Izzy Brown sat out of Huddersfield Town’s FA Cup replay against Manchester City; it was clear where the Terriers’ priorities lay after manager David Wagner fielded an almost wholly rotated line-up at the Etihad Stadium, where despite taking a surprise early lead, Town suffered a 5-1 defeat. Brown then returned to the starting line-up for a loss against Newcastle and a 1-0 win against Aston Villa. He was rested this weekend, starting on the bench away to Brentford but was a half-time substitute as his side notched yet another 0-1 victory.
Great win! Boys were excellent, travelling fans as well, get home safe and have a good weekend ⚪️ #htafc— Isaiah Brown (@izzyjaybrown) March 11, 2017
Fortunately for Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton have been having their fair share of slip-ups as well, so the gap between Town and both teams is currently six points, with a game in hand. If they manage to win their game in hand, they will have a gap of three points to close in on, with 9 games remaining. Recent injury woes have all but cleared up as well; only Kasey Palmer and Harry Bunn remain on the injury list, with Palmer expected back at the beginning of next month.
There was some good news for Izzy Brown though, as he received his first ever Championship Player of the Month for February. Although he eventually lost out to Preston North End’s Aiden McGeady, it is certainly an indication of the progress Brown has made this season, especially since joining Huddersfield.
Happy birthday to the king @didierdrogba pic.twitter.com/ZPYXpUslw1— Isaiah Brown (@izzyjaybrown) March 11, 2017
Upcoming fixtures: Bristol City (A, March 17)
Tammy Abraham made his return from injury with a start against Wigan Athletic and didn’t score, but helped his team to their first win in games. With the win, Bristol City just about have their heads above water; they sit in 21st place (relegation spots are 22-24), although 22nd-placed Blackburn Rovers could send them to the relegation zone once more if they avoid defeat in their game in hand.
Back to winningggggg wayyssss c'mmonnn ladsss ! Good to be back ❤ #BCFC #AboutTime☺️— Tammy abraham (@tammyabraham) March 11, 2017
Upcoming fixtures: Huddersfield Town (H, March 17)
Fikayo Tomori made his first significant contribution for Brighton and Hove Albion on the 1st, replacing the injured Sebastian Pocognoli and filling in (out of position) at left-back for the remainder of the game. He was up against fellow Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu, who gave Tomori a tough time of things early on but the youngster eventually grew into the game and held his own. His next appearance came the following weekend, as he was once again an injury replacement but this time, for captain Bruno Saltor, in the 65th minute.
Brighton is currently marred with injuries to their defence, with Gaetan Bong, Shane Duffy, Connor Goldson, Sebastian Pocognoli and Bruno, all currently on the sidelines. The severity of Bruno’s injury hasn’t yet been determined but Pocognoli, who looks to be the most recent to return, will probably miss out when Brighton travel to Leeds, meaning Tomori may be in line for his first start for the Seagulls! Let’s hope that is indeed the case.
Upcoming fixtures: Leeds United (A, March 18)
Tomas Kalas played 90 minutes against Preston North End, Newcastle United and Leeds United; the Leeds game ended a 1-1 draw but the other two were convincing wins for the Cottagers and now they’re within a hair’s length of the promotion play-off spots. The last occupants of the play-off spots, Sheffield Wednesday have two points more than Fulham and have played a game more. Fulham have been playing some excellent football as of late under Slaviska Jokanovic, and their 3-1 win against leaders Newcastle United simply reinforced that fact.
Lucas Piazon is on the road to recovery after he dislocated his jaw at the end of February and should be back before long.
Just left a specialist now and got some good news! Monday back at fitness training and in 2/3 weeks I will be able to train with the boys— Lucas Piazon (@LucasPiazon) March 9, 2017
Upcoming fixtures: Blackburn (H, March 14), Wolves (H, March 18)
Christan Atsu has been in favour at Newcastle United lately, he started three of Newcastle’s last 4 games and was a 70th minute substitute in the other, assisting twice in his two starts as well.
Upcoming fixtures: Birmingham (A, March 18)
Jay Dasilva made his second appearance for Charlton on the 28th, with a 13-minute substitute appearance in a 4-3 loss to Shrewsbury. Apart from that, he’s been an unused substitute in all of Charlton’s other games.
Fankaty Dabo and Islam Feruz continue to struggle to make Swindon’s match-day squad, although Charlie Colkett has established himself as one of Swindon’s key players and has started when fit. He notched another couple of assists in the last two weeks, taking his tally up to four in ten appearances. That makes for 40% of all goals his team have scored since his arrival! Swindon still find themselves in the relegation zone though, and are three points behind Oldham, who are in 20th place.
Jake Clarke-Salter, who hasn’t featured in this report for a solid three months, made his return from injury this weekend, coming on in the 89th minute for Bristol Rovers, against Southend United.
Jamal Blackman started all of Wycombe’s last few games (1W, 2D), as did Alex Kiwomya for Crewe (1W, 2L) and Nathan Baxter for Solihull Moors (2D).
Michael Hector started in losses for Eintracht Frankfurt against Freiburg and Bayern Munich.
Upcoming fixtures: Hamburg (H, March 18)
Andreas Christensen started for Borussia Monchengladbach in wins against Hambug (DFB Pokal) and Schalke but had to miss their 1-1 first leg draw against Schalke in the Europa League after picking up a knock. He returned to the side immediately after, starting against Hamburg in the league and scoring his side’s only goal in a 2-1 loss.
Upcoming fixtures: Schalke 04 (H, March 16), Bayern Munich (H, March 19)
Lewis Baker, Matt Miazga and Nathan started for Vitesse in the KNVB Beker semi-finals, in which a Lewis Baker double saw Vitesse progress to the finals of the competition. Vitesse, who will face AZ Alkmaar in the finals on 30 April, are in with an extremely realistic shout to win their first major trophy! Exciting times are afoot in Arnhem.
Nathan was benched in the following game against PEC Zwolle, but Baker and Miazga kept their places. Mukhtar Ali replaced Baker, who was having a rather poor game, in the 69th minute of the eventual 3-1 loss. This weekend, Vitesse easily dispatched of Sparta (once again!) with a whopping 5-0 win. Somehow, Baker wasn’t among the goals and didn’t pick up an assist either, but Miazga and Nathan (who was restored to the XI) assisted a goal each. Ali was handed a 20-minute cameo in this match as well, replacing Nathan in the 71st minute.
With other results also playing out in their favour, Vitesse currently sit in 5th place and are two points behind FC Utrecht. If they maintain a league position from 4-7 (or 8, if FC Twente, who were recently banned from European football for three years, occupy any of those positions), then Vitesse will contest the Europa League Qualification Round play-offs, unless they win the KNVB Beker.
Upcoming fixtures: PSV Eindhoven (A, March 18)
Bertrand Traore started for Ajax against Groningen, FC Copenhagen and Twente. After a lacklustre showing in the latter game, he was replaced by Justin Kluivert after only 60 minutes, prompting sarcastic applause from the fans, who have been giving him stick on and off, all season, perhaps more than he deserves. Speaking to Goal Holland after the game, Traore said he quite simply didn’t care what the fans said, and was only focused on winning.
Upcoming fixtures: Excelsior (A, March 19)
Marco van Ginkel hasn’t made an appearance since coming off injured against Feyenoord three weeks ago.
Danilo Pantic is serving his suspension for picking up his second red card of the season.
There were celebrations in Mouscron, as Royal Excel Mouscron somehow managed to avoid relegation on the final day of the season with two wins (and clean sheets for Matej Delac) in their last two games.
Allez @ExcelMouscron !!! Quel suspense... on y reste en D1 Wat was dit spannend! Op naar volgend seizoen, maar eerst PlayOff 2 ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/0XnqIEEMeX— Jacky Munaron (@JackyMunaron) March 12, 2017
Cristian Cuevas started for STVV against Club Brugge and assisted a late equaliser for his side and was a final-minute substitute a week later, against AS Eupen.
Mario Pasalic was an unused substitute against Chievo Verona, and played 71 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Juventus.
Upcoming fixtures: Genoa (H, March 18)
Neither Jeremie Boga nor Victorien Angban made the Granada CF squad against Deportivo Alaves, but both returned to the 18 against Leganes; Boga was a 71st minute substitute. Angban then drifted out of the squad again the following week but Boga started and played the whole 90, as Granada hosted Atletico Madrid. Granada have moved off bottom place, but survival still seems a distant prospect as of now, with the next team seven points above them. The Guardian’s Sid Lowe interviewed all three of Granada’s Premier League loanees and his article on the same makes for a good read.
Upcoming fixtures: Sporting Gijon (A, March 19)
Kenneth Omeruo started for Alanyaspor in their losses against Fenerbache and Istanbul Basaksehir.