Key Battle: Brattan vs Valeri

Football games are often won or lost in the midfield and ahead of the blockbuster Christmas Derby, we look at the key numbers between Luke Brattan and Carl Valeri.

In recent times, Luke Brattan and Carl Valeri have shown us that they both have the ability to turn a match in their own respective ways. Both players are capable of playing the role of the holding midfielder, while Brattan has also shown his flexibility through his ability to attack and pressure the scoreboard.

Although Brattan’s role in the midfield may change on a game-to-game basis, Valeri has made the role of the ever-reliable captain in defensive midfield his own.

From the onset, Valeri has played an important role for Kevin Muscat’s side this season, starting in each of their 11 games. In contrast, Brattan has worked hard across the season to earn himself a more regular spot in Warren Joyce’s side, featuring in nine of City’s 11 matches, including six starts. 

Despite starting five less games this season, Brattan has registered more goals (1-0), assists (2-0) and successful crosses (2-1) than Valeri, demonstrating his ability to transition into attack. He has also been fouled six more times than the Victory skipper (10-4).

Furthermore, Brattan has performed nine key passes compared to Valeri’s three and registered five successful dribbles compared to the Victory midfielder’s two.

The City midfielder’s ability to read the play may be reflective of the 16 interceptions (Valeri – 7) he has made, and the 19 tackles he has won (Valeri – 9).

In contrast, Valeri’s defensive attributes are reflected in the number of blocks he made – Valeri has made five blocks compared to Brattan’s one so far this season.

The Victory skipper’s ‘no-fuss’ attitude may be the reason he has conceded four more fouls than the City midfielder (14-10), and the cause for him registering three more yellow cards (4-1).

Both Brattan and Valeri have made 11 clearances apiece this season, while the Victory midfielder only just edges out the City man for passing accuracy (Brattan – 81.5%, Valeri – 83.1%)

With tensios set to rise on Saturday night, it will be down to these two midfielders to keep calm in their respective midfields and let their football do the talking.

Valeri will play a ‘general’s role’ in defence, as Brattan will be searching for that killer ball in the final third – or much-like last week, the killer finish.

City face Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday 23 December 2017, kick-off 7.50pm.