Arsenal and Chelsea starlets dropped to the bench in Championship games

Derby County West Stand

Both Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday decided against playing their on-loan stars in their games over the weekend.

In what proved to be one of the more surprising team selections of the weekend, former England boss Steve McClaren dropped Patrick Bamford for Derby's biggest game of the season to date, despite having scored five goals in his last seven games.

Truth be told, the youngster's last match against Bournemouth proved to be a flat performance, which resulted in him being brought off at half-time. And with McClaren having several options to pick from for his forward position, he lucked out and started on the bench.

The Rams quite frankly didn't show up in the first-half and it was clearly not going to be their day when Bobby Madley arguably made the worst refereeing decision of the weekend. The referee inexplicably denied Derby an equaliser, to bring play back and send Derby forward Chris Martin off for diving, despite replays clearly showing the defender making contact.

Despite that, Derby County looked a different animal in the second-half with Bamford, brought on off the bench, and Sammon running the show for East Midlands side. Unfortunately, they couldn't make the chances created count and were sent back to Derby with their tail between their legs and automatic promotion dreams dented.

With Chris Martin now suspended for the Rams, there is a good chance Bamford could be brought back into the Derby side for their next game against Millwall on Saturday.

And despite a dramatic three-points collected by Sheffield Wednesday, it was done without the aid of young Arsenal striker Benik Afobe.

Afobe, 21, has made a slow start to life in Sheffield and a poor performance against Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup on Monday night was enough for manager Gray to drop him for their league encounter with Middlesbrough.

The former England U21 striker was clearly not in good books when he was looked over for Austrian striker Atdhe Nuhiu when Maguire was taken off in the 70th minute of time. Incidentally it was Nuhiu that grabbed his fourth goal of the season, when he converted a Wednesday penalty in the 87th minute.

Unfortunately for the young Gunner, with a goal under his belt it looks like Nuhiu may have temporarily jumped ahead of him in the pecking order. It could be a waiting game for Afobe to get another crack at the whip.

image: © Eamon Curry

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