Sky Bet Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion have dropped to fourth after drawing 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday.

Leeds United have returned to the top of the league table with a 1-0 victory away at Hull City.

Middlesbrough and Sheffield United moved up to second and third respectively with 2-0 wins over Ipswich Town and Blackburn Rovers in turn. Only a point now separates the division’s top four teams.

Aston Villa and Preston North End played out the most entertaining game of midweek. Villa threw away a 2-0 lead at Villa Park and were held to a 3-3 draw by bottom of the table side, Preston North End, which led to the dismissal of their manager, Steve Bruce.

With 26 goals being scored across the 12 games that took place in midweek, we looked at WhoScored.com’s match rating statistics to compile our midweek Team of the Week for Matchday 11.

Formation: 5-2-3

Goalkeeper: Niki Maenpaa (Bristol City) 8.09

Bristol City’s Niki Maenpaa was the highest-rated goalkeeper in the Championship in midweek.

He kept a clean sheet for the Robins as they held Rotherham United to a goalless draw at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The 33-year-old made six saves during the clash in Yorkshire, twice the amount managed by his opposite number, Marek Rodak.

Maenpaa also claimed the ball on three separate occasions as he managed only his fourth shutout of the season in all competitions.

Defender: Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) 8.10

Middlesbrough’s 2-0 victory over Ipswich at Portman Road came largely due to a spectacular display from the Boro’s back line.

Daniel Ayala was the star man on Tuesday evening, with the Spaniard winning five of his attempted six tackles.

The centre-back won five aerial duels, the second-most out of Tony Pulis’ side.

He also made 13 clearances and two interceptions, the joint-highest amount managed by any visiting player in both categories.

Defender: Aden Flint (Middlesbrough) 8.02

The second highest-rated player in that tie was Ayala’s centre-back partner, Aden Flint.

He won eight aerial duels, three more than any other Middlesbrough player.

Flint has made a serious impression with his new club since arriving from Bristol City in a £7 million move back in June.

In 11 appearances, he has aided Pulis’ team in keeping eight clean sheets and scored on his home debut against Sheffield United in August.

Defender: Toni Leistner (Queens Park Rangers) 8.12

Queens Park Rangers’ German defender, Toni Leistner netted his first goal for the club as Steve McClaren’s side earned a 1-0 win away at Reading on Tuesday.

The club captained bundled the ball in from close range with less than half an hour remaining at the Madejski Stadium to secure three points for QPR.

Leistner also made seven clearances, the joint-highest amount of any player from both sides in Berkshire.

QPR have picked up 10 out of a possible 18 points in their last six league matches, which has lifted them up to 17th position and six points clear of the relegation zone.

Defender: Bruno Martins Indi (Stoke City) 8.06

Bruno Martins Indi scored his first goal of the season as Stoke City were 2-0 winners at home to Bolton Wanderers.

The Holland international, who has won 34 caps for his country, put the Potters ahead after 10 minutes when Thomas Ince’s in-swinging corner found an unmarked Martins Indi and the 26-year-old headed in from close range.

At the bet365 Stadium, Martins Indi won the most aerial duels of any Stoke player with five and only fewer than visiting centre-back, Jack Hobbs (9).

He also had the highest pass accuracy percentage of any player to start the match, completing 91% of his attempted 68 passes.

Defender: Timm Klose (Norwich City) 8.63

Timm Klose was this week’s highest-rated defender, having scored during Norwich City’s 1-1 draw with Derby County.

The Swiss defender put the Canaries ahead with just over 20 minutes remaining of the match, after heading in Emiliano Buendia’s corner.

He made six tackles against the Rams, the most of any player during the 1-1 draw at Pride Park.

Klose also won the most aerial duels in the match, with seven.

Midfielder: Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) 8.0

Despite only playing for 13 minutes during Preston’s eventful 3-3 draw at Villa, substitute Paul Gallagher was named as the star man of the game.

After replacing Tom Barkhuizen in the 77th minute, Gallagher helped to earn a Preston a last-gasp point at Villa Park.

Just two minutes after coming on, Gallagher made the tie 2-2 with a curling free-kick that dumbfounded Villa ‘keeper, Mark Bunn at his near post.

Gallagher then created Preston’s third of the match seven minutes later, with fellow substitute Louie Moult heading in from his corner. The Lilywhites were unable to hold on for victory, and remain bottom of the table with only one league win all season.

Midfielder: Jota (Birmingham City) 7.96

Whilst Birmingham City has struggled to earn victories this season, one man who has hit a recent purple patch of form is Spanish midfielder, Jota.

During their 1-1 draw away at Brentford on Tuesday, Jota was named as the Blues’ star man at Griffin Park.

He created Michael Morrison’s 26th-minute goal to put Birmingham ahead in London, his second assist in as many matches.

The Spaniard has averaged a rating of 7.57 out of 10 in his past two matches and if he had averaged that score all season, he would be the league’s fifth-highest rated player.

Forward: Thomas Ince (Stoke City) 9.32

The best-rated player in midweek is Stoke City winger Thomas Ince, who had a direct hand in both of Gary Rowett’s side’s goals in their victory over Bolton.

Ince created the opener early on, with his corner from the right side being turned in by the head of Martins Indi.

He then completed the scoring after the interval, controlling James McClean’s pass and guiding the ball past Jonathan Grounds before rifling his shot past Bolton stopper, Remi Matthews.

Since signing for Stoke, Ince has scored three goals and provided one assist in his nine league matches for the Staffordshire-based club.

Forward: Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) 8.13

Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp scored both of his side’s goal during their 2-0 victory at Blackburn on Wednesday.

His first in the space of 13 minutes came when his initial effort from David McGoldrick’s cross was saved by David Raya Martin, only for Sharp to convert his second chance from close-range.

Sharp got the Blades’ second of the night and secured three points for Chris Wilder’s side with his header at the back post from Enda Stevens’ cross bouncing into the roof of the net.

The 32-year-old has been in tremendous goal-scoring form this season, having netted seven times in ten league matches this season; only Brentford’s Neal Maupay (9) has scored more Championship goals.

Forward: Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) 8.00

Jonathan Kodjia opened the scoring during the six-goal thriller at Villa Park that is best remembered for ‘cabbage-gate’.

Midway through the first half, Kodjia got his fourth goal of the campaign when he headed in Ahmed El Mohamady’s cross at the back post.

Kodjia completed 96% of his attempted passes against Preston and had the highest pass accuracy percentage out of every player to have started the match.

He also provided two key passes, the second highest-total out of Villa’s team; only John McGinn (4) managed more.

 

 

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