MFF February Premier League Team of the Month 2023/24 – by Dubul Dee

MFF February Premier League Team of the Month 2023/24

It is time for the MFF February Premier League team of the month. This month’s team takes on a 3-4-3 formation. And here is a spoiler, the league’s top scorer did not make the cut. Remember the players now take on the positions they occupy in the Premier League’s ‘Official Fantasy Premier League (FPL)’.

Goalkeeper

Ederson (Manchester City)

February saw Manchester City keep three clean sheets, which was the most in the Premier League. Ederson had to make critical saves as Pep Guardiola’s men kept the pressure on Liverpool and Arsenal in the race for the title. The Brazilian international made 13 saves in their 5 matches. In the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, he made a great double save from Raheem Sterling and Ben Chilwell. The month ended with a 1-0 City win at Bournemouth, and he had to go behind his goal-line to keep out a Dominic Solanke header.

(Ederson flies off his line to deny Nicolas Jackson as Manchester City and Chelsea drew 1-1. Image from ‘chelseafc.com’.)

Defenders

Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton)

After spending last campaign on loan at PSV Eindhoven, Branthwaite has returned a better player. He has now ousted Michael Keane from the starting XI to partner James Tarkowski. Branthwaite is 4th in the league in interceptions made with 40 and is joint-9th in blocks with 21. He is also 9th in headed clearances with 54. However, it was his attacking input that helped the Toffees gain two points. He scored a 94th minute equaliser to salvage a point at home to Tottenham as it ended 2-2 to begin February. He concluded the month how he started it by scoring, as he rifled into the top corner in the 1-1 draw with Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

Lewis Dunk (Brighton)

Brighton’s captain led by example in February. The England international, opened the scoring with a header after some poor marking by Crystal Palace in a 4-1 triumph. Later on in the month, the Seagulls thumped Sheffield United 5-0 and Dunk’s flick-on assisted their first goal as Facundo Buonanotte headed home. Roberto De Zerbi’s men were down to ten-men and heading for defeat at home to Everton before Dunk’s header gained them a precious point to close February. Dunk is joint-4th in the league in blocks with 25 this season.

Jakub Kiwior (Arsenal)

The month opened with Kiwior replacing Oleksandr Zinchenko at half-time in the home fixture against Liverpool, with the scoreline level at 1-1. The Gunners went on to prevail 3-1, and he assisted the third goal for Leandro Trossard. Mikel Arteta’s men then kept back-to-back away clean sheets in empathic victories. In the second of those games, Kiwior again assisted as he laid on the fifth goal for Kai Havertz in the 5-0 romp at Burnley. Newcastle were then to feel the wrath of Arsenal, and Kiwior headed in their last goal as it ended 4-1 at the Emirates. When Zinchenko is fit again, he may not get his place back.

Midfielders

Declan Rice (Arsenal)

Arsenal were free-scoring in February as they notched no fewer than 18 goals in 4 matches. As well as doing his defensive work, Rice contributed well to the goals they amassed. His set pieces provided two of the goals in a 6-0 battering of his old club West Ham. In addition, he scored the best goal of the match as he bent in a tremendous strike from well outside the box. Another Rice set piece, provided an assist for Jakub Kiwior in a 4-1 home win over Newcastle. Rice is 10th in interceptions with 35 this campaign. Rice just kept out his teammate Martin Odegaard from this months’ XI.

Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Foden stepped up whilst Kevin De Bruyne was out injured, and he has continued to produce as De Bruyne’s minutes are being monitored since his return. Foden could not have begun the month in better fashion as he netted a hat-trick as the Cityzens won 3-1 away at Brentford. All his finishes were composed but the pick of them was probably a well-placed header for his second from a De Bruyne cross. Foden rounded off his month with the winner as City got through a tight game with Bournemouth. He followed up to slot home after Haaland had a shot saved by Neto.

(Phil Foden heads in his second goal as his hat-trick saw Manchester City beat Brentford 3-1. Image from ‘yahoo.com’.)

Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)

Douglas Luiz has been Villa’s best midfielder this season, and he continued his form into February. Unai Emery’s men easily disposed of Sheffield United 5-0 at Bramall Lane, and Luiz thread a needle with a pass to Ollie Watkins for the second goal. The Brazilian then equalised in the home game against Manchester United, before the Red Devils snuck a late win. The Villans had lost back-to-back home games, but it was Luiz who steered them to a 4-2 victory over Nottingham Forest. He scored twice in the game, both from close range with a shot into the bottom corner, and then an emphatic header, taking him to an impressive 9 league goals for the season.

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Despite Saka still delivering more than adequate ‘numbers’, some of the quality of his performances were being questioned, but he responded fantastically in February. Saka opened the scoring as Arsenal got an important 3-1 home win over title rivals Liverpool. In the 6-0 butchering of West Ham, Saka won a penalty and dispatched it himself, before firing in another goal in the second half. Saka was at it again with another brace away from home, as he scored another penalty, and smashed in a powerful shot on his weaker foot in the 5-0 drubbing of Burnley. He concluded his eventful month with a fine individual effort as they beat Newcastle 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

Forwards

Rodrigo Muniz (Fulham)

Some Fulham fans would have been pessimistic after Raul Jimenez’s injury, but Muniz has eased their fears. He seized on a hopeful ball from Anfernee Robinson to put the Cottagers 2-0 up at Burnley, before it ended 2-2. Marco Silva’s men then beat Bournemouth 3-1 at Craven Cottage and Muniz scored twice. He poked in his first after a header down by Boddy De Cordova-Reid. His second was an excellent finish from a ball by Willian to the back post. He was on target again, as he got a consolation goal in a 2-1 home loss to Aston Villa.

Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)

Watkins has been instrumental to Villa for a majority of the season, as he once again made the team of the month. Villa put 5 past Sheffield United and he featured in no less than 4 of the goals. He hit the post, and then John McGinn opened the scoring from the rebound. He then produced a nice finish for the second goal, before assisting goals for Leon Bailey and Alex Moreno. He copped a brace in a 2-1 win at Fulham, where he took both his chances with aplomb of the highest order giving Bernd Leno no chance. His month ended with him scoring the first goal in the 4-2 home triumph over Nottingham Forest.

Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United)

Hojlund has really answered his doubters as he is getting better as the campaign goes on. United got a dramatic 4-3 win at Wolves to start February, and Hojlund set up the opening goal for Marcus Rashford. He then just got a slight touch on a deflected ball in to put United 2-0 up. The Red Devils then put 3 past West Ham at Old Trafford and Hojlund scored the first. He opened the scoring once again as they won 2-1 at Aston Villa, with a close-range finish after a flick-on by Harry Maguire from a set-piece. He found the net twice away at Luton, making him the youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League games.

(Rasmus Hojlund nonchalantly celebrates as he broke a Premier League record at Luton. Image from ‘manchestereveningnews.co.uk’.)

Daniel Dwamena

@DubulDee

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