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Premier League team of the week: Gameweek 9

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There were 36 goals shared across the Premier League this weekend as fans were treated to some exceptionally clinical displays.

Manchester City reminded everyone of the gap between themselves and rivals United – in case anyone needed reminding – with a dominant 6-3 victory, while Arsenal comfortably swatted ten-man Tottenham aside in Saturday’s north London derby.

With a slightly funky formation, here are 90min’s picks for the team of the week.

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Illan Meslier

Meslier helped Leeds earn a point / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

It took a brave display from Leeds to survive for most of the second half of their clash with Aston Villa a player down following Luis Sinisterra’s red card, but Meslier made six saves in total as United escaped with a point.

Thilo Kehrer

Kehrer put in an improved display / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Kehrer had a mare of a start to his West Ham career but was calm and assured out wide, making five tackles in total, and was involved in Jarrod Bowen’s game-sealing strike.

Robin Koch

Koch kept Villa at bay / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Another key component of Leeds’ draw with Villa, Koch made excellent decisions with the ball and made a vital clearance to keep the scores level in the first half.

William Saliba, Harry Kane

Saliba was dominant in the north London derby / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Pressing sharply from the back while having plenty of guile on the ball, Saliba was a rock in the north London derby. He kept Arsenal high up the pitch and effectively nullified the open play threat of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

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Miguel Almiron

Almiron enjoyed his day out at Fulham / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Newcastle were given a big helping hand when Fulham’s Nathaniel Chalobah got himself sent off, allowing Almiron to become the star of the show. The Paraguayan scored twice – including a wonderful volley into the far corner – as the Magpies secured a dominant 4-1 win.

Granit Xhaka

Xhaka ran the show against Tottenham / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Xhaka is as important as ever at Arsenal right now and capped Arsenal’s triumph over Tottenham with his side’s third, finishing brilliantly from Gabriel Martinelli’s pass.

Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne created a few goals for City on Sunday / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages

Manchester City had no shortage of space to work with their derby with United on Sunday and it was De Bruyne who helped take the game away from Erik ten Hag’s side with two assists in the first half.

Leandro Trossard

Trossard bagged a treble at Anfield / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

After his hat trick at Anfield, Belgian wizard Trossard has now scored more goals against Liverpool than any other team in his career. His first two efforts had Brighton 2-0 inside 20 minutes and his third earned Roberto De Zerbi’s new side a well-deserved point.

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James Maddison

Maddison was in inspired form against Forest / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

When Leicester needed a perfect ten from their talismanic midfielder, Maddison delivered. The goals and assist he registered against Nottingham Forest on Monday night took him up to seven goal contributions in as many league games as the Foxes earned their first win of the season.

Phil Foden

Foden scored his Manchester derby goals / Michael Regan/GettyImages

A wonderful flick at the near post saw Foden grab his first Manchester derby goal and he wrapped up his hat trick courtesy of two assists from his strike partner.

Erling Haaland

Haaland rocked United on Sunday / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Football tribalism and clout culture has always been worrying, but it’s now time to be put to one side so we can all figure out how to stop Erling Haaland

The Norwegian was as ruthless as ever in front of goal against United and also set up Foden twice as both claimed a match ball.

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Katie Zelem discusses the ‘catch 22’ Man Utd face ahead of Old Trafford return

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Manchester United captain Katie Zelem has described the two-week break since a momentous WSL win over Arsenal as ‘catch 22’ for the squad because that time out of action before facing Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday has both positive and negative implications.

Having lost to Chelsea in early November, their first league defeat of the season, United responded by mounting a 3-2 comeback win at the Emirates Stadium when club football resumed after the recent international break.

Another two-week pause in the club schedule, during which time United have played a behind closed doors friendly, has offered both the chance for rest for starters and minutes for those less involved so far this season. But there is a risk that positive momentum fades.

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“It’s catch 22 in football. Everyone is dying for a break, but equally when you’ve got a good run of momentum, you want to keep it going,” Zelem said of the paradoxical situation.

“We’ve got to look at it as a positive. People were able to get minutes in a friendly match we played. We obviously had a hard week of training and it means we’ve been able to prep properly for the Villa game. Often, when there are really busy three game weeks, it reduces your prep time.

“As a team, we’re in a really good place going into the weekend and we all can’t wait.”

United manager Marc Skinner welcomed the opportunity for rest, insisting that it is the team that is responsible for nurturing momentum.

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“It was probably a good moment to recharge, get everybody fresh and just make sure we’re competitive within the team because that’s the real driving factor for us,” Skinner explained.

“I’ve said this before, whether it’s a loss going into a break, or a win going into a break, it’s about us taking charge of momentum.”

As far as the game itself, United have won on both previous occasions they have played at Old Trafford – against West Ham in 2021 and Everton earlier in 2022 – and find familiarity that the pitch dimensions are actually the same as at usual home stadium Leigh Sports Village.

Even if the setting will obviously be different because of the much larger stands that surround the grass, it feeds into their preferred style of play and makes the transition smoother.

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“We pride ourselves on keeping the ball and building our attacks. For us, at Old Trafford that will be vitally important,” Zelem went on to say.

“We know that Villa will try and catch us on the break and they’ve got a lot of attacking threats. We need to look at it like we’re playing at Leigh…it’s obviously a lot harder when there are so many more people and huge stands around you. It’s just another game for us and that’s how we’re taking it.”

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!





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Club Leon appoint Nicolas Larcamon as new head coach

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Club Leon has appointed Nicolas Larcamon as the new head coach, ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura. 

He replaces Renato Paiva, who announced his departure just days ago.

Larcamon now joins after serving as head of Puebla for two years, where he managed a record of 27W-21L-32D in 80 Liga MX games total. During the 2022 Liga MX Apertura, Larcamon inspired Puebla to eighth on the table and the Liguilla quarter-finals before falling to Club America. 

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He announced his resignation from Puebla shortly after being eliminated from the Liguilla, claiming the team needed ‘renewed energy’.

“The truth is that the decision is mine, obviously that the perspectives of what is coming for the team at all levels are taken into account a little, which is going to be very challenging,” he said to TUDN.

”That is why I understood it very fair to give the place to someone with renewed energy, with maximum motivation, the institution deserves it. There were four tournaments of great intensity, demands, where we were always at our best, and the decision had more to do with these issues. There was a lot of speculation, it coincided with Piojo in Tigres, but it has nothing to do with it. it was a decision made days before and we were only in negotiations.”

He will now take on new challenges with Club Leon. 

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The team concluded the 2022 Apertura in 10th place, qualifying to the Liguilla playoff match before losing 1-0 to Cruz Azul. 

Leon kicks off the 2023 Clausura on January 6, against Mazatlan.

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Ben White leaves England World Cup squad due to ‘personal reasons’

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Arsenal star Ben White has left England’s World Cup training camp and isn’t expected to return for the remainder of the tournament.

The defender didn’t make an appearance in any of the Three Lions group stage games, and has now left the squad due to ‘personal reasons’.

In a statement released by England, the Three Lions confirmed the news: “Ben White has left England’s training base in Al Wakrah and returned home for personal reasons.

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Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher and Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“The Arsenal defender is not expected to return to the squad for the remainder of the tournament. We ask that the player’s privacy is respected at this moment in time.”

White has enjoyed a fantastic domestic season with Arsenal, becoming the club’s first choice right-back – and one of the best right-backs in the Premier League – as the Gunners have gone from top four challengers to table-toppers.

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