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PFA Team of the Year: Championship

Sunday 22nd April 2012 22:28

Lambert: Championship's top man

Lambert: Championship's top man

TEAMtalk presents the PFA Championship Team of the Year - let us know if you agree with the pros then have a crack at picking your own team.

Goalkeeper

KELVIN DAVIS: Southampton's success this season has been built on solid foundations, with Davis providing a reliable last line of defence. He has been a virtual ever-present for the Saints, with his experience proving to be a vital tool in Nigel Adkins' armoury. Davis' pedigree is without question, but the fact that this is his fourth appearance in a PFA Team of the Year, and his third in successive seasons, proves that he is a shot-stopper of the highest calibre.

Defenders

NATHANIEL CLYNE: Clyne has been billed as a Premier League star of the future for so long that it is easy to forget that he is only 21 years old. His performances since breaking into the Crystal Palace team some three-and-a-half years ago have belied his years and it is easy to see why he is such a sought-after talent. He has been a regular for the Eagles again this season and is currently mulling over the offer of a new contract at Selhurst Park.

JAMES TOMKINS: West Ham through and through, Tomkins is determined to ensure that the Hammers bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Were they to achieve that feat, the perfect ending would be provided to a productive campaign for Tomkins. He has made over 40 appearances for the capital outfit this term and ended any uncertainty regarding his future in January when he agreed a deal that will keep him at Upton Park until 2016.

CURTIS DAVIES: A gruelling campaign for Birmingham which has seen them juggle domestic and European commitments has them well-placed to bounce straight back into the Premier League. Davies' presence at the heart of their back four has played a big part in their success, with the commanding centre-half having made 50 appearances this season and looked every part the experienced top flight performer that he is.

IAN HARTE: Part of the meanest defence in the second tier, Harte seems to be getting better with age. The vastly-experienced Irishman is now 34 years old, but you would not know it to watch him in action. He has formed part of a back four that has conceded at a rate of less than a goal a game this term and is currently readying himself for another shot at the Premier League. Harte is also making his fourth appearance in a PFA Team of the Year, his third in a row and his second consecutive appearance in the Championship selection.

Midfielders

ADAM LALLANA: Lallana was named in the PFA League One Team of the Year in 2010/11 and has made the step up into the Championship with such apparent ease that he is included within the best of the best once again. A goal-scoring playmaker of some repute, the 23-year-old has already broken into double figures for the season. He is considered to be ready for the Premier League and will be desperate to grace that stage in 2012/13.

PETER WHITTINGHAM: Whittingham last graced the PFA Championship Team of the Year back in 2009/10, the year in which Cardiff suffered play-off final heartache against Blackpool. He will be hoping history does not repeat itself two years on, with both sides in the promotion hunt once again. Whittingham continues to provide a regular source of goals and assists for the Bluebirds, with the target found on 11 occasions this season.

MARK NOBLE: Another of West Ham's home-grown stars hoping to avoid spending more than one season in the second tier, Noble is a player whose ability deserves to be gracing the grandest of stages. A former England U21 international and a man with over 150 Premier League appearances under his belt, the combative midfielder has done his best to lead the Hammers' promotion charge. Noble has scored eight goals and provided a handful of assists, but it is the consistency of his displays that makes him indispensible at Upton Park.

MATT PHILLIPS: Ian Holloway has moved quickly to rubbish the latest round of transfer rumours regarding Phillips, and he has every right to want to steer attention away from his talented 21-year-old. Phillips took in a loan spell with Sheffield United at the start of the 2011/12 campaign, but burst into life after returning to Bloomfield Road. He has netted two hat-tricks this season, helping him to break into double figures for the season, and has earned international recognition. Having been overlooked by England at senior level, he has committed himself to Scotland and was handed his first call-up by Craig Levein for a friendly date with Slovenia.

Strikers

RICKIE LAMBERT: The South Coast goal machine shows no signs of slowing down, with Lambert proving once again that he is among the most prolific marksmen the Football League has to offer. He has already plundered 27 goals this season, putting him top of the Championship scoring charts by some distance, and is on course to beat his personal best return of 36 in all competitions. Lambert makes the PFA grade for the third time in his career, with his second club, and will be a man to keep a close eye on should the Saints book a ticket back to the Premier League.

JAY RODRIGUEZ: Still only 22 years of age, Rodriguez would appear to be destined for a bright future at the very top of the game. A local lad turned good, Rodriguez has been the leading light for Burnley this season and is in the process of forging a potentially devastating strike partnership with Charlie Austin. He has grabbed 21 goals in all competitions this season, his best return to date, with a four-goal showing against Burton Albion in the first round of the Carling Cup back in August paving the way for what was to follow.

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