TWO of St Helens’ footballers are making their mark on the Premier League. Conor Coady is flying with Wolves and Martin Kelly has become a core player in a Crystal Palace side that sits in the top half of the table, writes James Lee.

With 17 games remaining of what could turn out to be a defining moment in the pair’s careers, we look at how both are doing for their respective clubs and how their ambitions for a European spot is coming along.

Conor Coady

It is hard not to start with the accomplishments of Coady. He is the captain of Wolves, who have established themselves as not just a British threat, but a European one in the Europa League.

Coady is at the core of that success; playing the middle centre-back position in a back three and captaining Nuno Espírito Santo’s side.

The Haydock-born defender sealed promotion to the Premier League after making 45 appearances in the 2017/18 Championship season that saw Wolves lift the title.

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When he left Liverpool after making just one appearance in 2013, it was expected his career would fade to the lower leagues like many prior.

However, he has built himself up to become a vital part of the Wolves team that finished 7th last season and have made it to the knockout stages of the Europa League this season; a feat they wish to continue every season going forward.

He has totalled 212 appearances for the Midlands club, playing all 38 games in last year’s Premier League season and all 21 so far in this year’s competition.

They currently sit in 7th position, just six points behind 4th place Chelsea who occupy the last of the Champions League spaces. Wolves currently occupy the last Europa League place at 7th.

Wolves sailed through the Europa League’s Group K with 13 points in December. They now face Spanish side Espanyol in the next round of the competition. They are 12/1 to win the entire competition, with fellow English side Manchester United the favourites.

Optimism surrounds the future of Wolves and Coady is right at the heart of that.

He is somebody who was once deemed not good enough for the Premier League who returned to captain a side that are looking to establish themselves as European regulars.

Martin Kelly

There are large similarities between Coady and his fellow Liverpool academy graduate Martin Kelly. Much like Coady, it looked like his future would have been at the Merseyside club early on.

However, things didn’t go as he would have wanted, being that his days with Liverpool were cut short in 2014.

The defender, who is from Newton-Le-Willows, has reinvented himself at Crystal Palace and become a regular starter anywhere across the back line for Roy Hodgson’s side.

He has appeared in 18 of 21 games so far in the Premier League campaign. Palace sit in 9th and much like Wolves, they will be eyeing a European spot. The London side have never graced a European competition since the Premier League era began, but with this season’s table differing from prior years, Palace finishing higher than expected is becoming more and more likely.

The pair have certainly changed perceptions since they both left Liverpool six years ago.

They are now two of the area’s most well-known athletes and a battle between the pair’s two sides could be about to ensue in the race for a Europa League place.

Just two points separate Wolves and Crystal Palace. Although Wolves are expected to push on like last season, a surprise admission into Europe by Crystal Palace is not completely out of the realm of possibilities.