by Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters on dribble attempts with six, but no other player in the position had more than two out of 26 qualifiers (min. 60 minutes).

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka
Picture: Alamy

Right wing: Bukayo Saka, Arsenal

Few players in the Premier League are riding as high as Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka right now. The winger created the most chances of anyone in the win over Manchester United, ranking 4th among 40 qualifying attacking midfielders, and was Arsenal’s most-targeted player (72) solely behind Everton’s Alex Iwobi (87) at the position.

Midfielder: İlkay Gündoğan, Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan was the main cog in Manchester City’s midfield, helping to progress the ball forward with 23% of his 52 pass attempts intended to break a line and 83% being successful.

The German kept Brentford’s Christian Norgaard for company at the top of metric (24%), but his true pass percentage – which weighs in if the target had to make an adjustment to receive the pass – of 65% pales in comparison to Gundogan’s 85%.

Midfielder: Jorginho, Chelsea

Jorginho aided Chelsea who recorded back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since mid-October with a draw at Anfield.

The midfielder blocked four passes and shot en route to preventing Liverpool’s Thiago from registering a single defensive-line breaking pass.

Left wing: Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton & Hove Albion

With Leandro Trossard departing the Amex this transfer window, Mitoma has full licence to become an influential part of the way coach Roberto De Zerbi wants Brighton to attack.

Mitoma provided a goal and created 2 chances against Leicester, and can find his name placed among the top-five dribblers-per-90 from this week alongside Marcus Rashford and Anthony (both 7.5), Samuel Edozie (7.3), with Mitoma fourth at 5.5.

Centre forward: Erling Haaland, Manchester City

All four of Haaland’s shots in the win over Wolves found the target as he bagged his third hat-trick in 19 matches for City.

The Norweigan is in a league of his own in our xG model, being the only player with an xG-per-90 of 1.0 on the season. Brentford’s Ivan Toney is next up on 0.6.

Center forward: Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal

Nketiah is hitting his stride for Mikel Arteta in the big matches, delivering the match-winner at the Emirates to deny Manchester United a point a week after scoring against arch-rivals Spurs.

He was the only player with a higher xG this week than Haaland (1.6) at 1.9, resulting in two goals for the leaders.

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