European Team of the Week | 7-9 April

A cadre of under-the-radar names feature in the latest European team of the week after a smattering of upset results highlights all the action at the weekend across the best the continent has to offer

GK: Paul Bernardoni (Angers Sporting Club de l’Ouest)

Angers bagged just their third win of the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season but did so in stunning fashion after coming away with a 1-0 win in front of home support against top-five outfit Lille at Stade Raymond Kopa. Paul Bernardoni made five saves across a superb individual performance.

RB: Sebastiano Luperto (Empoli Football Club)

A center-back by trade who has been slotted into right-back to compensate for other selections this week, Italian defender Sebastiano Luperto was at the heart of Empoli’s valuable point on the road against AC Milan during a 0-0 affair at the San Siro. Luperto made 12 clearances, 4 blocks, and won 5 aerial duels against the Serie A giants.

RCB: Yan Valery (Angers Sporting Club de l’Ouest)

Many Premier League fans will remember Yan Valery during his spell with south coast outfit Southampton, who is now plying his trade with Angers. The 24-year-old Tunisian international was superb in a back three for Les Noirs et Blancs during their shock win over Lille in front of keeper Paul Bernardoni.

LCB: Matthijs de Ligt (Fußball-Club Bayern München)

Now fully coming into his own at Bayern Munich after his move from Juventus, Dutch international center-back Matthijs de Ligt is regularly performing as advertised this season, with the former AFC Ajax academy graduate putting in a fantastic performance at the weekend against dark horse outfit SC Freiburg that included a wonder strike for the only goal of the match.

LB: Przemyslaw Frankowski (Racing Club de Lens)

Featuring on the left side of a four-man midfield, Polish international Przemyslaw Frankowski was one of the standout performers for Franck Haise’s Lens in a close 2-1 win over relegation candidates Strasbourg, bagging his third goal of the season across a credible performance that sees the club continuing to put pressure on PSG.

RCM: Corentin Tolisso (Olympique Lyonnais)

Back where it all began, French international midfielder Corentin Tolisso scored a long-range thunderbolt for Olympique Lyonnais as part of a fantastic performance in all phases of play while being deployed as a defensive midfielder against Stade Rennais. His resurgence after returning to Lyon has been fantastic to watch in 2022-23.

LCM: Amadou Haidara (RasenBallsport Leipzig)

RB Leipzig was made to fight for every yard against relegation-threatened Hertha BSC in a close 1-0 win in the capital, and have Malian international Amadou Haidara to thank for all three points after the 25-year-old bagged a match-winner in addition to a superb showing in the heart of Marco Rose’s midfield.

CAM: Florian Wirtz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball)

Bayer Leverkusen and German wunderkind Florian Wirtz is back at his best since his return from injury and has been in scintillating form for Xabi Alonso’s outfit as the key man for the Spanish tactician, once again showing his creative capabilities with a pair of assists against Eintracht Frankfurt to lead the club to its fifth win on the spin.

RW: Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal Club de Fútbol)

Say it very quietly, but Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze has been one of the best wide-men anywhere in Europe across the 2022-23 campaign. A two-goal performance during a 3-2 upset win over Real Madrid saw the Villarreal man reach 22 goals+assists across all competitions, with many suggesting he has been just as good as Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka this term.

LW: Mattia Zaccagni (Società Sportiva Lazio)

Roman outfit Lazio reminded Juventus of their new place in the new order of Italian football at the weekend during a 2-1 win over the Old Lady at the Stadio Olimpico. 27-year-old Mattia Zaccagni was chief to those efforts thanks to a goal and an assist, taking his season tally to ten and five while seeing him hit double-digit goals for the first time in his career.

CF: Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

What the future holds for French international forward Marcs Thuram remains to be seen given his status as a free agent come the summer, but the son of legendary defender Lilian Thuram has been a vital piece for Gladbach once again this season and bagged a brace at the weekend in a 2-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg which sees him climb to joint-second in the Bundesliga goalscoring chart.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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