HEAD-TO-HEAD: Schneiderlin v Tiote - which midfield enforcer wins?

The Southampton and Newcastle United midfielders face off on Saturday - but who comes out on stop statistically?

Schneid V Tiote

Morgan Schneiderlin may just meet his match on Saturday as the Saints host Alan Pardew's Newcastle side at St Mary's.

The Frenchman is widely regarded as - at least - one of Southampton's most influential players but the Magpies have a midfield enforcer of their own to rely on.

That man, Cheick Tiote, has not featured yet this season but could return from injury this weekend. Pardew confirmed that the Ivorian could be set for his first Premier League appearance of the campaign in his pre-match press conference.

And, according to the Shields Gazette, Tiote has proven his fitness in Newcastle training. But can the 28-year-old stop Schneiderlin from doing what he does best for the Saints?

 2013/14 Tackles WonInterceptions WonAccurate PassesDribbles WonGoalsChances CreatedAppearancesMins Played
Morgan Schneiderlin 87 68 1,726 21 2 30 33 2,766
Cheick Tioté 69 64 1,824 39 0 24 33 2,764

As Opta stats show, the pair were evenly matched last term, having played almost the exact same amount of minutes in the Premier League. Schneiderlin won slightly more interceptions, while Tiote completed almost 100 more passes. Similarly, Tiote won more dribbles but the Southampton midfielder scored two goals to the Ivorian's none.

But, in two key areas, 24-year-old Schneiderlin comes out on top. Indeed, the Saints man won 18 more tackles than his adversary last term - and created six more chances.

That gives Schneiderlin the edge in both defence and attack over Tiote, showing just what Newcastle will have to deal with if they want to avoid another 4-0 defeat at St Mary's this time around. The Magpies were on the receiving end of a Southampton drubbing last term and Schneiderlin registered an assist during the process.

Tiote's return, though, will still be of vital importance to Pardew's men. Two goalless draws suggested Newcastle's biggest problems lay in the final third but conceding three against Crystal Palace at home highlighted worries at the other end of the pitch.

If the Ivorian does feature at St Mary's, he will be in charge of protecting the back four as best he can.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch