Chelsea defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic was red-carded during the Blues’ 1-1 draw at home to Burnley and thus will receive an automatic three-match ban.
His dismissal for aggressive behaviour was provoked by a rash tackle by Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, resulting in Matic throwing the striker to the ground in retaliation.
The Serbian international has been phenomenal this season, and alongside Cesc Fabregas the duo have received much acclaim for their ability to restore the perfect balance in Jose Mourinho’s midfield.
|Tackles per Game||Interceptions per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Appearances||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the former Benfica man has mastered his role in the side illustrated by his incredible numbers in comparison to the Spurs midfielders.
Matic has recorded a higher number of tackles, interceptions, effective clearances and ball recoveries on average per game than the Spurs quartet and by quite some distance too.
However, arguably the biggest indication of Matic’s importance to the Stamford Bridge outfit are the results the team achieves while he is out on the pitch.
The 26-year-old has started 25 Premier League matches this season, winning 18, drawing six and losing just once – that enthralling eight-goal thriller at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day.
Aside from that match against Spurs, the West Londoners’ other defeats this season – Newcastle United and Bradford City – occurred without Matic, further proving his significance to the team.
Both teams will look to take control at Wembley next weekend, but in Matic’s absence boss Mauricio Pochettino will be urging his players to take advantage and run beyond their opponents’ midfield.
While one player’s absence may not exactly make the Lilywhites favourites, they’ve certainly been handed a boost and attacking midfielder Mousa Dembele can only stand to profit from Matic’s mishap.