For the first time in the Club's Hyundai A-League history, Melbourne City sit just one win away from being crowned Champions, but the team will need a big performance against Sydney FC for that to be the case.
There are going to be crucial battles all over the park and one of the most important will be in midfield. Josh Brillante has been the backbone of City’s midfield throughout the season and he is also the only player in City’s squad to have played in a Grand Final.
He will be up against his former team, Sydney FC on Sunday, and the same can be said for Luke Brattan who is now one of the key parts of Sydney’s midfield after having been at City for the previous three seasons.
Both teams like to dominate and maintain possession so it will be intriguing to see how this battle plays out in Sunday’s grand final and how well these two players can control the game for their respective teams.
These players have both been resilient throughout the season, with Brillante playing in all 27 of City’s fixtures and Brattan missing just two of Sydney’s. Due to this, Brillante has played a total of 131 more minutes.
Both players are defensively minded and often drop back to help out their back four, which the stats clearly show. Brillante has made 42 clearances, seven blocks and 45 interceptions this season while Brattan has made a similar 28 clearances, 12 blocks and 47 interceptions.
Brattan tackles more often of the two, having attempted five more tackles than Brillante despite playing the less game time. That being said, Brillante’s success rate of 72.7% is higher than Brattan’s 63.3%.
In terms of general passing, Brattan has the edge making 11.5 more passes per 90 minutes than Brillante. His passing completion rate of 86.5% is also slightly higher than Brillante’s 84%.
While Brattan does get on the ball more, Brillante is a little more creative and has made 25 key passes this season as well as being credited with three assists. Brattan has made 20 key passes for two assists.
Both players average a little under one shot per game and Brillante has also scored once this season, back in round 7 against the Wanderers.
Neither player has been sent off this season but Brattan is probably better known to referees. He has won 39 fouls, conceded 36 and been booked eight times, while Brillante has won 14 fouls, conceded 30 and been booked four times.