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TT's Top Men: Manchester rivals lead line

Monday 22nd October 2012 15:43

Dzeko: Netted a brace after stepping off the bench

Dzeko: Netted a brace after stepping off the bench

Edin Dzeko and Wayne Rooney take their places alongside two Canaries in our latest Top Men team made up of elite Premier League performers.

After every round of Premier League fixtures, we pick our team of the weekend, explain our selections and then invite you - our loyal army of readers - to pick your team of top men. We're looking for the players who caught your eye with dazzling displays or powerful performances on Matchday Eight (20 October - 21 October). You can choose any formation and there's no limit on how many players you can pick from each team - so have a think, then get involved.

TEAMtalk's Top Men (4-3-1-2): Cech; Jagielka, Cahill, Bassong, Coloccini; Sterling, Tettey, Nolan; Mata; Rooney, Dzeko.


Petr Cech - Chelsea:: He may not have been able to keep a clean sheet on Saturday, but Chelsea keeper Cech gets the nod after helping to see the Blues to a 4-2 derby victory over capital rivals Tottenham. The commanding Czech pulled off a couple of smart stops late on to deny Spurs a route back into the game and prolong table-topping Chelsea's unbeaten start to the campaign.


Phil Jagielka - Everton: The first of four centre-halves to make our selection, Jagielka is versatile enough to slip in at full-back. The Everton man is among those looking to inherit John Terry's place at the heart of England's back four and a few more displays like the one he put in at Queens Park Rangers on Sunday will do his cause no harm, with the Toffees man prepared to put his body on the line in order to collect a 1-1 draw.

Gary Cahill - Chelsea: There are not many centre-halves in the Premier League who would watch the ball dropping out of the sky from the edge of the box and think, 'I'm going to hit this'. Cahill is one of the select few, and boy did he connect cleanly as he almost took the net off its hinges while opening the scoring in Chelsea's victory at Tottenham. A stunning volley, which took a slight deflection, left Brad Friedel clutching at fresh air.

Sebastien Bassong - Norwich City: The result of the weekend was undoubtedly Norwich's 1-0 win over Arsenal, with the Canaries picking up their first victory of the campaign at the eighth time of asking. A second clean sheet of the season helped Chris Hughton's side on their way, with Sebastien Bassong marshalling a back four which was able to keep the Gunners quiet despite the visitors to Carrow Road dominating possession.

Fabricio Coloccini - Newcastle United: Coloccini has been used as a full-back at times throughout his Newcastle career, so we are confident he would not look out of place in this XI. The Argentine continues to lead from the front for the Magpies, putting in performances which set the standard for those around him. As club captain you would expect nothing less and he played a starring role for Alan Pardew's side on Sunday as they battled bravely with 10 men to take a share of the spoils from a Wear-Tyne derby with Sunderland.


Raheem Sterling - Liverpool: At the age of just 17, Sterling became Liverpool's second youngest Premier League goalscorer on Saturday when he netted a crisply-struck winner in a home date with Reading. Only Michael Owen was younger when netting for the Reds in a top flight fixture. It remains to be seen whether Sterling can hit the heights Owen managed throughout his time at Anfield, but the youngster appears to be on the right track and will be carefully managed by Brendan Rodgers.

Alexander Tettey - Norwich City: Grant Holt may have got the goal which saw Norwich to a memorable victory over Arsenal, but his strike owed everything to Tettey. A driving force at the heart of the Canaries' midfield, the Norway international struck the stinging, swerving effort which evaded Vito Mannone's grasp and left Holt with a tap in. Tettey looks to be a shrewd acquisition by Chris Hughton, with the Ghana-born ball-winner possessing all of the attributes required to be a success in the Premier League.

Kevin Nolan - West Ham United: Nolan is fast closing in on 100 career goals after finding himself among the scorers once again in West Ham's 4-1 mauling of Southampton. Saints may have edged the Hammers into the Championship play-offs last term, but it is Sam Allardyce's side who have settled quickest back among the elite. Nolan has helped them in that quest, with his vast experience and keen eye for goal always going to be crucial to the Upton Park cause.

Juan Mata - Chelsea: Casting an eye over the opening two months of the season, it appears as though Chelsea could take some stopping. The Blues have not always been the most entertaining going forward, but right now they have creativity in abundance and playmakers on top of their game. Oscar, Eden Hazard and Mata all shone against Spurs on Saturday, but it is the latter who makes our cut after bagging a deadly double.


Wayne Rooney - Manchester United: A few weeks ago people were suggesting that Rooney was to be frozen out at Manchester United, that he could not play in the same side as Robin van Persie and that he may have to get used to life on the bench. Fast forward to late October and the England man appears to be coping just fine. Rooney even managed a hat-trick of sorts on Saturday, with the target found on three occasions in a 4-2 waltz past Stoke. Unfortunately, one of those efforts came at the wrong end.

Edin Dzeko - Manchester City: You have to offer something special to make the team of the week on the back of an 11-minute cameo appearance, but it is difficult to overlook Dzeko's late contribution to Manchester City's 2-1 victory over West Brom. It is difficult because the burly Bosnian netted both of City's goals at The Hawthorns. A trademark header hauled 10-man City level with time running out and in stoppage-time he grabbed what could prove to be a crucial winner as he calmly finished off a flowing counter attack.

Post a Comment below to let us know your thoughts on our selection, and your own Top Men team!



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