Despite fans not being allowed into stadiums to watch their beloved clubs, their sides have certainly been providing the home entertainment for supporters on the pitch. Some players more than others.
Within this article we have picked our best XI from League One so far this season, taking into consideration official match stats from SofaScore.
Goalkeeper – Lee Burge, Sunderland
Former Coventry goalkeeper Lee Burge originally joined Sunderland as backup to then first choice Jon McLaughlin. When the Scotsman departed the Stadium of Light in favour of joining Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, Burge was called upon to step into the first team and he has since taken his chance.
So far this season, Lee Burge has managed to achieve an impressive 18 clean sheets in 31 league appearances. Whilst the red and white defence have played a huge part in this accomplishment, Lee Burge has also contributed to the defensive record.
On average, Burge is forced into making two saves per game and conceding only 0.6 per game. Not only has his shot stopping ability been impressive this season, his ability to command his area has also been important to the Black Cats defensive stability.
Right back – Sam Long, Oxford
Oxford had a very troubling start to the season but have since managed to pick up the points and make a push for the play offs. Sam Long being one of their most consistent players this season.
Long has an average match rating of 7.08 and whilst his defensive contributions have been outstanding, he also has seven goal contributions to date. Three goals and four assists. An impressive return for a full back!
His ability to intercept opposition passes and go strong into tackles has been a huge factor in Oxford’s push up the table.
Centre back – Luke O’Nien, Sunderland
Sunderland currently find themselves third in the table despite having only one fit centre half for a large part of this year. Due to the sheer amount of defensive injuries, Mr Versatile was called up on to slot in at centre half and has done an outstanding job considering his natural position is a midfielder!
With an average match rating of 7.20, O’Nien is one of the highest rated defenders so far this season in the division and again his stats are pretty impressive.
Despite his height, O’Nien has proven himself to be more than capable of winning his aerial battles with 70% of duels won. Alongside this his ability to read the game has been a huge factor in Sunderland’s outstanding defensive record this season
Centre back – Mark McGuiness, Ipswich Town
Perhaps a surprise inclusion, however McGuiness has impressed me on every occasion I have seen him play. On loan from Arsenal, the U21 international has featured in 18 of Ipswich’s games so far this season and has been a important presence in their back line.
His stats are very impressive for a defender at this level as well! Averaging over two interceptions per game and over one tackle show that the defender is more than capable of breaking up an opponents attack. Not only that, he is capable of driving forward with the ball and starting an attack of his own. Similar to O’Nien, McGuiness has also won 70% of his aerial battles.
A dominating presence at the back!
Left back – Dan Butler, Peterborough
Another side having an outstanding season so far is Peterborough United. Whilst many fans look at their side and admire their attacking prowess, their defensive side of the game is also impressive.
Dan Butler has featured in 34 of his sides 37 games so far in the league this season and averaged a match rating of 7.11. The full back also has four goal contributions this season with one goal and three assists but is known to play a big part in the build up to many of the Posh’s goals.
Alongside his contributions going forward, Butler averages almost two interceptions and tackles per game which is essential for full backs given the quality of attackers in league one
Right midfield – Jordan Graham, Gillingham
Gillingham have had a mixed season as a club but Graham has had an outstanding season as an individual. His ability to beat his man and get a good ball into the box has proven to be a real asset for Gillingham this year.
The former Wolves man has 16 goal contributions this season with double figures for goals alone. Many of which have been exquisite finishes or long range strikes. Something that many League One side have struggled to contain.
The midfielder has also averaged a match rating of 7.30 throughout the season proving his consistency in the Gillingham side.
Could a championship club potentially be looking at Graham next season?
Centre midfield – Jorge Grant, Lincoln City
Lincoln City challenging for automatic promotion this season certainly wasn’t an outcome that many league one supporters were expecting. Especially Lincoln supporters! However when you have a midfielder with the ability of Jorge Grant, anything is possible.
Grant has accumulated 18 goal contributions so far this season alongside an average match rating of 7.70. Bearing in mind he has played many of his matches as a central midfielder, that return is outstanding.
His ability to play that killer pass or even have a pop at goal himself is something that has caught many of league one sides off guard at times this season. Per game, he creates over two big chances for his team mates but also protects his defence with his ability to intercept the play and make a challenge.
Where would Lincoln be without him?
Centre midfield – George Honeyman, Hull City
You can’t have a TOTS without someone from the league leaders, can you?
George Honeyman has to be my pick from Hull, he’s had an outstanding season for the Tigers, Honeyman has averaged a match rating of of 7.40 this season and has been pivotal in Hull’s push for promotion. 12 goals and three assists see Honeyman near the top of the table for goal contributions in League One but he also plays a much bigger part than just that.
His energy on the pitch is infectious at times for his team mates, no pun intended, helping Hull drive up the pitch and create chances. Per game, the former Sunderland midfielder creates over two big chances for his side with an impressive 80% pass accuracy throughout.
Could he be part of a side making an immediate return to the Championship?
Left midfield – Aiden McGeady, Sunderland
The third Sunderland player in this side so far and his place is fully warranted. Mcgeady currently has the most assists in the divison despite missing the opening 15 games of the season…
Two goals and 12 assists prove how important McGeady has been for Sunderland since the arrival of now head coach Lee Johnson and still has a huge part to play in the final run in.
Mcgeady has averaged a match rating of 7.23 throughout the season and has caught the eye of almost every opposition supporter when faced against him.
Now 34 years old, you could say he’s like a fine wine…
Striker – Jonson Clarke-Harris, Peterborough
A natural goalscorer. There’s really not too much more to add to that but I’ll give it a go!
JCH is currently on target to finish the season as League One’s top goalscorer with 25 goals to his name so far. Not bad eh? His ability to finish from any angle, beat an offside trap and hold a defender off the ball are just an example of the attributes that Clarke-Harris showcases.
Again, with an average match rating of 7.20, JCH is one of the highest rated strikers in the division and anyone that has watched him play this season could understand why.
Another player that has a huge potential to be playing championship football next season.
Striker – Charlie Wyke, Sunderland
12 months ago, no one would have expected to see Wyke anywhere near a best eleven for the division but he has without a doubt earned his place in this seasons.
Currently three goals behind JCH as top scorer, Wyke has scored 22 goals this season. Four of which came in one game. (Apologies to any Doncaster supporters…)
Wyke’s main attribute is his physicality. There aren’t too many defenders in this league capable of handling his strength and aerial ability. Two of the things that have allowed Wyke to score plenty of headed goals this season.
With an average match rating of 7.38, Wyke has the highest rating out of League One strikers and I have no doubt he has plenty more in the tank between now and the end of the season