It may be months behind schedule, but England’s second-tier is slowly but surely drawing to a close. Each team have just five games remaining to decide their futures, whether that be to avoid relegation, secure a play-off spot, or land an automatic promotion place, and it’s Leeds United who are favourites to win the title – according to the latest English Championship odds! Whilst we strap in for a thrilling end to the season, let’s take a look at the five players to watch!
Jude Bellingham – Birmingham City
We’re sure you’ve heard of Jude Bellingham by now. The Birmingham City youngster has been all over the sports pages recently as he closes in on a move to German giants Borussia Dortmund. The 17-year-old, who became Birmingham’s youngest ever player when he made his debut at 16 years and 38 days, is tipped to put pen-to-paper on a five-year deal with the Bundesliga side with Dortmund beating Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich to the his signature. The England U-17 skipper has made 36 league appearances for the Blues this season, scoring four goals, and assisting a further three.
Kalvin Phillips – Leeds United
Kalvin Phillips is another midfield maestro tipped for big things in the future! Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa analysed all 51 of Phillips’, who has been at the club since he was eight years old, appearances for the Whites, and was so impressed with him when he took over the West Yorkshire side two years ago that he has built his squad around the promising 24-year-old. The ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’, as he is known amongst the Leeds faithful, has been crucial in midfield in the Whites’ fight for promotion – playing 35 games, scoring twice and assisting as many. Phillips, who has never played for England at any level, was also linked with a Three Lions call-up before the friendlies against Denmark and Italy were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
🙌 He’s magic you know… pic.twitter.com/ybYcRnZa61
— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 4, 2020
Ben White – Leeds United
Whilst we’re on the topic of the league leaders, it’s worth mention Phillips’ teammate, Ben White. The 22-year-old, who is on-loan from Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion, has been a rock at the back for Leeds United. White’s consistency in defence has gone unmatched this season, and the youngster has played in all 41 of Leeds’ league games – racking up a total of 3,690 minutes. The 22-year-old’s performances have left the Whites’ fans begging the clubs owners to permanently buy the youngster, whilst his classy form also hasn’t gone unnoticed by England boss Gareth Southgate – who praised him alongside Phillips.
Ollie Watkins – Brentford
24-year-old Brentford striker Ollie Watkins has set the Championship alight this season as he aims to fire the Bees into the play-offs! The forward, who has attracted interest from the Premier League, is currently the joint-top scorer in the Championship, alongside Aleksandar Mitrović, with 23 goals in 41 appearances. Watkins, who has played every minute of Brentford’s campaign, averages a goal every 160 minutes, and hits the target an impressive 61 percent of the time – the best shots on target record in the league!
Saïd Benrahma – Brentford
24-year-old winger Saïd Benrahma is the second part of the three-man driving force – aptly named BMW (Benrahma, Mbeumo, and Watkins) – rocketing Brentford towards the top of the table. The exciting forward, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, has scored 15 goals, and set-up a further eight, in 37 outings this season – including an impressive hat-trick against Wigan Athletic last weekend.
The Bees winger Bryan Mbuemo is also worth an honorary mention, the 20-year-old Frenchman has scored 15 goals, and provided eight assists, in 37 league games this season. So, who will you be keeping an eye out for?