Key Battle: Jakobsen v Baro

Two of the league’s most consistent defenders go head to head on Sunday at AAMI Park. We look at the numbers between Michael Jakobsen and Alan Baro.

The on-field experience of both defenders has seen them significantly contribute to the development of their respective sides this season – both men captain their squad, demonstrating their leadership capabilities.

Michael Jakobsen has been one of Warren Joyce’s most reliable players this season. The Danish defender has shown his adaptability across the park and has played every minute of every game so far.

Since moving to the Mariners at the beginning of the season, Alan Baro has proven to be one of Paul Okon’s most important signings. The 32-year-old’s football knowledge adds a wealth of experience to the Mariners squad.   

Both defenders have shown their willingness to put their bodies on the line this season, registering six blocks apiece. Jakobsen’s no-fuss attitude on the football field may reflect the number of fouls he has committed – he has conceded 25 fouls this season compared to Baro’s 10.

Baro may have conceded less fouls than Jakobsen to date, but the Mariners defender has conceded one penalty – a blunder that Jakobsen is yet to commit.

Jakobsen’s ability to read the play paired with his willingness to take on the game has been a feature of City’s game so far this season. The Dane has made seven key passes (Baro – 0) and 18 interceptions (Baro – 13).

Baro’s 360 successful passes, compared to Jakobsen’s 291, may be reflective of the way Okon’s team play their football and their tendency to knock the ball about – the Mariners currently lead the competition for passes (4,312).

Historically this fixture has seen goals scored aplenty – there has been 23 goals scored in their previous five encounters – but both defenders will be looking to stop this trend from continuing.

There is no doubt that both player’s will have a key role to play come Sunday, and with four points separating City in third from the Mariners in fourth the implications on the league table will be significant. 

City take on the Central Coast Mariners in another AAMI Park double header on Sunday, kick-off 7:00pm.