PL Team of the Week
Last Updated: January 31, 2013 11:26am
Team of the Week
Julio Cesar - QPR
There were plenty of baffled reactions when Queens Park Rangers handed Cesar a lucrative deal shortly after doing the same for Robert Green. But the acquisition of the Brazil international is one of the decisions the Hoops have got right this season. The 33-year-old has been in superb form of late and was pivotal as QPR earned a point in a goalless draw at home to Premier League champions Manchester City on Tuesday.
Jamie Carragher - Liverpool
He's filling in at right-back in our team but it was at the heart of the defence that Carragher helped Liverpool to a point at Arsenal on Wednesday. The Gunners did manage to come from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium but the veteran defender was a calming presence at the back as the Reds weathered a late storm to gain an impressive point. The 35-year-old even put himself in harm's way to stop a Lukas Podolski thunderbolt in the second half.
Ashley Williams - Swansea
The Wales captain has blocked more shots than any player in the major leagues of Europe so far this season and continued his fine form as Swansea kept a clean sheet in their goalless draw in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Tuesday evening. Williams has forged a successful partnership with Chico Flores at the back for the Swans and his leadership qualities continue to be vital for Michael Laudrup's side.
Ryan Nelsen - QPR
The New Zealand international defender was afforded a guard of honour by his team-mates at Loftus Road on Tuesday night - and rightly so. The 35-year-old centre-back signed off with another combative display as the Premier League bottom club held the champions Manchester City to a 0-0 draw. Nelsen leaves QPR to begin his career in management in charge of Major League Soccer side FC Toronto.
Leighton Baines - Everton
Left-back may be the job description but it hardly does justice to the role Baines plays at Everton. The 28-year-old England international has created more chances than any other footballer in the top five leagues in Europe this season and his left foot is a deadly weapon for the Toffees. But he also knows how to put chances away himself - the former Wigan man scored with a blistering shot and followed up with a nerveless penalty as West Brom were beaten 2-1 at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Robert Snodgrass - Norwich
The Canaries winger has taken the step up to the Premier League in his stride since arriving at Carrow Road in the summer and he was in fine form again as Norwich drew 1-1 with Tottenham in midweek. The 25-year-old Scotland international troubled Spurs all evening with his trickery, movement and top-class delivery from wide positions.
Moussa Sissoko - Newcastle
The 23-year-old is one of five French arrivals at Newcastle this January and was the first to make a significant impact as the Magpies gained a vital 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Tuesday night. Villa were powerless to resist as the debutant tore through the hosts' midfield during the first half. His pass to Papiss Cisse for the opening goal set the tone and the France international impressed hugely with both his strength and his vision.
James McArthur - Wigan
The Wigan midfielder is often perceived to be in the shadow of his near-namesake James McCarthy at the DW Stadium. But Latics fans know what the 25-year-old is capable of with his tidy passing game. And the Scotland international came to the fore as Wigan fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Stoke on Tuesday. McArthur scored the first with a classy finish and then found Franco Di Santo for the equaliser.
Hugo Rodallega - Fulham
"We needed a striker today to play off the shoulder and to stretch them," said Fulham boss Martin Jol following the 3-1 win over West Ham in midweek. "We were lucky that it paid off." Rodallega may disagree that it was luck. The Colombian striker has been out the team of late as Jol has opted to use Dimitar Berbatov in a lone forward role but he was back with a bang against the Hammers - scoring one and setting up another as the Cottagers picked up a much-needed win.
Adam Le Fondre - Reading
It's been a remarkable rise for Le Fondre given that he was playing in the bottom tier of English football last season. But the 26-year-old is enjoying himself in the Premier League and Theo Walcott is now the only English player with more top-flight goals than the Reading man - despite him having started just eight games. Le Fondre produced his most dramatic display yet on Wednesday as he came off the bench to score two late goals to grab a 2-2 draw against Chelsea.
Wayne Rooney - Man Utd
United are well used to going behind in games this season and it happened once again as Southampton netted first at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. But, as so often, the Red Devils had the quality to turn things around. And, as so often, Rooney was the man on hand to help his side. The England forward has started just 13 Premier League games this season but found goals number eight and nine against the Saints to secure a 2-1 win for his team that moves them seven points clear at the top.