Stats: Mathieu Flamini v Philipp Lahm - Who comes out on top?

Flamini Warm Up

How Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini and Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm square up against each other statistically.

Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini and Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm will be playing similar roles this evening when the Champions League last 16 tie gets under way at the Emirates Stadium.

Each player will have a big role to play in terms of protecting the defence and breaking up the play but who has done a more effective job so far this season.

We’ve taken a look at the stats across several key areas to judge how they match up against each other as holding midfielders.

Discipline

Lahm has been booked just twice in the Bundesliga this season whereas Flamini is one of Arsenal’s most penalised players.

PlayerClubPosYellow CardAppsMins
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 6 18 1,134
Jack Wilshere Arsenal MF 6 21 1,521
Tomas Rosicky Arsenal MF 4 16 827
Bacary Sagna Arsenal DF 4 23 1,980
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 3 24 2,064

Add a red card next to Flamini’s name and it’s clear that he’s a very aggressive player. However, that’s not a bad thing because it gives him a presence and intimidates opponents.

Tackles

PlayerClubPosWon Tackle / appsAppsMins
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 3.11 18 1,495
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 2.26 19 1,354
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal DF 1.59 22 1,590
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal DF 1.52 23 1,999
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 1.17 18 1,134

Lahm also enjoys a slightly higher tackle success rate with 1.3 per game, shading Flamini in this area. You may expect that to be higher from two holding midfielder but bear in mind they both play in slick passing teams.

Interceptions

PlayerClubPosInterception Won / appsAppsMins
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal DF 2.91 23 1,999
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal DF 1.86 22 1,590
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 1.79 19 1,354
Per Mertesacker Arsenal DF 1.75 24 2,160
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 1.56 18 1,134

One area Flamini is ahead is in terms with interceptions, with a slightly higher average per match than Lahm’s 1.3. That will be important later this evening because Flamini will have to read the game well and position himself to counter against the pace and movement in the Bayern Munich attack.

Passes

PlayerClubPosTotal Pass / appsAppsMins
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 70.11 18 1,495
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 65.90 21 1,810
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 62.42 19 1,354
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 59.80 20 1,629
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 44.50 18 1,134

Lahm is significantly ahead in terms of passes with 80.8 on average per match in the Bundesliga this season. The difference can be put down to the gap in quality between the leagues with the Premier League perceived as a more difficult division. In short, Lahm is allowed to spend more time on the ball.

Long Balls

PlayerClubPosTotal Long Balls / appsAppsMins
Wojciech Szczesny Arsenal GK 12.23 26 2,340
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 4.94 18 1,495
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 4.74 19 1,354
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal DF 4.39 23 1,999
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 2.94 18 1,134

One interesting difference is that Lahm plays more long balls, 4.5 per game on average. Flamini is seemingly more keen to move the ball in quickly to those around him rather than hitting a long pass. Few Arsenal fans will complain if Lahm is forced to spray long balls around the pitch later.

image: © wonker

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