Pitchside

European Team of the Week: Bale, Hazard, Lewandowski… Carrick!?

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For all of the heat Manchester United are catching due to the 'Conference-level' tactics employed in the 2-2 home draw to bottom side Fulham, one of the defending Premier League champions' starting XI actually made the latest European Team of the Week.

The line-up, put together based on stats from Opta, features no less than four players from the English top flight this time around.

But while two-goal defender Martin Skrtel, and his fellow Liverpool brace-notcher Raheem Sterling are unsurprising additions after the Reds' awesome pummelling of Arsenal - and Chelsea's hat-trick hero Eden Hazard was an absolute must - United's Michael Carrick has also made the cut.

Carrick got on the scoresheet with a hugely-deflected strike, but it was more likely his 96% passing accuracy from 92 attempts which helped him earn the neccessary Opta points to make the team. Of course, given David Moyes' penchant for futile crosses on Sunday, such a strong fundamental stat is even more impressive...

Elsewhere, three Bundesliga players got in from three different teams, including an all-German division strike force of Robert Lewandowski and Adrian Ramos.

Former Tottenham star Gareth Bale got a goal and an assist against Villarreal with Cristiano Ronaldo out serving a suspension to slot into the top XI, and Levante keeper Keylor Navas and Espanyol defender Hector Moreno bring the Liga count to three.

But while Benjamin Mendy gave Ligue 1 a solitary representative, there was no room for any Serie A performers this time around.

For a full explanation of each player's inclusion, see Opta's stats below the team graphic...

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