Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray)
The little winger was on top form for last weekend’s 4-2 win over Silvasspor, scoring a brace to help his side win the game. He played on the left wing this time, and was undoubtedly more effective out there.
Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow)
The Croat is enjoying his extended Christmas break, as Russian football doesn’t return until March.
Kevin Mirallas (Fiorentina)
Mirallas had a quiet game back out on the wing after a couple of goalscoring performances up front, and was substituted off after 69 minutes, only managing one shot off target in the 1-0 win over Milan.
He missed the 1-0 defeat to Parma on Boxing Day with the flu. Definitely just overindulged on Christmas Day.
Sandro Ramirez (Real Sociedad)
Sandro was left on the bench again for the 1-0 defeat to Alaves after a few quiet performances.
Matthew Pennington (Ipswich Town)
Pennington made a couple of crucial interventions to deny two goals in the 1-1 draw with Sheffield United last weekend, and looked comfortable on the ball again. It was a good performance overall, despite a second-half slip and once being caught out of position.
He had a difficult Boxing Day, though, in the 3-0 loss to Queens Park Rangers, having to cover his right-back for much of the game from centre-half, dragging him out of position. He made five clearances and four interceptions despite the three goals conceded.
Luke Garbutt (Oxford United)
Garbutt dropped back to the bench for the 2-2 draw with Doncaster Rovers last weekend, but was substituted on for Jamie Mackie to see out the game at 1-1 with 88 minutes gone. Doncaster scored again a couple of minutes after Garbutt’s entrance, but the left-back assisted his side’s second equaliser in the seventh minute of stoppage time. Taking his chances.
He was then left on the bench for the 1-0 Boxing Day defeat to Southend United. Come on Karl Robinson, what more does he have to do?
Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly (Wigan Athletic)
Robinson is another who got to enjoy his Christmas as he recovers from ankle surgery. Connolly was left on the bench for last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Birmingham City with Kal Naismith preferred at left-back despite Connolly impressing there the previous week.
Callum was back in his central midfield role from the start for the 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion, and was booked despite winning four of his five duels. He was fairly quiet otherwise, with a 77% passing accuracy from 17 passes.
Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina (Stoke City)
Williams made a goal-saving clearance in the 1-0 win over Milwall as well as five other clearances, and seems to be loving the rough and tumble of the Championship again. Martina got forward well alongside him, but often left a gap behind him for his centre-backs to cover. The win meant Stoke had gone ten games unbeaten.
However, they bottled that run against Birmingham in the 2-0 Boxing Day loss, with Martina one of the key culprits. He was always keen and eager to get forward and on the ball, but again left too many gaps, and was booked and brought off with fifteen minutes left. Williams was pretty solid and commanding, though, making 62 passes with 89% accuracy, playing 12 accurate long balls of 17, making five clearances and two blocks but wasn’t able to prevent the defeat.
Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough)
Besic made his league return after his red card a couple of weeks before, and was booked and brought off after just over an hour of the 1-0 win over Reading after winning three of his nine duels and hitting three of five accurate long balls.
He got on the ball much more for the 1-0 Boxing Day defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, with a 92% passing accuracy of 62 passes, and 14 accurate long balls from an attempted 15. Very solid on the ball, but could have been better defensively.
Yannick Bolasie (Aston Villa)
Bolasie had a quiet night, making just five passes and four inaccurate crosses in the 3-2 defeat to Leeds United, but produced an outrageous piece of skill with a few step-overs and a gorgeous nutmeg 50 minutes into the game. Google it, it’s beautiful.
He started on the left wing again for the 1-0 win over Swansea, with a 66% passing accuracy of ten passes and two accurate crosses of seven attempts.
Joe Williams (Bolton Wanderers)
Williams was rested for the 1-0 defeat to Brentford last weekend, but returned to the side for the 2-1 Boxing Day win over Rotherham United. Yes, Bolton finally won. Williams got about the pitch as avid as ever after his rest, but let a fair few passes go astray with a 71% accuracy of 27 passes. He does improve that Bolton side, though, and hopefully will do the same to ours in the future.