Championship England XI, including Ryan Sessegnon & James Maddison
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 14/03/18 2:32pm
Gareth Southgate is preparing to name his England squad for their upcoming friendlies as he continues his preparation for his summer's World Cup.
With his options often thin in the Premier League, Southgate may have to look beyond the top flight to select his 23-man squad. To help him out, we've taken a look at the best English Championship XI this season, according to the Sky Sports Power Rankings.
Goalkeeper: Sam Johnstone, Aston Villa
The Manchester United loanee has been a rock in goal for Aston Villa this season as they've built a challenge for a return to the Premier League. He has kept 15 clean sheets so far this season and made more saves (120) than any other English goalkeeper.
Right-back: Ryan Fredericks, Fulham
Fredericks' impressive form saw him linked with a Premier League move in January. But he has stayed to help Fulham's promotion push as they've risen from mid-table to contention for automatic promotion. The right-back has had more touches of the ball (2,461) than any other English full-back and the fifth most of any English player in the Championship.
Centre-back: Curtis Davies, Derby
Davies has been brilliant since leaving Hull for Derby in the summer. The veteran defender has formed an imperious partnership with Richard Keogh in the heart of Gary Rowett's defence, still impressing even as their form has slipped away in the past few weeks. He has won more aerial duels (227) than any other English defender.
Centre-back: Sean Morrison, Cardiff
Cardiff's captain embodies everything good about Neil Warnock's side as they push for promotion to the Premier League. The 27-year-old has formed a solid pairing with Sol Bamba at the back as the Bluebirds have conceded fewer goals than any other side.
Left-back: Joe Bryan, Bristol City
Switching between left-back, left wing-back and left midfield, Bryan has been a ubiquitous presence down the left side for Bristol City this season. He has made the second-most tackles (102) of any English player in the Championship this season.
Right wing: Ollie Watkins, Brentford
Plucked from Exeter in Sky Bet League Two, Watkins has adapted seamlessly to life in the Championship and become a crucial presence for Brentford this season. He has created more chances from open play (64) than any other English player.
Central midfield: James Maddison, Norwich
Maddison is the Championship's standout English player, according to the Sky Sports Power Rankings, and would surely be earning many more plaudits if he was in a more successful side. His hat-trick in a 4-3 defeat at Hull last week largely summed up his season at Norwich.
He has scored the joint-most goals of any English midfielder (12), the joint-most goals from outside the box (four), created the second-most chances from open play (62) and the third-most chances created from set-pieces (31).
Central midfield: Luke Freeman, QPR
Another player whose impressive season has gone relatively unnoticed due to the struggles of his team, Freeman has been one of the standout midfielders in the Championship in 2017/18. He has completed the most dribbles of any English player (105) in the division.
Left wing: Ryan Sessegnon, Fulham
If anyone from the Championship is going to get a call-up to the World Cup squad it will probably be 17-year-old superstar Sessegnon. He has been a key part of Fulham's rise up the table, scoring nine goals in 2018 and 14 overall this season, more than any other English midfielder in the Championship.
Striker: Jarrod Bowen, Hull
Bowen's form has dipped somewhat in the second half of the season but he started superbly for Hull under Leonid Slutsky. In his breakout season, he has managed 13 league goals for a struggling side and won the third-most duels of any English striker (225). Only Gary Madine and Matt Smith have won more.
Striker: Bobby Reid, Bristol City
Reid has enjoyed a breakout season since switching into a forward role for Bristol City. He is the joint-top scorer in the Championship overall with 17 goals, while also creating more chances from open play (44) than any other English striker.
Below, we present the top 50 English players in the Championship, according to the Sky Sports Power Rankings...