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Premier League Team of the Week: Arsenal and Brighton lead the way

2M8JF3R Brighton and Hove Albion's Solly March (left) and Liverpool's Ben Doak battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the American Express Community Stadium, Brighton. Picture date: Saturday January 14, 2023.

After a great weekend of Premier League action that featured crucial derby wins for Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as a shock 3-0 win over Liverpool for Brighton, PFF selects its Team of the Week.

Leaders Arsenal and high-scoring Brighton are the two teams who led the way with three selections each as the season reaches the half-way stage.

Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal

It was certainly a heated North London derby for Ramsdale but he rose to the occasion, keeping a clean sheet by saving all seven of his shots faced, the 2nd most of any keeper this week. Three of those saves were positively graded, which ranked 1st among goalkeepers.

Right-back: Ben White, Arsenal

Ben White certainly made Ramsdale’s life in goal a lot easier against Spurs, keeping Heung-min Son quiet for most of the game. White won 60% of his challenges, including four of his five aerial duels. He also completed three line-breaking passes and finished the match with an 89% pass completion rate.

Centre-back: Benoît Badiashile, Chelsea

New signing Badiashile introduced himself to Chelsea fans with a solid display on his debut at Stamford Bridge, winning 65% of his total challenges, including seven of his 11 aerial duels.

The former Monaco man received no positioning downgrades, and completed 96% of his passes, including six line-breaking passes.

Centre-back: Levi Colwill, Brighton & Hove Albion

Colwill, in particular, stood out in a great Brighton performance, winning 71% of his challenges. He also performed well on the ball, posting a 91% pass completion rate (including the game’s only +1 graded pass), and completed a very impressive 15 line-breaking passes which was 2nd among all players this week.

Left-back: João Cancelo, Manchester City

It was a disappointing derby day for City, but Cancelo still turned in a good performance. The Portuguese full back completed six of his seven dribbles (ranked 1st among all players) and also contributed two completed defensive-line breaking passes.

Midfielder: Boubacar Kamara, Aston Villa

Kamara was instrumental in Villa’s 2-1 win over Leeds, and his 85% challenge win rate, which included winning all five of his aerial duels, was ranked 1st among all midfielders (min. five challenges).

Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse
Credit: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse, Southampton

It was a day to remember for Ward-Prowse, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Everton. His two positively graded shots (including one +1) were the most of any central midfielder.

Attacking-midfielder: Martin Ødegaard, Arsenal

Both of Ødegaard’s shots on target were graded positively, including a +1 grade for his 36th-minute goal. He was key to Arsenal’s attack, completing 90% of his passes, two defensive-line breaking passes and receiving six line-breaking passes.

Left winger: Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton & Hove Albion

Mitoma tormented Trent Alexander-Arnold and provided an assist on an absolutely miserable day for Liverpool and just squeezed out Marcus Rashford for a spot on our team.

The Japanese winger attempted nine dribbles (1st among all players) and completed five of them (1st among wingers).

Right winger: Solly March, Brighton & Hove Albion

March scored twice and also chipped in with an assist in a memorable performance. The Brighton man received eight line-breaking passes, three of which broke the defensive line (tied 1st), and created four chances in total.

His success in front of goal typified Brighton's improved strike rate going forward this season, as Albion need only eight goals to beat their total tally of 42 from the 2021-22 campaign.

Striker: Brennan Johnson, Nottingham Forest

Johnson bagged two goals in an important win for Forest over Midlands rivals Leicester City. The Welshman scored on both of his shot attempts, completed two of his three dribbles (including a +1 grade) and received three defensive-line breaking passes (tied 1st among all players).

 

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