Two more goals in the past seven days nudge us closer to the half-century mark before the end of the calendar year, with Tammy Abraham and Kylian Hazard providing the goods.
Abraham has been in good nick for Villa, with a glut of goals a fortnight ago lifting him into double figures for the season, and a penalty on Saturday at home to Stoke took his scoring run to eight goals in six matches, finding the back of the net in five of those outings.
Villa were held to a 2-2 draw by the Potters, however, and sit perched just outside the playoffs as they gear up for promotion challenge in the second half of the campaign.
Hazard has been somewhat less prolific but, in starting and scoring for Cercle Brugge against Anderlecht, he exhibited signs of real progress from where he was a year ago. A bit-part player for the Development Squad then, he has found himself since joining Cercle on loan, and looks a completely different player for it. His long-term future is certainly not going to be at Chelsea, but he has a brighter outlook, and joined big brother Eden on the scoresheet this weekend.
Kurt Zouma, an unused substitute when Everton hosted Watford last Monday, was restored to Marco Silva’s starting eleven on Saturday as he deployed all three centre-backs in a change of shape away to Manchester City. Operating on the right of the group, and moving to right-back when they adjusted again later in the match, he looked good throughout despite Everton’s 3-1 defeat.
Kenedy played 89 minutes as Newcastle picked up an important 1-0 win at Huddersfield.
Lewis Baker earned a rare start for Leeds in their 1-0 win at Bolton but, as was the case in his last league outing, he was withdrawn at half time amidst criticism of his performance. Izzy Brown, meanwhile, scored for the club’s Under-23 team in midweek and Marcelo Bielsa spoke of his progress thereafter.
— Joe Urquhart (@JoeUrquhart_) December 14, 2018
Todd Kane put in his usual shift at right-back as Hull beat Brentford while Trevoh Chalobah claimed the bragging rights over Reece James in Ipswich’s 1-0 win over Wigan. Tomas Kalas played all of Bristol City’s 2-2 draw against Norwich, as Jay Dasilva once again found himself the odd left-back out in a squad full of then, and Kasey Palmer was an unused substitute for Blackburn to leave him having played just 69 minutes of football in the last five weeks.
Michael Hector was left on the bench as a rotated Sheffield Wednesday team lost 2-1 at Swansea, and there’s a Monday night date for Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori as Derby host local rivals Nottingham Forest.
Brad Collins’ Burton Albion were beaten 1-0 by a penalty away to Fleetwood in a match that tested the young goalkeeper in unpleasant weather conditions.
Iké Ugbo was a late second-half substitute in Scunthorpe’s 3-0 defeat at Doncaster, Charlie Colkett wasn’t involved for Shrewsbury, and Dujon Sterling was absent for Coventry with a hip injury.
Nathan Baxter also has a hip injury and it kept him sidelined from Yeovil Town action for a third successive week. He did at least join the supporters at Cambridge.
Hope to be back on the pitch soon, but whilst I’m injured it was great to be in with the crowd @Horpooljude https://t.co/1wK52Ggzuq
— Nathan Baxter (@NathanBaxterGK) December 16, 2018
Jacob Maddox’s hamstring problem saw him miss Cheltenham’s draw at Port Vale.
Michy Batshuayi played ninety minutes for Valencia against Manchester United in the Champions League, being the closest physical player to Phil Jones as he contrived to score a comedy own goal, but he then sat on the bench for their La Liga draw at Eibar on Saturday.
Kenneth Omeruo played his part in a clean sheet and a goalless draw for Leganés at Celta Vigo to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches. Joao Rodriguez was an unused substitute for Tenerife, while Josi Quintero came off the bench late on for Lleida in defeat to Barcelona B, against some players he grew up playing with at La Masia.
Jake Clarke-Salter returned to full fitness in time for Vitesse’s home match against VVV, and joined Eduardo in getting them a 2-1 win. Charly Musonda is still injured, amidst controversy this week about whether or not his stay in Arnhem will come to an end next month, but for the time being he continues to rehab a serious knee injury.
Kyle Scott missed out for Telstar in defeat to Jong PSV, and Fankaty Dabo’s injury kept him out for Sparta Rotterdam again, as the league leaders beat Jong AZ 5-0.
Ola Aina squared off against Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala for Torino against Juventus in the Derby della Mole, and produced a respectable performance in a 1-0 defeat.
Tiémoué Bakayoko played all of Milan’s Europa League defeat and subsequent exit at the hands of Olympiacos, and is next in action away to Bologna on Tuesday. Before then, Mario Pašalić and Atalanta host Lazio on Monday evening.
Baba Rahman is alive! He came off the bench in the first half of Schalke’s Europa League win over Lokomotiv Moscow to play his first minutes since September 2nd. Welcome back Baba!
Christophe Lollichon, who these days works in the Chelsea Loan Department, confirmed this week that the club will be looking to find a new home for Matt Miazga in January, and so they should.
#CFC loanee liaison Lollichon on Miazga:.
"He’s not in a good situation. But, you know, it goes fast in football… In any case, we want our loan players to play as much as possible. Yes, it is possible to break a loan."#LoanArmy https://t.co/zs4avRGE1f
— WAGNH (@WAGNH_CFC) December 16, 2018
Victorien Angban and Metz head to Valenciennes on Monday night.
Ruben Sammut played 69 minutes of Falkirk’s 0-0 draw against Morton.
Danilo Pantic played all of Partizan’s goalless draw at home to Macva Sabac on Friday night, a result that would ordinarily have been disappointing, until you take the conditions into account.
It’s currently the off-season in Brazil, so Nathan hasn’t been playing/being a perpetual unused substitute.
Started: July 14th
Final: May 29th
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe/Cont||Other||Mins|
|Tammy Abraham||Aston Villa||40||26||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3450||40||26|
|Lewis Baker||Leeds United||11||0||1||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||491||14||0|
|Michy Batshuayi||Crystal Palace||11||5||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||923||12||6|
|Isaiah Brown||Leeds United||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||11||2||0|
|Trevoh Chalobah||Ipswich Town||43||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||3273||44||2|
|Charlie Colkett||Shrewsbury Town||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||3||0||306||6||0|
|Fankaty Dabo||Sparta Rotterdam||24||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1625||24||0|
|Jay Dasilva||Bristol City||28||0||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||2383||32||0|
|Kylian Hazard||Cercle Brugge||21||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1116||21||4|
|Michael Hector||Sheffield Wednesday||36||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3242||37||2|
|Reece James||Wigan Athletic||45||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4005||46||3|
|Tomas Kalas||Bristol City||39||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3586||40||0|
|Todd Kane||Hull City||39||3||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||3363||40||3|
|Jacob Maddox||Cheltenham Town||38||1||2||0||1||0||0||0||2||3||3077||43||4|
|Mason Mount||Derby County||37||9||2||0||4||2||0||0||0||0||3745||42||11|
|Alvaro Morata||Atlético Madrid||15||6||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||1245||17||6|
|Charly Musonda||Vitesse Arnhem||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||14||1||0|
|Kasey Palmer||Blackburn Rovers||15||1||0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||984||17||3|
|Kasey Palmer||Bristol City||15||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||538||16||2|
|Danilo Pantic||Partizan Belgrade||29||6||3||1||0||0||7||1||0||0||3043||40||8|
|Dujon Sterling||Coventry City||38||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||3307||39||0|
|Fikayo Tomori||Derby County||46||1||4||0||4||1||0||0||0||0||4692||54||2|
|Iké Ugbo||Scunthorpe United||15||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||936||16||1|
|Jack Wakely||Basingstoke Town||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1355||16||0|
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Mins|
|Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht|
|Nathan Baxter||Yeovil Town||35||10||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||3420||38||11|
|Jamal Blackman||Leeds United||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||180||2||0|
|Brad Collins||Burton Albion||31||10||1||0||3||1||0||0||0||0||3115||35||11|
|Ethan Wady||Tooting & Mitcham United||7||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||810||9||3|
|Karlo Ziger||Sutton United||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||90||1||0|