In a week where big games were being played in Spain, England and Germany, the Team of the Week was always going to be good, and it certainly didn't disappoint. With midweek games thrown in for good measure, we are looking at a bumper TOTW and that's even without the possible SIF Messi who may sneak in, but I have ignored due to their weekend result.
Starting off in England, Chelsea faced their biggest challenge left in the league this season — a daunting fixture against Manchester City who have in-form Sergio Agüero back scoring. However, they were able to brush off their challenge thanks to a double from Eden Hazard to lead them to a 2-1 win. The Belgian went on to score again at the weekend in their 3-1 win over Bournemouth, furthering his claim for a spot in the TOTW.
Chasing down Chelsea prove to be impossible, but Spurs aren't giving up without a fight, even with Harry Kane being out injured for the past few weeks. One player who has stepped up to fill that void is Son Heung-min, who has scored four and set up another in the four games that the English striker missed. He excelled this weekend in a thrilling performance against Watford, scoring twice and setting up another to help them to a 4-0 win.
Everton almost pulled off a surprise by beating Manchester United midweek, but were denied by a late Ibrahimovic equalizer. Phil Jagielka proved to be a key player for the Toffees in both attack and defense this week, scoring twice and getting an assist across their two games — the 1-1 draw against United and 4-2 win over Leicester at the weekend.
Monday night games have always been a difficult one to call for TOTWs, but after Giuseppi Rossi was included last week, I feel that Wilfried Zaha has a good claim to one this week, after being snubbed last time round. His 2 assists and MOTM performance helped lead Crystal Palace to a 3-0 win over Arsenal, who suffered a club record fourth straight away defeat.
Moving to Germany, the biggest game of the season took place — Der Klassiker. Bayern suffered a midweek setback after losing 2-0 to Hoffenheim, but turned on the style to cruise past a half-strength and underwhelming Dortmund side. Their main man was Arjen Robben, who was voted the Kicker Player of the Week after he scored 1 of the goals in the 4-1 win.
Dortmund now seem destined to battle for third place with Hoffenheim, who suffered a shock defeat to relegation threatened Hamburg, with both goals coming from Aaron Hunt.
Hertha Berlin ended a run of three straight defeats thanks to a 2-0 win over struggling Augsburg. American defender John Brooks scored the opener and was the Man of the Match.
Ingolstadt have found form at the perfect moment as they look to avoid relegation. Almog Cohen was their hero twice this week, scoring twice midweek as he earned the Player of the Week award, and then getting a goal and an assist at the weekend as they won both games 3-2. Those wins see them move within 1 point of safety with just six games to go.
The third big game of the week was the Madrid derby between Real and Atlético. Pepe scored the opener for Los Blancos, and helped keep Griezmann and co. quiet, before he was substituted. Griezmann scored a late winner, but Pepe should still earn a spot in the TOTW due to his solid performance.
Real Madrid were also in action midweek, and played a much weakened side. This didn't stop Álvaro Morata from showing everyone what he is capable of, as he scored a hat-trick in their 4-2 win over Leganes.
In Italy, Napoli are still chasing Roma in the hope of a slip up which could earn them an automatic Champions League qualification spot. They faced a tough game this weekend, away to fourth place Lazio, but came through with an easy 3-0 win, thanks to a Lorenzo Insigne brace, which also saw him earn the MOTM award.
Atalanta are hoping to keep up their excellent season by qualifying for the Europa League but suffered a setback at the hands of Sassuolo, who held them to a 1-1 draw. That was largely down to the MOTM performance from Andrea Consigli, who made 6 saves to help earn his team a point.
The Ligue 1 title race looks like it will go down to the wire, with Monaco, PSG and Nice all separated by 4 points. PSG look to have forgotten about Ibrahimovic, with Edinson Cavani continually reminding the world how good he is. The Uruguayan scored his 28th and 29th goals of the season in the league, while also getting an assist in PSG's 4-0 win over Guingamp
Nice, fronted by Mario Balotelli, are not giving up the automatic CL spots without a fight. The Italian scored twice in their 2-1 win over Lille.
Lorient pulled off a surprise result as they beat Lyon 4-1. There were two standout players from the game. Benjamin Moukandjo, who scored two of the goals, and Benjamin Lecomte, who made four crucial saves. Both received an 8 from L'Equipe, but I believe that the keeper will be favoured, as Balotelli and Cavani also received the same rating, and it is less common for a goalkeeper to receive an 8.
Outside of the top 5 leagues, it is rare for a league to get two spots in the TOTW, never mind three. However, I couldn't pick one of the candidates from the Eredivisie to exclude. Jens Toornstra scored a hat-trick midweek as Feyenoord thrashed Go Ahead Eagles, 8-0.
Showing that they can also score freely, PSV won 5-0 against Willem II on Sunday, with Andrés Guardado being the star performer. He only scored once, but got 3 assists, which should be enough to see him included in the TOTW.
After having some poor spells in England, France and Spain, Ricky van Wolfswinkel is back at his boyhood club Vitesse and is among the goals again. He scored three of their four goals in a 4-2 win over Heerenveen this week.
When you think of the Golden Shoe winner, you probably imagine Suárez, Lewandowski or Agüero, but not Bas Dost. The 27 year old Sporting CP striker is currently tied at the top of the awards list with Messi, on 27 goals (54 points). He continued his incredible season with 3 goals in a 4-0 win over Boavista, meaning he is averaging a goal or assist every 80 minutes he plays in the Primeira Liga.
Two successive losses may have put Norwich's promotion play-off chances in serious doubt, but it didn't stop them from thrashing fourth place Reading, 7-1, leading 6-1 at halftime before adding a final goal in the 89th minute. Wes Hoolahan was the star man for the Canaries, scoring twice and getting an assist.
Girona ended a run of three straight defeats with a 2-0 win over Numancia, with the goals coming from an unlikely source as centre back Pedro Alcalá scored both goals.
Urawa Red Diamonds seem to be scoring for fun in the J-League, with 20 goals in their first 6 games. Their most recent game, a 7-0 win, saw Shinjo Koroki move to the top of the scoring charts as he took his tally to 5 goals, thanks to his hat-trick. To top things off, he also got an assist.
Finally, we have the Bronze IF that some of the Bronze monthly reward Weekend League players could receive — Ezgjan Alioski. The Macedonian winger scored 3 as Lugano won 4-2 against Sion.
Below, you can see my prediction in full, brought to you on the Futhead Squad Builder. To see it in more detail, click here, and make sure you follow me on Twitter for more updates about the TOTW and FIFA Mobile.
Team of the Week 30 Predictions
|GK||Andrea Consigli||Sassuolo||Italy||83 > 85|
|CB||Phil Jagielka||Everton||England||82 > 84|
|CB||Pepe||Real Madrid||Portugal||88 > 89|
|CB||John Brooks||Hertha Berlin||United States||79 > 82 > 84|
|LM > LW||Eden Hazard||Chelsea||Belgium||88 > 89 > 90 > 91 > 92 > 93 > 94|
|LM||Son Heung-min||Tottenham Hotspurs||South Korea||79 > 83 > 84 > 86 > 87 > 88|
|CM||Andrés Guardado||PSV Eindhoven||Mexico||82 > 84|
|RM||Arjen Robben||Bayern Munich||Netherlands||87 > 88 > 89 > 90|
|ST||Lorenzo Insigne||Napoli||Italy||84 > 86 > 87 > 88 > 89|
|ST||Mario Balotelli||Nice||Italy||81 > 84 > 86 > 87|
|ST||Edinson Cavani||Paris Saint-Germain||Uruguay||86 > 87 > 88 > 89 > 90 > 91|
|GK||Benjamin Lecomte||Lorient||France||79 > 82|
|CAM > LM||Wes Hoolahan||Norwich||Republic of Ireland||77 > 81|
|RM||Wilfried Zaha||Crystal Palace||Ivory Coast||80 > 83 > 85|
|CAM > RM||Aaron Hunt||Hamburg||Germany||77 > 81|
|RW > CAM||Jens Toornstra||Feyenoord||Netherlands||76 > 81 > 84|
|ST||Bas Dost||Sporting CP||Netherlands||80 > 83 > 85 > 86|
|ST||Álvaro Morata||Real Madrid||Spain||82 > 84 (OTW)|
|CB||Pedro Alcalá||Girona||Spain||71 > 74|
|CDM > CM||Almog Cohen||Ingolstadt||Israel||71 > 74|
|ST||Ricky van Wolfswinkel||Vitesse||Netherlands||73 > 74|
|ST||Shinzo Koroki||Urawa Red Diamonds||Japan||73 > 74|
|RW > ST||Ezgjan Alioski||Lugano||Macedonia||63 > 64|