West Brom EFL Championship Tactical Analysis

As League One and Two clubs battled for a place in FA Cup Round 3 this weekend, the Championship carried the EFL baton.

The magic was not saved solely for the FA Cup either, with a fair bit of stardust sprinkled on the second tier.

Here’s the EFL By Numbers, with Goodbrand Stats.

Disney Ending At Last For Leeds

A lot has changed since Leeds United last won a game of football at Bramall Lane.

The year was 1992, Howard Wilkinson’s side were set to be crowned the final champions of the Pre-Premier League era before Sky changed the landscape of the game forever.

Right Said Fred were No.1 with Deeply Dippy and Disney Land Paris had officially opened its doors on the same day.

On Saturday, Pablo Hernandez broke the spell scoring the only goal of the game to give his side a 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

Not all heroes wear capes, in Pablo’s case they wear all-white.

The Spaniard has been in sensational form this season with 7 goals and 5 assists in 13 appearances, already equalling his tally from last term.

Marco Bielsa’s side sit 2nd after their latest win with 39 points, 4 points clear of Middlesbrough in 3rd.

The Whites are 10 points better off than they were at this stage last season.

Bielsa to finish the EFL fairytale?

Double D Fire Rovers To Victory 

Speaking of Disney, Ewood Park is becoming one of the most feared kingdoms in all the land.

Rovers have lost just 1 of their last 30 games on home turf, winning 18, after their latest victory over Sheffield Wednesday, means

Tony Mowbray’s side ran out 4-2 winners and owed a lot of that to their dynamic duo.

Danny Graham netted his first EFL hat-trick for 10 years against the Owls, taking his Championship tally to 7 this season.

The hat-trick hero was quick to heap praise on his teammate Bradley Dack, as Danny and Dack combined to devastating effect.

Dack helped himself to a goal and set up all 3 of Graham’s goals.

The forward clearly enjoys playing at Ewood, he now has 9 goals in his last 12 appearances.

A day before the game, manager Tony Mowbray signed a new deal, keeping him at the club until 2022.

Can he take them to the promised land?

Another loss for Jos 

On the flip side, every good Disney movie needs a villain. For 3500 Wednesday fans, there was only one at Ewood Park.

Fans chanted ‘we want Jos out’ as their side slipped to yet another defeat, their 5th in 7 games.

Their latest defeat leaves the Owls in 16th with 23 points, just 5 clear of the relegation places.

Jos Luhukay’s record in charge makes for grim reading. In 40 games he’s won 13, drawn 11 and lost 16, giving him 51 points.

Previous manager Carlos Carvahal had 68 points in his first 40 games in charge.

To add insult to injury, Wednesday now have the worst defensive record in the Championship with 36 goals conceded.

Decline.

Unbeatable Blues

Birmingham cruised to a 3-0 victory over Preston on Saturday, to continue their impressive form at St Andrew’s this season.

Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd channelled his inner Peter Enckelman to gift Birmingham the lead with an absolute howler.

I could try and put it into words, but I’m sure that you’re not here for that.

Moving on from Declan’s Ruddy mess, it’s time we heaped some praise on Garry Monk’s Blues.

Monk lost his 1st game as manager back in March, since then no one has left his enchanted palace with any gold.

His side have won 8 and drawn 7 of their last 15 home games and are the only side yet to lose on home turf this season.

Turnaround.

Wham Bam, Another For Tam

Speaking of Birmingham, that takes us across the city to their fierce rivals Aston Villa, where a certain striker is stealing all the plaudits.

Tammy Abraham bagged another goal during Villa’s impressive 3-0 win at Middlesbrough to continue his amazing run of form.

Just the 7 goals in 5 games for Abraham, who has now rocketed up the Championship goalscoring charts and gone from the proverbial zero to hero.

The on-loan Chelsea forward sits 3rd behind Forest’s Lewis Grabban (14) and Brentford’s Neal Maupay (13), with 11 goals.

Abraham’s record in the Championship is devastating, to say the least. 34 goals in 54 starts for Bristol City and Aston Villa.

2018-19 Golden Boot in sight.

You’re A Wizard Harry 

Not quite Disney, I know, but an honourable mention to JK for this one.

Another Premier League loanee who has the Championship under his spell is Harry Wilson.

Derby’s wing wizard has put the cat among the pixies in the EFL this season after a number of magical performances for the Rams.

Wilson has taken to the Championship like the proverbial Mouthoy to Slytherin during his time on loan from Liverpool.

He’s now scored 4 in his last 3 games after his brilliant brace was enough to see off Swansea City at the weekend.

Derby fans will be thanking Merlin for Harry, who now has 14 goals and 4 assists in just 28 Championship appearances for Derby and Hull.

Wand-erful.