Melbourne City FC will travel to Western Australia to take on Perth Glory this Friday night in a clash that could see the visiting side overtake Newcastle Jets to sneak into seventh place.
The match will be Emma Checker’s 100th W-League game, with City’s determined captain likely to put that milestone to the side as she focuses on keeping a second-consecutive clean sheet.
Sarah Carroll has been a rock at the heart of Perth’s defence this season but missed their Tuesday night clash with Melbourne Victory as a result of her one-game suspension following her sending off against Canberra the week before.
Carroll, who is a year older than Checker, has made 78 W-League appearances despite both making their debut in the 2011/12 season.
Checker and Carroll are well-matched for comparison heading into the clash, with both central defenders having featured in seven games this season.
At 175cm and 172cm respectively, the defenders might have been expected to record similar aerial duel numbers, but it’s Checker who tends to use her head more often with eight of her 13 aerial duels won. Carroll has won four of her six, giving the Perth defender the superior success rate in this type of duel despite obviously the lower total number.
On the tackling side of things, it’s Carroll who is more prolific, challenging for the ball 15 times and winning it in 11 of those instances. Checker has attempted far less but has won three of her four tackle attempts.
Rounding out the defensive stats, it’s Carroll who emerges superior for clearances (40), blocks (7) and interceptions (18) over Checker (29, 4 and 17).
The defenders are also comparable in the nature of their passing, playing a similar number of long-range passes per 90 minutes (12.8 and 10.9) and recording near identical directional spreads and pass accuracy. Checker is the more prolific passer with 59.5 passes per 90 compared to Carroll’s 46.7.
On the attacking side of things, it’s Checker who absolutely dominates when going forward, boasting a goal, five shots and four key passes, whilst Carroll is yet to record in any of these metrics.