Mile Jedinak is, without doubt, one of the most underrated performers in the Premier League.
The man is not A model of consistency, he is THE model of consistency.
Crystal Palace’s dynamic on-field leader posted more interceptions last season than any other player in Europe’s top five divisions, while topping the charts in England when it came to clearances and tackles.
He also figured in every top-flight fixture for Palace last term, with his copybook finally blotted by a rare dismissal during a 3-1 defeat to Sunderland in early November – forcing him to sit out the following fixture.
Jedinak has brushed off that setback, though, and been able to maintain the impeccably high standards he has set during his time at Selhurst Park.
He will get another opportunity to test himself against one of the best in the business on Sunday when Liverpool roll into town, with the Reds set to be led into battle by the talismanic Steven Gerrard.
The locals in South London will be expecting one winner in that particular contest, though, with Opta statistics showing that Jedinak trumps his captaincy counterpart from Anfield in a number of key areas.
|Position||Team||Won Tackle||Total Clearance||Outfielder Block||Duel Won||Interception||Accurate Pass||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Mile Jedinak||MF||C. Palace||35||29||6||97||38||285||10||897|
Jedinak has won well over twice as many tackles in Premier League combat this season, despite being one appearance down on Gerrard due to the pesky red card mentioned previously.
He has also put in more clearances, an important job for anyone filling a holding role, and has shown a greater willingness to put his body on the line for the good of the collective cause.
It is, however, duels and interceptions where the Australian really shines, with Gerrard – a man who has forged a career on the back of his all-action displays – getting nowhere near Jedinak when it comes to getting stuck in and breaking up play.
There are, of course, areas in which Liverpool’s skipper still stands out, with his passing game as reliable as ever, but it will be interesting to see which of the midfield generals takes control this weekend and seeks to stamp their authority on proceedings.