Birmingham, Three Birmingham City stars lead Championship Team of the Weekend #31

Three Birmingham City stars lead Championship Team of the Weekend #31

Penalty heroics from Birmingham City prevented Queens Park Rangers from clawing back a four-goal deficit in the Sky Bet Championship at Loftus Road.

Whilst Birmingham held on for three points, second city rivals Aston Villa produced a spectacular late fightback of their own on Friday evening to hold Sheffield United to a 3-3 draw at Villa Park.

Norwich City are now two points clear at the top of the table, having beaten East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town 2-0 during Sunday’s ‘old farm’ derby at Carrow Road.

Having picked up just two points in their last four matches, Millwall now find themselves truly in the relegation dogfight, with their last encounter ending in a 1-0 defeat to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

With 28 goals being scored across the 12 matches in England’s second-tier, here is who made our Championship Team of the Week, based on’s match ratings.

Formation: 3-4-3

Goalkeeper: Lee Camp (Birmingham City) 8.33

Despite conceding three goals in the Blues’ 4-3 victory over QPR, goalkeeper Lee Camp proved to be their hero late on.

Camp saved Nahki Wells’ injury-time penalty to prevent Steve McClaren’s side from completing what would have been one of the most spectacular comebacks in the Championship’s history, was one of eight saves made by the 34-year-old.

Birmingham, Three Birmingham City stars lead Championship Team of the Weekend #31
Lee Camp made eight saves against QPR. Photo by Pete Burns.

Centre-back: Liam Cooper (Leeds United) 7.91

Leeds United held Middlesbrough to a 1-1 draw in dramatic circumstances at the Riverside Stadium as they briefly returned to the top of the league table.

Kalvin Phillips snatched the equaliser in the 10th minute of second-half stoppage time which was created by defender Liam Cooper, who also won eight aerial duels and had the most possession of any player during the entire match (9%).

Birmingham, Three Birmingham City stars lead Championship Team of the Weekend #31
Leeds United defender Cooper was crucial to Phillips’ last-gasp equaliser.

Centre-back: Conor Robertson (Rotherham United) 7.91

Rotherham United held fellow relegation-threatened rivals Wigan Athletic to a 1-1 draw at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Defender Conor Robertson headed the Millers into the lead in South Yorkshire, an advantage which was nullified four minutes later by Josh Windass. Robertson also won seven aerial duels, made five clearances and won two interceptions.

Centre-back: Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion) 8.05

During Saturday’s late fixture at the bet365 Stadium, West Bromwich Albion earned a 1-0 victory over Stoke City.

Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazi provided the assist for Dwight Gayle’s goal midway through the first half, a result that puts the Baggies just five points behind the automatic promotion places.

Right-midfield: Jota (Birmingham City) 8.33

Spanish winger Jota was highly influential despite not scoring for Garry Monk’s side in their seven-goal thriller in west London.

He created two of Birmingham’s quartet of first-half goals and almost netted one for himself, only for his long-range effort to be denied by the woodwork.

Birmingham, Three Birmingham City stars lead Championship Team of the Weekend #31
Former Brentford winger Jota created two goals in the first half yesterday. Photo by Phil Duncan.

Centre-midfield: George Byers (Swansea City) 8.15

Swansea midfielder George Byers scored the only goal of the game and his first in his senior career to earn Graham Potter’s side a 1-0 win over Millwall.

The 22-year-old, whose professional career started at Watford, completed 97% of his attempted passes, contributed two key passes and won two aerial duels to help his side seal victory.

Centre-midfield: Alan Browne (Preston North End) 8.36

As Preston North End extended their unbeaten run in the Championship to five matches and their winning run on the road to three, the Lilywhites earned a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers.

Alan Browne opened the scoring with his 11th goal of the campaign and his third in the space of four games to earn his second star man award from WhoScored in the space of three matches.

Birmingham, Three Birmingham City stars lead Championship Team of the Weekend #31
Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne opened the scoring at the University of Bolton Stadium. Picture by Craig Galloway.

Left-midfield: Emiliano Buendia (Norwich City) 8.50

Argentine winger Emiliano Buendia created both of Finnish striker Teemu Pukki’s second-half goals for Norwich against fierce rivals Ipswich.

Buendia had more key passes than any other player (four) and his duo of his assists takes his Championship tally for the season to seven.

Striker: Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) 9.25

Billy Sharp’s fine run of form continued for the Blades as his hat-trick put Chris Wilder’s side 3-0 up with less than half an hour remaining.

Sharp took his Championship goal tally for the season up to 22, making him the division’s outright top goalscorer, although his superb display was unable to earn three points for the visitors in the West Midlands on Friday evening.

Birmingham, Three Birmingham City stars lead Championship Team of the Weekend #31
Billy Sharp (right) has scored six goals in his last three matches.

Striker: Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers) 10

Despite not scoring a hat-trick like Sharp and Che Adams did this weekend, striker Matt Smith is the Player of the Round as he inspired a valiant fightback from the hosts at Loftus Road.

Smith’s quick-fire brace gave his side a glimmer of hope. He also won 18 aerial duels, nine more than any other player.

Striker: Che Adams (Birmingham City) 9.89

Like Sharp, Adams is another Championship striker full of confidence and form, which he showed against the Super Hoops.

His first-half hat-trick helped the visitors to soar into a 4-0 lead which proved too much for QPR to avenge, taking the 22-year-old’s run in all competitions for 2019 to eight goals in seven appearances.

Birmingham, Three Birmingham City stars lead Championship Team of the Weekend #31
Adams has been in stunning for Birmingham since the beginning of 2019.
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