With Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers set to face off in a high-stakes encounter on Thursday, fans can expect to see an epic midfield battle that could be the decisive factor on the night.
Alex Chidiac has been one of City’s most influential mid-season additions, with the 22-year-old’s dynamic midfield displays pivotal to her side’s improved performances since returning to the Club.
Chidiac is set to come up against the Wanderers’ own influential midfielder in 23-year-old Libby Copus-Brown, who joined Western Sydney after having spent her formative years with the Newcastle Jets during a seven-year stint.
There’s been a notable disparity in game time for either player, given Chidiac’s late-inclusion to the City side. Copus-Brown has made eight appearances and played 719 minutes, while Chidiac is working her way into form, playing five games for 388 minutes overall.
There’s a stark contrast in two players’ approach to orchestrating their respective midfields, with Chidiac passing in a fairly-even directional spread at an accuracy of 83.1%. Copus-Brown is far-more progressive, with 43.5% of her passes going forward, but this comes at a cost, with an overall success rate of 63.4%. The two play a similar amount of passes per 90.
Despite her more attacking approach to ball progression, it’s Copus-Brown who also wins out in regards to tackle-success, winning 84.6% of her tackles in contrast to Chidiac’s 60%. The Wanderers midfielder has also racked up an impressive 13 interceptions, dwarfing Chidiac’s one.
It’s Chidiac who’s making it count when it matters though, with the City midfielder scoring twice in her five appearances, once from inside the box and once from range. Despite five of her six shooting attempts being on-target, Copus-Brown is yet to get herself on the scoresheet, but boasts three key passes and one assist to Chidiac’s two and one respectivley.