The long wait for English football is back. Thus meaning it is time for the first EFL Championship Team of The Week. Good wins recorded by QPR, Leeds, Forest, Bristol City, Preston and Wolves mean that the bulk of the team come from just these six clubs. In a tight first week where no team won by more than two goals the defenders dominated.
Championship Team of the Week – Gameweek One
Goalkeeper – Jordan Smith (Nottingham Forest)
The Nottingham Forest keeper had a storming opener on Friday night against Millwall. In a match where the Lions dominated for long periods and should have had the ball in the back of the net at least twice but Smith was in the way. He made six vital saves that included two stunning blocks to help Forest get the three points.
Left-back – Greg Cunningham (Preston North End)
The Preston defender played his part in a very solid victory on the opening day for the Lilywhites. In a game where Sheffield Wednesday, who were close to promotion last year, only managed one shot on target it was evident how well organised and devoted the Preston defence were.
Centre-back – Sean Morrison (Cardiff City)
Cardiff City’s captain Sean Morrison was “instrumental” in their opening day away victory against Burton Albion according to walesonline. Cardiff who lost 2-0 last season at the Pirelli were solid from the beginning and due to Morrison’s leadership and defence capabilities didn’t concede a shot on target in the full 90 minutes leading them on to a win.
Centre-back – Joel Lynch (Queens Park Rangers)
Lynch was on good form for QPR’s opening game of the season. Although Reading were very poor QPR’s defence led by Lynch were able to snuff out all of Reading’s attacks. Lynch found himself covering for the unreliable Onuoha occasionally but the pairing seem to have struck up a good understanding in preseason.
Right-back – Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich Town)
Knudsen had a quiet first half but really came into the game in the second half providing the assist for Garner’s goal which turned out to be the winner. He defended solidly and helped Ipswich to a clean sheet of which there were few last season.
Centre-midfield – Oliver Norwood (Fulham)
Although the end result was disappointing in the end, Oliver Norwood made an impressive debut for Fulham following his loan move from Brighton. The Northern Ireland international ran the show against Norwich, and it’s no surprise that the result only changed when he was subbed off.
Centre-midfield – Luke Freeman (Queens Park Rangers)
Freeman dominated a poor Reading side from the first minute at Loftus Road as he starts his full first season with the West London club. He created multiple chances and provided the cross for Conor Washington to nod in at the back post. Freeman was unlucky not to get a goal himself when the ball rebounded off the post just past him.
Centre-midfield – Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United)
Phillips netted twice as he helped Leeds go on to beat Bolton in a five-goal thrilled at the Macron. The 21-year-old held the midfield vigorously as he made sure Leeds held together towards the end after Adam Le Fondre scored a penalty to bring the game back to 3-2.
Striker – Conor Washington (Queens Park Rangers)
After a disappointing goal tally last season the Rangers man was clearly keen to put the record right. With some good movement he put himself into a scoring position to nod in QPR’s first goal, Washington stepped up to take the second half penalty. After what seemed to be an eternity he put the ball down and slashed it home. He could have had a couple more however and he’ll rue the chances he missed for a hattrick.
Striker – Chris Wood (Leeds United)
Wood carried on from where he finished last season. He towered over the Bolton defence to nod in Ezgjan Alioski‘s headed pass. He also assisted Kalvin Phillips second goal to put Leeds 3-1 up and eventually secure the win.
Striker – Bobby Reid (Bristol City)
Making up the first Championship Team of The Week may well be the player of the week. Reid went about his business early on at Ashton Gate, in a rampant first 30 minutes Reid managed to score twice and set up a goal for Bristol’s new £5.3m signing Famara Diedhiou. After a poor collapse at the back end of last season Bristol City have managed to shake down the cobwebs and are now up and running.