There is no doubt that the midfield battle will be key to Saturday night’s clash between Melbourne City FC and Perth Glory. With both teams looking to return the winner’s list, we take a look at the key numbers between Stefan Mauk and Xavi Torres.
Since his return to Melbourne City, Stefan Mauk has become a regular starter for Warren Joyce’s side complementing City’s attack with his creativity in the midfield.
Unlike his Spanish counterpart, the 22-year-old Australian had a wealth of A-League experience prior to this season playing for both City and Adelaide United.
Following an impressive career in La Liga where he was once an FC Barcelona player, Xavi Torres joined Perth Glory at the beginning of the 2017-18 season in what has proven to be a key addition to Kenny Lowe’s squad.
In a team that has had mixed results this season, Torres has been one of the most consistent performers across the season in his midfield role.
If the numbers are anything to go by, the two midfielders are strikingly similar in the attacking third of the field.
Both players have showcased their ability to find the back of the net scoring two goals apiece, with one of the Glory midfielder’s goals coming from the penalty spot. Furthermore, Mauk has registered six shots on target this season compared to Torres’ seven.
In terms of attacking distribution, both players have made eight key passes and one successful cross. Both Mauk and Torres tend to stick quite centrally and prefer to play through the middle of the park, which could be an explanation for why they have registered one successful cross each.
When it comes to assists, Mauk has registered one, a feat Torres is yet to achieve. The City midfielder has also won two penalties this season, exposing his attacking threat.
Similarly, Mauk’s ability to carry the ball has been one of his key contributions to the team. So far this season, the City midfielder has performed 12 successful dribbles compared to Torres’ one.
Despite their similar attacking attributes, both players differ in their defensive strengths.
Mauk’s willingness to defend is demonstrated by the number of tackles he has won, winning 23 tackles this season compared to Torres’ nine.
Although the City defender may have the edge over his opponent in terms of tackles, the Glory midfielder has made more clearances (Torres – 36, Mauk – 11) and interceptions (Torres – 16, Mauk – 12) this season, demonstrating the pairs differing defensive strengths.
With both teams looking to bounce back from disappointing results last round, there is no doubt that the impact of both Mauk and Torres will have a telling influence on the final result.
The stage is set for an entertaining clash as City travels to Perth to face the Glory at nib Stadium on Saturday night, kick-off 10:00pm (AEDT).