Key Battle: Jakobsen v Elsey

Melbourne City FC’s clash against Adelaide United is shaping up to be the match of the round as both teams head into the clash in must-win positions. Ahead of Friday night’s contest, we take a look at the key numbers between two of the league’s most influential defenders, Michael Jakobsen and Jordan Elsey. 

It comes as no surprise that both Michael Jakobsen and Jordan Elsey have featured in every game this season. The two central defenders have played important roles for their teams in 17/18, as the ever-reliable rocks in defence.

For City, Jakobsen’s versatility has played a crucial role throughout the season. The Dane’s ability to play any defensive role as well as move through the middle of the park has been crucial as injuries and suspensions have unfolded this season.

His distribution has proven to be a key asset of his play and one of the key reasons that he is trusted in various positions. So far this season, Jakobsen has registered one assist, five successful crosses and 11 key passes.

In comparison, Elsey has completed eight key passes, one successful cross and zero assists, which may be a reflection of his tendency to stick to his defensive duties. In saying that, the Reds defender has found the back of the net on one occasion, a feat his City counterpart is yet to achieve (shots on target: Jakobsen - 2, Elsey - 3).

Defensively both players have their individual strengths; Jakobsen tends to excel in one-on-one duels as Elsey sweeps up at the back, which is reflected in their numbers. Jakobsen has won seven more tackles than his Reds counterpart, as Elsey has made 17 more clearances and six more blocks.

Despite their differing strengths, both players have a strong ability to read the play, which may be reflected in the number of interceptions they have completed (interceptions: Jakobsen – 38, Elsey – 35).

In terms of passing accuracy, the two defenders are strikingly similar (passing accuracy: Jakobsen – 79.2%, Elsey – 81.8%). Similarly, they have both completed eight successful dribbles apiece.

With both teams desperate to return to winning ways as the race for third position heats up, there is no doubt that Jakobsen and Elsey will be doing their all to keep their defensive units organised and allow their attacking teammates to flourish.

City face Adelaide United at Cooper Stadium on Friday night, kick-off 7:50pm (AEDT).