EFL Championship Team of the Week: Gameweek 19
(Photo by Jeff Thomas/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It was goals, goals, goals in the Championship this week. Brentford hit Luton Town for seven, Bristol City put five past Huddersfield Town, and Leeds United piled the misery on Jonathan Woodgate’s Middlesbrough with a 4-0 victory.  

Here’s the standout players from this week’s fixtures, as chosen by the EFL.

GK- Neil Etheridge (Cardiff City)

Recently appointed Neil Harris managed to upset the odds on Saturday, as his Cardiff City side edged a 1-0 victory away to play-off chasing Nottingham Forest.

The Bluebirds took the lead early in the first half and withstood a barrage of Forest pressure to come out with all three points.

Forest had an astonishing thirty-two shots without scoring, with goalkeeper Neil Etheridge earning a clean sheet. The Philippines’ international made two saves and forty-one passes as Cardiff held onto their narrow lead.

CB- Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City)

Birmingham City made it three 1-1 draws in a row on Saturday as the Blues struggled to overpower Millwall at St Andrews.

The home side went 1-0 down before defender Jake Clarke-Salter levelled the scores in the 79th minute. Clarke-Salter rose highest to nod in a corner from close range, topping off an excellent performance from the on loan Chelsea man.

The England U21 international won an enormous eight aerial duels, made four clearances, three interceptions and recorded a successful pass rate of 81%. Clarke-Salter was making just his fifth start of the season yet with such an impressive performance he may have persuaded manager Pep Clotet to give the young defender more minutes this campaign.  

CB- Aden Flint (Cardiff City)

Cardiff recorded back to back victories with their win over Forest at the weekend, with Neil Harris’s side shutting out their opposition for the second game in a row.

Their solid defence has much to do with towering centre-half Aden Flint. The 30-year-old won two aerial duels, made a massive five clearances, and also posed a threat at the other end of the pitch with two shots.

The win for Cardiff moves them up to tenth in the table, just three points of Preston North End in sixth place. Could Neil Harris prove to be the right appointment to see Cardiff return straight back to the Premier League?

CB- Ashley Williams (Bristol City)

Bristol City bounced back from a 4-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion in midweek by thrashing Huddersfield Town 5-2.

The Robins took the lead in the eleventh minute and had five goals by the forty-ninth, meaning Huddersfield are now four games without a win following a revival under new manager Danny Cowley.  

At the back, Ashley Williams managed a 100% tackle success rate, three clearances, and two interceptions, whilst also adding one of Bristol’s five goals on the day.

Williams made it 4-1 before half time, scoring his second goal of the season. Williams has been a much-needed presence at the back as Bristol City have the joint worst defence in the top half of the table.

Can Lee Johnson’s side find defensive stability and mount a serious charge for play-off contention?

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RCM- Mike-Steven Bahre (Barnsley)

Barnsley ended a run of seventeen games without a win on Saturday as they saw off fellow Yorkshire outfit Hull City.

The Tykes ran out 3-1 winners at Oakwell, with German Mike-Steven Bahre on the scoresheet. The midfielder dictated the play at both ends of the pitch, making five tackles and two key passes whilst finding the net in the seventy-fifth minute.

Bahre has played eleven times for Barnsley this season, yet with a goal and assist to his name Saturday was his best performance this campaign by far. With Barnsley struggling at the bottom, new manager Gerhard Struber will be hoping Bahre has a big part to play in their relegation battle.

CM- Mateusz Klich (Leeds United)

Leeds United surprised very few on Saturday as they demolished an out of form Middlesbrough side.

The Whites opened the scoring in the third minute with former Boro striker Patrick Bamford heading in from close range before controlling the rest of the game.

Polish international Mateusz Klich has started every Championship game under Marcelo Bielsa and the midfielder repaid his Argentine manager with two goals at the weekend. Klich found the net with a deflected goal on the brink of half-time before a stunning strike made it 4-0 to Leeds.

Bielsa’s men sit second in the table as they attempt to right the wrongs of last seasons failed promotion campaign.

LCM- Alex Mowatt (Barnsley)

Barnsley’s second win of the season marked a potential upturn in form under newly appointed Gerhard Struber.

Captain Alex Mowatt is one of the more senior players in a youthful Barnsley squad, despite being just 24 years old. Mowatt scored the opener against Hull before assisting Bahre for the Tykes second.

Mowatt’s three key passes were the most of any player and the Yorkshire born midfielder will be hoping to keep Barnsley playing second tier beyond the end of this campaign.  

CAM- Josh Dasilva (Brentford)

At the start of the season many people had Thomas Frank’s Brentford marked down as a definite play-off contender. There 7-0 thrashing of Luton Town will have done nothing to damage those odds.

With a hat-trick from centre-midfield Josh Dasilva is beginning to excel at Championship level. The 21-year-old Arsenal academy product scored three goals from his four shots on Saturday taking his total to six for the season.

Dasilva made three key passes and one assist as Brentford ran riot against a relegation threatened Luton.

The Bees are now up to seventh in the table as they look to put an inconsistent start behind them.

ST- George Puscas (Reading)

Mark Bowen’s Reading bounced back from a narrow defeat against Leeds United at the weekend as they put three past Wigan Athletic.

The Royals piled the pressure on Wigan boss Paul Cook as they beat the home side 3-1 to move up to eighteenth in the table.

Reading found victory through their £7 million striker George Puscas. The Romanian international scored a stunning three goals in five minutes taking his tally to eleven goals this season.

Under Bowen, Reading have had somewhat of a revival and will be hoping Puscas can find the form to keep them in the division.

ST- Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday)

Sheffield Wednesday sit just two points of the play-off places following an impressive away win against Charlton Athletic.

Veteran striker Steven Fletcher scored a goal either side of half-time as Wednesday found their first win their past six matches.

Fletcher won three aerial duels and found two key passes as Garry Monk’s side look to build momentum for a potential play-off push.

ST- Aleksander Mitrovic (Fulham)

Scott Parker has removed all debate about his future as Fulham boss recently by winning four games on the bounce.

The Cottagers now sit third in the table and star striker Aleksander Mitrovic has continued his fine form this season.

The Serbian international scored a first half brace as Fulham beat Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

Mitrovic now has fifteen goals for the season, more than anyone else in the division and reinforcing himself as one of the best strikers outside the Premier League.

 

 

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