The battle in the middle of the park will be a deciding factor on Saturday night as Melbourne City FC host Central Coast at AAMI Park. Ahead of the match, we take a look at the key numbers between two of the most influential players on the pitch, Luke Brattan and Andrew Hoole.
Luke Brattan and Andrew Hoolie both play integral roles for their respective teams in the midfield. Brattan is perhaps the more versatile of the two, with the ability to play both defensively and attackingly. In contrast, Hoole excels in the attacking half with his creativity and vision.
City’s recent run of form in the attacking third has been very much influenced by Brattan’s passing ability. The midfielder has played in the A-League for just under a decade, where he has earned the respect of many as one of the league’s most reliable passes. His ability to spot the forward run of his attackers or hit a 30-yard diagonal ball consistently, is what makes him so effective.
Brattan’s numbers this season demonstrate his effectiveness. He has produced the fifth most passes in the league this season with 1329 total passes at a pass success rate of 85% - averaging 63.2 passes per 90 minutes. The 28-year-old’s long pass accuracy is currently 64.4%.
Of his 1329 passes, 33.6% have travelled forwards and only 12.9% backwards, with 29.2% left and 24.3% right, demonstrating his ability to penetrate with the ball.
In comparison, Hoole has made 745 total passes at a success rate of 77.2%. Of his 745 passes, 77.3% of the passes have either travelled forwards or out wide, showcasing his attacking intent (24.7% forward).
Similarly, both players are two of the most influential crosses in the league. The City midfielder has crossed the ball 146 times this season, sitting third in the league for crosses, only one spot behind him is Hoole with 141 crosses.
The Mariners midfielder’s greatest strength is arguably his ability to create chances in the attacking third. Hoole has created a staggering 50 chances this season – third most in the competition – which includes four assists.
Brattan has been equally as impressive in this department, with the midfielder created 43 chances – seventh most in the competition – including five assists, one of which came in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Newcastle.
When it comes to goal scoring ability, Hoole has the edge over his City counterpart. So far this season the Central Coast attacker has had 30 shots on goal, which includes 15 on target and four goals. Of his four goals scored, three have come from outside the box demonstrating his ability to strike the ball from range, with all four goals being scored on his dominant right foot.
On the other hand, Brattan has had 14 shots on goals, two on target and scored one left footed goal from inside the box.
As mentioned previously, the City midfielder has the ability to perform the role of a defensive midfielder and has the tendency to drop back and support his teammates.
Brattan’s numbers this season demonstrate his willingness to work hard both attackingly and defensively. Defensively, he has made 32 interceptions, five blocks and 29 clearances. He is also travelling at just over 50% for both duels won (53.4%) and aerial duels won (52.9%) while his tackling success rate sits at an impressive 64.7%.
Hoole is equally as effective when it comes to tackles, having won 65% of his duels. The midfielder has made nine clearances, four blocks and 12 interceptions this season with aerial duels proving to be one of his weaknesses (31.8% of duels won).
Both Brattan and Hoole have the technical ability to influence the result, whether that be scoring a goal or providing a pivotal assist, it’s whether they take their opportunities in the middle of the park that will be the deciding factor on Saturday night.
It’s a must-win clash for City who will be looking to cement their position in third, while the Mariners will be eager to close out the regular season on a high.
City will host Central Coast at AAMI Park in their last home game for the season on Saturday night, kick-off 7:50pm (AEDT).