Playmakers Mesut Ozil and Juan Mata will go up against each other when Arsenal host Manchester United in the Premier League tomorrow night, but who edges things based on the stats?
We’ve taken a look at five key areas for any midfielder to judge who might have more of an effect on the game tomorrow in North London. Take a look.
Arsenal’s German leads the way with four goals while Mata is yet to register in the Premier League this season. It suggests that Ozil has been able to find dangerous positions more frequently and is more of a goal threat.
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||59||16||1,099|
There’s not too much to choose between the pair of them in terms of duels won against other players. Ozil is ahead but arguably only because he’s had more football than Mata so far this season. They both have the skill to come away from challenges with possession in tact.
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||5||16||1,099|
One area Mata is ahead is interceptions and his ability to read the play. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise considering the greater work rate he was encouraged to produce over the first half of the season at Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho urging him to put in more defensive yards for the team.
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||647||16||1,099|
Only four other Premier League players have made more accurate passes in the Premier League this season. The gap between Ozil and Mata is too big to be explained by more playing time. Ozil has been given the chance to build a high number of accurate passes at Arsenal because they get the ball to him as quickly as possible.
Final Third Passes
|Player||Club||Pos||Successful Final Third Passes||Apps||Mins|
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||267||16||1,099|
No player has made more accurate passes in the final third this season than Ozil. That suggests United need to make it as difficult as possible for the German to get up the field easily, pressing him back and forcing him to play longer passes.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald