Pitchside Europe

European Team of the Week: Pedro pipped up top by Okazaki

There's somewhat of a surprise in Opta's final weekly top European XI of 2013, as Barcelona's hat-trick hero Pedro finds himself pipped to a striker's berth by Mainz forward Shinji Okazaki.

Okazaki's two-goal, one-assist contribution to his side's Bundesliga contest against Hamburg was a match-winning one, with his second of the game snatching all three points in stoppage time.

Though Pedro's incredible nine-minute hat-trick rescued Barcelona from a two-goal deficit at Getafe as the Liga leaders went on to win 5-2, Opta have deemed him only the third-best front man across the continent's major leagues this past weekend.

Opta scored Okazaki and Liverpool's red-hot Luis Suarez - one of two Premier League representatives along with midfield convert Wayne Rooney - at 97, and Pedro only 96 overall based on their formula of match stats.

But it's fair to say that the trio's respective performances this week certainly suggest a 4-3-3 formation would have made the year's last ETOTW even more mouth-watering, albeit a little unfair on one of the defenders.

The only other player to get 97 overall was goalkeeper Nicolas Pennteau, who was in brilliant form to help Valenciennes claim a huge win away from home at Monaco's millionaires - he also saved a penalty from Radamel Falcao.

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

Click to enlarge

What do you think? Should the top-notch tri-attack of Suarez, Pedro and Okzaki have been accommodated over a different position in the team, or did Opta play it completely fair? Have your say below...