Cazorla v Herrera: One Spanish ace beats the other in seven key areas

How do Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and Manchester United’s Ander Herrera compare?

Manchester United and Arsenal face off in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Monday in what will be an intriguing battle at Old Trafford.

The FA Cup is arguably the last realistic chance of silverware for both of these teams this season, and a Wembley victory in May, coupled with a top-four finish, would represent a successful campaign.

The former Premier League top two both possess big squads with an array of top talent, notably with a big influence coming from Spain.

The Red Devils have the likes of David de Gea, Victor Valdes, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera in their ranks, whereas the Gunners count on Mikel Arteta, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla.

Ahead of the encounter at Old Trafford, we are going to take a look at two midfielders in particular who could participate in a key battle on Monday – Cazorla and Herrera.

  Goals per GameShots per GameKey Passes per GameTouches per GameAccurate Passes per GameTackles per GameInterceptions per GameBall Recoveries per GameAppearancesMins Played
Santiago Cazorla 0.26 2.52 2.19 81.59 51.26 1.48 1.07 6.44 27 2,200
Ander Herrera 0.19 0.94 0.88 60.63 43.31 1.25 1.56 4.5 16 975

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, so far this season there has been a surprisingly big difference in performances levels, with Cazorla coming out on top in as many as seven key categories.

The former Malaga ace is shown to be far more dangerous in the final third – scoring more goals, taking more shots on goal and providing more assists via key passes.

In possession, the 30-year-old has been more of a pivotal figure for the Gunners, illustrated by his higher number of touches and accurate passes per match.

It has been a frustrating debut campaign for Herrera after he finally moved to Old Trafford last summer, joining United from La Liga side Athletic Bilbao in a big-money move.

The 25-year-old star is known for his ability to dictate at both ends of the pitch, but the only category in which he betters the Emirates Stadium favourite is in the number of interceptions on average per match.

In other defensive aspects, Cazorla comes out on top - averaging 1.48 tackles and a highly impressive 6.44 ball recoveries per encounter.

It has been quite a contrasting campaign for the two Spaniards, but at the end of May the ultimate winner will be he who tastes silverware and qualifies for next season’s edition of the Champions League.

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