Premier League Team of the Week – Harewood and Drogba lead the line after Blackpool and Chelsea romp to victory

Joe Hart

Glen Johnson – Vincent Kompany – Ryan Nelsen – Benoit Assou-Ekotto

Marc Albrighton – Charlie Adam – Ashley Young – Gareth Bale

Marlon Harewood – Didier Drogba

Goalkeeper

Joe Hart (Manchester City):

Somewhat surprisingly preferred to the experienced Shay Given between the sticks, Hart produced a string of world class saves to earn his side a valuable point and further enhance his prospects of becoming England’s No 1.

Defenders

Glen Johnson (Liverpool):

Johnson looked to have put the disappointment of this summer firmly behind him with a trademark all action performance at Anfield on Sunday. The first-half saw him cause plenty of problems as he probed forward from his right-back berth, while snubbing out danger man Andrei Arshavin for the entire 90 minutes.

Vincent Kompany – (Manchester City):

The Belgium international has formed a strong partnership with Kolo Toure at the centre of the Manchester City defence, and he was certainly at his best at White Hart Lane on Saturday, making numerous last ditch tackles to prevent the lethal strike force of Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe from finding the score sheet.

Ryan Nelsen – (Blackburn Rovers):

Nelsen was one of a few Premier League players to perform well in South Africa this summer, captaining New Zealand to the best World Cup performance in the nation’s history. He showed no signs of rust on Saturday despite a hectic summer with some typical no nonsense defending helping Blackburn keep a clean sheet and register an opening 1-0 victory.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham):

The Cameroon international was in fine form this weekend, keeping Shaun Wright-Phillips quiet for the majority of the time, while coming close to beating Hart when his deflected long range effort was tipped over at full stretch.

Midfielders

Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa):

The 20-year-old winger was handed his first Premier League start by caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald and took full advantage, setting up James Milner for the third goal to cap a superb individual display that saw him cause numerous problems for the West Ham United defence.

Ashley Young (Aston Villa):

The absence of Gabriel Agbonlahor upfront saw Young moved into a more advanced role, playing off John Carew. It was a position in which he thrived, forcing good saves from Robert Green on more than one occasion and creating plenty of chances for his team mates with an impressive range of passing.

Charlie Adam (Blackpool):

The Blackpool captain was massively influential in leading the Tangerines into the Promised Land and produced another passing masterclass from the heart of the midfield to help them to a comprehensive opening day victory over Wigan Athletic.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur):

Bale continued where he left off last season, continuing to impress from the left side of the Tottenham midfield. Bale’s direct approach was proving extremely effective and he came closest to a Spurs winner when his low effort cannoned off the post.

Strikers

Didier Drogba (Chelsea):

Drogba began his quest for back-to-back Premier League golden boots in fine style, completing a hat-trick as Chelsea steamrolled newly promoted West Bromwich Albion. Drogba has struggled with niggling injuries over the past 12 months but looked back to his very best on Saturday as he notched his second Premier League hat-trick in successive games to help Chelsea on their way to a 6-0 victory.

Marlon Harewood (Blackpool):

Harewood could prove to be a shrewd signing by Blackpool manager Ian Holloway as he put a torrid few seasons behind him to net a brace on his Blackpool debut and help wrap up an astonishing victory.

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