Henderson vs Herrera: Which midfielder comes out on top in key battle?

How do Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Manchester United’s Ander Herrera compare?

Liverpool and Manchester United meet at Anfield on Sunday in what has been billed as one of the most important fixtures between the two in a number of years.

The Red Devils currently lie in fourth spot with 56 points, but a rampant Reds side are just two points behind in fifth following a run of eight wins in nine Premier League matches.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are undoubtedly the in-form team in the division and vice-captain Jordan Henderson has been a heavily influential figure in the absence of skipper Steven Gerrard.

The England international has been superb without his talismanic teammate, and on Sunday he will need to replicate his recent form against United’s Ander Herrera in what could prove a key battle.

  Goals per GameShots per GameKey Passes per GameTackles per GameInterceptions per GameDef Duels Won per GameBall Recoveries per GameAccurate Passes per GameAppearances
Jordan Henderson 0.18 1.32 1.64 1.61 1 4.39 5.54 48.57 28
Ander Herrera 0.18 1 0.82 1.35 1.71 5.12 4.65 43.82 17

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the two midfielders excel in different areas, but which North-West based star comes out on top in a head-to-head over the previous eight months?

Well, from an attacking perspective the duo have, on average, netted the same amount of goals per Premier League encounter, though Henderson appears the busier player in the final third.

The former Sunderland man has recorded more shots and chances created via key passes than the Spaniard, a surprise given Herrera’s ability to pick a pass in the final third.

The former Athletic Bilbao man has been in and out of Louis van Gaal’s side this season but his inclusion in their last outing against Spurs was telling as he played a commanding role in a superb 3-0 victory.

He also offers the defence protection, recording more interceptions and defensive duel wins than Henderson, though the Reds ace posts more tackles and ball recoveries on average per match.

It’s all set up to be a wonderful occasion for the Premier League neutrals and the game could be won or lost in a frenetic midfield battle as both sides look to dominate the ball.

The Reds head in to the encounter as favourites to prevail and, similar to the head-to-head between Henderson and Herrera, you would have to lean towards the Merseysiders when picking a winner.

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