With every game week that goes by it looks more and more likely that Leeds United will be going up automatically this season. Meanwhile, the dogfight for the playoffs is still going strong, and with a win on Saturday Lee Johnson’s Bristol City could sure up their position in the top six. It will undoubtedly be a huge clash and there’ll some key battles in there.
One of those battles will be between the two club’s respective do-it-all midfielders. The reformed Mateusz Klich, whose career has been well and truly turned around my Marcelo Bielsa, vs Josh Brownhill, Lee Johnson’s energetic workhorse and one of his key players. Either player could swing the game in their side’s favour with a big performance, and only time will tell who that may be.
Every team at the top of the Championship is there on merit, and Bristol City are no different. However, there’s just no way that Lee Johnson’s side would be where they are without Brownhill. The 23-year-old is an incredible young midfielder and the way he plays, making things tick from central midfield in the Robins’ engine room, is admirable, especially considering the fixture congestion in the division.
Only on four occasions this season has Brownhill not completed 90 minutes for City in the Championship. One of those was against Leeds earlier in the season at Elland Road when he picked up two bookings and found himself taking an early bath. That game will certainly be in the 23-year-old mind when the Robins welcome Klich and co to Ashton Gate, and he’ll be desperate for redemption this time around.
TT GRADE: B
This time last season it looked very much like the Whites’ Polish midfielder had no future in Yorkshire. The 28-year-old spent the second half of last season on-loan at FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie, yet when Marcelo Bielsa rocked up at Thorp Arch with his El Loco reputation and his famous blue bucket, he saw something in Klich that no one other Leeds manager had seen.
Elland Road soon realised that in their #34 was untapped potential and as Bielsa continued to work with the midfielder he continued to shine. This season Klich has gone from someone who the fans had written off a long time ago to one of their stars, and his return of seven goals and seven assists has made him one of the Championship’s most dangerous midfielders, something that you’d have been laughed at for suggesting 12 months ago.
TT GRADE A+
Either of these two midfielders would be worthy match-winners for their respective sides today. As Brownhill goes into the game with a point to prove, Klich will be desperate to see his side usurp Norwich at the top of the Championship and his added influence of goals and assists from midfield means that he simply has to edge this battle over one of the Robins’ finest players.