Federico Fazio compared to Per Mertesacker - who is the better defender?

Per Mertesacker

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal will face each other in the North London derby at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Saturday.

Tottenham and Arsenal renew their North London rivalry this weekend in a game that neither team will want to lose as they both pursue a top four spot in the Premier League.

Whilst much of the focus will be on attacking talents such as Christian Eriksen, Mesut Ozil and Harry Kane, both defences will be important too.

Both sides have a giant centre back in their ranks, with Federico Fazio and Per Mertesacker both serving as aerially dominant players for their respective teams.

When it comes to a stat comparison who comes out on top - Fazio or Mertesacker?

  PositionTeamBlocksTacklesClearancesInterceptionsHeaders wonAppearances
Federico Fazio DF Tottenham 17 24 113 38 69 13
Per Mertesacker DF Arsenal 13 19 106 45 62 22

Whilst Mertesacker has had a more illustrious career - which included winning the World Cup last summer - but Fazio actually beats the German in many areas.

Block, tackles, clearances and headers won are four huge areas for any centre back, and the stats, provided by Opta, show that Fazio leads in all four of those categories.

Mertesacker has more interceptions this season, but one thing is really telling in this comparison - Fazio is the winner in almost all categories despite only playing 13 games compared to Mertesackers' 22.

With Olivier Giroud in the Arsenal attack, Fazio may well be called upon for physical and aerial battles, but Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will be relieved to know that Fazio could nullify the Frenchman's threat. 

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