In the build-up to the weekend’s action our Championship editor Taylor Cornish casts his eye over the stats from Round 19 of fixtures to select his top 3 players, analysing their performances in the process.
Grant Hanley – Blackburn Rovers
The Rovers centre-back was the pick of the players from the weekend as his dominant performance guided Blackburn to a 2-0 away victory over strugglers Bristol City. As well as scoring the opener, Hanley boasted a 100% shot accuracy, tackle success and aerial duel success to shut out Bristol City and earn a clean sheet in the process. Aside from the key stats the 24-year-old also showed the quality of his passing game with 57% of long balls finding their target as well as 33 accurate passes in the 90 minutes. A glance at Hanley’s average stats for the 2015/16 campaign makes good reading for Rovers fans, an average aerial duel success of 72% just one of the areas the Scot impresses in.
Matt Mills – Nottingham Forest
Another centre-back who impressed last weekend was Forest’s Matt Mills who bagged 2 goals as well as hitting the woodwork to deny his hat-trick in a 3-0 win vs manager-less Fulham. Although not as efficient as Grant Hanley in key defensive areas it was Mills’ impressive all-round performance which made him so effective on the day; a 67% conversion rate and a total of 8 clearances showcasing this perfectly. The Englishman didn’t complete a tackle on the day, but despite this Forest still came out as victors to nil and the fans will have been delighted with his efficiency in front of goal nonetheless. Looking over Mills’ average stats for 2015/16, the 1.1 shots per game stands out for me, as with conversion rates similar to that of the 67% he achieved vs Fulham you can expect to see him on the score-sheet again in the near future.
Danny Batth – Wolves
Danny Batth rounds off the top 3 players of the week, making it a trio of centre-backs in the process. Although not as comfortable of a win for Wolves, Batth was the hero come the full-time whistle as he converted a Jordan Graham assist to claim all three points for his side. Despite bagging the winner, it was Batth’s defensive stats that impressed me last weekend as he claimed a 100% tackle success, 78% aerial duel success and made a staggering 23 clearances to help edge the Midlands club to a 2-1 scoreline. On the flip side, you might be looking at his pass completion on the day in disappointment, but taking into consideration the number of clearances made and overall defensive efficiency I think pass completion rate was a worthy sacrifice on this occasion. One key area to highlight from his 2015/16 overall stats is the 91% tackle success, which really is quite a phenomenal achievement 19 games into the season. Without a doubt a player to watch in the coming months as the 25-year-old has gone from strength to strength over the past year and continues to rise.