Rojo v Clark: Three areas one is ahead of the other

Manchester United and Aston Villa are going to be relying heavily on their central defenders this weekend.

Manchester United host Aston Villa this weekend as the heavy favourites to secure three points and improve their position in the top four.

If Villa are to improve their position just outside the bottom three, they need to edge the individual battles in this game, one of which will come in defence.

Manchester United’s Marcos Rojo and Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark are both vital for their teams and the stats between them over several areas this season make for interesting reading.

  PositionTeamOutfielder BlockWon TackleAerial WonInterception WonPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Ciaran Clark DF Aston Villa 18 31 72 44 80% 22 1,793
Marcos Rojo DF Man Utd 7 30 52 48 86% 18 1,496

In three key areas, which are vital for any defender, Clark is ahead showing a better positional sense, a better grasp of no nonsense defending and a better ability to deal with attacks in the air.

Rojo is ahead in terms of reading the play and making interceptions as well as his passing accuracy, with that not a major surprise considering United are a team that like to build their attacks from the back.

Clark is going to be under a lot of pressure over the course of the game, but Tim Sherwood should give him the confidence that he can deal with the various threats coming at him from Manchester United’s attack.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch