, The72 Championship Team of the Week 15: Sensational Sharp sends Sheffield United top

The72 Championship Team of the Week 15: Sensational Sharp sends Sheffield United top

Sheffield United returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship after a Billy Sharp hat-trick inspired them to a 4-2 victory over Wigan Athletic.

Previous league leaders Leeds United were held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest at Elland Road during Saturday’s tea-time kick-off, putting the Tricky Trees two points adrift of the play-off places in seventh.

Norwich City moved up to fourth with a 1-0 victory at home to Brentford, whilst two own goals at the Riverside Stadium saw Middlesbrough draw 1-1 with Derby County.

Hull City earned an important 1-0 win away at Bolton Wanderers, moving them three points clear of the bottom side, Ipswich Town.

In another weekend full of drama, action and surprise results, here is who makes our Championship Team of the Week, based on match rating statistics provided by WhoScored.com.

Formation: 5-2-3

Goalkeeper: Jack Butland (Stoke City) 8.02

Stoke City earned a 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate to move up to 13th position in the Championship table.

England international goalkeeper Jack Butland kept his third consecutive clean sheet against the Robins, have denied them twice during his time with Birmingham City.

Butland made seven saves in the West Country, five more than his opposite number, Max O’Leary.

It was his fourth clean sheet of the campaign in the league, only eight goalkeepers have managed more.

Defender: Jake Cooper (Millwall) 8.34

Millwall moved four points clear of the relegation zone with a 3-0 victory over bottom of the table side, Ipswich Town.

Despite playing at centre-back, Jake Cooper created the Lions’ first two goals at The Den, both of which were scored by Lee Gregory.

The opener came from a free-kick, where Cooper’s header was controlled in the air and volleyed by Gregory.

Cooper and Gregory combined again six minutes into the second half in a similar fashion to the first, with Cooper’s flick-on from a long throw-in setting up Gregory’s second of the afternoon.

Defender: Timm Klose (Norwich City) 8.52

Norwich are now level on points with the automatic promotion places after their win over Brentford.

Just a week after defender Timm Klose netted a brace away at Forest, he proved to have another influential attacking performance against the Bees.

Klose provided the assist for Emiliano Buendia’s goal before half time with a long pass that sent through the Argentinian clear on goal, who deftly poked the ball home on the volley past Daniel Bentley.

He also made six clearances, the same amount that the entire Brentford side managed at Carrow Road.

Defender: Mike van der Hoorn (Swansea City) 8.28

Swansea City beat Reading 2-0 in the ‘Paul Clement derby’ to inflict more damage on a Reading side who currently sit in the relegation zone.

Dutch defender Mike van der Hoorn put in a superb defensive display and was named as the match’s second-highest rated player.

He won seven aerial duels, the most of any player from either side and the joint-highest amount of tackles (3).

The 26-year-old also completed 66 of his attempted 73 passes, only teammates Joe Rodon (74) and Matt Grimes (96) managed more.

Defender: Tommy Elphick (Hull City) 8.49

Hull’s first win in six moved them three points clear of the bottom of the table side, Ipswich.

Defender Tommy Elphick was WhoScored’s star man, having helped the Tigers to keep their first clean sheet on the road this season.

Elphick made 14 clearances against Bolton, just two fewer than the entire home side.

He also made two interceptions, the joint-highest from the Hull team.

Defender: Kristian Pedersen (Birmingham City) 8.6

Birmingham City extended their unbeaten streak to 11 matches with a 3-1 home win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Danish left-back Kristian Pedersen was WhoScored’s star man and provided the assist for Che Adams 84th-minute strike.

Pedersen teed up Adams with an intuitive flick with the outside of his foot to seal victory late on.

He has so far averaged a match rating of 7.43 out of 10 in the Championship this season, making him the Championship’s fifth-best player this term.

Midfielder: Emiliano Buendia (Norwich City) 8.68

The Canaries’ match-winner against Brentford was 21-year-old Buendia, who netted his first goal for the club in style.

It was a finish that showed that cleverness of Thierry Henry, with the elegance and grace of Dennis Bergkamp, despite some questionable goalkeeping from Bentley.

Buendia made six tackles against Brentford, a total only matched by visiting substitute, Josh McEachran.

He also made three key passes, one more than any other player.

Midfielder: Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) 8.19

Blades wing-back Enda Stevens provided the assist for their final goal of the six-goal thriller with Wigan.

Stevens’ ball forward set Sharp free down the left side, who did well to convert from a difficult angle.

The 28-year-old managed to make seven interceptions against the Latics, three more than the four managed by his other 13 teammates combined.

He also had 5.4% of the total match possession, only two of his teammates, Oliver Norwood (8) and Jack O’Connell (7.1) had more.

Striker: Lee Gregory (Millwall) 8.35

Gregory was at the double for Neil Harris’ Millwall as they moved up to 18th in the table.

His first came midway through the first half, with a clever piece of skill on the end of Cooper’s header teeing himself up for a volley, which he finished comfortably.

A dead ball situation, which saw Gregory convert despite receiving the ball with his back to goal from Cooper again took place for his second goal, showing one of the qualities he has in front of goal.

Gregory has had a direct hand (goals and assists) in seven of Millwall’s 19 league goals and without them, they would currently be in the relegation zone, level on points with Reading and Hull.

Striker: Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) 9.06

Sharp’s first hat-trick for the Blades in the Championship since August 2008 earned them their place back at the top of the league standings.

His first against Wigan came on the stroke of half-time, half-volleying in from close-range after being assisted via the head of Richard Stearman.

He doubled his tally and Chris Wilder’s side’s advantage shortly after the interval, getting on the end of Leon Clarke’s cross at the back post.

The Blades’ captain sealed his hat-trick 10 minutes later with an impromptu finish to cleverly flick the ball over the head of Wigan goalkeeper, Christian Walton.

Striker: Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City) 8.78

Scoring both of Swansea’s goals against Clement’s Reading was Scottish striker Oliver McBurnie.

The 22-year-old’s opener came shortly before half-time from the penalty spot, converting from 12 yards after Andy Yiadom lunged at Daniel James in the penalty area.

James also provided the assist for McBurnie’s second, with his low cross at the end of a superb passing move being put away by McBurnie from inside the six-yard box to secure three points.

After an inconsistent start to the season, Graham Potter’s side are now in eighth, just two points behind the top six.

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