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TT's Top Men: Blues trio reunited

Romelu Lukaku is chosen in front of Chelsea midfielders Eden Hazard and Frank Lampard in TEAMtalk's Top Men, our select XI from matchday 22.

Last Updated: 14/01/13 at 16:33 Post Comment

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 22 (January 12-13). 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 (4-4-2): Mignolet; Zabaleta, Chico, Nelsen, Colback; Silva, Lampard, Vaughan, Hazard; Van Persie, Lukaku.

Goalkeeper

Simon Mignolet - Sunderland

The Belgian made three vital saves in the second half against West Ham United to prevent Sam Allardyce's side mounting a fightback at the Stadium of Light. He blocked point-blank, close-range efforts from Ricardo Vaz Te, Alou Diarra and James Tomkins as he further enhanced his growing reputation.

Defenders

Pablo Zabaleta - Manchester City

Highly effective both in defence and attack for the champions against Arsenal and won a key tackle that led to the second goal. He had Lukas Podolski in his pocket virtually all afternoon, while also contributing well to City's build-up play and always offering an outlet on the right wing.

Chico Flores - Swansea

Another rock-solid display helped Michael Laudrup's side shut out Everton and re-emphasised why he is being touted for an international call-up by Spain. He got in the way of everything Everton threw at him and also coped admirably with the physical threat of the likes of Marouane Fellaini.

Ryan Nelsen - QPR

He may be playing on "glass knees and glass ankles", but the veteran New Zealander was magnificent again for Harry Redknapp's side as they kept a clean sheet against Tottenham Hotspur. Not only did he repel everything that came his way, but he also led the team by example with a heart-on-the-sleeve performance.

Jack Colback - Sunderland

Watertight at left-back for Martin O'Neill's side, but even more impressive was his performance going forward, where he was a constant threat and even hit the woodwork. His overlapping runs meant he doubled up well with James McClean, while his crossing from deep was invariably pinpoint.

Midfielders

David Silva - Manchester City

The little Spaniard was at his majestic best against Arsenal, causing all sorts of trouble in the final third with his piercing passing, elusive movement and flawless retention of possession. He was always available to receive the ball and kept popping up in dangerous areas where Arsenal were not expecting him.

Frank Lampard - Chelsea

Once again showed why he will not be short of suitors when he leaves Chelsea with a supreme midfield performance in which he drove his side forward and scored with a brilliantly dispatched penalty. He also competed ferociously in a defensive capacity, meaning Stoke's central players never had any time on the ball.

David Vaughan - Sunderland

Not involved in Sunderland's three goals but his work-rate, simple passing and combative tackling were the bedrock of the home side's impressive victory. He did the dirty work to great effect all afternoon, pouncing on loose balls and putting West Ham's midfielders under relentless pressure. His man-of-the-match display prompted Martin O'Neill to joke that "he'll be captain next week".

Eden Hazard - Chelsea

His superb, long-range strike was the obvious highlight of a fine performance against Stoke, but he was also involved in all of the away side's good attacking play and presented a constant threat. Efficient with the ball yet also hard-working, the Belgian's pace and superb dribbling were a thorn in Stoke's side all afternoon.

Strikers

Robin van Persie - Manchester United

Set United on the road to victory against Liverpool with a superbly taken opening goal. Many strikers would have scooped the chance over the bar, but Van Persie used perfect technique to keep his first-time shot low and give Pepe Reina no chance. He also dropped deep to contribute to build-up play and his movement was as textbook as ever.

Romelu Lukaku - West Brom

West Brom's late collapse overshadowed what was a relentless attacking display from the on-loan Chelsea striker, which he capped with two well-taken goals. The Belgian combined physicality with finesse and, at times, he completely overran Reading's defence. As well as his brace, he also hit the woodwork twice.

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Readers' Comments

D

oes the absence of Winston Bogarde mean he's finally left Chelsea?

nellyknows
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

P

resumably, Diaby is in this team but receiving treatment

lee
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

A

deadwood 11 and not an arsenal player listed. Heady days.

EssexGooner
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

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