HEAD-TO-HEAD: Matic vs Delph - How does the Villa man match-up to the best?

Aston Villa

We compare Chelsea's Nemanja Matic to Aston Villa's Fabian Delph ahead of the match between the two sides at the weekend.

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Aston Villa face their toughest test of the season so far when they travel to Stamford Bridge at the weekend to take on Chelsea.

Paul Lambert's side have started the campaign in fine form, but a heavy defeat to Arsenal has left them needing to bounce back quickly.

Villa were touted as potential relegation candidates before the season started, but their form so far has belied that opinion and there is genuine optimism that a top half finish could be on the cards.

They have already been to Liverpool and picked up a result, but getting a win over an in-form Chelsea is an even bigger test. 

If they are to pull off the upset they will need their protagonists to turn up and Fabian Delph's performance in the middle of the park will arguably the most vital component of this match.

Delph's flourishing as a player over the past year has been a joy to watch and he is rapidly establishing himself as one of the Premier League's finest midfielders. 

His job on Saturday is likely to be as a player who intended to use his ample energy to stop Chelsea's obvious attacking threat and if he wants to perform the role adequately then there is a member of the opposition team that he should learn off. 

Nemanja Matic is unlikely to grab many headlines this season, but there are few players who are more important than him in the Blues' squad and his stats over the opening of the season have been very impressive.

  PositionTeamTotal TackleTackles wonInterceptionHeaders WonPassing AccuracyTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Nemanja Matic MF Chelsea 20 75% 8 6 85.813148788927% 368 5 450
Fabian Delph MF Aston Villa 8 62.5% 5 3 79.545454545455% 290 5 450

Whilst Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have received all the plaudits Matic has continued to get on with his job in an unassuming fashion, and he is arguably the first name on the Chelsea team-sheet.

The Serbian enforcer has shown his ability to keep play ticking along for his side, but he has proven a solid obstacle to get past.

On the floor, he has made a remarkable amount of tackles and interceptions, whilst his passing accuracy is also highly impressive. 

It shows just how far Delph, who is still blossoming as a player, has to go if he is to reach the heights of becoming a player capable of being a regular in a title chasing team, but he should have a first-hand look at someone who he can learn off on Saturday, which can only prove good for his development.  

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