Championship, Excellent El-Ghazi – The72 Championship Team of the Week #21

Excellent El-Ghazi – The72 Championship Team of the Week #21

Norwich City maintained their advantage at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table with a last-gasp 3-2 victory over struggling Bolton Wanderers.

Leeds United kept the pressure on the Canaries with a 2-1 victory at Elland Road over Queens Park Rangers and are now five points clear of third place.

Derby County have risen up to fourth, making the most of the teams around them slipping up and earning a 1-0 victory away at a 10-man Wigan Athletic side at the DW Stadium.

In Friday’s West Midlands derby, a controversial late goal from West Bromwich Albion snatched them a point at The Hawthorns, drawing 2-2 with Aston Villa.

Millwall and Hull City, two sides that have struggled this season, faced each other at The Den, where the Lions held the Tigers to a 2-2 draw.

Five of this weekend’s matches in the Championship ended with four or more goals in them. Based on match rating statistics provided by, here is our Championship Team of the Week.

Formation: 3-4-3

Goalkeeper: Declan Rudd (Preston North End) 7.68

Preston North End were shock 1-0 winners away at Nottingham Forest. After his comical error away at Birmingham City last weekend, Declan Rudd wins this week’s goalkeeper of the week award. He made four saves to keep out the Tricky Trees at the City Ground.

Defence: Jayden Bogle (Derby County) 8.83

As Derby moved into the top four, academy graduate Jayden Bogle was the star of the show from right-back. The teenager provided the assist for Jack Marriott’s first-half goal, made more key passes and more interceptions than any other player (both four).

Defence: John Egan (Sheffield United) 8.08

Sheffield United centre-back John Egan was the star performer in Saturday’s evening kick-off as the Blades earned a 2-0 victory over manager-less Reading at the Madejski Stadium; which saw the Royals drop into the relegation zone. Egan won seven aerial duels and made a staggering total of 12 clearances to earn Chris Wilder’s side a clean sheet for the first time since last month’s ‘steel city derby’.

Defence: Paul Downing (Blackburn Rovers) 7.98

Blackburn Rovers defender Paul Downing was the highest-rated player for Tony Mowbray’s side during their 1-1 draw away at Middlesbrough. Downing won the most aerial duels (eight) and the most interceptions (five) out of any player from either side. His 84th-minute goal-line clearance meant that Blackburn extended their unbeaten run over the Boro to seven matches, dating back to Boxing Day 2012.

Midfield: Anwar El-Ghazi (Aston Villa) 8.92

This week’s Player of the Week is Villa winger Anwar El-Ghazi, who scored in both halves for Dean Smith’s side. His opener was turned in via the head of Baggies defender Ahmed Hegazi, but there were no questions about his second, which saw his long-range effort fly into the top corner in stunning fashion. He also made four key passes, one more than any other player.

Midfield: Richard Towell (Rotherham United) 7.98

Rotherham United captain Richard Towell scored in their 2-2 draw away against Sheffield Wednesday. His goal 10 minutes into the second half put Rotherham ahead, only for that 2-1 lead to come to an end nine minutes later, when Lucas Joao got his second of the game for the hosts.

Midfield: Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City) 8.31

Marco Stiepermann starred for Norwich in their dramatic 3-2 win at Carrow Road over Bolton. He got the Canaries’ second goal of the match shortly before the hour mark and made the joint-most dribbles of any player in East Anglia (two).

Midfield: Said Benrahma (Brentford) 8.42

Although Brentford succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at home to Swansea City, midfielder Said Benrahma was the highest-rated player in the five-goal thriller at Griffin Park. After having one of three efforts for the hosts that was denied by the woodwork, Benrahma was able to beat Erwin Mulder. It was his first Championship goal for the club since signing from Nice prior to the start of this season.

Forward: Kemar Roofe (Leeds United) 8.24

Leeds won their fourth game on the bounce, with both of their goals coming via top goalscorer Kemar Roofe. He levelled the match on the stroke of half-time, before giving the Whites the lead early into the second half with his 10th league goal of the campaign.

Forward: Michael Smith (Rotherham United) 8.59

Rotherham striker Michael Smith was the star man for the Millers during their Yorkshire derby draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Smith got the equaliser for Paul Warne’s side just seconds after the restart. He also won 13 aerial duels, one more than any other player.

Forward: Lucas Joao (Sheffield Wednesday) 8.55

Portuguese forward Joao took his goal tally up to eight for the season with his brace against local rivals Rotherham. His total last term of nine is his most in a single campaign since arriving in England in 2015,  needing just two more to surpass that.

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