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TT's Top Men: Deadly Dan leads the line

Hat-trick hero Daniel Sturridge leads the line in TEAMtalk's penultimate Top Men XI, with a midfield packed full of creativity and goalscorers.

Last Updated: 13/05/13 at 14:34 Post Comment

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Here's TEAMtalk's top XI from the latest round of Premier League fixtures. We explain our selections and then invite you to pick your team of top men. We're looking for the players who caught your eye with dazzling displays or powerful performances in the top flight.

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 (3-5-2): Mignolet; Coleman, Ferdinand, Coloccini; Mirallas, Hazard, Lampard, Dempsey, Snodgrass; Sturridge, Hernandez.

Simon Mignolet - Sunderland

Sunderland are still sweating on their Premier League status with just one more fixture to take in, but their situation could have been even more precarious were it not for Mignolet's performance against Southampton on Sunday. The Belgian, who has emerged as one of the top-flight's most consistent performers, pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the Saints at bay. A 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light means the Black Cats sit four points clear of 18th-placed Wigan - who have two games to come.

Seamus Coleman - Everton

It has been Everton's left-hand side which has drawn the most attention this season, but those operating down the right showed on Sunday that they are no slouches either. Coleman is capable of turning out on the wing or at full-back, and that versatility has made him a useful asset to the Toffees. He starred in a defensive role against West Ham over the weekend, with his marauding forays down the flanks causing all sorts of problems. The Republic of Ireland international helped the hosts to a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park.

Rio Ferdinand - Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson bid farewell to the Old Trafford faithful on Sunday, with the legendary Scot set to slip into retirement at the end of the season. Fittingly, he was able to sign off in style as Manchester United saw off Swansea 2-1 on home soil. It appeared as though the Swans would spoil the party at one stage, as they drew level early in the second half, but United were not to be denied. Their winner came from an unlikely source, with Ferdinand crashing home his first goal in five years to spark a trophy-presentation celebration of epic proportions at the Theatre of Dreams.

Fabricio Coloccini - Newcastle United

It is fair to say the 2012/13 campaign has been a hugely disappointing one for Newcastle, but they have at least avoided the threat of it becoming a disastrous one. Having spent much of the second half of the season scrapping towards the foot of the table, they finally ended any lingering relegation fears on Sunday with a 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers. Skipper Coloccini led by example at Loftus Road, with the Argentine a defensive colossus as he put his body on the line for the good of the collective cause.

Kevin Mirallas - Everton

Everton's victory over West Ham has already been mentioned, as has the impact their right-back and right winger had on proceedings. The Toffees ensured that outgoing boss David Moyes enjoyed an afternoon to savour in his final fixture at Goodison Park. Moyes may have stolen the show on Sunday, but Mirallas pushed him close with his efforts on the field. The Belgian forward, who has been in fine form since overcoming his injury troubles, bagged a brace against the Hammers - with an early opener helping to settle any nerves on Merseyside.

Eden Hazard - Chelsea

Another of those to have seen his exploits overshadowed at the weekend was Hazard, as he starred for Chelsea but saw a club colleague steal the headlines. The Belgium international will not be complaining, though, as the Blues ensured themselves a top-four finish and UEFA Champions League qualification with a 2-1 victory on the road at Aston Villa. Hazard was once again playmaker-in-chief for Rafa Benitez's side as he laid on both goals on a record-breaking afternoon in the Midlands.

Frank Lampard - Chelsea

The man to benefit from Hazard's excellence was Lampard, with the England international etching his name further into the Stamford Bridge record books. Already a Blues legend, Lampard became the club's all-time leading goalscorer with a brace against Villa. He took his tally to 203 at Villa Park, edging him ahead of Bobby Tambling in Chelsea's roll of honour. Surely his efforts will now be rewarded with a new contract, with the midfielder due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

Clint Dempsey - Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham clambered back into the top four on Sunday, with a 2-1 victory away at Stoke taking them above north London rivals Arsenal - who have played a game less. Spurs may need others to do them a favour in their bid to secure Champions League football, but they have put themselves right in the mix. Dempsey helped them to three welcome points over the 10-man Potters, with the American forward turning home a spectacular 40-yard effort at the Britannia Stadium after Asmir Begovic found himself caught in no-man's land.

Robert Snodgrass - Norwich City

Norwich needed a spark from somewhere as they sought to preserve their Premier League status on Sunday, and Snodgrass was the man to provide it. The Scot put the Canaries on their way to a crushing 4-0 victory over West Brom at Carrow Road. The opening goal was always going to be key for the hosts, as they attempted to haul themselves clear of relegation trouble. Snodgrass helped to break the tension and was at the centre of much of Norwich's best work as they climbed into 12th place.

Daniel Sturridge - Liverpool

Luis who? Fears were raised as to Liverpool's attacking potency once Suarez was handed a 10-match ban, but Sturridge has excelled since being charged with the task of leading the line. He made a January move to Anfield in the hope of being awarded more opportunities down the middle, and is now showing why he deserves a regular central role. Sturridge took his Reds return to 10 goals in just 11 games with his first senior hat-trick during an impressive 3-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Javier Hernandez - Manchester United

It would appear as though there will be at least one forward heading for the exits at Manchester United this summer, with the Red Devils said to be keen on freshening up their ranks. Wayne Rooney has requested a transfer, and speculation has suggested that Hernandez could be moved on if the right offer is tabled. It would, however, be a surprise if United were to let the Mexican leave, as he offered another timely reminder of what he brings to the table during an industrious display against Swansea on Sunday - which saw him break the deadlock at Old Trafford.

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W

e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

treeman1
Premier League Winners And Losers

S

toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

megabrow (cufc)
Being Defensive About Being Defensive...

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

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