The 2021-22 Championship season is quickly drawing to a close, there is still plenty that needs to be ironed out in the final few weeks of the campaign. It seems only a matter of time before Fulham are crowned champions and Barnsley, Derby Country and Peterborough United fate is sealed as three relegated sides.
However, there is still plenty to play for elsewhere — with the second automatic promotion spot and the four play-off places proving hard to call in the Championship betting with Betfair. So, with plenty of headlines left to written, let’s take a look at three candidates for the Player of the Season award.
Aleksandar Mitrović – Fulham
On the basis of the award more often than not going to a forward, who better is there to kick things off with than the prolific Aleksandar Mitrović.
The Serbian has sent records tumbling for Fulham so far this season, with his 38 goals in as many Championship games blowing the previous record for most strikes in a season (31), set by Ivan Toney just last year, out of the water.
Mitrović has been an influential factor in Marco Silva’s swashbuckling side, who have scored a huge 94 goals this campaign. However he is starting to garner a reputation as somewhat of a ‘Championship striker’ due to the massive gulf in his performances between the second and first tiers. With Fulham all but crowned champions, that’s a title he’ll be hoping to shake when back in the Premier League next season.
Ben Brereton Díaz – Blackburn Rovers
If the classic Sunday League ‘Most Improved Player’ award existed in the Championship, we have no doubt Ben Brereton Díaz would be this year’s recipient.
The Stoke-on-Trent-turned-Chilean forward has been unrecognisable for Blackburn Rovers since returning from the Copa América last summer. Scoring a whopping 20 goals in the second tier by late December, more than he’d managed in five previous seasons combined.
Unfortunately, the 22-year-old hasn’t found the back of the net since hitting the 20-mark in December — a feat that was 1000/1. International commitments and a lengthy spell on the side-lines with an ankle ligament injury have played its part in that. Back to full fitness now though, Tony Mowbray will be hoping that the forward begins to fire on all cylinders again so that Blackburn can secure a play-off place.
With Brereton Díaz slowing up on the goalscoring front. Dominic Solanke has been able to make up ground on the Chile international and put a bit of a gap between him and the Blackburn man in the top scorer charts. Netting his 24th goal of the season for Bournemouth in 3-2 win over Bristol City at the beginning of April.
Having moved to south coast from Liverpool for £19-odd million in January 2019, Solanke was yet to really live up to his relatively high price tag at the Vitality Stadium.
So he’ll be happy that he’s finally beginning to repay the club and its fans for their belief. If he can manage the find the net a few more times in Bournemouth’s remaining seven games. Which they’ll likely be tipped to win in the Championship score predictions, he might just guide the Cherries back to the Premier League!
Ryan is a former mixed martial arts and kickboxing competitor. After finishing university he played online poker and taught English for a living in Thailand for a few years.
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