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English Players Weekend Watch: Derby v Birmingham

Pretty much every single player currently in the senior national side resides in the Premier League. However there are plenty of talented youngsters playing in the Championship.

Laurence Griffiths

Michael will be covering the Premier League preview for this weekend. So lets get stuck in to the Championship straight away with our game of the week in terms of English prospects. We'll bring a brief outlook on a variety of prospects closer to the weekend.

Derby County v Birmingham (Saturday, October 26th)

Lets start at the under 19 level and work our way up. First of all we have Mason Bennett of Derby County, a player who's played three times for the U19's and scored three goals. Unfortunately that prolific scoring form hasn't translated to the Championship, where he has netted just once in 16 games for Derby. There was some talk of sending him out on load towards the start of the season, He played 45 minutes against Watford last weekend but was substituted at half time.

Midfielder Will Hughes is another player who has recently been called up by the U19 squad, at only 18 years old, it is unbelievable to think he has already played over 50 games for Derby County. A very promising youngster, Hughes has found his scoring touch recently and completed 90 minutes against Watford last weekend. It will be interesting to see how much he plays under new boss Steve McClaren.

Adam Smith is a defender who's currently on load at Derby from Tottenham. Originally he was a substitute, but he has claimed the right back spot for himself. Smith is more than capable of going forward and loves getting forward, however his delivery has often been very disappointing and this is an area he'll need to clean up if he hopes to even challenge for a spot in the Spurs team. Now that he is 22, it may be his England career is over due to the talent that we possess at the fullback positions.

Derby have recently completed the signing of U21 defender Andre Wisdom on loan from Liverpool. The powerful centre back has played 10 times for the England U21 set-up and will be looking to perform consistently to ensure he gains first team football when he arrives back at Liverpool after his loan finishes in the summer.

Personally I don't see a lot of good young English talent at Birmingham. However Jesse Lingard is a player to look out for. On loan from Manchester United at the moment. Only capped a couple of times at the U21 level, he made quite the statement scoring 4 times on his debut, but only managing to find the next once in his last four games. He seemed to lack composure when I watched him last Saturday against Leeds United.

Mitch Hancox is another player who I'm starting to pay attention to. A promising 19 year old left back for Birmingham, he really established himself towards the end of last season. Unfortunately he has seen very limited action this season. He finished last year with 20 appearances for Birmingham, if he can not get the first team experience with Birmingham, he may well have to go out on loan.