Ian Holloway's Championship team of the season so far
Last Updated: 08/11/16 10:29am
With more than a quarter of the Sky Bet Championship gone, we ask Sky Sports EFL analyst Ian Holloway for his team of the season so far.
Newcastle have laid down an early marker of intent by taking 37 points from their first 16 games while Brighton are on their coattails, just three points behind.
Those two clubs make up five of Holloway's early season picks while surprise package Huddersfield, who went unbeaten for the opening 11 games, have two players in the eleven. Reading, Leeds, Bristol City and Fulham also have a representative.
Here's a look at his best Championship XI...
GOALKEEPER: Ali Al-Habsi (Reading)
What I love about watching Al-Habsi is that he's an entertaining goalkeeper - he can make exceptional saves and he's been busy this season. Only Adam Davies at Barnsley has made more saves than him in the Championship.
He lost his way slightly after leaving Wigan, where he was exceptional in the Premier League, but he's found consistency this season in a Reading side that are surprising a lot of people. It's great to see his big smile beaming.
RIGHT-BACK: Bruno (Brighton)
It would be harsh not to put one of the solid Brighton back-four in my team. The Brighton skipper has played every minute for the Seagulls this season and they've kept 11 clean sheets in 16 matches, which is phenomenal. Plus, he's got a bald head and a beard, so he's right up my street.
His manager Chris Hughton was a brilliant full-back and Bruno is following his lead.
CENTRE-BACK: Pontus Jansson (Leeds)
I haven't seen Jansson put a foot wrong at Leeds yet. He defends his box with great authority as shown by his average of 9.2 clearances per game in a much improved Leeds team under Garry Monk.
I'm so pleased to see the Leeds fans enjoying themselves again - they never turned their back on the club and with strong characters like Jansson in the team, they could achieve great things this season.
CENTRE-BACK: Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle)
Every successful team needs a leader like Lascelles, who is showing age doesn't matter when appointing a captain.
The 22-year-old isn't afraid to speak up if something isn't right and the way he took responsibility for a couple of individual mistakes at the start of the season was very impressive. The Newcastle attackers have grabbed most of the headlines this season but the defence has only shipped three goals away from home. Lascelles has been a rock for the Toon.
LEFT-BACK: Scott Malone (Fulham)
I had Malone at Millwall and had to sell him as he didn't want to sign a new deal. I'm not surprised in the slightest about his rise - all he needed to do was believe in himself.
He's slotted in perfectly at Fulham since joining from Cardiff. They allow him to get forward into dangerous areas and his crossing is fantastic as shown by his two assists this season.
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle)
Shelvey is the first name on the teamsheet. He's a genius - the best I've ever seen play in the Championship. He can get it off the centre-halves, dictate play and go beyond into the final third. When he gets into shooting positions he also has the quality to either score or find one of his mates. Shelvey is a Rolls-Royce of a footballer.
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield)
This could be the signing of the season. I didn't know much about him before he joined Manchester City and Huddersfield have played a blinder to get him in on loan. Everything Huddersfield do is orchestrated by Mooy, who averages 69.9 passes per-game (only Liam Moore at Reading averages more).
Moor makes them tick and has a great chemistry with his midfield buddy Jonathan Hogg. I hope Huddersfield's success continues.
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield)
Huddersfield boss David Wagner has a real eye for talent. I love Kachunga's energy and his ability to play anywhere across the front line. Off the right, off the left - he embraces wherever he's asked to play. He's got a knack of popping up with an important goal too.
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Anthony Knockaert (Brighton)
What a player. He's carried on where he left off last season for Brighton, providing some magic out wide. He gets me off my seat every time he gets the ball. Defenders must have nightmares about marking him as he moves the ball quickly. It doesn't surprise me that he's made 61 successful dribbles already this season - the second most in the league.
He's a Premier League player playing in the Championship.
CENTRE-FORWARD: Tammy Abraham (Bristol City)
Abraham has exploded onto the scene. I'm amazed someone so young can look so mature in the way he plays the striker role. I can only stand and applaud him for the way he's adapted from youth football to the Championship.
He's a threat over the top, he can bring other players into the game and he's dynamite in front of goal. He reminds me of when I first saw Andy Cole play. To score nine goals already is a monumental achievement. He's a very exciting player. Well done, son.
CENTRE-FORWARD: Dwight Gayle (Newcastle)
He's doing me proud. I tipped him to be the league's top scorer and he hasn't let me down, firing in 11 already. He was the most expensive player I ever purchased as a manager when I took him to Crystal Palace and I'm not surprised to see him banging them in. He's pure quality.