Championship XI: Team of the Year
Wilfried Zaha, Glenn Murray & Matej Vydra make the Championship team of the year
The Championship season is coming to a close, and many players have enjoyed fantastic seasons for their clubs.
Here is my Championship XI of the season:
Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel | Leicester City
Leicester's success has been built on a mean defence, conceding the least number of goals in the league.
They would be fighting for the title if their strikers could find more goals but as it is, Schmeichel's defence is keeping them in the play-offs. Having conceded 34 all season, Schmeichel is a must for the Championship XI.
Honourable mentions: Ankergren (Brighton), Marshall (Cardiff City)
Right-back: Matthew Connolly | Cardiff City
Part of a Cardiff defence that has been the backbone of a title charge, leaving everyone else in their wake. Connolly has been particularly effective, both as an attacking option but also when Cardiff's backs were against the wall fighting for a result and digging their heels in.
Honourable mentions: Alonso (Bolton), Trippier (Burnley)
Centre-back: Wes Morgan | Leicester City
Wes Morgan is also part of the reason why Leicester have the best defence in the league. He has marshalled his troops and led his team-mates with great authority, and, as if that wasn't enough, he has chipped in with some valuable goals.
Centre-back: Richard Keogh | Derby County
Keogh has defended for his life and led the Derby defence to some important points. He has also scored a few vital goals such as the opener against Leicester in their 2-1 win.
Honourable mentions: Smith (Ipswich), Hanley (Blackburn), Johnson (Wolves)
Left-back: Stephen Warnock | Leeds United
He may be a veteran, but this season has reminded everyone why Warnock was in the 2010 World Cup squad.
Many would have excused him from losing his spirit after going from an international player to a second-tier one in the space of two years, but Warnock has kept his high level, if not improved it, since his demotion.
This season he has defended like a terrier and provided a valuable outlet of attack for his Leeds team.
Honourable mentions: Caddis (Birmingham), Shittu (Millwall)
Right-wing: Wilfried Zaha | Crystal Palace
How could Zaha not be in the team? He has been the talk of the Championship for two years and the league will miss him when he joins Manchester United. But this year he has been as good as ever, and despite securing the big money move in January, has continued to perform for Palace by scoring and providing assists for his team-mates.
If Palace fail to be promoted, they may feel they have lost the opportunity, having given up a definite star of the future.
Honourable mentions: Sigurdarson (Wolves)
Centre-midfield: Will Hughes | Derby County
Hughes is a real promising player and he has been influential for Derby this year. The majority of Derby's good things have had something to do with the young midfielder and the only negative this season is that he's been so good, big clubs will want to buy him. Arsenal are already rumoured to be interested.
Centre-midfield: Almen Abdi | Watford
Abdi has strung together the whole Watford side. His free-kicks have provided much-needed goals and his vision has gifted many assists to team-mates. As well as that, he has held the ball up well and crafted the killer pass or bit of genius that has been needed to see of opponents.
Honourable mentions: Lopez and Orlandi (both Brighton), Chalobah (Watford), Whittingham (Cardiff), Lansbury (Nottingham Forest)
Left-wing: Thomas Ince | Blackpool
Ince has again had a memorable season. He has been nominated for Championship Player of the Year and has led his Blackpool side superbly, whether through his goals or assists.
It was a bit of a surprise no-one snapped him up in January but there will be plenty of potential suitors this summer. The only thing stopping him joining a big club now is his father, Paul, who is also his manager.
Honourable mentions: Reid (Nottingham Forest)
Striker: Glenn Murray | Crystal Palace
Murray is the league's top scorer and has also provided an incredible supply of assists for his Crystal Palace side. He has been the difference between a win and a draw, with those extra goals going a long way to seeing them potentially being promoted. If not, he may be forced to leave Selhurst Park.
Striker: Matej Vydra | Watford
Vydra has come on loan this season to Vicarage Road and has scored a phenomenal amount of goals. He has covered for his strike partner Deeney, when he was unavailable and has led the promotion chasing charge from the hornets. He has also provided an outlet when his team were under the cosh.
Honourable mentions: Austin (Burnley), Rhodes (Blackburn), Ulloa (Brighton), Ward (Derby), Wood (Leicester)
So that is my team of the year, but the season isn't over yet and there is still a chance for some players to stake a claim for themselves to be in the official XI of the year which will be announced after the season finishes.
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