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Team of the Week: EFL Opening Weekend

An EFL select XI following the weekend fixtures

7 August 2018

The opening round of fixtures is over, following four consecutive days of EFL action, and the EFL Team of the Week is back!

With an average of three goals per game scored on the first weekend of the season, this was always going to be a tough one, with a somewhat prolific line-up.

Many players can feel aggrieved not to see themselves in the XI but, without further ado, here we go…

Josh Vickers: Northampton Town 0-1 Lincoln City

Lincoln City were put under pressure throughout their opening day fixture at Northampton Town, but Vickers stood firm to deny the hosts on multiple occasions, laying the platform for Matt Green’s second-half winner.

Jack Whatmough: Portsmouth 1-0 Luton Town

Portsmouth may have registered three points at Fratton Park, but they had their rearguard to thank for containing the Hatters, and Whatmough stood out with an immense display at the heart of the Pompey defence.

David Wheater: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

Arguably one of the most eye-catching results of the weekend, Bolton upset the Baggies and Wheater delivered a captain’s performance at the back, before playing his part in a dramatic late winner at the Hawthorns.

Anthony O’Connor: Shrewsbury Town 0-1 Bradford City

Bradford had to dig in for three points at Shrewsbury on the opening day, and O’Connor was among those putting his body on the line, including a fine block to deny the hosts a late leveller.

Michael Jacobs: Wigan Athletic 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday

A dream start for Championship newcomers Wigan, who had Jacobs to thank for his part in their opening day success. The winger was the key figure, scoring two first-half goals in an entertaining encounter at the DW Stadium.

Michael Doughty: Swindon Town 3-2 Macclesfield Town

Doughty claims the honour of scoring the first hat-trick of the 2018/19 EFL season, heading the first before clinching three points for the Robins with two stoppage-time penalties.

Bradden Inman: Burton Albion 1-2 Rochdale

Rochdale left it late to avoid the drop last term, but Inman made sure there would be no slow start this time around, netting two well-taken goals to help overcome newly relegated Burton at the Pirelli Stadium.

Otis Khan: Mansfield Town 3-0 Newport County

Khan celebrated his competitive Mansfield debut in style with two goals in a comfortable home triumph. The first was a fine header, but his second was a sumptuous effort which put the Stags out of sight.

James Jones: Crewe Alexandra 6-0 Morecambe

Any number of Crewe players could throw their name into the hat for a place in this week’s selection, but we’ve opted for Jones — the midfielder finding the net from distance twice in the rout.

Neal Maupay: Brentford 5-1 Rotherham United

Another team to make a dominant start to the season were the Bees, and it’s Maupay who gets the nod after scoring twice and laying another goal off in an emphatic performance against newly promoted Rotherham.

Mamadou Thiam: Barnsley 4-0 Oxford United

Barnsley laid down a marker in their opening game, cruising to victory at Oakwell. Thiam was the star of the show, building up a two-goal cushion with a pair of excellent long-range efforts.

Manager: David Artell – Crewe Alexandra

It was hard enough only including one Crewe player in the XI, so we're opting for Artell as the top manager for overseeing a thumping opening day victory – the club's first since 2007, while it was also the Railwaymen's biggest EFL win since 2011.

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