Premier League – Stars of the Week: Matchweek 15

The Boxing day bonanza may not have been a usual one with the matches being played over two days this year and most fans being kept far away from stadiums, but as ever in this fascinating season, there was certainly no shortage of entertainment. Since all of us are watching football on the TV, you can visit some football prediction site, find some betting predictions and enjoy betting and watching your favourite teams.

Manchester United and Leicester played out an entertaining draw, Arsenal managed to pull off a surprise win over a fragile Chelsea side, and Leeds controversially beat Burnley. Who stood out in the Premier League on one of the football calendar’s most beloved days of the year?

Stars in Premier League – Gameweek 15

Goalkeeper: Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion)

Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion)

After a bruising defeat against Midlands rivals Aston Villa last week, the Sam Allardyce era got up and running at West Brom with a very impressive draw at the home of Champions Liverpool.

Once again, goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was the hero for the Baggies. Although he wasn’t quite as busy as he was at the Etihad a few days ago, the ‘keeper made a spectacular late save from Roberto Firmino’s header to help his side escape with a point.

It was another very encouraging result for West Brom, and Johnstone’s recent performances could well turn out to be hugely important in the months to come.

Defender: Kortney Hause (Aston Villa)

Kortney Hause (Aston Villa)

High-flying Aston Villa are still very much enjoying themselves this season, and secured another excellent result with a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace, themselves still smarting from their recent 7-0 annihilation at the hands of Liverpool.

What was more impressive for the Villans was that they won and kept a clean sheet despite being down to 10 men for most of the game, with Tyrone Mings being dismissed in the first half. In Mings’ absence, his centre-back partner Kortney Hause stepped up brilliantly.

On only his third Premier League appearance of the season, Hause looked right at home in Villa’s defence, and even scored the second goal of the game to put his side in command. His performance will have delighted manager Dean Smith, who now knows that his side possesses good strength in depth.

Midfielder: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

bukayo-saka-arsenal

Despite having to re-adjust to playing in an empty stadium once more, Arsenal finally won a football match for the first time since early November, as they coasted to an impressive 3-1 win over London rivals Chelsea.

Bukayo Saka, long regarded as a future star at Arsenal, took centre stage here for the Gunners. With the score at 0-0, Saka won his side a penalty that was converted before scoring himself with a looping finish over Edouard Mendy.

The young winger has made a number of crucial contributions to his team over the past 12 months, but arguably none have been more important than this, which may finally help Arsenal draw a line under some awful recent form.

Forward: Neal Maupay (Brighton and Hove Albion)

It’s not been a great run of form for Brighton and Hove Albion lately, who are desperately searching for ever-more elusive wins and nervously looking over their shoulder at the drop zone.

On a positive note for the Seagulls, they managed to keep up their long unbeaten run against West Ham, and perhaps more importantly, managed to get star striker Neal Maupay back amongst the goals after a few weeks off the boil.

Maupay found the net with an instinctive finish and looked back to his best against the Hammers, making a constant nuisance of himself in and around the Hammers penalty area. If Brighton are to get an upturn in results, Maupay’s goals will surely be the key to doing so.

Manager: Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)

Mikel-Arteta-and-Alexandre-Lacazette

For a man who Arsenal fans seem to be running out of patience with, it must have been a relief for Mikel Arteta to see his side finally bag three points, and to do so against strong opposition and city rivals will have made the feeling all the sweeter.

The Gunners did have their fair share of luck in this game but in the end were fully deserving winners, and Arteta deserves credit for fielding a bold line-up consisting of several youngsters that was somewhat mocked in the pre-game build-up.

It was a performance that Arteta and Arsenal badly needed, and the Spaniard will now be hoping that it can be the catalyst to propel his team up the table.

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