Chelsea’s trip to Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League will provide fans with a chance to see two top quality defensive midfielders go up against each other; Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Sporting’s William Carvalho.
Both holding players are very important parts of their team and there are already some noticeable differences after the first matchday of the Champions League.
Matic appears to be showing a greater core strength which allowed him to make more tackles and win more duels against Schalke than Carvalho managed to produced against Maribor.
He was a little more aggressive, which led to him giving away more fouls but that’s not a major surprise considering he’s a predominantly defensive player.
The stats also suggest that Matic protected the ball more effectively than Carvalho over the first game of the European tournament.
Chelsea are a team that like to dominate possession and build pressure over the opposition, which is made easier when the holding player in the middle of the team isn’t giving the ball away.
While this pair won’t be in direct competition this evening, they both have big roles to play and whoever has the better all round game in terms of their defensive stats is likely to be on the winning team.