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Team of the Week: Matchday 22

18 December 2017

Matchday 22 in the EFL saw many superb individual displays, and we’ve selected a best 11. Here’s the Team of the Week…

Goalkeeper: Marek Stech (Luton Town)

The Hatters moved two points clear at the top of Sky Bet League Two with a 2-0 away victory at Forest Green Rovers.

Alan Sheehan and Danny Hylton may have won the game for Nathan Jones’ men, but a string of fine saves from Stech ensured his team would come away with a clean sheet, despite them being reduced to 10 men on the hour mark.

Defender: Jack Robinson (Queens Park Rangers)

Robinson’s two goals for the Hoops at Birmingham City saw the side from Loftus Road earn their first away of the campaign and, on a personal note, the 24-year-old the EFL Star of the Day accolade.

They were maiden career strikes for the defender, as Ian Holloway’s team ran out 2-1 winners at St Andrew's.

Defender: Pontus Jansson (Leeds United)

A first-half header from Leeds’ Swedish defender was enough for the Whites to secure a 1-0 home triumph over Norwich City.

It’s Jansson’s second United goal in three matches, after recently finding the back of the net against Aston Villa.

Defender: Richard Keogh (Derby County)

At Pride Park, the Rams saw off fellow play-off occupants Aston Villa, in what was an impressive all-round display.

Things could have been all so different if Keogh hadn’t have cleared Robert Snodgrass’ goalbound effort off the line with the score at 1-0. Besides that crucial intervention, the skipper’s performance was outstanding, and County duly prevented Villa from making a breakthrough.

Midfielder: Marcus Maddison (Peterborough United)

Maddison may not have got on the scoresheet in the Peterborough’s 3-2 success at Fleetwood Town, but he had an involvement in all three Posh goals.

He teed up Michael Doughty and Jack Marriott respectively, before hitting a free-kick which was spilled by Cod Army ‘keeper Alex Cairns, leaving Danny Lloyd to win the game with minutes remaining.

Midfielder: Mark Byrne (Gillingham)

Before the weekend, Gillingham hadn’t picked up maximum points on home turf in the league since September, but they put an emphatic end to that with a 4-1 defeat of Bristol Rovers.

Irishman Byrne weighed in with two strikes – the second of which was a first-time volley into the top corner of Adam Smith’s net.

Midfielder: Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

The Portuguese international's cultured finish against Sheffield Wednesday proved to be the difference, as Wolves continued to set the pace in the Championship.

Along with his goal, Neves delivered an influential performance, as well as preventing Ross Wallace from equalising with a crucial intervention.

Midfielder: David Worrall (Port Vale)

Port Vale scored two goals after the interval at Carlisle United to secure a 2-1 win, with Worrall laying on both finishes.

He firstly set up Tyrone Barnett to open the scoring, prior to finding Tom Pope, who capped a superb counter attack with the Valiants’ second of the afternoon.

Midfielder: Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic)

Second-half strikes were the order of the day at Kingsmeadow also, in Wigan’s 4-0 rout of AFC Wimbledon.

Powell was the Latics’ standout performer, and he deservedly got in on the act with a venomous finish to double the visitors’ advantage.

Forward: Chris Long (Northampton Town)

Cobblers striker Long helped his team recover from an early Erhun Oztumer goal that put Walsall 1-0 up at Sixfields, by netting twice in a 2-1 victory.

His first came just two minutes after the Saddlers had got their noses in front and, just as proceedings looked destined to be level at the break, the Burnley loanee expertly fired home the winner.

Forward: Chris Dagnall (Crewe Alexandra)

Another forward who enjoyed a two-goal haul on Matchday 22 was Crewe Alexandra’s Chris Dagnall.

Callum Ainley may have stolen the headlines with a sumptuous effort, but Dagnall’s contribution was equally, if not more important in the 3-0 home success against Crawley Town.

Manager: Stuart McCall (Bradford City)

The Bantams ended Southend United’s unbeaten home run thanks to a 2-1 triumph at Roots Hall.

McCall’s men initially went ahead through a Dominic Poleon goal inside the opening 10 minutes. Then, after Stephen McLaughlin had equalised for the Shrimpers, Charlie Wyke showed a cool head to hit a winning penalty in stoppage-time.

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