Only Steven Gerrard can match Juan Mata

Juan Mata

Liverpool and Chelsea stars top the Premier League assist rankings so far this season.

Here is a look at the top assist providers in the Premier League so far this season:

8 - Juan Mata, Steven Gerrard

7 - Wayne Rooney

6 - Eden Hazard, Carlos Tevez, Bryan Ruiz, Lukas Podolski, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott

5 - Aaron Lennon, Arouna Kone, David Silva, Santi Cazorla

4 - Adam Lallana, Christian Benteke, Jean Beausejour, Jobi McAnuff, Antonio Valencia, Jonathan de Guzman, Michael Carrick, Patrice Evra, Nicky Shorey, Oscar, Pablo Hernandez, Shane Long, Shaun Maloney, Steven Pienaar.

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Analysis: It is important to note first of all that these are statistics relating to just Premier League games. If we were to use 'all competitions' as a tie breaker between Gerrard and Mata, then the Spaniard comes out on top.

He has an additional 10 in all competitions, compared to Gerrard's three. It encapsulates just what an astounding individual season it has been for Mata, who is in with a real shout of winning the Player of the Year Award.

It is Gerrard's numbers, matching Mata in the league, which deserve the most attention. While Mata has taken plenty of plaudits this season, Gerrard has taken few.

Perhaps owing to Liverpool's inconsistent performances, and in part down to the odd individual mistake, but Gerrard has not received a lot of praise this season.

Another player who has also taken plenty of criticism is Wayne Rooney, but he is the third most successful player in terms of providing goals or his teammates this season in the league.

The combination of Rooney and Van Persie (13 between them) is only bettered by Chelsea's Mata-Hazard threat (14 goals).

Another interesting point to note is that last season's top assist provider David Silva is midway down the list, with Antonio Valencia another star performer last season well off Mata and Gerrard's pace.

We are only halfway through, but Gerrard's excellent partnership with Suarez must raise the possibility that he could yet top these charts at the end of the season. Then again with Demba Ba now up front for Chelsea and likely to displace Torres, the chances of Mata racking up even more are even higher.

Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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