We’re set for an entertaining clash with Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Friday night. Ahead of the match, we take a look at the key battle between two in-form midfielders, Luke Brattan and Eric Bautheac.
Attacking-minded duo Luke Brattan and Eric Bautheac have played instrumental roles for their respective teams this season.
Brattan, who spent seven years with the Roar prior to joining Melbourne City, has continued his strong run of form on Australian soil, using his experience and exquisite technique to play an important role in City blue.
While Brattan has spent most of his playing career in Australia, Brisbane’s Bautheac moved to the Sunshine State in 2017 following a successful career in France. The Frenchman’s on-field experience comes from a successful career, where he represented a host of clubs including Dijon, Nice and Lille.
So far this season, Brattan has played 10 games and Bautheac 11, with both players starting in each of those matches.
Within that time, both players have displayed their attacking intent and their ability to hit the scoreboard. In his opening 10 matches, Brattan has struck the back of the net three times. All three of his goals have been scored on his right foot and from outside the penalty area, showcasing his ability to strike at goal from just about anywhere, as well as his great technical ability.
As for Bautheac, the 31-year-old has scored one goal for the Roar this season from five shots on target, also demonstrating his ability to find space and test the opposition’s goalkeeper.
When it comes to attacking distribution, as attacking midfielders both players excel.
City midfielder, Brattan, has made five successful crosses, one assist and played 13 key passes. While for the Roar, Bautheac has made seven successful crosses, two assists and 18 key passes.
In terms of overall distribution, 28-year-old Brattan has been exceptional. His ability to find his teammates paired with his impressive vision, threading the tightest of gaps, has been one of the strongest aspects of his game throughout his career, and according to the numbers this season is no different. Brattan’s overall pass accuracy throughout the opening 10 fixtures is 83.6 per cent, with an accuracy of 76.4 per cent in the opponents’ half.
In comparison, Bautheac averages 71.6 per cent pass accuracy overall, and 62.4 per cent in the opponents’ half.
When it comes to the defensive side of the game, the numbers highlight Brattan's willingness to work hard at both ends, with the City midfielder registering 13 interceptions, four blocks and eight clearances - also showcasing his ability to read the play.
As the numbers suggest, both Brattan and Bautheac have the ability to shape a match, whether that be through their tendency to control possession and play a match-winning pass or through their own ability to hit the scoreboard.
With that being said, which player steps up and takes hold of the match on Friday remains to be seen.
City take on Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Friday 11 January, kick-off 7:50pm. Get your tickets here.