Champ Top Men: Hat-trick heroes dominate

Hat-trick heroes Kevin Phillips, Leonardo Ulloa and Dwight Gayle help make up our Championship Top Men team for the latest round of fixtures.

Last Updated: 07/03/13 at 11:01 Post Comment

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Here's TEAMtalk's latest top XI from England's second tier. We explain our selections and then invite you to pick your team of top men. We're looking for the players who caught your eye with dazzling displays or powerful performances in this weekend's and Tuesday night's Championship action

You can choose any formation and there's no limit on how many players you can pick from each team - so have a think, then get involved.

Championship Top Men (4-3-3): Heaton, Cohen, Broadfoot, Dawson, Byram, Zaha, Abdi, Majewski, Phillips, Gayle, Ulloa.

Tom Heaton - Bristol City

Two consecutive draws see the Robins remain rock-bottom of the table, but the two points carved out in these goalless draws could prove vital in the final reckoning. Heaton made a superb, flying save to his left to deny Blackpool's Kirk Broadfoot on Saturday, then kept another clean sheet against Brighton at Ashton Gate.

Chris Cohen - Nottingham Forest

The midfielder has been filling in at left back, and his contributions helped Forest to two consecutive clean sheets, and two wins that have put Billy Davies' side within touching distance of the play-offs.

Kirk Broadfoot - Blackpool

The former Rangers player was denied a headed goal by a flying save from Bristol City's Tom Heaton, but he made amends with the equaliser against Birmingham City three days later to help Blackpool carve out a couple of valuable points.

Craig Dawson - Bolton Wanderers

The on-loan West Brom defender has been a big hit at the Reebok Stadium since he arrived in January, and he added to a goal tally that was already impressive for a defender when he bagged the winner at Barnsley. He then helped keep Blackburn Rovers at bay in Tuesday's Lancashire derby win.

Sam Byram - Leeds United

Byram helped Leeds to a clean sheet and a hard-fought win over Millwall at Elland Road, then put his side ahead against Leicester when he finished from close range, only for the Foxes to draw level late in the game.

Wilfried Zaha - Crystal Palace

The winger continues to show why Man United plumped for him in January, showing off all his skills, setting up his strikers and grabbing a goal himself in the 4-2 win over Hull City on Tuesday. Palace fans will be grateful that United loaned him back if he helps them back into the Premier League.

Almen Abdi - Watford

The on-loan playmaker will regret that his brilliant free kick against Wolves could not secure a win for the Hornets, but then helped his team come back from a goal down to Sheffield Wednesday to move Watford into second place.

Radoslaw Majewski - Nottingham Forest

Forest's Polish international continues to be a key figure in their revival under Billy Davies, having several chances before scoring against Sheffield Wednesday and playing his part in a bad-tempered win in the fog over Ipswich Town.

Kevin Phillips - Crystal Palace

His 40th birthday may be on the horizon, but age is not withering Phillips' prowess in front of goal. His hat-trick against Hull propelled Palace to an important win that keeps them in touch with the automatic promotion spots.

Dwight Gayle - Peterborough United

Peterborough are battling away to avoid relegation, and Gayle's quick-fire hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers helped Posh to an important win. Gayle, signed from Dagenham & Redbridge in January after a loan spell, reached double-figures for his new club when he netted three times in 16 minutes in the first half at Ewood Park.

Leonardo Ulloa - Brighton

Brighton's Argentinian striker showed off his all-round skills in a fine hat-trick that helped the Seagulls to victory over Huddersfield, with two thumping headers and a cool finish with his feet after rounding the Terriers keeper.

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