Tom Cleverley v Joe Allen - Who would you rather have?

Anfield

The Manchester United and Liverpool stars have faced similar situations at their clubs this season.

Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley and Liverpool’s Joe Allen are two very important contemporary players at their respective clubs.

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Both players are scrapping away at two of the biggest clubs in the Premier League to try and establish themselves as first choice.

It opens up the debate over who is the better midfielder and raises the question of which star you would prefer?

Here’s what the stats say.

Appearances

United’s Cleverley has made more appearances this season with 16 as opposed to ten.

The obvious counter to that in the defence of Allen is the fact that he was injured near the start of the season and Liverpool have arguably a better crop of central midfielders available to them.

However, the higher ratio of appearances does give Cleverley the edge in terms of fitness and he’s scored a Premier League goal for Manchester United.

Passing Success

Cleverley has a higher passing success rate in the Premier League this season of 90.2% compared to 86.5%.

It’s an impressive stat when you bear in mind his higher number of appearances but there is a simple explanation behind it.

Cleverley has found himself playing higher up the pitch, with Allen sometimes adopting a more defensive role, which makes it harder for the Liverpool man to win the ball back and move it on quickly.

Cleverley is also make a much higher number of passes on average each match; 57.9 over 37.8.

Defensive Stats

Although Cleverley is urged to play higher up the pitch by David Moyes, there is very little to choose between the players in terms of defensive stats.

It won’t surprise many to learn that Allen is making more tackles per appearance on average this season but the Manchester United man appears to be reading the game more effectively, with more interceptions per match.

Attacking Stats

There is also very little to choose between them from what the attacking stats suggest for shots per game and key passes per game.

The main differences come in terms of dribbling and the ability to draw fouls from the opposition.

Cleverley is drawing 0.5 more fouls per game on average which can make the difference in tight match situations but Allen is more willing to dribble with the ball at his feet; just under one run per match compared to Cleverley’s 0.3.

They are each very individual and unique players and while Cleverley has played more games, their numbers in plenty of key areas are very similar.

image: © Sanjiva

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