Key Battle: Fitzgerald v Ben Khalfallah

Two of the league’s key flyers go head to head on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium. We look at the numbers between Nick Fitzgerald and Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

City’s winger has been one of the most consistent players in the league so far this season, named as Fox Sports’ Player of the Month for October. Despite his form, Fitzgerald has not found the back of the net thus far, making his assists do the talking.

Khalfallah has had a low-key start to his time in Roar colours - still taking time to adjust to life in Brisbane – and his side’s start has also not helped his cause.

The numbers between the two reflect they style each Head Coach wants them to play and with their form this season, Fitzgerald’s role may be better suited than Khalfallah’s.

Despite playing one less match, Khalfallah has had more passes than Fitzgerald as well as nine key passes in the final third, almost doubling his opposing winger (9-5). Fitzgerald however has been more effective in the final third and that has translated into goals, with three of his key passes resulting into assists.

The former Victory winger was known for his ability to take players on in Melbourne but that has changed into more of a distribution role for him, with only three successful dribbles this season.

In contrast, Fitzgerald has been given more licence this season to take his players on and that has seen him make 11 successful dribbles.

Khalfallah’s time in Brisbane hasn’t got off on the front foot but the dangerous winger is looking for the match to spark his season and the City Blue colours in front of him this week may spark him into action.

City’s stern defence will be looking to keep the winger under wraps while up the other end, Fitzgerald will be out to find his first goal of the season against a team that has shipped ten goals this season.

There is no doubt that if both players are on the park, they will play an important role for their side in what may be a closer clash than what the pundits suggest.

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