Premier League Team of the Week: Manchester United defence's time to shine with Rafael leading the way

The Brazilian, who scored a stunning strike against QPR, is joined by team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, while man-of-the-moment Gareth Bale stars once again

Rafael’s stunning strike in Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over QPR sees the Brazilian make his fifth appearance in our TOTW this season.

The win saw the Red Devils maintain their 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, and the right-back is joined in our XI by fellow defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Tottenham star Gareth Bale continued his emphatic form since the turn of the year, with his superb double at Upton Park helping Spurs see off West Ham 3-2 and leapfrog Chelsea into third place and ensuring his inclusion for fourth week in a row.

Yaya Toure makes his TOTW season debut after his strike broke the deadlock in Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Rafa Benitez’s men, and he is joined in midfield by Newcastle’s Cheikh Tiote, who showed glimpses of his form of previous seasons in the 4-2 victory against Southampton.

Arsenal duo Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal both make the cut as the Gunners avoided a third home defeat on the bounce. The left-back teed up his former Malaga team-mate to seal a 2-1 win over Aston Villa after the forward initially opened the scoring at the Emirates.

Romelu Lukaku and Dimitar Berbatov both make their third appearance in our XI this season after guiding West Brom and Fulham to respective victories this weekend, while Mark Schwarzer rounds off this week’s side.

Bryan Ruiz, Kei Kamara and Arouna Kona are all unfortunate to just miss the cut, while there is an honourable mention for Papiss Cisse after the Senegalese striker scored the pick of the weekend’s goals.

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