Good to see Byram back; Derby outdo Barca; Ipswich, Brighton on the up

Stephen Pickering gives his opinion on the top news stories of the day in the Football League. Leeds United, Ipswich Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County feature.

One of the most pleasing sights this weekend was the return of Sam Byram into the Leeds first 11, however, it's fair to say that he didn't have the best game.

Sam Byram is easily one of my favourite players in the division and his form last season left a big impression on me. Last season, I watched as Byram was integral to the Leeds United's side, he was the one that drove most of their attacks and gave the team an extra dimension all from right-back. At the end of the season he was rewarded for the impact he made, picking up every single player of the season award at Elland Road. 

This season, he was notoriously injured at the start of the campaign, and has reportedly been struggling to return to 100% fitness. Despite that, he has been a regular fixture on the bench this season, but has found first-team football hard to come by.

However, I don't think there is anything to worry about when it comes to the player. I back him to become fully integrated into first-team action when ready, and could be that extra little-bit of quality that Leeds need in their promotion push.

After watching Ipswich Town bag another win in their game against Huddersfield, it makes you wonder whether this year could be different for them. 

It was a very tight game against Huddersfield and I don't think you can argue that fact, but they showed willingness and fight, and in the end landed the sucker punch and claimed all 3 points.

Another team I am backing is Brighton, and I would be utterly shocked if they aren't in the top 6 at the end of the season.

It's been a hard for Brighton so far. With an expected transitional period for the new manager and losing several key players through injury - it was always going to take it's toll on results. However, against Leicester they were brilliant and deservedly won 3-1. 

I think with Leonardo Ulloa closing in on a return, along with Orlandi they will soon see a quick change of fortunes and could be well equipped come the latter part of the season. 

And finally, statistically speaking there was one stand-out side. In fact, the amount of passes registered by Derby County over their last two games have even outdone the most renowned passing side in the world!

On the last two games:

Derby County - 1237 passes - 87.5% pass accuracy - 36 shots - 7 goals.

Barcelona - 1144 - 87.5% pass accuracy - 21 shots - 4 goals. 

So there you have it - Derby are currently more attractive to watch than Barcelona. 

image: © Chris Robertshaw

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