Key Battle: Wales v Pain

It’s set to be an intriguing battle when City face the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Ahead of the match, we take a look at the key battle between two speedsters, Lachlan Wales and Connor Pain.

Both Lachlan Wales and Connor Pain played important roles for their respective sides in Round 1 of the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season.

For Melbourne City, Wales made an impressive league-debut in his new colours. The 21-year-old used his raw speed to dart through Melbourne Victory’s defence and posed a constant threat to the back four.

It may have been his first league match in City Blue, but the new acquisition demonstrated his key attributes which lead to his signing over the off-season.

During the Melbourne Derby, Wales played a key distributer. He made 28 passes in his 85-minute performance, going at an efficient ratio of 82.1% pass success rate – misplacing just five passes. His tendency to use the width of the pitch was demonstrated with 42.9% of his passes heading to the left side of the field.

In comparison, Connor Pain made 14 passes, travelling at a pass success rate of 71.4%. His tendency to use the left-wing was also on display, with 42.9% of his passes going left and 35.7% forwards, with no passes directed towards the right side of the field.

Despite Wales having the better of his counterpart in a distribution sense, Pain was brilliant in the attacking third against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium in Round 1.

The 24-year-old scored the Mariners sole goal within the first 3.5 minutes of the match following an impressive lone run and finish.

Following his bright start to the match, he concluded his 78 minutes of game time with two shots on goal. Wales was unable to register a shot on goal against Melbourne Victory, but will be looking to pose more of a threat in the attacking third when City face the Mariners this weekend.

In terms of defensive attributes, neither player made a tackle, block or clearance in Round 1, which demonstrates their similarities as attack-minded players who spend most of their time in the forward half.

The raw speed of both wingers makes them an ever-dangerous threat to both sets of defenders, as they will both be looking to get in-behind defenders and back their speed in one-on-one duels.

As Wales will be looking to have more of an impact in the penalty box, there’s no doubt that Pain will be looking to get more of the ball in the midfield.

With one game apiece under their belts, both players are set to build on their individual performances and both have the ability to impact the game come Saturday afternoon.

City play Central Coast at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday afternoon, before returning to Melbourne to host their first home fixture of the season against Sydney FC on Friday, 2 November.

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