Rotherham and Leeds United are going to be relying on some big midfield performances in the Yorkshire derby this evening.
Two key players for the midfield of each side are Rodolph Austin for Leeds and Ben Pringle for Rotherham.
The key stats between the two players for this season making for interesting reading with the two immediate stats, which jump out are Pringle’s advantage in terms of crossing and assists.
However, that can be explained by the fact he’s an out and out wide player whereas Austin has been used on one side of a midfield diamond for Leeds so far this season.
Any team playing a diamond formation in the middle of their side relies on the full-backs to get forward and provide the width down either side.
The noticeable area where Austin is clearly ahead is in terms of accurate passes. He protects possession more effectively, which means he helps Leeds maintain pressure over the opposition whenever they play away from home.
Austin also appears to be the more intelligent of the two players because he’s won more interceptions and shown a better ability to read the game and cut out danger before it develops.
He’s also won more dribbles this season, which is surprising considering Pringle is more of a genuine winger and therefore perceived as the more likely to take defenders on as he looks to get in behind.
Conclusion: Pringle is a key player for Rotherham and someone who can utilise space in wide areas when Leeds attack. However, Austin has enough quality to be able to control a game whether he’s playing out wide, in the middle or just to one side of a diamond.